Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Dear bloggers, I am sorry that I don't have a more exciting title for my post today, but today is wednesday so I thought it fit nicely. Not much new has happened, but I am due up for another transfusion which I am actually getting right now. I had a slight fever today but it didn't get too high and didn't stay for long. Oh! And I am done with chemo now, so now I'm just waiting for my counts to come back up.

I wanted to let you all know, that I am so grateful for all the support and prayers. I really feel so blessed to know so many great people. Even with the long days here in the hospital, I just feel so comforted to know I have got a lot of people on my side. The nurses and doctors here are amazing. I couldn't do this without you guys. I really appreciate all the prayers, thank you thank you thank you.

Things here are going good, I'll keep you updated.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another day

Today was pretty uneventful. I wasn't feeling very good this morning, so they gave me some medicine to help and I slept until about 3 in the afternoon. It made for a nice quick day haha. I only have two more days of treatment left, so that's pretty exciting. I am becoming pro at this hospital patient stuff. Sorry this entry wasn't all that exciting, but I will let you know when something amusing happens. Until next time..


Friday, July 23, 2010


After starting off here on the third floor (since ICS was full when we arrived on Tuesday), we got relocated to one of the hospital's best kept secrets...Room 4404! It is very spacious, has a huge bathroom, a couch that makes into a bed and a nice view of the hills above the valley. It almost felt like an "upgrade" you get at the local Marriott! The only downside is that our cell phone coverage in this room is a little less than ideal! We get most texts and once in awhile a call gets through! So if you are having a hard time reaching us--that's why.

Rachel is halfway through her second round of chemo. She has had the usual nausea and loss of appetite that comes with chemo. The anti-nausea medicines make her pretty groggy, but given the choice she'd rather sleep through her treatments than be throwing up the whole time! She is hanging in there and tries to eat a bit when she can. Today's favorites were 1/2 of a Twix bar, some yogurt and some raspberry sherbet! Her craving for pickles is still alive and well!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Back for round 2

Well, after getting to go home for ten days, I am now back in the hospital for my second round of treatment. I am actually getting chemo right this very second. Which is kind of a bummer because I was really starting to feel good again. But oh well, that's the name of the game. Good news though! Not only were my counts really good by the end of my time at home, but the LP results showed that there are no cancer cells in my spinal fluid, and as far as they could see, none in my bone marrow either. This means that I am responding well to treatments, not that I can go home early (yes I did ask if I could just go home) haha but I am really excited that things are looking good.

Today after I woke up from the spinAl tap and bone marrow aspiration, they threw me in a wheel chair and had my parents take me to my room. Now usually a nurse will come to take me back up, so we can go the back way, in the service elevators. But since no nurse came we got to go through the main entrance area, with lots of people around. Now to give you a good picture of what it was like, you have to know what I looked like. They had wrapped a blanket around me becAuse I was freezing cold, I was wearing my hat with ear flaps (my traditional favorite), and a mask. Also, I was very groggy and still trying to wake up. So it looked like they were wheeling a drunk storm trooper in a cocoon through the hospital. Yes, people were staring. I probably would have too. And to top it off, we waited what seemed like forever for an elevator. While poor little kids asked their mommies what I was. Haha ok i am exagerating, but I did get a lot of looks. And then the elevator came, and the doors were closing, so I stuck my foot out to stop the doors, but it didn't exactly work. So everyone wAtched as I got my leg stuck in the door, but the doors did open. So that is my adventurous day for you, I am back in my sanctum, and would love to see anyone that can come visit :P thank you all so much for everything, I couldn't do this without you.


Thursday, July 15, 2010


We've all been enjoying almost a week at home after almost 4 weeks at Primary Children's Hospital.  During this time, we've realized some of our favorite things (that we've missed!)

Favorite electronic device:  DVR!   How did we ever live without it???

Rachel's favorite snack this week:  PICKLES!!!

Rachel's favorite answer when asked "What would you like to eat?"  I'm really not hungry!
(Although she did decide that sausage and waffles sounded good for lunch today.)

Rachel's response when we had her cousin and aunt come "hang out" while Frost & I went to a family reunion in Salt Lake:  "Mom, I don't need a babysitter!"

