LIVING ON A PRAYER

I would love to be writing you a more positive post but unfortunately, the bad news keeps on racking up. My lymph node surgery in February went to plan but the results as ever weren’t good. Seven out of 19 nodes removed were positive for cancer – a sign the previous 4 months of chemo hadn’t really cut the mustard. Still, my surgeon was happy he’d done as much as he could and a subsequent CT scan a couple of weeks later showed no new nasty surprises. Though troublingly the spot on my hip that they’ve been monitoring had grown slightly.  Still, no reason to be reaching for the life boats just yet.

 

You, Me & the Big C Podcast

I was back at work five days a week and having so much fun doing our new You, Me & the Big C podcast, with my beautiful and fabulous new friends Deb and Lauren.  I was doing all my post-surgery stretches but after a few weeks became aware that my breast on the latest surgery side was a little swollen. Still no bells started to ring. Then it started to go red. I presumed lymphedema had set in – a very annoying but not dangerous condition where lymph fluid collects after nodes have been removed. But it obviously looked a bit odd as the lymphedema team sent me back to the surgeon. Then the sirens started to wail.  Biopsies were taken. His demeanour was serious. Fingers were crossed.

The call

A few days later came the call.  I was out at the ice cream farm with Freddie and some of his little pals. My heart raced as I answered it, knowing a phone call did not bode well. Then came the words ‘I am so sorry, it’s bad news. The biopsies have come back showing the same cancer is back and is in the skin’. I watched my little Freddie innocently playing away in a tyre in the barn and my heart broke for him. I scooped him up and dashed home and then had to break Steve’s heart with the news that my cancer was now metastatic and therefore incurable.

Waiting

I met with my surgeon who examined the spread of the mets on the skin of my chest and advised I headed to the oncologist to get some systemic treatment before considering any surgery.  Any kind of surgery with stage 4 multiple mets is a bit like slamming the stable door after the horse has bolted.  There has been a lot of waiting. First for a grim-faced meeting with the oncologist. I turned up a little hopeful, thinking at least by the time we left we’d have a plan. Even if that was just to extend things for a while. Action always feels good. But he explained – as if I didn’t know it all too well already – that my cancer hasn’t responded well to chemo thus far. And with chemo there’s usually no magic button, we won’t suddenly find one that smashes it. So I was told my best chance for extra time is with treatment with a ‘novel agent’, I had to ask what that was as images of James Bond flashed through my head. It basically means a brand-new drug, something new and innovative that is in the early stages of trials and development. I was referred to the Clinical Trials Unit. More waiting, all the while watching and feeling the cancer spread.

Frontier of science

So now I have turned lab rat. I am in the hands of the incredible team on the Christie Clinical Trials Unit. They work at the very cutting edge of cancer treatment, looking to make those those little discoveries about new drugs that may lead the way forward in cancer treatment for the future. I am lucky that there are some options for trial treatments. They have very strict criteria for recruitment and I have gone through a fairly thorough screening to make sure I am healthy enough (ironic!) to have the treatment. My base-line CT-scan did not make for pretty reading but here is where we are. I have extensive skin metatases in my left breast and chest, mets to the nodes above the collar bone on the left side. I have a tumour in my liver and a couple of suspicious spots on my spine. I also have a small collection of fluid on the outside of my right lung, called a plueral effusion which is indicative of some cancer starting to lurk there. So that’s skin, nodes, liver, bones, lung. I think even the unscientific amongst you can do the math on that one. Last Wednesday I started on the first clinical trial they have in store for me. If it doesn’t work there are others we can try. It’s an immunotherapy which is approved for other cancers and works by getting your own immune system to start attacking the cancer. Immontherapy is currently considered to be the future of targeted cancer treatment.  It works well in some types of cancer but not in breast cancer.  I am taking it with a new trial drug that is designed to try and make it more effective.  It is a Phase 1b trial so very early in the process and I feel an odd sense of pride that I am one of fewer than 150 people worldwide who will test it. If it doesn’t help me then I hope the data I provide will at some point in the future help others in the same position.

