|After emergency surgery with Carrie|
I was told that there was an egg-sized tumor wrapped around T3 and T4 of my spinal cord. It was causing numbness in my legs and chest and shutting my body and breathing down by the hour. I was told I would go through various tests and have emergency surgery to remove as much of it as I could. They hoped that I would regain feeling in my extremities and not be permanently paralyzed or worse-die. My surgeon was kind enough to tell me (in his South African accent) that he was going to "talk to my like an adult" and told my 15 year old self what the outcomes could be. While it was hard to hear, I appreciated his honesty. That night we also met my amazing oncologist, who I cannot thank enough for everything he has done to help save my life.
It's always hard to believe how much time has passed and how much has happened in my life-for good and for bad. That day I accepted the personal motto, "I will just do what I have to in order to get better". I was so naive-who knew what was to come...I also somewhere along that path adopted optimism and hope. I'm not sure where it came from exactly, but I do know that God, amazing doctors, family and friends helped a lot in my journey.
Today, I am thankful for so much it's hard to describe it all...keep taking it one day at a time! Thank you to God, my doctors and medical team, family, friends, etc.
Wow! 13 years!! Thank you for being such an inspiration to so many to live each and every moment. God's many blessings to both you and Gabe during this holiday season and throughout 2012.
Thanks Debbie! You too!
So good to see that you are beautiful as ever and doing well. I often think of your class..an exceptionally talented group of young people that I was privileged to teach along with the wonderful families that I grew to know. An art degree and speaking engagements...you were so shy when I knew you in grade school. Your Mom looks same as ever in your pix. How is she doing? and Matt? Your family was something else...always so faith-filled and positive despite all that you went through. They and you helped me be a better person...to remember to count my blessings and live each day as a gift...you will never know all the people whose lives you have touched, Rachel. Have a wonderful Christmas season and happiness throughout the coming year. Give my regards to your family.
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