Wednesday, August 24, 2011


It's been fairly quiet the last week or so.  I had chemo on Thursday last week.  I have to go early to get the festivities started so I'm not there until 6pm like last time.  They start pushing the meds a little faster and your body doesn't know whether to sweat, sleep, cry, run away or what.  It's a discomfort that I can't even describe.  I LOATHE it.  And the pills I'm supposed to be taking as part of the trial make me want to throw up just looking at them. 
I'm trying to get organized because  I don't want to leave behind a mess for the girls because there's so much I want to make sure GETS left behind.  Gotta pic and choose.  Since I'm just leaving a big tote full of stuff of 'me'.   Cards for each of their birthdays up to 20 or 25.  Then wedding cards, graduation cards.  I'm working on a journal of just feelings and what happened each day.  My sister will have to dedicate a nice portion of her house to "Rachel Stuff".
I've said it before- and I'll say it again... If you have cancer you should get a personal assistant.  Some of the information out there is wrong,  and some is just ignorant.  No one knows when it's time to see a specialist, so they can' make the right decisions.  Plus Someone needs to be the asshole and demand the real answers- the patient shouldn't have to play the bitch role.

That aside- Iris started Kindy for real on Monday.  She loves it- all happy faces when she comes home.  The only problem... she wants to ride the bus.  I wouldn't care except logistically it doesn't jive so she's gonna have to suck it up.  She may ride on occasion since I am no longer allowed to drive.  Yeahhh.  So I have to depend on someone who can go "Right Now".  So someone at my beck and call.
Then in 2 weeks- Vera heads to Preschool 2 days a week- 9:30am-1:30pm.  I don't know if that makes me feel guilty or feel better that I'm not just shoving the girls off to my mother-in-laws while I sleep.
I really can't get enough sleep.  I just can't.  But I'm going to start dividing up some REAL times to be with them- quality- and quantity.  Mommy guilt is the worst kind.  No one is harder on you about your kids than YOU are right?  I'm going to try reading this book "The Council Of Dads."  And possibly get that rolling.  Then there is a thumbprint necklace that I want to get for each them.  And I HAVE to get those 2 lullabies recorded for them.  Even if it IS just me talking singing into my microphone on my phone. 

My friend, Karen came in for the past weekend to visis just a couple of days.  She was here last Thanksgiving if you met her.  It was wonderful to see her.  She rushed to get the ticket because she's afraid I'm on my way out.  Hey- nothing wrong with being honest.  I do look like death, but I'm working on it and I'm sure it's hard for people to see me at all.  Ick.
Karen waited on me- beck and call.  We didn't do much but talk and I'm glad.  I'd have rather done that than go out clubbin' or whatever.  She hugged me goodbye like it's the last time she would see me.  I guess it's possible.  I think like that sometimes- but not always.  You can swim in that self pity until your fingers get all pruny, it doesn't do any good.  Don't get me wrong- I've been known to do that, but something snaps me out of it.  I count on it.

For everyone who sent cards and flowers- thank you a million times over.  Each act in itself is a pick-me-up.   Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

If you want to know about me and my physical being- I'm still sick and I think I find another cancer nodule on my torso every other day.  Some days I'm good to go- and could take on the world- other days I just need to sleep until it isn't possible to sleep anymore, I feel nauseous, can't eat, am sore all over for no reason and so on, and so on.  But I think the days are close to even.

And I don't know what to think about the next plan of action.  I don't have one.  Maybe the ovarian chemo.  Rally I'm just waiting on that vaccine to work.

Okay everyone- hug your babies- even if they are sticky.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Here's The Update

I don't feel strungout, drugged out, flat, shakey, hurt-y or any of that stuff so I will attempt to blog like I promised.
Since last we talked, I didn't know what was next.  Continuing on with what's available?  I moved from Hopsice because you can't be on hospice and treatment at the same time.  Home Health is for that dealio.  I'm still on a pain pump and I am sure someone has told me that would be a good idea before?  Well, go on with the "I Told You So's".

I don't need a fraction of the pills I was carrying around in my ever-growing purse.  BUT now I have to carry around a hip bag... or  du, dun, dun  FANNY PACK-24/7.
But you know, for the pain it relieves, I'm on board.  I also can't drive :(
My friend Stephanie organized a 'card shower and I haven't seen that many cards in...... ever.  thank you to EVERYONE who sent cards. it means a ton that I've evidently touched that many people with just another cancer- and a simple, whiny blog.

I had chemo today and it was started to get brutal towards the end.  Cold sweats hot sweats and by that point you gotta go to the bathroom every 5 minutes.  I was never happier than to just get the hell out of there.

Tomorrow is Iris' first day of kindergarten- Indoc day then the real thing on Monday.  So I MUST get some rest.

Gonna try to do more updates form here out, though they may be shorter.
So goodnight everyone.  Thank you for the food, the cards, the prayers, the visits and thebest wishes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What Seemed To Be The Downward Spiral.

How do you know when it's the end?  Is it a gut feeling?