Living on a prayer

I am five days in to a strict protocol of infusions and tablet taking. I am being closely monitored for any side effects. I feel a bit like a grenade with the pin out…just waiting for some odd sensations to appear. Tick tock. I am in a little pain from the inflammation from the skin mets across my chest but otherwise feel pretty normal. So we wait for the next scan. That will happen in about 6 weeks. If the cancer has shrunk or is stable that’s good and I stay on the trial. If it’s progressed and grown by more than 20% I cut my losses and try the next one. In the meantime genomic tests are being carried out to determine the genetic particulars of my cancer to see if they indicate any particular treatment being effective. This is the real future of cancer treatment, personalised to the genetics of your tumour which may be totally different to those of someone else with the ‘same’ type of cancer. We are waiting and hoping. Whatever greater power you believe in, send us your collective prayers.

 

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84 Comments

  1. lucyleeallen
    May 20, 2018 / 8:26 pm

    I’m so sorry to read all this, Rachael. I can’t begin to imagine how terrifying it all is for you and your family.I am sending you all my very very best wishes and hopes that the trial works for you. I have no idea whether there is a God or not, but I will pray for you tonight in the hope that there is. Lucy, Oxford x

    • Alexis
      May 23, 2018 / 6:29 pm

      Hi Rachel I’ve just read about you in the daily mail today and want you to know I’ll be praying for you. God still does miracles and it’s what I will be praying for you. Never give up, Believe God can heal you and hand over your illness to him. He is alive. God bless you and your family.

  2. Suzie
    May 20, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    Omg Rachel, I’m heartbroken for you. I was listening to your wedding commentary on Friday, thinking about you and that we haven’t heard about how you are doing lately. Hope the trial goes really well. Sounds like you are in the best hands you can be. Keep up the good work you Debra and Lauren are doing for others out there. Really appreciate all your words and I share them with my cancer support group, and we all wish you well. Big love ❤️

  3. May 20, 2018 / 8:41 pm

    Rachael. …….you are a brave lady and an inspiration ……love and prayers to you and the family…..Ian xx

  4. Karin Buck
    May 20, 2018 / 8:46 pm

    Prayers sent. Thoughts with you. Strong visions of hope and health swirling around you. I have a friend three +years stage 4. Could connect you if interested. I believe in your body’s ability to heal. I believe, I truly do.

  5. May 20, 2018 / 8:52 pm

    You are inspirational, a true superhero! Your blog & your podcasts have made such a difference to my life and my families. We have all got your back! Whispering a prayer for you and your family 💜

  6. Amanda
    May 20, 2018 / 9:07 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear its gone metastatic. I’ve got metastatic vaginal cancer and I find it so devastating to hear when someone else gets put in the same position. I listen to you me and the big c when I walk my dog and find you guys so encouraging and inspiring… As you probably realise yourself there’s not a lot of guidance when you’re young. I find out my next scan results tomorrow so I’m finding I’m super sensitive to others and their stories at the moment. I really wish all the best for you in your clinical trial. I really wish I could be revolutionary like you but unfortunately clinical trials aren’t really catered for me as “technically” I’m not in the bracket to get cancer in the vag 🙄 whatever the heck that means.
    I wish for you all the best and hope things don’t get too trying for you and your family 💜✌

    • Nick
      May 23, 2018 / 7:47 am

      Amanda, I hope you had good results on your latest scan.

