Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Post Surgery

Sorry it took so long to post, but it's finally here! When the surgeon went in my back he told me there was so much pressure coming from the tumor, that it basically popped out of my back. He said all went well, and they got most, if not all of it out. What a blessing! He also says I'm going to have to do radiation on my back again, which makes me disappointed, sad, upset, and the list could go on. (Not a huge fan of radiation!)

So here are some pictures my nurse took on her phone during the surgery!

They ended up taking out bone and tumor, so that's probably why it hurts so dang much!

So now that the nasty part is over, here are a few more pictures!

 The IV tape being pulled off after 5 days. It hurt so bad!

 2 of my biggest supporters. I love you Jordyn and Jonny!

 I'm up and walking again!

 Thank you Ward family in Florida for sending me these beautiful flowers, what a sweet lady! Also thank you for everyone else for bringing by flowers and other stuff!

My back in it's current form, I have 29 staples, and they wouldn't tell me how many stitches I had inside because they thought I was going to freak out about it!

 Me and my friend Ben. He has recently had heart troubles, and got released the day before me, so glad he came and visited because I'd obviously been crying two seconds before he came in my room, and he cheered me up!

 My seminary teacher Brother Evans came and visited!

 Trying to be happy!

Charlotte Lawrence and I! She has cervical cancer. Research Teal's the Deal, it is a foundation she started, she is an amazing woman, she is a single parent to one of my best friends and has 2 full time jobs while dealing with cancer. Can you say strong!?

Anyways, the first two days post surgery I was in an immense amount of pain. They drained all of my spinal fluid, and when I say it was a headache, it was seriously one of the more excruciating things I have lived through! I literally wanted to die, ask Diane! I'm so grateful to everyone that has helped me get through this. I am going to be praying my heart out that after they study the tumor it comes back with a good result, if that's possible! They say if it's a spread of my DIPG, that won't be good. So let's pray it's not!? I think they said it may be an Ependymoma. It's really rare I have 2 random kinds of tumors though. So I'm excited to hear the results, and even more excited to have 29 staples removed from my back in a week! I never imagined having surgery on my back would hurt so bad!

I'm so lucky and grateful to have so many wonderful friends and family to visit and send me things. I love my family so much, and I miss my brother who is currently in Alaska working at a fishing lodge, having fun without me! I never wrote it on here, but my sister Heather is getting married on July 27th, to Cody Hafen, we love him so much, it also makes for a great excuse to get my brother Devin home for a few days this summer as well. 

Right now we're kind of trapped in an awkward time when we're not quite sure exactly what the next step is, or what I'm going to be doing with my life, but I would certainly be glad if I had some prayers on my side to help me out!

Thanks so much for the support, 
I'll write again soon!

I can do hard things!



  1. Rachel, I'm glad your surgery went well! I hope you get some answers that will bring good news! I love reading your blog, thank you for sharing your story with us! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

    Congrats to your sister, Heather, and your family! That is exciting!

  2. OMG. THOSE PICTURES! That's crazy! You are so incredibly brave. Thank you for keeping everyone updated, you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers! Congratulations to your sister Heather and Cody! I'm glad your brother comes home soon and you can all be together as a family. Alaska sounds amazing.

    Hope the pain goes away and you feel better soon!! Praying for good news for you!

  3. Wishing you nothing but good news...Hope your feeling better soon.

  4. I'm sad I haven't been able to make it down there to see you yet! When do you get released? Have they said yet? Maybe Ill try to come down Thursday or Friday! I miss you and I miss that smile! We're keeping you in our prayers. Bentlee does too. (I'm sure they are heard better than mine...even if her eyes are squinting and not fully shut! haha) We love you babe! Keep getting better! See you soon

  5. Look at you. You did it again! It's so good to see you up walking around after all of that. and it's ok to cry Rachel, it still means you are tough and strong and brave. Thinking of you every day and hoping for the best.
    The Gonzalez Family

  6. you did it!! What a trooper... I can't even imagine. You are so strong and I look up to you for your positive attitude! You're amazing!

  7. Youre so strong! I could never be as strong as you are! I have the same name as your sister but mine is spelled Jordynn ;)

  8. For you Rachel: http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/message.cfm?l=eng&cid=18729730.

    From Kathryn in Texas


  10. Have you found out what type it was? Fingers crossed its the good one!

  11. Rachel, I just found your blog and read it all from the beginning. You are very strong girl and a BIG example for all of us! Hope you are feeling great after your surgery. As you know, God can do amazing things and I'll be praying for your full recovery :)
    Cheers from Mexico!

  12. The plastic specialists are God skilled to human race who are conflicting with all obstacles to reestablish the patient's body and self regard in one go. The specialists or the specialists here in Dallas search minutely for any issue identified with the patient and work around it. Richmond surgeon

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  14. Your smiling face is a real challenge and these smiles of yours in pics depicts that you are not afraid of cancer. I also likes the efforts of your supporters that are trying to navigate here do everything to cheer you up and that is really adorable.