Rachel Brammer | CaringBridge

Rachel Brammer Rachel Brammer

First post: Jun 13, 2018 Latest post: Jun 14, 2018
Hello everyone, and thank you for accepting the invite to help and support my journey as I kick cancer’s ass!! First, thank you to everyone for the overwhelming help and support; without your help and support we would be lost.  The love that all of you have shown is so appreciated, and we are grateful to have all of you in our lives. Here I will be able to provide updates, doctors’ visits, hospital stays, and anything else to do with my treatment. Please check at your convenience to see any new updates that are posted. You can also add well wishes, view the gallery of pictures and whatever else this site has to offer.  Please feel free to share this page with family and friends, as we may have forgotten someone, or do not have an email/contact information. If you do not get an update, it is because we have a lot going on, whether it be a doctor’s appointment, chemo, or a stay at the hospital. Nate and I will do our best to ensure you get updates as frequently as we can, so please bear with us.

 

I guess we will start with a recap of how I got to where I am. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer June 2017. They removed 3/4 of my cervix and one of my ovaries when I went in for a tubal. Then they did something on the rest of my cervix called the NovaSure Procedure. This procedure is designed to remove just the uterine lining, thus getting rid of any small polyps that were missed. This procedure worked and everything was great. The second thing they found was I had a few pre-cancerous masses in my GI tract, which were easily removed. At this time they found a few polyps in my colon, easily removed. Around this time they found the mass that is in my throat, which at the present time is stage 4 Oropharyngeal Cancer. In early 2018 they found several masses on my breasts. They did multiple biopsies, and determined I have 1 benign tumor on my right breast, and abnormal tissues on my left breast. The doctors have tried fighting the throat cancer since August/September 2017. It started as a smaller masses that they tried to treat with steroids, 2 rounds of oral chemo, and started on a round of IV based chemo. I have always had kidney problems, but with all of the chemo pumping through my body my kidneys and other organs started to shut down. This has caused all of my treatments to stop. Currently the doctors, at Barnes Jewish Hospital-St. Louis, are working to find a new treatment plan by extracting bone morrow and testing different cocktails of chemo and medications to treat the cancer. During all of this they also determined that I have Lupus. Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. Inflammation caused by Lupus can affect many different body systems, including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs. This could also be part of why my organs have been struggling to keep up with the chemo. The other thing they found was I have two masses in my skull. One is benign and the other is a tumor. Neither of them are a cause for concern at the moment, and if needed will be addressed at a later time.

 

As of 12 June we got results back from the doctors, and they have found that part of the marrow they removed two weeks ago was deemed viable. They were able to test some of it and found something that has a 42% chance of working to fight the cancer. The doctors want to remove more marrow for further testing to see if they can find something that has a better than 50% chance of working. They believe that there is something out there, they just need to find it. My levels in my kidneys have dropped to an acceptable level.  They also tested my white blood cells-should have results today or tomorrow. Once they get the results and have an agreed upon game plan, they will resume the treatments. As of this moment they have said I can do chemo at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Fairview Heights, IL vs Barnes Jewish in St. Louis. If everything goes to plan, I will be able to do chemo x’s number of times a week, and still come home. Nate and the kids will be getting tested to see if they carry any virus’s/bacteria that will cause me to get sick and cause me to end up in the hospital. We are working on sanitizing the house, and ensuring all our visitors/guest sanitize when entering our home.

 

Everyone in the family has been helpful during this time. Aunt Betsy, Jannaeé, and Chrissy- Thank you for setting this up as well as the Cleaning Company and Schwann’s Gift Card. Mom and Dad—Thank you for helping us finically by funding our trip to tell everyone last weekend, and the continued support you provide. Dad and Ola, thank you for letting us bombard the house last weekend and hosting everyone coming and going, as well as providing the food and fun for the pool & hot-tub. Mom and Ray, thank you for your help coming down every few weeks and helping us with the kids, cleaning, and cooking while Nate is working. Nick and Kelly, thank you for letting us crash your house last weekend while we were in town. We know having us is crazy and loud…ask Tim. Brandon and Jen—Thank you for helping and providing me with the treats that you send, it is helping and that is amazing. Jerry and Ronnie—Thank you for being that listening ear that Nate needed, and ready to help us at a moment’s notice. Carrie and Iain—thank you for sending Carrie to me, when I needed her. Her being here for a few weeks is just amazing, and we are both grateful! To the rest of our family and friends, thank you for being there during this time. Your thoughts, prayers and phone calls are greatly appreciated, and do not go unnoticed, even if we do not respond right away. Thank you for all coming together and helping one another out. We understand that it’s not easy. Nate and I will never be able to say thank you enough, or show how much we appreciate everything, but we truly do.

 

 

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