      • Amanda
        May 25, 2018 / 10:39 pm

        Yes, I did thank you 😊 it’s nice to get some respite for a bit… Hopefully it’ll last for a while

  7. May 20, 2018 / 9:08 pm

    My very best wishes to you Rachael. I hope that you respond to the treatment x

  8. Delyth underwood
    May 20, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    Oh Rachel. I am so sorry to read this – I can only imagine what you and your family must be feeling. You are certainly in our prayers as you are an inspiration to us all and I really hope the trials can keep you stable for a long time. With all good wishes xxxxxxx

  9. Helen
    May 20, 2018 / 9:21 pm

    Just wanted to send you love and hugs. ❤️❤️❤️

  10. Lucy Morris
    May 20, 2018 / 9:23 pm

    So sorry.. I listen to you on the radio and hope that you will be cancer free.. thinking of you xxx

  11. Camilla Sharp
    May 20, 2018 / 9:26 pm

    Much love to you and your family. Wishing with every part of me that the immunotherapy works xxxx

  12. Simon Keeping
    May 20, 2018 / 9:38 pm

    Thank you for your honesty and frankness Racheal, wishing you courage and every success with the trials. Much love xxx

  13. Michelle
    May 20, 2018 / 9:44 pm

    Wishing you well Racheal. You have got this far – keep going x

  14. Jo Moore
    May 20, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    Wow! This blog has made for some very powerful reading and you’ve written it with brutual honesty.
    I am really sorry to hear that your breast cancer has become metastatic but your attitude towarss the trial is inspiring and I truely hope it goes to work on the cancer.
    The podcasts (You Me Big C) with Deborah and Lauren are fantastic and have helped me so much through my own breast cancer journey during chemo and now radiotherapy. I hope you all continue to make these podcasts and as a listener….Im with you girls all way ❤❤
    Jo xx

  15. Kerry Thomas
    May 20, 2018 / 9:53 pm

    Lost for words. All I can do is send you my love and best wishes Rachael.xxxx

  16. Kate Besse
    May 20, 2018 / 10:00 pm

    I am keeping everything crossed for you and praying to any higher force to help you through this. All my love and thoughts. Kate xxx

  17. Arthur lamb
    May 20, 2018 / 10:25 pm

    Rach I’m so sorry to hear the news you and your family must be devastated you have done so well we hope your treatment works for you Arthur and myself send you and your family our love prayers are sent to you all keep hoping it will work love Eileen and Arthur xx

  18. Sally Wheatley
    May 20, 2018 / 10:33 pm

    So sorry to hear this, you Steve and Freddie will be in our prayers as you undergo this new treatment God is a mighty God and will hear your prayers x

  19. May 20, 2018 / 10:47 pm

    Hi Rachel,
    I have been thinking about you so much recently, trying to find out how you were, had I missed a blog?, was no news good news?

    I have just come across your most recent blog, and felt I must write to you.

    I had to read the blog twice so shocking was the news, you had sounded as bright as a button on the radio.

    I cannot begin to contemplate how devastated you must have been on hearing the news from your surgeon.

    Rachel so many people are rooting for you.

    Your remarkable bravery in speaking out about your cancer journey has been inspirational.

    Each day I shall be thinking of you,wrapping you in a warm blanket of loving support.

    All my love
    Robyn xx

  20. May 20, 2018 / 11:18 pm

    Not the news I was expecting to hear! ☹️ Sending you big love, love is the way. You are a super warrior woman. Take strength from all the good you’ve done and are doing for others. Xxx

  21. Jane Symonds
    May 20, 2018 / 11:48 pm

    Oh I was wondering how you are getting on and with all that you are still working, am having radiotherapy treatment at the moment you and the podcast have helped me…………X

  22. Bri McIntosh
    May 20, 2018 / 11:52 pm

    Rachael I’m so sorry to hear this. I’ve got everything crossed for you x

  23. Al wheatley
    May 21, 2018 / 12:26 am

    “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:33-34‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    Rachel God is sovereign the creator and perfector of everything, he brings Hope to the hopeless. Nothing is out of his sight or his control.

    For I know the plans I have for you. declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. — Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV).

    We will all be praying for you here in Sheffield.

    God Bless

    Al Wheatley

  24. Rob Nicholson
    May 21, 2018 / 1:09 am

    You are facing up to this with tremendous courage. Even sitting writing about it shows incredible bottle. I pray for you and the team you have around you who are committed to fighting this alongside you.
    Bless you and thank you for sharing the reality of this devastating illness.

