Recent Update on the Rabak Family
The last few weeks have have been very difficult on our dear friend. She has slowly recovered from pneumonia for which she was hospitalized. She has battled nerve pain associated with the tumor. She underwent a course of radiation after hearing that the chemo-therapeutic agents they has used were not successful. The scan taken after radiation showed improvement of the main tumors but sadly a spread of the disease into her pelvis. Her condition has proved to be aggressive. After meeting with her local doctors Erin and her family were quite discouraged with the treatment options provided. She decided to brave a quick trip to San Francisco to consult with some of the leading experts on lymphoma. The recommendations from UCSF were well received by her local doctors and the plan is to start this new course of chemo Saturday. Erin is feeling strong and had been doing her best to maintain good nutrition and get adequate rest. She is encouraged by the new plan and feels more than ever ready to fight!!- Fina
Our Dear Friend Needs Our Help
Erin is 35 years old, mother to 6 year old Mia -and to Ava who is 3. She celebrated 15 years of marriage to Gerrod in April. Erin should be enjoying the past times common to any young mother and wife- date nights, sleepovers, and BBQ’s. Instead Erin is embarking on what may prove to be the biggest challenge of her life. “Most probably Stage IV lymphoma” is what the doctors have said.
From a small lump she was assured was only fatty tissue 5 months ago to a mass that is now 21 cm across and 7 cm deep into her chest. A mass that entangles vital blood supply and threatens her every breath compressing her lungs. Erin has fought to have her voice heard. She was told to follow the course-blood tests, consults, thyroid specialists and a gambit of other hoops to jump thru….all the time being refused an MRI. Ultimately she demanded an MRI. Once identified she was told she needed a biopsy-another 5 days of waiting. The biopsy was unsuccessful and needed to be repeated surgically- another week to get an appointment, additional time for a result. Frustrated, angry,and fed up with Kaiser Gerrod took Erin across the border where within two days they had a team of knowledgeable cancer specialists with a plan in place. Two days later Erin had her first treatment. That was yesterday September 10, 2012. Erin and her family are confident she is receiving the best treatment and have abandoned Kaiser entirely- though one might argue Kaiser was the first to abandon them.
This page will serve as place to update all those who love and care for Erin- to keep them apprised of her care. For those who feel compelled an account has been arranged to help support Erin and the Rabak family. We express gratitude in their behalf for any donation, prayers, or words of encouragement that you can offer.
From The Rabaks
“WE WANT TO EXPRESS OUR DEEPEST GRATITUDE TO EVERYONE FOR THE LOVE, PRAYERS, KIND WORDS, DONATIONS, PERSONAL TEXTS, SCRIPTURES, AND PHONE CALLS.
WE HAVE ALWAYS HAD AMAZING FRIENDS BUT WHEN WE GO THROUGH HARDSHIPS LIKE THIS TRUE FRIENDS COME THROUGH! YOU ALL ARE THE BEST OF FRIENDS. PLEASE CONTINUE PRAYING AND ERIN
PERSONALLY WANTS TELL EVERYONE ” SHE WILL FIGHT!!!”
ERIN, GERROD, MIA & AVA
Erin keeping her sense of humor !
The last couple of days have been rough for Erin and family. She is back in the hospital- a result of the increased swelling in her face, neck and arms. The tumor continues to put pressure on vital blood flow causing in simple terms a back up into her system. Regretfully CT scan shows no improvement to tumor size after a month of high dose chemo. With this new information Dr.’s are abandoning chemo and starting radiation treatments as soon as possible.
The loving words of friends, family and strangers alike posted here and on the website are read personally by Erin and her family. Those words have proved sustaining in spite of the weary circumstances and she continues to be optimistic. Thank you very much for those expressions of support, they are invaluable and help fuel her fight!!- Fina
Our family would like to thank everyone for the amazing love and support that has been given to us over the last year! We have the most amazing friends imaginable!
