Rachel was diagnosed in August, 1995 with multiple brain lesions. In October, 1995, after stereotactic biopsy, we were given the diagnosis of poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma of unknown origin. Rachel underwent a thoracotomy, whole head radiation, chemotherapy, laser surgery to the eye, several bronchoscopies, and countless other insults to her body. Through it all, her belief in her ultimate cure gave her the courage to carry on. Her optimism was infectious. None of us believed that she could die from her cancer. She was so "well". Until her untimely death on January 20, 1997, Rachel suffered no symptoms from the cancer itself, even though she had tumors in her head, lung, eye, pancreas, liver, and bones. All of her symptoms were from her medications. Radiation caused her hair to fall out. High steroid doses caused weakness in her legs, so walking was an effort. Bronchoscopy irritated her bronchus, causing a nagging cough which kept her up nights.
Rachel's great joys were her daily swim and her daily visit to one of her favorite cafeswhere she would write in her journal. She loved her family: husband Lenny, sons - Benny (16), Noam (13), Gadi (10) and daughter Hadas (7). She loved her friends. And she was loved by so many people. Friends would often call her for consults on any subject. She always listened carefully and answered thoughtfully. Before her cancer, she used to laugh and say that if she were to die, her kids would remember her with a phone next to her ear. Our memories are so much richer than that.
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