  25. Will Dewar
    May 21, 2018 / 6:12 am

    Rachael, you are so incredibly brave. We have everything crossed for you and send so much Love from the Dewars xxx

  26. Tim
    May 21, 2018 / 6:15 am

    Gosh Rachael – this is hard to read (although it’s beautifully described). My heart goes out to you and your lovely family. Will be praying that this innovative new treatment does something transformational. Hope you manage to stay strong through it all too. In the meantime, you’ve been sounding amazing on the radio recently – looking forward to hearing you on 5 live airwaves again v soon. xxx

  27. Mary Davies
    May 21, 2018 / 7:09 am

    Thank you SO much for your honesty. I’m truly sorry to hear your news. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Good to hear you once in a while on the radio! God bless x

  28. Joan Armitage
    May 21, 2018 / 7:46 am

    Rachael so sorry. You are the strongest keep on fighting.xxx

  29. Becky
    May 21, 2018 / 8:30 am

    Rachael, I’ve just heard this news on 5Live and I wanted to pop over and send you a message. I’m so sorry to hear this news and I sincerely hope that the clinical trial comes up trumps for you.
    Your pragmatic ‘let’s-just-do-this’ attitude really impresses me and I feel a real wimp in comparison.
    Sending love and healing thoughts to you and strength to your lovely family x x x

  30. Jane
    May 21, 2018 / 8:36 am

    Sending you lots of love & I promise to include you in my prayers xx

  31. Theresa Houghto
    May 21, 2018 / 8:41 am

    Such drveststing news described so eloquently Rachael. My heart goes out to you and your family. Sending positive thoughts and much love to you,

  32. An
    May 21, 2018 / 8:46 am

    You are so brave and I pray this treatment will be successful,I just want to send you a massive hug Rachel x

  33. Lisa Mortimore
    May 21, 2018 / 8:49 am

    So sorry to hear your news. Your strength, positivity and bravery is truly inspiring – and you’ve helped so many people by sharing your journey… Probably more than you’ll ever know. My Mum started her Cancer journey in Feb this year and you and the girls on the Podcast have helped me so much. I listen to your episodes regularly when I’m running or walking the dog and ive been able to offer so much more help and support to my Mum thanks to all your help and advice and by sharing and talking about your experiences. I hope you can take strength from knowing that so many people are behind you and that you’ve helped so many. Everything crossed for you x

  34. May 21, 2018 / 9:09 am

    I’m not a religious person but if I was I would add prayers to all my hopes and wishes that you get over this latest hurdle. I listen to you on Radio 5 and you are inspirational to your listeners. The big C is a cruel but with these modern trials is slowly being defeated. I will be doing the Manchester Blackpool ride for Christie’s which I hope will help in some way for them to carry on their great work. Good luck and I and many, many others will be thinking of you.

  35. Karen Hunnisett
    May 21, 2018 / 9:10 am

    I’m so sorry that you have recieved this news Rachael. I am sending every ounce of strength I have your way. I had my treatment at The Christie and you really are in the best hands possible. I will be praying that their innovative treatment works for you. Lots and lots of love to you and your family xxx

  36. Claire Murphy
    May 21, 2018 / 10:29 am

    Sending you strength and love. You’re right clinical trials are the future, may it teach your autoimmune system to take back your body and control.
    You’ve helped me so much on my journey, what can I do to help yours now? Xxx

  37. John Roper
    May 21, 2018 / 11:53 am

    Rachel just heard your bad news from your namesake on the breakfast show at 5 Live this morning. From that I am here after reading your post and felt compelled to write to wish you all the best in your treatment and hope it goes well for you and your family.
    You are so brave for keeping this blog and still being positive in what must be a bleak time.
    I have never met you and probably never will but you are in my thoughts
    JR.

  38. Kath Newman
    May 21, 2018 / 12:16 pm

    So sorry to hear this. Every time I hear you on the radio, and remember what else you are dealing, with I am full of admiration. Sending best wishes to you and your family x

  39. May 21, 2018 / 12:36 pm

    Rach, I am so sorry to hear this. Lucy just forwarded me the link. I cried. If there is anything we can do, please let us know.

