Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mom's Update

I thought I would write today...since Rachel is not feeling so well. Each day here is kind of like a roller coaster ride with some ups and downs! We started the day by finding out that Rachel's spinal fluid came back negative for blasts or cancer cells. Hooray!!!

After waiting a little over a week, we also got her bone marrow biopsy results.
This tells us the chromosomal makeup of her cancer cells. These results place you in a low, intermediate, or high risk category--which is linked to the future need for a bone marrow biopsy. Rachel is in the intermediate risk category, which means that if Adam or Emily end up being sibling matches for Rachel's bone marrow, she would eventually get a bone marrow transplant. If they do not match, she will not get a marrow transplant. High risk candidates have to get a marrow transplant no matter if it is a sibling or unrelated match. We feel glad that at least she's not in the high risk category!

Later this afternoon, she got a fever which they are currently treating with two different antibiotics. We've learned that each day here brings joys and challenges! Even though she isn't feeling so great, I am impressed with how she continues to fight this! She is always polite to the nurses and says thank you, even if they are telling her it's time for another potty break!

Thanks to all of you who have fasted and prayed in our behalf, and those who are rendering acts of service to our family. We truly have felt the Lord's tender mercies during this difficult time!



  1. That's great news about no blasts or cancer cells! Sorry about the rough day for Rachel on the other hand. :( We are always praying for her, in every prayer. PLEASE call me if ANY of you want to stay at our house, if you need some new DVDs to watch, or something to eat besides hospital food. :)

  2. We are thinking and praying for you girl. Keep up the positive, fighting attitude--it will do great things. Heavenly Father is blessing you, maybe different than how you want Him to, but do not give up! We love you! Right now we are in New Mexico but will be heading home soon. If you need anything from New Mexico, let us know...ha :) Thanks for keeping everyone up to date on how you are doing.

  3. Of course she has a great attitude. That's Rachel for you. We are continuing our prayers for her and know that she is a fighter. Please let us know if we can help out in ANY way AT ALL. We love you all. Warner Family

  4. Dear Rachel and family,
    You don't know me, but I have found I have a few connections to you. I first heard about your situation via some Facebook posts by my dear friends, the Langhaims - yes....the volleyball greats from Alpine. :-) Then yesterday another dear friend at work (Wendy Tippets) was telling about this sweet girl in her ward who was at Primary Children's and I asked if it was Rachel Steele - LOL - she was VERY surprised that I already knew about you. In reading your blog, I see you have a UofU volleyball signed by my niece and Asst. Coach, Heather Olmstead. What a small world!!!! I'm a 2 time breast cancer survivor and I've done the yucky chemo thing too. Rachel - keep up your positive attitude since I truly believe that is HUGE in your fight and recovery. I used to tell visitors they were in the positive zone and could only see me if they would be positive. Any boo-hooing had to be done where I couldn't see it. :-) Know that strangers are praying for you and your family.

  5. Hey Rachel,
    Just wanted you to know you have tons of support from the family friends in good ole Heber City! That is awesome to hear that your spine is cancer FREE...yeah!!! Just know you are in our thoughts and prayers daily girl!

    Your attitude is amazing! Keep it up! I can't believe how much you look like your mom when she was your age! (only a few short years ago!!!)

  6. Of course Rachel has a sweet attitude—look at all the exclamation marks in her mom's writing! She had to learn happiness somewhere! I'm thinking about you here in way too sunny PA, Rachel. Yesterday we had a tornado warning which means we heard some rolling thunder, saw some lightning and got some violent rain for about 5 minutes. Then it was all over. I heard that we have a black bear wandering our neighborhood, too. How's that for interesting?

  7. Marie Rachel and Frost--
    I don't think that you realize how often your good attitude and your willingness to help other people without any hesitation has been a blessing in all of our lives. We are so grateful for your good examples of love, faith and perseverance (SP?) in any situation. We love you so much and wish that we could do more.

    Keep up the good work in fighting this! We know you can do it!
    Love you much, Katie and Jody and Kids

  8. Hi Rachel (and family),
    Greetings from your Dad's long lost cousin (in California)...I think that makes us second cousins? Just wanted you to know I am following your blog. You have family that you have never met, and we are thinking about you, and wishing you the very best!

  9. Hi Rachel,
    I just want to let you know that we are thinking about you and praying for you. My son Jacob knows you are sick, and wants to come kiss it better. We have been battling colds at my house, but we plan on coming up to see you as soon as the kids have been well for a nice period of time. You are such a great girl, it doesn't surprise me at all how polite you are!
    -Jessica Glassford Astin

  10. I hope your day is going better today for you Rachel! We miss seeing you on the court! Keep up the great attitude and know we are always thinking about you! Frost & Marie we are thinking of you as well. You are all such great examples to us..

  11. YEA!!!! So much good news to appreciate! Smiling with you today!

  12. I just read that you would only get a transplant from a sibling. I am so glad you hopefully won't be needing one.

    I remember Millie's stay in Primary and the potty breaks, No fun. They were pumping her full of so much that she had to go every 15 mins.

    So glad the fever is down, You're a RockStar!

  13. Aloha Rachel,

    We love you and we are praying for you! We are truly sorry for all that you have been through. We so admire you for your strength, courage, and faith! You are definitely the strongest young lady we know! My parents and sister are sending their love and prayers from the Philippines.

    The Lord loves you so much and we know that He will never leave your side. I'm sure you already know that.

    We love you!

    Kristine & Eddie