Rachel's favorite past time this week:  Riding her bike up and down our street in the evenings!

We are all enjoying sleeping in our own beds, eating produce out of the garden, and just being home!
Rachel's counts are coming up nicely!  We will be heading back to the hospital on Tuesday, July 20th, for her 2nd round of chemo.  Frost and I have gotten to be pretty decent "nurses" as we give her IV antibiotics, flush her lines, change her central line dressing etc.  (However, I know Rachel still prefers all her nurses at ICS!  And we don't blame her!)

Thanks to all of our family and friends who continue to lend support and love!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Home again

Hello bloggers! It has been a while. As you probably already know I am home for a little bit before I go back for my second round of poison haha. Being home is great, it is so good to get out of my sanctum for a little bit. I am still very limited, and sort of living life in a bubble, but this bubble is a little more roomy than my sanctum. It's been really good to see friends and family, to have more channels, and to eat. That's right, I eat now! It's been great. Although I am pretty sure my stomach shrunk. But I have successfully eaten and kept down pizza, mashed potatoes and roast beef, a blt, ribs, and ice cream with a brownie. That was just a random list of food that I could remember eating since I got home. So I am pretty happy about that. No more going weeks without food or water... Fingers crossed.

I am really doing so well, and I know it is because of all the prayers and support I have been given by all of you. I can't thank you enough. I'm still going strong thanks to all of you, and thats the plan from now on. Thank you!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

For those of you that were at the Steele Family Reunion- here is the big group picture we took in our orange SteeleStrong shirts!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Homeward Bound!

Rachel got sent HOME today! She will be resting at home for the next 10 days or so, and then go back to the hospital for her next round of chemo. Emily and McKell made this great sign to welcome Rach back to the house.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to our great Dad.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Today is Thursday

Thursday Thursday Thursday. Let's see if i can remember what I did today. As for the diet, that's improving. Moved on to full liquids and soft solids. Today I ate some yogurt, ice cream, and for dinner had mashed potatoes. Now, this is very exciting for me as there is now food in my belly. Also today I rode the exercise bike for a half hour. The doctors think i should be Able to go home within the next few days, which is super exciting. Thanks to everyone for following the blog, I'll try to keep it interesting. Until next time---


Steele Family Reunion

At the annual 4th of July Family Reunion we all honored Rachel with bright Orange "SteeleStrong" shirts, designed by her two cousins McKell and Josh. It was quite a sight to see all 98 of the attendees dressed in bright orange showing their support for their Granddaughter, niece, and cousin. Below is a video of some of the highlights of the reunion, including a carnival, 5K run, and a volleyball tournament.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Progress ...beyond bachelorette

How enlightening it has been to watch the comments pile up regarding bachelorette! What a great experience this has been for me to "enjoy" the drama of going on a date with four guys at a time. Not my idea of fun, but it has indeed been a learning experience. money is on Roberto!

OK now if I can get to the important stuff! Rachel has had a very good day ...both yesterday and today. Her stomach has been feeling better indicating the inflammation in her bowel has been going down and to confirm this she had another ultrasound today and they told us the inflammation is still there but it has gone down! As Rachel would say...woot! Woot!

The doctors advanced her to clear liquids today which now includes broths, jello, Popsicles, juices, etc. She had some chicken broth, Gatorade, Popsicle, quite a bit of water and is still feeling good about it and talking about much more interesting food for tomorrow! Her blood labs came back today as well with little blips in increasing bands and monocytes. Basically what this means is they think we are starting to see some increases in her white blood cells which will allow her to go home soon. Some of the doctors were even hinting at sometime this weekend. Not too sure what that will exactly mean but we are optimistic! We hate to get too excited even though things are looking so good because we know that even after getting to come home there is still significant risk for infection, fever, and other ailments that we are still going to have to watch very closely...this time without the help of such great nurses and doctors as we have had while here at Primary Childrens. Still something to celebrate!!! We also know that after coming home and getting to feel more like normal it will end, probably a week to ten days at home then back here to Primarys to start round two of chemo and the ups and downs associated with that. We just hope we are all better prepared for round two, three, etc.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Clear liquids woot woot!