  40. Tom
    May 21, 2018 / 12:40 pm

    What an amazing strength you have and your courage is incredible. Everything crossed for your further treatment. I myself am in remission with lymphoma and am so moved by your blog.

    Much love

    X

  41. Erol
    May 21, 2018 / 4:25 pm

    Good luck Rachel. Never give up xxx

  42. Geoff Fulford
    May 21, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    I’ve been listening to you doing the news on 5 live and was really happy for you, but like everyone else, I was unaware of the latest developments. It’s probably not much help to say that this is the best blog I’ve come across. So I wish you and your experimental treatment all the very best of success.

  43. Ian Montgomery
    May 21, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    Hi Rachael. Take heart. I was diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer three years ago – spread into the lungs. I went on an immunotherapy trial with the Royal Marsden as my first line of cancer treatment. It kept the cancer at bay for 2 years. I am now back on NHS standard treatment. Don’t let the cancer define you – you have your own life to lead and the moments to cherish. I have a 9 and 13 year old and know how precious it all is. To keep things in perspective, I cycled 84 miles over the weekend (2 x 42 mile rides) so define it how you want to! Lots of love and virtual hugs coming your way. xxx

  44. Lindsay
    May 21, 2018 / 6:42 pm

    Oh Rachael. I have followed your story and this news is just horrible. You write with such candour and positivity. I applaud you. Every treatment had to start somewhere, this treatment has to start somewhere and may it be with you.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you . You are doing a great thing with this blog, the podcast and taking part in this trial. Thank you

  45. Mary Davies
    May 21, 2018 / 6:46 pm

    So sorry to hear this. Great to be able to still listen to you though! Thanks for your honesty x

  46. May 21, 2018 / 8:02 pm

    Sending you so much hope and keeping everything crossed for you. Xx

  47. May 21, 2018 / 8:10 pm

    I am praying for a miracle for you. X

  48. Eilidh Devenney
    May 21, 2018 / 8:36 pm

    I’ve just read your blog after seeing your story on BBC News and I just wanted to say I think you’re amazing. It’s really bloody shitty this is happening to you and I know some people may think it’s futile but I’m going to keep you in my prayers and keep everything crossed that these new treatments work for you. (Can’t do any harm!!) I just think your honesty and positivity is refreshing and I believe in all these new treatments and what they can now do, they’re the future and it’s because of you xx

  49. Fi
    May 21, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    I love the blog. I love listening to you via the blog and on 5 Live. I hope your treatment is successful and you have a lot more time. Big hugs xxx

  50. Andie
    May 21, 2018 / 9:05 pm

    Sending you truckloads of positive thoughts.

  51. May 21, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    You’ve got this Rachael. F*ck cancer.

  52. May 21, 2018 / 10:11 pm

    Dear Rachael and family,

    With that news, if you were anyone else, I would recommend you listen to your podcast for moral and practical support, as a sign for how important you are and what a difference you make to people. I am sure you have plenty of support but would like to add mine in the mix, as a little token of appreciation from another person affected by cancer. My wife left me with my amazing daughter last year far, far too soon, but we had the best years of our lives after we learned the kidney cancer had spread, and I hope very much that you have many, many fantastic years ahead of you.

    Unlikely I know, but if there is anything I can do to help or any advice you need, please let me know. And please remain positive as the fear was worse than the reality most of the time, and there was loads of appreciating what we had, which was love and each other. Please keep up the podcasting, as be in no doubt it is so helpful, even to me in my situation, but way more so to others.

    Lots of love and best of luck in the trials.
    J

  53. Michael
    May 21, 2018 / 10:37 pm

    I am completely in awe of your honesty and bravery. Not a hint of self pity just selfless thoughts of how your latest news will effect the people you love most. Real super heros don’t wear capes Rachael, keeping fighting.

  54. Alex
    May 22, 2018 / 12:00 am

    You are doing such an astonishingly amazing thing, helping so many, by telling your story.

    You are so eloquent, clear and powerful in your writing.

    I wish you and yours every strength and happiness.

  55. Jonathan
    May 22, 2018 / 6:26 am

    Hey Rachael,

    Sat on a train to Harley St from the NW reading your blog for the first time after listening to you on Five Live for years and only just learning about your illness this morning. Gutted to hear your news but hoping to provide some optimism.

    Having lost a sibling in childhood and now awaiting my Dad’s mets to wreak havoc, cancer has always been around my life. However, it’s the experience from my own cancer scare a few years ago that I’d like to draw upon. Recalling that, when faced with the Big C, the last thing you want, that seems all around, is pity. I’m sure, like so many, you just want people to speak to you like they used to do, rather than seemingly wrap every sentence in soft cotton wool. Particularly when our own thoughts aren’t remotely focussed on ourselves but, on those we feel guilty we may leave behind.

    Here’s to believing that you will be a pioneering patient, someone who believes they will triumph over an illness that dared to confront you, and to others believing you will too. I recall the frustration of people treating me different and wanting to scream ‘I’m not dead yet and intend to win, so don’t console me in defeat before I’ve lost!.’

    I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the team at The Christie and can honestly say you are in wonderful hands. To them, it’s more than a job or a profession. They share the joy of your successes and they suffer with you when things don’t go to plan. Most importantly, they believe they can beat cancer and, on many occasions, they do!

    Don’t give up and keep believing. Doctors are terrible losers. Hence, to be on the trial, they must believe you can win!

    Here’s to someone close to you reading this, giving you a big hug, and saying ‘let’s win this!’

    x

  56. Carol W
    May 22, 2018 / 7:49 am

    Rachael, I’m new to your blog & a stage 4 pancreatic cancer fighter… Having looked at a couple of your vlogs this morning I’m inspired. When we have no choice we just fight & that’s clearly what you’re doing & I’m doing the same. Stick in there, sending you love & hope x

  57. Terence Kenny
    May 22, 2018 / 9:06 am

    I think you honesty is admirable in what are awful circumstances. We are praying for you and your family. Much love from me and my wife.

  58. Judith A
    May 22, 2018 / 9:49 am

    Sending you craterfuls of love and hope that the immunotherapy is the perfect match for you xx

  59. Simon Broughton
    May 22, 2018 / 1:51 pm

    Very sorry Rachael, you are amazingly brave and an inspiration. I wish you all the best for the future. Best of luck, Simon.

  60. chris
    May 22, 2018 / 1:57 pm

    I’m so sorry to read about your situation and wish you all the best. My wife had/has TNBC and is on preventative chemo tablets after her chemo, mastectomy and radio. She also is being put on a clinical trial for immunotherapy. Your fight is inspiring others in the same situation!!!

  61. Brian
    May 22, 2018 / 7:32 pm

    Dear brave “lab rat” don’t jump ship just yet. Help is on the horizon, I’ll be thinking of you.

  62. Beckie
    May 22, 2018 / 8:57 pm

    I will keep you in my prayers … you are very courageous and an inspiration to all, but especially for those of us also facing breast cancer. Thank you for helping with the research and know you are not alone … you helped me feel “unlonely” when I was first diagnosed in January 2018 at age 44. Much love to you and your family!

  63. Niamh
    May 22, 2018 / 10:35 pm

    Rachel, I’ve only just discovered your blog.

    Thank you for sharing so honestly, that cannot be easy to do. I am truly sorry to hear your latest news. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    I had Tripple Negative Breast Cancer 2 yrs ago. It’s a scary one, still looking over my shoulder every so often.

    You sound like you are ready for battle and you’ve got an army of supporters behind you (we are not going anywhere), so go kick some ass!

    I will light a candle for you tomorrow. X

  64. Paul Handley
    May 22, 2018 / 11:00 pm

    Thinking of you and your family Rachael, I hope and pray this new treatment works! XX

  65. Niamh
    May 22, 2018 / 11:12 pm

    Thank you for your honesty and generosity in sharing. I had TNBC 2 yrs ago and still looking over my shoulder.

