5.19.2009

The day every cancer survivor hopes to see...


From my journal one month before the surgery in 2004

Is TODAY for me. The day that is especially sacred to people who have had cancer more than once.

Hard to believe, I know, because I cannot believe it, but there has been no significant sign of cancer in my body for 5 YEARS as of today! In other words, I have been in remission for 5 years! It doesn't necessarily mean that the cancer won't come back or that I won't get other cancers, but the chances are less and 5 years is a very long time-way longer than any other period of reprieve that I've had in the past.

5 years ago today I had an extensive surgery that removed a small Nerf football sized Askins Tumor that had grown between my heart, lung, pulmonary artery and spine. The surgical team separated and removed small pieces of rib, sliced and put back together 3 major muscles in my back, moved organs out of the way and successfully took out the cancerous tumor...the tumor that had somehow died inside of me with very minimal treatment. Still crazy, still hard to believe to this day.

YAY FOR LIFE! I feel so blessed and thankful for so much :).

Lots of love,
Rachel

18 comments:

Carol said...

What a beautiful day. I look forward to celebrating with you tonight.

Mom L

Rachel's sister said...

Woo hoo!!! Hooray for being 'Spanky' free! I still remember that morning as if it happened yesterday - can't believe it's been 5 years! Love you so much!

Mom2-2goodboys said...

Congratulations Rachel! I will always hope and pray you will stay cancer free.

Carly said...

Rachel- I'm so happy for you! This a wonderful day, so I hope you enjoy every minute of it!

Lindsay said...

Rach that's awesome, 5 yrs is a BIG deal, here's to many more :) Congratulations!!!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy I stopped by today to read your blog. Congrats on 5 yrs of being cancer free!! My prayer for you is to remain cancer free and live a joyous life. You are such a blessing to so many others. I am sorry I did not make it to Aaron's golf tournament. I would have loved to hear you speak. I heard you did a wonderful job. I do have the DVD of the Extreme Makeover that I promised to send to you. I'll be getting it in the mail soon. Sorry it has taken Bob a while to copy it off of a VHS tape.

Love,
Debbie Nagy

Wild About Words said...

Rachel,
Hooray! Hooray! I celebrate with you virtually.
With all good wishes for a lifetime of celebration,
Donna

allison said...

congrats!! This is great news to hear:)

chris said...

As a fellow cancer survivor and St. Louisan, I am in awe of how God has spoken to so many people through your miracle.

As I near my five-year mark, I can't wait to be one of God's miracles as well.

http://chris-wallace.com

Brandy said...

Congrats Rach!! That is great news. I'm so happy for you!

Becky O Brien...Make A Wish said...

Rachel, my name is Becky and in 1999, I was honored to be your "wishgranter" when you had your Make A Wish trip to Hawaii...I have a picture of you and family on that trip still on my desk. I have done over 100 wishes since then and honestly, I cannot remember all of them...but some, such as you, have stayed on my heart. I read your story today in paper and I was both saddened and moved to see how much you have been through..but I knew right away when I met you that you were a very special young lady! I will continue to pray for your healing, follow your story and pass it to others who will benefit from your outlook and strength.

I know your wish was a long time ago, but I hope that it "helped" all of you during that time also....I just want you to know that you and your family will always be some of my heroes....as all of my wish families are...you all teach me everyday the meaning of love and courage...God bless you all...

Angie said...

I read your story on STLToday.com. I was a friend of Aaron Hubbell's and I see you share his love and zeal for life. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Thanks and God Bless.

Susan Mueller said...

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
Rachel, Much happiness to you! Happy 5 year!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Rachel! We are so happy for you, Gabe, and your entire family. The story in the newspaper regarding you and your miracle was wonderfully inspiring. I'm so glad you shared it with others. Best wishes for a long future of good health and happiness.

Bethany said...

Yay!!!! You give me so much hope that I will too see this day. Luv ya!

Obsessedwithlife said...

Thanks so much everyone!! It was an awesome week :).

Dennis Pyritz, RN said...

Great blog! I have added you to my blogroll - Cancer Blog Links at www.beingcancer.net
Take care, Dennis

Henrike said...

Yay- congratulations Rachel! Hope you celebrated it in style ;-)

Here's to many more cancer-free years!

Henrike.