Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012


 I know it has been forever since my last post. My goal is to start posting more, at the very least once a month. (Try to refrain from jumping out of your seats with excitement). I missed posting on my bone marrow birthday, which was November 4th. Yes, my bone marrow is now 2 years old! Crazy! Before I get into the good stuff, I should probably update you on what has been going on in my life.

College has been crazy. By crazy I mean busy. Really, really, busy. Between school and volleyball, I find myself looking for nap time any time I can. I actually schedule naps in my planner to make sure I actually allot time for one. This may seem a little extreme, but I will do what I can to keep up. For lack of a better term, volleyball is kicking my butt. In a good way. My body isn't quite the same, and it is a long, slow process of getting back into shape and at the level I need to be at, but I slowly chip away with the hope that things will start to get a little easier. I love playing and I love the team, and so far, that's enough. Long story short, playing volleyball again is not the glorious comeback I had imagined--if only everything were like in the movies...I feel like they speed through the hard work part within a minute of inspirational music and then it's over-- but I guess I have to go through the hard work and all the pain and frustration to reach that glorious moment of comeback I envisioned while in my hospital bed. To sum this lovely paragraph up... I will keep at it, with the hopes of progress speeding up a bit.

I mentioned earlier that my bone marrow birthday was on November 4. I meant to post then but I was most likely napping...ha. Two years ago on this day, I was laying in my hospital bed as the life saving marrow dripped into me through an IV. To be honest, this all seems like a dream. In fact, I would think it was a dream if it weren't for pictures, and the evidence of my "hammered" body that is still trying to bounce back. I always joke that they aged me 50 years in there. Which, is more or less true. Nonetheless, I am thankful. I am thankful for a donor who selflessly donated his marrow to a stranger. I am thankful for modern medicine, and for all of the doctors and nurses who changed my life. I am thankful to be feeling good again. And I am thankful to be here today.

I can't mention things I am thankful for with out bringing up NCCS (National Children's Cancer Society). This organization has so graciously granted me with a "beyond the cure" scholarship, that is specifically for childhood cancer survivors. Who would have thought this whole thing had perks?! Not only have they granted me this scholarship, but they are an amazing organzation who provides support--both moral and financial-- to families and children battling cancer. And for that I am thankful. I am thankful for all of the good in this world. I will be posting more on NCCS but I honestly just wanted to say Thank you for all they have done to help me to move on past my illness, and for all they do for others as well.

I cannot end this post without saying thank you to the people who matter most. That is, all of you. My friends, my family, and my support system. Even those of you who have never met me, who were there for me while I was sick, through this blog. There truly is strength in numbers. I could not have gone through all that I have alone. I am thankful that I have more time to spend with the people I love, and that I can return the favor and help out others in need. So from the bottom of my heart I thank you for the prayers, and support that was rendered throughout my illness. I could not have done it without you.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

UVU Player Stats

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Relay for LIFE!

Hello! My sister is doing a Relay for Life, and it's to help raise money for
the American Cancer Society. All the money from the fundraiser will go to
help all those cancer fighters out there! Her goal is to raise $100 for her
team, and every little bit will help. You have the chance to donate
money that will help people like me, so please donate!! Here's some can all be done online. 
In the wise words of my sister Emily:

"When I registered online, I was issued my own
 personal fundraising web page. It explains what 
Relay For Life is and why I chose to get involved.
My web page also has my fundraising goal and 
how much money I’ve raised so far. Please 
visit my page, and while you’re there....why not
make a donation to the American Cancer Society? 
Thank you!"

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Anniversary?

Wellllll I figured that I was past due for a post. There are a lot of thoughts going through my mind right now, so hopefully I can wade through my summer-logged brain and tap into my writing skills acquired throughout a whole year of AP English. Based on the quality of that last sentence I should do just fine. (haha just kidding, I am not going to try that hard throughout the whole post or it would probably be relatively short)

First day at Primary Children's
It has now been 2 years since the dreaded day of diagnosis. To be honest, there were days when I never thought I would make it this far. It all seems like a blur, and at times I wonder if any of this really happened. One of the hardest things for me is to let go of the past and stop thinking of what could have been. Lately I find myself using cancer as an excuse for why I'm not where I want to be. Sometimes I have to wake myself up and realize that this happened for a reason, and I'm exactly where I am supposed to be. I read in Lance Armstrong's book a while ago that post treatment was harder treatment itself, and I remember thinking at the time that he was crazy. But I have come to find that this statement is so so true. When you are going through treatment, you are doing something about the situation, you are attacking the cancer. After treatment when you're "all better", you just sit around helplessly and wait to see what happens. I struggled a great deal with this when I came home from the hospital and everyone was still in school while I sat at home still feeling sick.

I am delighted to say that I am over that part of the fun, but adjusting is still so weird to me. I am now graduated, and I feel as though I have been cheated of one year of high school. I don't feel grown up, or ready to move on. I am nervous for the future, and worried to see how my body (which, I like to say has been aged 50 years) holds up while trying to fulfill my dream of playing college volleyball. Everything is so unknown. But I think that is a valuable life lesson that I had to learn all to early: That life is unknown. And we just have to hold on to what makes us happy and run full force into the dark abyss of the unknown. (good imagery yeah?)