    You sound like you are ready for battle and you have your army of supporters standing firm behind you.

    Wishing you and your family only the very best. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong X

  66. May 23, 2018 / 10:52 am

    Thinking of you and your family Rachael. Your knowledge and sharing of your treatment and clinical trials is so helpful. Having worked in cancer charities for many years, including research charities, I know how incredible the progress has been – and also how much further the journey is xx

  67. Anne
    May 23, 2018 / 11:08 pm

    You are in my thoughts and prayers Rachel. Be kind to yourself and do rest when you need to. Your blog is the only only one I like to read and has been a great help to me, but please don’t overdo things if you’re feeling below par, and put yourself first for a change! I’m glad you are receiving immunotherapy and haven’t had to go abroad for it. Sending lots of love. xx

  68. Ms Sabrina Carparelli
    May 24, 2018 / 1:22 pm

    Oh Rachel… I missed the podcast at the weekend, you girls keep me going during my own battle, you are all so inspiring and strong and brave, and down to earth. I am keeping all of my fingers crossed for you, I can only imagine what you are going through, I know it’s a bit of cliche, but please stay strong, keep believing, keep smiling, keep fighting. And don’t forget, today is the only guarantee we have, cancer or no cancer, we all in the same boat! massive hug and lots of kisses, to you, and your little man 🙂

  69. dina c
    May 24, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    Dear Rachel,

    Being someone who is also under treatment for BC, I happen to come across your blog because it showed up in my FB feed somehow. I started reading from the beginning of your journey and read all the way through in one sitting. You humbled me with your courageousness and truly deserve all the awards you have won.

    I am terribly sorry of this latest news – it sucks, plain and simple. However, I wanted to share that In my own journey, I’ve met so many inspirational people – mostly just in the waiting rooms. It’s amazing how some people will easily share their stories. I am blown away at the warriors who have been at it for so long and especially the ones who participate in clinical trials.

    For instance, one older gentleman I met, Henry, told me how his cancer was so aggressive, no chemos worked on him. In fact, it was so bleak, that the drs were recommending Hospice, but then they offered up one last possibility: a clinical trial. He jumped at it – he jokes that with Parkinsons too, that’s no easy feat (Gotta love humor still). So they took a sample of his cancer, grew it in a lab, and put it in a mouse to customize his treatment. Well, whatever they did worked on the mouse, so then they gave it to Henry, and it worked on Henry! He was even able to go on vacation to France and enjoy lots of wine with his old college friends who live there.

    A friend of mine has recurrent Uterine Cancer (mets in appendix, liver, and colon) and is on a clinical trial, and hers is working too! She will likely never be cured, but she kept her hair this way, and the drugs are not only keeping the cancer from growing, they actually shrunk all three spots (two are undetectable!).

    My point with these two anecdotes is that there are inspirational and encouraging stories all around us. After you lick your wounds from this recent news and get your armor back, remind yourself that these stories happen everyday, and the next one is yours!

    From one brave warrior to another, all the best to you… hugs and strength!
    xoxo
    d

  70. Linda Baguley
    May 25, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    My thoughts are with you. As someone who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for stage 3 breast cancer I can still only imagine how devastating this news has been for you and your family. Your fears have become reality, I know only too well that those fears can change your life entirely but you have demonstrated such courage to get on with your life as much as you are able to. The love of your family and friends will support you at this very difficult time and I hope with all my heart that the treatment you receive over the coming months is successful. My very best wishes are sent to you and your family. x

  71. Denise Buckley
    May 25, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    This is the first time I have read your blog. I can’t imagine what you and your family must be going through and words of comfort must seem so trite when you are facing such a battle. I pray that the trial is successful. I’m not a particularly religious person but I shall offer up a prayer tonight for you and your family. xxx

  72. Rachel Mamelok
    May 27, 2018 / 10:48 am

    Hi Rachael, I am new to your blog after so many people told me our stories are pretty much the same with same diagnosis and same mets etc, both at The truly amazing Christie … it all stinks, but you seem to have an amazing attitude & I truly believe so much is moving forward on research for TN, we have to stay positive…. it’s a gruelling, scary journey but hang tough
    Rachel xx

  73. Paul Westwood
    May 29, 2018 / 12:07 am

    Watching your video about this moved me. You are so strong and brave, and thou it might not be great news want you done is brilliant for you son and husband. I know the this from being a son, make the most it and you will bring so much joy to your friends and family

  74. Janine Boutelje
    May 29, 2018 / 11:38 am

    Hi Rachel
    Life sucks – sometimes. My thoughts and prayers are with you. A friend sent me the link to your page. I was struck by how you titled your post ‘Living on a Prayer’ and how gracious you are about the whole diagnosis and treatment you are having. Keep on living your life to the full – it inspires so many.
    Living on a Prayer really is the only way to live with metastatic cancer. I’ve been in your shoes…diagnosed with sino-nasal melanoma (the black ribbon one) in March 2010, radio-chemo treatment (and a lot of prayers and trusting God), metastasised in August 2010, terminal, no cure diagnosis, 6 months chemo (which is never used now, placebo effect). BUT. Hey! here I am, over 8 years since that day’s(!) diagnosis…only because of lots of prayer and God’s amazing grace. If God can do it for me, why not you? However, i am aware that not every cancer is healed by prayer (i don’t know God’s mind or the whys) but i do know that prayer is a great encouragement.
    Praying for you and your family. God bless you all. Blessings. janine xx

  75. May 30, 2018 / 11:42 pm

    Just listened to you on radio .. often heard the broadcasts but never read the blog but tonight listening to you so emotional … I admire you’re strength ….. stay as positive as you can ….. my thoughts hopes and positive thoughts for you and your family ……

  76. May 31, 2018 / 1:22 pm

    I’m so sorry to read your latest news. I don’t have words for how awful this must be for you all but couldn’t just read and run. Wishing you much love and light x

  77. Mary
    June 4, 2018 / 10:38 am

    Oh Rachael, I’m so sorry to hear this, it’s absolutely rubbish, but as usual I’m in complete admiration of your grace in writing about it so beautifully and your generosity in sharing so much with us. I was diagnosed with stage 3 TNBC last September and your blog, along with a few others, have really helped make my experience better than it might have been, from the practical to the psychological. You are an absolute inspiration and very definitely a superhero yourself.
    I’ll be crossing everything for you, and thinking of you and your family.
    All best wishes x

  78. June 11, 2018 / 10:51 am

    Sending much love and positive thoughts on this summers morning Rachael. Your Treatment Bag is in the post and you should receive it this week.
    I wanted to post a comment as we had Mark Pougatch here over the weekend who is an old friend, he wanted to order a bag for you – told him I’d beaten him to it!
    much love from all at The Treatment Bag x x x x

  79. Kate Hutchinson
    June 18, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    Rachael hello. I was just thinking about you this morning as I’ve been listening to you, Deb and Lauren every week. I just wanted to let you know that I’m sure there are so many like me out there, all saying a little prayer for you and keeping everything crossed for some good news at last. It has been such a help to hear you all talking so openly about things that normally remain quite closed. My little sister was diagnosed with stage 4 gallbladder cancer in Feb. Like you, she is young and has a very young son, and an adoring husband. I have been able to learn so much from your wonderful work, to help us all in different ways. Thank you Rachael, love to you and your little family. x

  80. Huriye
    June 28, 2018 / 3:25 pm

    Sending you all my prayers, as a believer in God, the power of Nature, and your inner strength, which is so vibrant and beautiful. Please take care, lovely Rachael, and never lose your positivity. 💟

  81. Sharon
    July 27, 2018 / 5:32 pm

    Hi I do not know if you read these messages but five years ago they. Told me iI had months five years later I am still here and I fight every day sending my love xx

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