Monday, February 6, 2012

Rachel Cheetham Moro 1970-2012

We are writing on behalf of Rachel of the Cancer Culture Chronicles.  She died early this morning following a long struggle with metastatic breast cancer.  Her blog enlightened and inspired many to think differently about breast cancer.  Her Beloved (and Newman) will continue to write on this blog and we open this space for anyone who would like to share how Rachel touched them, inspired them and gave them courage.

We are all so heartbroken.  Our grief is beyond belief.  Rachel will be grieved knowing that her light shines bright in this world.

102 comments:

  1. Her memory will be as a blessing.

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  2. Very sad news. My condolences. @}-->---

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  3. Her impact on all of us is enormous. I will miss her always.

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  4. Can't believe our beloved Rachel is gone. Normally I never use battle terms to describe cancer, but with Rachel the word that comes to mind is fearless warrior. The light has become much dimmer in our world with her passing. We'll never forget you and the lessons you taught us Rachel xxxx

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  5. Thank you for setting this up. I've known for less than an hour, so I suppose I'll get more eloquent than this. But Rach was the best friend my partner Sarah had been searching for all her life. The merry sound of the two of them Skyping and snarking has enriched this house beyond measure over the last year. I'm so glad they got to meet, in NJ last summer. And sad beyond words that they won't meet again.
    But talking and writing and fuming with Rachel about the injustices of cancer has changed my life. Like many others, I will always treasure her memory and example, and do everything I can in my life to, as she says 'eradicate this disease for good'.

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  6. I love you Rachel.
    -Dorry

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  7. I'm so sorry to read this. I only found Rachel's blog in October of 2011. And she was an awesome, clear, incisive writer.

    May she live on in your hearts - may we all continue to promulgate her message.

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  8. So very saddened by this news. Rachel had such a big impact on so many people. So sorry.

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  9. so sad... all your words will still alive, adieu mon amie. Love.

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  10. I'd only just gotten to know Rachel very recently, but she was so completely brilliant and funny. She has touched so many people in such positive ways, and I cannot think of a more fantastic legacy than this blog, which is so full of honesty. I'm a better person for having found this spot, and I am so grateful. Sending all my love and prayers to Rachel's family. It is a heartbreaking loss for everyone, but I know it is an unimaginable one for those who knew and loved her best.

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  11. This is so unfair. Rachel is a truly unique and special person. She touched everyone she met. Always so generous, fun, outgoing, positive and enthusastic about life. There was a spark inside her. She was always smiling and laughing and making jokes. We have all lost something very special. It is devasting.

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  12. I could write endlessly about how much dear Rachel touched my life. Soul sister. Change agent. Cultural analyst. Talented wordsmith. Master of shameless wit. Truthteller. How I will miss this lovely person. I cannot convey it. We are all better for having had Rachel in our lives.

    Love to her Beloved, to her family and friends. Love to Dear Rachel. She is walking on sunshine.

    --Gayle Sulik

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    1. gayle you just made me cry again. beautiful.

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  13. Sooo young. So kind to keep up this blog to help others. She is in god's hands now. Prayers to her family at this very hard time.

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  14. Oh this is terrible! I didn't know Rachel very well, only through our cyber connection. She always had the nicest things to say on my blog comments. Rachel, you will be very sorely missed. I am so glad that you will be pulling for all of us cancer patients from beyond this world. This was not the news I was hoping to hear today. My most sincere condolences.

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  15. So sorry to hear of this loss. Prayers to her family. God bless.

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  16. My thoughts and prayers are with Rachel's family. She was such an amazing individual and we are lucky she shared some of that personality, wit, and thoughtfulness with us through her blog.

    She will not be forgotten.

    Murray

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  17. To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. (Thomas Campbell)

    I will always remember Rachel eating a mango on Felicia's deck with it all
    over her face and hands and she looked up with a huge messy smile and said "this is just simply decadent."
    I'm sorry for Anthony,Newman,the family and the worlds loss.

    If I can assist in any way...kid sitting, dog sitting....anything please know I'm here.

    You'll be missed Rachel
    Laurie

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  18. I found Rachel's blog about a year ago and wrote to tell her I enjoyed the witty captions accompanying "The Pink Boob Gallery," her slideshow of some outlandish pink ribbon products.

    She inspired me to start blogging myself. It was always a boost to get feedback from Rachel.

    Last May, I started a tongue-in-cheek awards program to recognize breast cancer bloggers. Four people nominated Rachel-she was definitely the popular vote getter.

    Her great and good friend Being Sarah wrote: "Rachel makes us howl with laughter and outrage simultaneously. [Her] blog posts make me laugh out loud, make me shout out to my computer screen saying ‘YES, YES!’ and also get me thinking. Thank you for smashing the myth of the pink popular culture of the breast cancer world."