I also have a hard time with the fact that I am doing so well. My longterm BMT check up was scheduled for june 12 (my diagnosis date). When I found out it was on this day I got mad at my mom for scheduling it on my "bad luck day". All she said was, "Well it's time we turned it into a good luck day." And a good luck day it shall be. (Well, still not fond of the date but who can blame me?) Everything looked good, and normal. Which is great. But then we go over to the floor and visit some friends who aren't so lucky, and who are still fighting this stupid disease. I wonder every day why it is that God has given me a second chance, and these adorable "Cancer Fighting Cuties" still have to fight for their life, some of them not making it in the end. Life truly is not fair, but I will trust that the man upstairs knows what he's doing.

So...enough of these troubling thoughts. There is SO much that I am so happy to be alive for. I will just name a few: FAMILY- I love my family, and love spending time with them. Cancer brought us closer together, and now I hold on to the times we have just a little bit tighter. FRIENDS- I am so glad I got to go back for my senior year of high school, and to be with my friends for one more year. I couldn't have made it without them. FOOD- this subject is very near and dear to my heart. There is something about having typhlitis and not being able to eat for 3 weeks, or months of no appetite and IV nutrition , that REALLY makes one treasure food. I love having an appetite again, and I love eating good food. SCHOOL- yes, I said it. But I think I said it before. I will take the stress of school over sitting at home doing nothing any day. Although I find it ironic that I just now discovered Netflix now that I am extremely busy. Oh well. SHOWERS- I have now had my central line out for over a year, and every time I step in the hot shower I think 'this is so much better than sitting in a bath tub up to my waist' either that or, 'ahhhhhhh'. HAIR, HAIR, HAIR- I have hair! I love it! I can now put my hair on a bun on the top of my head. I can't believe it is long enough! I love being lazy and having the luxury of throwing my hair into a pony tail, or worrying about how I am going to wear it. SOOo nice.

Me in June, 2012

It is so, so easy for me to list off all of the things that cancer has taken away from me. But when I take a closer look it has given me and taught me so many valuable lessons. Cancer does not define me. Although this statement seems like a "No Duh" , it is really hard for me to realize at times. I am who I am despite cancer. There is more to me than my story, and I think I tend to use it as a crutch sometimes. I always think, "oh, if they only knew what I have been through." But it is time to make a new story, and time to realize that everything has happened as it has for a reason. I look forward to many more showers, great meals, hair cuts, stressful school days and late nights, volleyball games, times with the people I love, and many more Happy Anniversaries.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Alright, I promised I would post pictures. I feel weird posting about non cancer related subjects... but my brother insists that I continue to update my blog. All I can say is that I am really glad I documented my whole shabang because there is a lot that I have already forgotten. It is really interesting to go back through and read.

I will have to post more later this week...I should probably go to bed because I don't wake up the best in the mornings. It's not like in the hospital when I can stay up as late as I want and wake up whenever. Until Next time--


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yes, I'm Still Alive...

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted! I guess I just got used to not posting, but there is a lot I need to update you wonderful bloggers on. My club team this year took third in the Denver Crossroads Open division, qualifying us for Open Nationals in Columbus, Ohio this June. Also as far as volleyball goes.... I have committed to play for Utah Valley University next fall! I can't believe I have gotten this far, it truly is a miracle (you can ask anyone who was around when I first started playing again...I couldn't run 50 yards without feeling like I was going to pass out...when I say miracle I mean MIRACLE)

I am really excited, although there is still a lot of work to be done to get my body back into a lethal machine. :) Health wise everything is still looking great, I only have to go into clinic every 3 months, my next appointment is sometime in May, and then in June I go in for a long term BMT appointment (after the year mark of transplant they send you back over to oncology) I can't believe that on June 12 this year it will have been 2 years since I was diagnosed. It feels like just yesterday, and yet at the same time there are days it seems like it never happened. But to be honest, there are always times when I dwell on what could have been had I not gotten sick. But I know that I am now stronger because of it. 

Other fun facts: My dearest mother will be speaking at Women's conference at BYU about her experience with adversity. And I also do speaking things here and there: firesides, assemblies, etc., I realized I really enjoy speaking and being able to share my story. My hair continues to grow longer, I really should post some pictures... Prom is coming up so maybe I will just wait a week and kill two birds with one stone. (or make like Chuck Norris and kill two stones with one bird) < that was a shout out to my little brother Tanner who is obsessed with the 75 year old Walker Texas Ranger. Once again, sorry for taking so long to post...and I just want to say thank you again for all of your prayers when I was sick, I know that I wouldn't be here without them, and that I am here for a reason. Thank you all, my blogging minions, for being great!! 


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Well, it's been awhile since Rachel has posted on this blog.  I guess that's what happens when a teenager beats leukemia, has a successful bone marrow transplant, and finally gets to have some normalcy back in her life.  She's been busy planning assemblies, finishing her Sr. year of high school, applying for scholarships to college, playing volleyball, and chilling with her friends.

But along with normalcy comes little "bumps" in the road.  Last week Rach started with flu like symptoms--dull headache, low-grade fever, aches and pains.  We figured she was catching the cold we'd been passing around our family.  On Thursday we found out she had a virus.  They put her back on Acyclovir, a drug that helps you fight off or keep viruses at bay.  (Especially bone marrow transplant kids)  Anyway, we came up to clinic on Monday a.m. to have them check her out...and we landed in ICS!  Luckily, all her labs look good.  They're giving her more concentrated doses of Acyclovir via IV and hoping she can go home in a few days.  I must say that being admitted again brought back a whole bunch of different emotions.  It's not near as traumatic as our first stay here when we were first diagnosed.

Rachel is itching to spring out of here, but comforted to know that she will not be staying her 25+ days that she used to each round of chemo!  We will keep you updated on her progress.