Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jumble of Thoughts

I don't know if it's because of the holiday season, or because I am finally finished with the transplant, but tonight, i am full. (Not full of food-- I wish-- but my stomach isn't quite ready) I am just full of....feelings I guess. Maybe it's the new marrow inside me haha but most of all I think I am learning. Tonight, I am full of gratitude.

Just looking back on the 5 month journey... remembering where I was at the start. Thinking how in the heck am I going to do this. Remembering crying...lots of crying, in the hospital room with my parents when we found out. Shock. Unbelief. All these feelings now turned to gratitude. There is no way on this earth, I could have gotten through this physically or emotionally without family. My immediate-- My sweet parents who never left my side, I never spent a night alone in the hospital. My siblings who sacrificed their time to be with me, to cheer me up, and to just be there. My cute little brother who started 7th grade with one parent at home while one was with me. They were strong for me. And that is where I learn it from.

Family is a broad word. It covers a lot of people especially in my case. My aunts and uncles who would shelter tanner, and feed the rest of my family. And cousins. Tears come to my eyes when I think of them. I have had the blessing of growing up with some of my best friends. Little mitch who never left my side in elementary school. Josh and Mckell who are such examples to me. Luke who just makes everyone laugh....somehow we all fit in together...the cousin clan we eventually called ourselves. Mudfights, fourwheeler rides...sunday school. We did it all together. I can't put to words the amount of respect I have for my cousins. On both sides.
Even though we didn't get to see each other as much growing up, John and Andy are my best buds. They keep me company in the hospital, and always make me laugh. And missy, thankyou so much for asking all those people to send letters to me. It strengthened me every day. I hope all of this is even making sense, cuz I am just crying and typing haha hence the title a jumble of thoughts. I hope they make a little sense.

My sweet aunt Kathy brought dinner to the hospital every sunday without fail. Even if I couldn't partake of her gourmet cooking, she would come, along with erik and lauren and cute little morgan. My point is I did not, by any means, make this journey alone. And I think that is what is so wonderful about this life. We are not alone. In any way, shape, or form. We may feel it at times, but there is always someone willing to help, to hug, or to talk. And I am grateful to have learned this lesson. I dont know what inspired me to go off on this rant, part of it was because I missed my cousins. But part of it is because my family came up to salt lake tonight so they could be with me. All of them. So I wouldn't have to be alone. And i feel full....of jusst happiness! Even though I am pissed I lost my hair and my legs feel all weird. Even though I don't feel good all the time. I just want you all to know that I am "steelestrong" because you make me that way. I could have never done this alone.

And I cant forget friends. That's partly what i meant when I said family was a broad term... I have some amazing friends that have helped me through this that I consider family. They keep me going and I am so lucky to have them.

I jusst hope that I don't forget these feelings. Because I am going to get healthy again, I am going to get out on that court, but it is going to mean so much more. Everything is. I just hope i dont lose sight of what I have gained. I am kind of rambling... but that's ok I am allowed to do that i guess... It's my blog. :) But I think I will sign out for the night. This was a long one...

You are probably looking for an update as well... I am staying in the basement of some nice people in Salt Lake. It is close to the hospital, so my parents are comfortable. We'll be here for a week (I say) or so... just to stay close after transplant. Hope to see you all soon. I love you so much, thank you for the prayers... I can't thank you enough. I can feel them touching my life. And I can still use them :P Thanks again.



  1. How happy I am that you are "filled". Your joy and happiness are contagious and help everyone who knows you! You are a blessing and a wonderful example, Rachel! Love you!

  2. Rachel, I LOVE this post. You are so inspiring and you are so strong. I have been so impressed with your strength. I am so happy that you are out of the hospital. We miss you guys, but we are so happy that you are out!

  3. You and your family are so inspiring to us! I was so happy to see you ring the bell yesterday and be able to go home! You are wonderful :)


  4. Love you Rachel

    Amanda and Millie

  5. Hey Rachel,
    you never be alone!
    I'm also with you!
    You are so wonderful!
    Be happy!

  6. Rachel, you are an incredible girl! Thank you for sharing your light and your strength and your testimony with us. You have made me better. And when you are back on that court, I'm sure you won't forget. :)

  7. I can't believe a 17 yr old wrote that. Your words are inspiring and wise beyond your years. I am glad you were willing to share those feelings with us. Knowing that you are out of the hospital tonight made me heart smile. I hope you enjoy this day, and the little bit of fresh air you can get.
    Love, Roscoe, Lindsay, Cyndell, Lillian, Jager, Oliver and Oscar.

  8. McKell Lucile SteeleNovember 28, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Rachel Lucile Steele!

    I'm bawling right now! I love you so so so so much and I cannot wait to be able to see you everyday and just spend time with you as a healthy girl again. You are wonderful in every single way and I'm so happy that you are filled. Not only have you grown so much, but you have made everyone else that knows you grow also. YOU ARE AMAZING my dear girl! Love ya tons!


  9. One thing I was reminded of through my cancer adventures was a quote from Elder Maxwell--who, as you might remember, had his fair share of cancer-related experiences. He said, "Regarding suffering, I have learned that there are no exemptions--just variations." You have certainly handled and are handling your "variety" of suffering with poise and positivity. I, too, am full--of thanks for you and your remarkable family. Thanks for letting me learn from you all.

  10. Rachel, Today you inspire me all over again. Thank you for your honesty. Your strength is so amazing and I know God has given it to you. He is an awesome God and has blessed all of us so much. It's just that some of us (YOU) are better at gratitude. I needed every word of this post today. And I love your cousins too. Miss you all.

  11. What an amazing young girl you are. You don't know me, but we know some of your young cancer friends, Millie, Erin, and Cami (and I met your mom at the hospital). My daughter Brinley just finished treatment for ALL last month, and now that it is over, the gratitude for life is overwhelming. One of the blessings of this is you will never look at life the same again, and that can only be given to you through what you have gone through. You are an example to those around you, and I'm sorry it had to be because of this stupid cancer, but the fact that you can recognize how good the good stuff really is makes you well beyond your years. Most people don't learn that until well into adulthood. You are amazing and Brinley and I hope to meet you someday!


  12. rachel you are such a good example to all of us as i read this with tears in my eyes i got that feeling of comfort your trial is helping many people and helping many people go through the day i love you and we all miss you and cant wait to see you!! i remember that day i was really struggling and you walked up the street to comfort me and let me cry on your shoulder and rach i think you are so beautiful even without the hair(: