I am just going to share what I know and feel and then run it past Rachel, perhaps she will see the need to find the strength and take over. From what the doctors say, Rachel is in the most difficult part of her treatment which is the delicate balance of steroids (given to treat the symptoms of the tumor) and the irradiation/chemo treatment. Physically she is maintaining great strength and although the symptoms of her tumor seem to be increasing they are encouraged that they are not of a serious nature meaning no headaches and the fact that she is able to swallow without choking and coughing. Because of a few other things (pain in the upper spine, increased area of numbness in the left arm and face) she will be having an MRI of the spine this Thursday and hope to be able to further reduce her steroid dose. They believe that the pain is most likely a result of the steroid and not the tumor and are hoping that the MRI will confer with their suspicions. The pain that she was experiencing last week in her legs seems to have gone away with the first dose reduction so we are very hopeful. I know that this can be very confusing but I also know that this is what is so overwhelming for Rachel at this time. Many of her ups and downs can directly be related to the level of steroids in her system and seem to rival any roller coaster that she has ever been on, she is definitely experiencing great highs and extreme lows, in her words she is experiencing a little of heaven and a lot of hell. She has seen a real side to depression that she has never understood before and is using all of her strength and faith to combat those lows. This is by far the most challenging thing that she has been faced with in this life and I have seen her turn to prayer on many occasions to help her through. Not only does she know where to turn for help but she quickly acknowledges when that help comes and is quick to offer a prayer of gratitude for blessings granted.
Rachel is definitely developing compassion for others in this process. Just today as we were at the clinic waiting for her appointment there was another girl, probably around 5 years of age struggling. Without saying a word to us she got up and walked over to the girl, showed her her iPad to see if she would like to use it to help her through her rough moment. She has developed a heightened sensitivity to others who are struggling and is able to reach out in a way that was once way too embarrassing to even think of doing.
I am seeing my daughter develop a great deal of compassion and charity which for me is also a mixed blessing. No parent wants to see their children suffer in this way but then God's ways are not mans ways and we have so much to learn in this life and of His ways. There is a reason why growing pains were given that name. Amid the darkness that she is feeling within, she is still radiating a great light to others around her.
May I also express my gratitude for EACH of you who follow and comment from time to time. You are a real part of her healing and her strength. We know that there are many prayers in her behalf as well as for our family and THEY ARE FELT. THANK YOU.
Rachel- My mom is wonderful. She has so much strength and patience. I can't put into words how I feel. Jordyn and my Dad made it home safe tonight. What a blessing. I am so happy that they did! Anyways, I don't know how to say this. Literally most of my day is living hell. I have been to the worst places beyond imaginable, having said that, it creates frustration for me because I know it's the steroid, and I still see heaven on earth as well.
Everyday I look back at yesterday and think to myself, what was I complaining about? That was nothing. The days seem never ending, but I know things will work out in due time. Sometimes I get so angry I mentally yell at my cancer things such as "you don't know who you're messing with." Silly I know!
Anyways, I want you guys to know how much I appreciate being treated the way I have, and for everything you have done for me. I'm tired. I can do hard things. Rach. I'll post some pictures too, sorry they're out of order.
|Hiding from mom and dad in the pink palace|
|I'm afraid you're going to hate me for this, sorry Jords:)|
|Dresses in Pink Palace|