Last Monday, I had a round of Erbitux and the trial drug.  I feit 'fine' for Monday-... was somewhat easy to get out of bed even Tuesday morning as I took Iris into her first day of Jumpstart at school, but then the day and week just started going downhill.  I couldn't catch my breath, I couldn't eat, I couldn't focus.  I figured it was just the chemo and that it would eventually wear off.  Only slight improvement with each day
Saturday I thought I felt a little better but still couldn't get out of bed.  By 4 in the afternoon, I couldn't take it anymore and told the husband that he would have to take me to the ER.  I was waiting for my mother to get there to watch the girls.  In the meantime- My sister showed up and called 9-1-1.  I got in the shower while we waited because I didn't want to smell when the potentially hot EMTs showed.  It was tough and emotional becasue Iris was inconsoleable and Vera was following suit.  I didn't know what to do.  It was traumatizing, I couldn't see straight- it took every ounce of me to move my legs one in front of the other  I felt like I was knocking on death's door.  I think a million things and nothing all at once.
The EMT driver was hauling ass to the hospital and once we got there, poof! My Dad was there and My sister was there.
I got Dilaudid and Ativan and I was good to go.
A stomach/ chest  x-ray showed and ileas and that pretty much took care of that.   I  was admitted that night with the hope that they would insert a tube to my stomach for relief and all that jazz.
You Guessed it, there's not enough roon to get that done safely,  too much tumor. Hmmmm now where have I hear that before?  So now I look into other trials.  Pittsburgh, Dallas again?!  Wherever.

So for now, I am playing out my "I am pissed at the world"  Then when I'm done with that, I'm going to go balls out (even though I don't have any) and get every weapon I can get for an arsenal of fight.  I WILL make it to 40.  That's not too much to ask- besides- I figure prayers should be like a petition... once you reached so much - you should have to stop an take real notice and give it some scrutiny.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Guest Blog Post (By an Old Friend of Rachel's)

Hi Folks!!!  My name is Cyndia Rios-Myers but you can all call me Cindy.  I am stepping in for Rachel this week to update her blog for her and let me apologize in advance for the length of this entry!!

As all of you know, Rachel is in the fight of her life.  She is currently taking a breather after a rough round of chemo in order to recover for a bit before she jumps back in the fight.  Actually, even as she is trying to recover some of her strength, she is currently plotting an alternate method of attack against the cancer. 

You know, I almost feel bad for the cancer as I would never want to get on Rachel's bad side.  I have been in awe of her ever since I met her.  It was a cool day of October in 1994 when I first met her.  (Actually, I don't remember the weather of the day when I first met her.  It was the second or the third day after arriving at Great Lakes Naval Training Center for boot camp;  I was too damned frazzled and shell-shocked to know what was going on.)  The people who organized the groups of recruits that would comprise separate companies had us all sit down at tables in a huge conference room.  I was a scared little seventeen year old who looked at the red-rope wearing Petty Officers with a mixture of fear and admiration.  Sitting at my table was a jaded and unimpressed looking girl wearing the same Navy blue sweats that I was.  She actually looked kind of bored which stood out to me as the rest of the booters like me seemed to be freaked out.  Breaking the silence was a Petty Officer who went to the podium and spoke over a microphone to get everyones attention.  The Petty Officer alerted us that we had arrived at the "Time of Truth".  Apparently, it was our last chance to be able to come forth with any crime or trouble we had gotten into that we had not divulged to our recruiter or had not come up during whatever cursory investigation they do to potential Navy recruits at MEPS.  Immediately, I freaked out.  I was sure that there was something in my background that the Navy would find out about me (it didn't matter that no such thing existed).  A recruit then asked the girl with the bored look if she had anything to report.  She laughed a bit and said that she had done some stuff but that no, she would not report it.  She said that she was sure that no Navy Petty Officer was going to go to her town in bumfrack Ohio to find out what she did.  I was in shock and awe.  We got grouped up into the same company - Company 903.  Seaman Recruit George got along with everyone as everyone liked her.  Even our Company Commander liked her.  The next time Seaman Recruit George impressed me was in the gas chamber.  She was one of two recruits whom the gas chamber had no affect on.  She laughed at the Damage Control Petty Officers when they kept her after everyone else left the atrocious room.  I stood outside the gas chamber, drooling like a basset hound while tears and glow-in-the-dark green snot dripped off my face when George came out of the Gas Chamber with a smile on her face.  Her and the Damage Control Petty Officers were really tight then. 

I lost contact with Rachel after Boot Camp as I was a Seaman who went to Florida and she was an Airman that went...somewhere kind of boring, I think.  I found her again on a military reunion website back in 2008.  We caught up on old times and I marvelled at how beautiful her first daughter was.  I bragged about my son too and it was almost like old times with the only difference being that I could relate to her better then as we had very similar lives.  Then, my husband (who is a Sailor) got orders to California in 2009 which is where we are now.  The day that Rachel updated her Facebook status with her diagnosis of cancer floored me.  I still remember the updates she made while she was at the hospital. 

I am still so proud to be Rachel's friend.  I don't know when (if ever) I'll see her face-to-face again, but I still count her as one of the people who has known me through some of the huge milestones of my life.  I check her updates on Facebook and I read her blog.  I am Catholic and I pray for her at Mass every Sunday.  When we pray the rosary every night, I name her too. 

What I know is that Rachel George-Greenwalt, a.k.a. Seaman Recruit George, is as tough as they come.  She is a calculating fighter who knows how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of her opponents which is what she is doing right now.  Stay tuned, folks.  Rachel's got so much in store for everyone. 

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