Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In a Nutshell...


The last two days have probably been the worst (pain wise) since Rachel's diagnosis in June. Due to the throat & mouth sores, it is hard for her to even put her lips around a straw to get a drink. They keep increasing her continuous IV morphine, but the pain never really goes away. The left side of her face is all swollen--even around her eyes. She looks like someone used her as a punching bag! They say that inflammation with the sores is normal.

Even in the midst of these dire circumstances, Rach continues to try to eat! She has all of the docs and nurses in ICS amazed. "No one eats this far into bone marrow transplant," they say. The pain is usually so horrific that the kids just refuse to eat and get IV nutrition instead. Rach was supplemented with TPN (IV nutrition) a couple of days, but she was eating so well that they pulled her off it 2 days ago.

Also, Rachel's WBC (White blood cells) are starting to gradually come up! This means that she should start feeling lots better and that her mucositis (mouth/throat sores) should start to heal. It also means that engraftment (her new marrow taking over and providing her new immune system) could be just around the corner.

I read these Dr. Seuss quotes on a fellow cancer friend's blog. I think this pretty much sums up Rachel's positive attitude and fighting spirit throughout this battle.

Dr. Seuss Quotes:

"And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed!
Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed."

"I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind.
Some come from ahead and some come from behind.
But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see.
Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”

(FYI-Rachel really gives me a hard time about inserting too many exclamation marks when I write anything. I hope you are proud of me, Rach. It really cramped my style, but I tried. ha ha)



  1. We think about you ALL the time. I'd like to say I'd volunteer to eat FOR you but I am trying to lose all the baby weight from Kate. Sigh. ;)

  2. Thanks for the post. Rachel you are amazing and can win this fight. I hope that things will start to improve soon. Marie we love you too and Frost and all of your family. This has been a very hard time but you have done it well. Plan to see you soon. Love Coreyne and Val

  3. Hello Rachel,
    I'm realy proud of you and I know you will win your new live - soon!
    I'm with you!

  4. Rachel is a fighter!! We always pray for her! Way to keep on eating Rachel! You must have that Merkley gene for food in you. :) Keep holding on, you are amazing.

  5. Good job Rachel! Keep on eating and get rid of those awful mouth sores. As always, you're never left out of a prayer at our house.

  6. Oh my goodness, it amazes me each time I read about how strong you are Rachel!! Sorry, I am a MAJOR exclamationer too!! Can't help it!
    So glad to hear the counts are starting to come up! I wish they could numb her mouth some how!
    Keep the ice chips coming? Maybe? I would think ice cold stuff might feel good.
    Marie I will call you after work on Friday so we can has been a while! Update time!
    Love you Rachel

  7. You can do this!!! It sounds like the news is positive in that the transplant is working! Bravo for showing those mouth sores who is boss; keep it up, girl! Thinking of you and praying for you all the time!

    p.s. My exclamation points are dedicated to Marie! lol! Luv ya guys!

  8. I too would like to exclaim (!!!) that I am so happy that the counts are starting to rise! !!! Rachel, you know that every exclamation mark is because we feel so much love for you that things need to be louder than normal. Careful, or we'll start writing in ALL CAPS -- THAT WOULD REALLY DRIVE YOU CRAZY! Love you girl - stay strong!

  9. You are AMAZING!! Thank you for keeping it real with the details and for being so positive about the situation. We love you and pray for your quick recovery. Benjamin asks about you often and we love to look at your blog together.

  10. After reading over your blog I am so amazed at how strong you are! I am a volunteer at Primary's and have seen you many times with your adorable signs on your door telling people to wear masks for Rachel's health. I think they are so cute!! I have had to deal with my own major medical issues but I can say I've never had to deal with cancer and every child I meet at the hospital on the ICS never fails to amaze me. I am doing a paper on AML for one of my classes and just happened to run across your blog and I decided to read a little and I'm impressed by how much you have gone through and how well you are managing to hold strong. Anytime I have been doing the activity cart and seen you I always think you have such an awesome smile and I think to myself how is she able to be so happy when dealing with such major obstacles? It always makes me want to smile!! Good luck with your treatments. You are such a strong person!