Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Live Breathe Feel

Our caterpillars are now butterflies! It's been so fun and even therapeutic seeing them live, breathe and feel what this world has to offer them!

They go through phases just like teenagers! Fun to watch! Anyways! I'm all burnt from radiation! Oh and I finished my 27 rounds. I should be starting Chemo here shortly, so we'll see what happens! I have basically a full body MRI on September 11th. Hopefully it will show good results! Pray pray pray! 
 Stomach burn!

Don't mind my pajamas! Back burn!

We went to a family reunion in Idaho where my mom grew up in Shelley! I love it there, such a small Idaho town!

Although Diane was in Indiana with my sister Lauren all last week, we still went up and saw our family! It was fun, because last year, Diane and I missed it, and I remember my mom posting on Facebook that we'd be there next year for sure. I, being super skeptical with this diagnosis, thought, maybe you will! But it was awesome that I made it, and fun to see our family!

Anyways, I can do hard things!

Friday, August 9, 2013


As you may already know, today I hit the one year mark since my diagnosis of DIPG. A lot has changed this last year for me, too much in my opinion. But I MADE IT! (Sorry about all the Capitalized letters, I'm just trying to display my excitement through text)! Anyways, I wanted to thank everyone that's made this last year bearable for me and my family! It's weird think now that I have had cancer for a year. To tell me I would have made it to this point is even weirder!

Rachel's Timeline:
August 9th, 2012 Diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma on my Brain Stem
August 19th, 2012 Moved to Memphis, TN to be treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
August 28th, 2012 Started Chemotherapy and Irradiation-30 rounds of Irradiation, and 270 rounds of Chemo
October 9th, 2012 Moved home from St. Jude's
June 4th, 2013 Diagnosed with a Glioblastoma on my spine L4 L5 and S1
June 6th, 2013 Removal surgery of the Glioblastoma tumor they diagnosed me with
June 17th, 2013 Removal of 29 staples in my back
July 8th, 2013 Started 1/27 round of Radiation
August 9th, 2013 CANCERVERSARY and three radiation treatments left!
August 10th, 2013 WHO KNOWS!?

One of the child life specialists I met with when I was first diagnosed, after telling me what all about my life would change, and how life would be different, asked me if I had any questions for her. So naturally, me being my curious self I asked her "When I'm going to get my life back and be a normal kid again?" And she replied "Honey, life as you know it, is never going to be the same. Everything from now on is going to be very much different. You're going to have all your old problems that most kids your age have, but you're going to have it a lot harder with this on top of everything else. Nothing will be the same."
When she said that, it kind of hurt! Here I am trying to be a normal 17 year old, and she came in and rained on my parade! But I was looking for honesty!-Just not so brutal...

Anyways, what does that have to do with anything? Everything- today I marked 365 days of being cancerous off my calendar, and for some of it I have gotten to feel like a normal teenager, who still gets to do normal things, and that's only because the help I've so generously been given, between my friends, family, blog supporters, doctors, and many more.

I'm only three treatments away from finishing this round of radiation, and I haven't thrown up once or anything! Must be cause of my amazing doctors at the Huntsman Cancer Radiation Center in Provo! I will be starting chemotherapy soon, and will be doing it orally again (PRAISE THE HEAVENS!) it will be 5 days on 23 off!

So- to the Child Life Specialist who said I could never have my life back- you were very very wrong! And although my life has changed, and I have things hard, there are also so many blessings and opportunities that have come along with it.

ps my sister Heather got married! Here are some pics of the wedding! Welcome to the family Cody! WE LOVE YOU!

Oh and Diane and I are raising caterpillars! I'll post again soon! XOXO!