Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What I Know, for Now

Okay, I know there are so many questions and right now not as many answers as I'd like there to be - but here goes.

The short version of the back story is this:

Sunday 11/13

I was feeling fine all day until about 3pm when I started having a dull crampy pain in my stomach. I just figured it was PMS and intermittently laid on my couch with a heating pad and cleaned my house. Around 7pm, the pains were getting worse but still not anything that wasn't pretty normal for me. I decided to take a shower, with the intent to just hang out on my couch for the rest of the night. By the time I got out of the shower and managed to put on clothes, the pains were much worse and I began to worry. At around 9pm I started making some phone calls to see if anyone could take me to the ER. I still kinda felt like it might be nothing, and that I was going to feel really bad for dragging someone out of there house that late at night. I finally got in touch with Melanie (BFF) who came to get me and took me to the nearest Emergency Room.

Once in the ER, they thought it might be appendicitis so I went for a CAT scan. That revealed that it wasn't appendicitis but that their was fluid (probably blood) in my abdomen. They said I would need an ultrasound and probably laproscopic surgery. But I was stable enough to wait until morning, so they sent Melanie home.

Not long after she left they gave me something different to help alleviate my pain. It was magic - no more pain! Unfortunately, my blood pressure also plummeted - to about 80/40. After putting in multiple IVs and stabilizing my BP, they put a rush in on the ultrasound tech and next thing I knew I was being wheeled around the hospital again. The ultrasound confirmed that I had a lot of fluid in my belly - and likely a cyst on my ovary. They decided it couldn't wait until morning and began the process of calling in the surgeon.

After a flurry of phone calls to Melanie and my mom - plus a frantic and uninformative text to a few more important people - I was wheeled into surgery. I was told it would not be laproscopic because they really wanted to try to save my ovary. Then I was out.

Monday 11/14

When I woke up I was told that they had taken out my left ovary and over a liter of blood and tissue. The doctor said she tried to save the ovary but it just kept falling apart in her hands. I don't remember much about that day because I had an unlimited morphine drip, which I used liberally! Alida was there to stay with me when I got out recovery. Melanie, her mom, and some co-workers showed up to check on me. Lots of texts and well wishes came flooding my way. I have never felt more supported.

Tuesday 11/15

I woke up on Tuesday feeling much less sore - but I was running a fever and had to have a blood transfusion. (Which took over 10 hours! Who knew?) I had more visitors to keep me company and was feeling on my way to recovery. I was dreading the 4-6 weeks that the docs were telling me that I would need to be fully healed.

Then the bombshell - my doc came in and told me there were cancerous cells in the samples they'd taken out of me. She recommended that I allow another doctor - the gynocological onocologish (GO) - do a full hysterectomy. Immediately.

I did what any mature woman in her early 30's would do - I called my Mommy. And she did what mommies do - she got on a plane.

I was surrounded by some of my favorite women that night. Melanie, Alida, Jill and Kass (and Lisa via phone), I can't tell you how much you all mean to me. I love you all so so so very much.

Wednesday 11/16

The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind of questions, emotions, answers, more questions and even more questions. My mom and dad are both in town. I've made lots of phone calls to tell those closest to me. Please don't be offended if I didn't call personally - after the first 3 times of repeating all of this, I realized that I couldn't keep having the same conversation over and over. Hence, this blog.

Right now I am seeking a second opinion. Not really about whether or not I have cancer - but about treatment options. My brain knows that a hysterectomy is probably the way to go - but my heart hasn't caught up quite yet. I'm trying to walk the very fine line of getting as much information as possible, to satisfy my heart - while my brain reminds me that I need to do things quickly and move forward with the healing process. I'm hoping to make a decision about who/where to get my second opinion from tomorrow. Thank God I live in a place with plenty of awesome hospitals!


Where to go from here?

I want everyone to know - its not a secret, please spread the word. I welcome all your support and prayers. Please don't be afraid to pick up the phone andcall. And visit - I love visitors. :) Don't worry about overwhelming me - I'd rather be overwhelmed than wishing you would call. I'll tell you if its not a good time to talk or visit. But I am pretty sure that everyone who wants to do either will have plenty of chances in the next few weeks and months.

Melanie (and I think Lisa?) is working on a list or calendar of people to bring food and other things for the next few weeks. Her email will be on the sidebar if you'd like to help in that way. No pressure. :)

More importantly, I value your good thoughts, well wishes and prayers. I'll keep this space updated with specific prayer requests as the days go by and I know I have an awesome group out there that will be sending up plenty of them! Thank all so much - I love each and every one of you.

Specific Prayer Requests for 11/16/11:

1. Continued physical healing from Monday's surgery.
2. Speedy turn around time for a second opinion.
3. Wisdom in making the right decision regarding treatment.
4. Peace about whatever that decision may be.


  1. Sorry to hear about all of this! I will be praying for you! Love, Valerie

  2. Rachel, you are in our thoughts and prayers! We love you!

  3. Healing, strength and love are being sent your way!!

  4. Hey, Trouble!
    I'm so glad that I came across Vanessa's FB status so that I know about your recent diagnosis. I'll be subscribing to this blog and you can be assured of my prayers. I know we don't chat at all but I do try to check in on you, via FB, every so often. God's plan is perfect even if it seems like you are going the wrong way at times. Give Him praise and glory every step of the way.

  5. Thinking of you and sending prayers and good wished to you and those who are supporting you IRL.

  6. Rachel, long time no see, but know my prayers join the others in ascending to God's throne of mercy!

    Kristin Wassilak

  7. We do not know you but we know our Lord and Savior as you do...we pray healing in Jesus name!
    Ron & Teresa Kessler

  8. Rachel, I will be cherishing you – and your network of extended family and friends in my prayers.

    Illnesses like cancer affect an entire cobweb of people, not just the patient.

  9. Just finding out about this turn of events.

    You got my good wishes on all four counts.

    XOXO, Rachel.


Your support and prayers are so important to me!