We would like to let everyone know that our time we spent in Mexico at Hospital Angeles was helpful but was not totally effective. Since her last chemo treatment late in November 2012, her tumor had shrunk considerably but is now growing back very rapidly.
We now have decided to try doctors back in the U. S. We changed out of the Kaiser network and are now with Blue Shield. We are now able to get more specialized health care at the Moore Cancer Clinic at University of California, San Diego. Today we have taken Erin to the emergency at Thornton Hospital UCSD in La Jolla, North of San Diego CA. The doctors here have scheduled a PET scan, bone marrow biopsy, blood draws , needle biopsy and surgery to install a port. All today!!!
The results from the other biopsy she received on 4/13/13 came back as B-Cell Lymphomia. She will probably be in the hospital 8 days from what they are saying now. She will start chemo most likely this Friday. We are still in for a long 6 months or more of chemo treatments. We love all of our wonderful friends dearly. Erin keeps on smiling through all this and hopefully can be a positive inspiration to many who are going through hardships!! Please continue to pray, leave comments, and support us in this journey!!!
We all need to keep Erin feeling like
“WE GOT THIS”!!
With much love!!
Gerrod, Erin, Mia & Ava
Results of Erin’s diagnostic studies confirm the recently located growth to be positive for lymphoma. She has resumed an agressive treatment course. Your support and concern are appreciated. She remains strong and determined- her smile says it all. She is a fighter!!!! -Fina
Though our dear friend has been enjoying a break from chemo she has recently found an additional lump on her sternum. On Tuesday she will have some diagnostic tests and later in the month another PET scan. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers-Fina Kjelaas
Chemo is on hold for now. Test results have shown Erin has responded remarkably well to treatments!! She will go back for CT/PET scan in March. In the mean time she will remain home doing immune builders. So happy for this fighter!!
Everyone had such a great time! We want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting Erin. We especially want to thank all the volunteers & donations from everyone including the sponsors that helped bring this event to life.
Our dear friend recently completed her second round of Chemo and is finally enjoying being back in the comfort of her own home to rest before round 3. She is traveling back and forth for other treatments frequently but has had the opportunity to enjoy the company of close friends and family. Thank you to all for the love and support.- Fina Kjelaas
Had a lymph node removed today for tissue analysis…
Got to love that smile!!!
Thank you so very much to everyone who came out to support the Get Well Erin fundraiser yesterday. And to everyone who helped make this possible, friends, family, people who never even met the Rabaks, thank you! It was a great success!!! We will be posting photos soon.
We wanted to let everyone know despite the ups and downs we are still fighting!!! We appreciate All the support from our friends in Northern and Southern Cali. From the yard sales , individuals donations, to the huge benefit next weekend. It is amazing how everyone has been pulling together. We love all who have been there for us !!! Thank you! - The Rabaks
At war, so bound to have a few battle wounds. But she is still winning!!!
Our dear friend was rushed to the hospital this morning after a couple episodes of syncope. She again lost consciousness at the hospital but recovered quickly. Her blood pressure has been very low 65/41 and Dr.’s are anticipating keeping her overnight for observation. Her condition has stabilized and her family is at her side. Consideration and prayers are appreciated in this time of need. - Fina Kjelaas
Due to the position of the mass Dr’s were unable to place a central line in Erin’s chest and instead placed a PICC line in her arm for her chemo treatments. She tolerated it well and says she is feeling “pretty good” after chemo today, as always with a positive attitude. - Fina Kjelaas
My beautiful wife, i know every day is a constant fight and you go into surgery to get your port installed into your chest for the chemo treatments on Monday. I love you and know this battle is going to be long and hard but you are tough! Love you very much and you babies love you too! Keep up the fight love:)
Our lovely friend recieving chemo today. She tolerated it well and remains in good spirits.
Kaiser has now responded to repeat request/demands and has scheduled a PET scan for tonight at 7:30 pm taking Erin as an emergency add-on. Please keep her in your prayers. The attached photo was taken August 8, 2012… we are saddened that such an obvious problem wasn’t deemed an emergency then. -Fina Kjelaas