Well today they advanced me to clear liquids. I was honored. Unfortunately my stomach didn't seem to like the few sips of apple juice that I had. To put it bluntly I sorta threw up. But..I did successfully stomach some sprite. So we're getting there. I have been looking forward to the weekly event of watching the bachelorette, so that was the highlight of my day haha ask my dad if he likes that show. I also had visits from relatives today so thank you for coming and I hope you aren't offended that the bachelorette scored the highlight haha, I really do enjoy your visits. It keeps me sane. Ok, I think i will call it a day. Thanks so much for all the prayers and support. I love you all


Sunday, July 4, 2010

3 Weeks and Counting. . .

Rachel has now been a resident here at Primary Children's for three weeks! The doctors and nurses have been great, the view isn't too bad,(she actually watched the fireworks from her room last night)and the food...well, she couldn't really tell you about that yet! But the highlight of the day was when they advanced her diet to "ice chips!". She's hoping for clear liquids tomorrow.

We hope all of our Steele family are having a great time at our family reunion in Idaho. Rachel sends a big shout out to all of her cousins there! McKell and Josh, the shirts are awesome!!

Today she has had a great day-no pain or nausea! Yippee! Here's hoping for another amazing day tomorrow!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hair cut?

Well, before I came in here, I had been meaning to get a hair cut for quite some time. But I was thinking of more of a trim. Today. We whipped out the scissors....and the electric clippers, and I got my hair cut. To be completely honest it wasn't my favorite event of the day, but I will admit that it feels soo much better than my patchy head of hair falling out. As far as pictures go....I am sure we will post some, I just don't know how soon I am ready to introduce my new look to my blogging minions. It's not as bad As I thought it would be, I just don't want to scAre anyone haha. But now I truly feel fit for my sanctum. Oh, good news!! The doc said in two days if I keep doing well they can start me on some ice chips and maybe clear liquids. (I haven't eaten in weeks) I am very excited by this news, I never knew my stomach could feel so empty. So feel free to come up and visit and we can stuff our faces on ice chips. Thanks for following the blog, and more thanks for all the prayers and support. Love you guys.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Jail Break!

Since Rach was feeling like getting up and going for a walk today, they gave her permission to "break out" of her room, put on her mask, and stroll the halls of ICS...with her IV pole in tow! She also rode the stationary bike here on the unit for 15 minutes. The doctors seem encouraged that she was able to do this without aggravating her stomach pain.

She is still constantly hungry and longing for the day when she can eat...and drink again! The list of things she's craving grows longer each day. Each new day here brings challenges. I'm sure she's longing to be at the Steele cabin this weekend at our family reunion instead of here. She has also yearned to be on the court with her volleyball team who are competing at nationals right now in Nevada. But she is a tenacious fighter..and though it is hard right now, we know Rachel will continue to battle and hang in there!

Thanks for all you prayers, love, and support!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Update as of now...

Ok so today is Thursday, and I am actually surprised to say that time goes by really fast here. All the days kind of blend together,and I have not eaten for a week. I kind of think of it as a fasting marathon haha. Well anyways, today I went down for another ultrasound to check up on my intestines. These are not particularly my favorite, due to the fact that sometimes they like to push pretty hard on my poor belly. The ultrasound looked the same so I still can't eat but on the bright side it's not getting worse. Whoa I think they just gave me some medicine that makes very loopy. A wave of magical haze has just overcome me. I will try to make as much sense as possible.
Tanner modeling his shirt for the upcoming Steele family reunion, 
* Jason, Kodi, and Jacob's dog, Leonidas shows his support for Rachel by wearing a SteeleStrong 
Some days I get really sick of being here, or I get pretty discouraged about how long and hard it's going to be. But to be honest it is hard to feel this way for long, and I know it is because of all the support and prayers I am getting from you guys. I truly feel so loved and blessed. I just feel bad that it took leukemia to make me realize how blessed I am. I have the best family in the world, (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.) with amazing friends to top it off. I am so lucky to know all of you, you really do keep me going. This wasn't really on my list of things to do this summer, but I know it is going to make me stronger. Sorry for the corny speech, but I really just wanted to say thankyou. I love you all, I miss you like crazy. Thank you blogging minions for your loyalty to my blog. I love you!

- Rachel