    To which I can only add my own thanks. I didn't know Rachel long, but she touched me and so many others. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.
    KOB

    PS

    Last May Rachel posted this "acceptance speech" in the comments. I think you will agree it certainly sounds like her!

    *Races to podium for trite acceptance speech* NOTE: Appears at podium WITHOUT pink ribbon prominently placed somewhere on body.

    Speech: “Well where would I be without my friend and yours, CANCER! Let’s hear it for CANCER. I AM A MAMM *crowd goes wild*
    And I’d also like to thank my Dad, without whom I’d never be who I am today, nor BRCA1+. I’d also like to thank the pharmaceuticals for sponsoring my appearance here today, and in fact my continued existence and for all the colonic adventures, eternal baldness, nameless skin irritations, zombie like-skin palor, and depressed blood counts, oh but I’m sure I’m forgetting something…….well thank you to all side-effects for enriching my life and allowing me to continue to ply my snarky craft. You make me a less better person and my doctors richer.

    And I’d to thank you, my minions, my disciples, my groupies, my followers, my fans, nay my friends from the bottom of my heart, which incidentally now sports a pericardial window which also goes beautifully with my dress. Tonight I’m wearing Komen Coture for the Cure. (Please don’t reprint the name of the dress label without my express permission, and a royalty would be nice as well, otherwise expect a lawsuit).

    I would also like to thank my tumors who everyday give me the the encouragement to get out of bed and give the appropriate tongue lashings. Without them I’d be…..oh I don’t know, who knows where, but I certainly wouldn’t be here to accept this prestigious MAAM award today without their continued support and growth within my bodily ecosystem.
    Oh that’s all I have time for? It’s time for chemo? Okay okay I’m coming. Thank you, thank you and thank you…………..Oh Nurse Ratched….would you mind taking a look at my infected hemorrhoid ? Okay which asshole forgot to turn the damn microphone off…………

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    1. Katherine thank you for sharing Rachel's acceptance speech. That is pure Rachel.

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  19. You enriched my life immeasurably. You moved right into my heart and that is where you will stay.

    I love you, Rachel.

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  20. I'm heartbroken. I miss her already. Anthony, I'm sending you my deepest sympathies. I always thought it was so sweet how Rachel called you her beloved when she wrote about you on her blog. Thank you for "being that" for her. I'm so honored to have had her for a friend. She was greatly loved, will be greatly missed and will never be forgotten.

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  21. I found her on twitter - being snappy and cracking jokes on cancer etiquette . . . her abruptness was refreshing (and hilarious), but also had a deep ring of truth to them. I'm very glad to have read and shared in her knowledge and convictions.

    So sorry for your loss. For everyone's loss.

    Catherine

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  23. when there are no words..know that the silences are carrying the thoughts and prayers of all who love you. MY heart is heavy and broken. You will be missed and never forgotten, dear Rachel.
    much love, Michelle

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  24. I'm crushed. Rachel, I miss you already. Rest in peace. No more chemo, no more cancer. Just happiness and great health for you now in Heaven. I'm sure you're up there smiling down on your family and friends. --- Alicia

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  25. I have to express my deepest sorrow here but I do so as the tears are flowing freely. We have lost someone who touched the lives of thousands and as the tears slowly turn to sobs of grief, I can't say much more.. Just I love you, Rach.... Loved you from the moment I jumped into the social media scene and I saw your tweets and began to read your smart ass comments. A true giant with a BIG voice. You will live in my heart forever---a piece of my heart left with you. I love you, I love you.....

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  26. So, so sad. I only knew Rachel via the internet - I liked her writing, her wit and will miss her.

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  27. To Rachel's loved one: I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Just from following her blog I know that she was an amazing woman who gave so much to so many.

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  28. I didn't know Rachel on a personal level, but loved this blog and her enviable prowess at aiming much-deserved snark and derision at all the right (wrong) places. I've also witnessed firsthand how much she genuinely, and powerfully, touched those in her inner circle. Her spirit was, and will be, felt far and wide. Today is sorrowful, but I'll throw caution to the wind and send out a cliche she'd possibly hate and say that the world was clearly better for having Rachel in it. Peace to all who loved and were loved by her.

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  29. Sending much love to Rachel's family and friends. I am sad beyond words.

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  30. I am deeply saddened by the loss of our dearest Rachel. I love how she wrote and thought and fought. The world is diminished by her death.

    I HATE this disease.

    My heart is filled to overflowing with compassion for those who loved her best. I pray that your journey of grief will be eased by knowing that Rachel touched so many people's lives.

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  31. anthony and rachel's family: i can't yet tell you concisely all that rachel's friendship has meant to me. i just want you to know that she was loved immensely and made such a difference in so many people's lives. thank you for sharing her with us. her memory is a blessing.

    i wish you peace and comfort.

    love,

    lani

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  32. My thoughts, prayers and love are with Rachel's family at this time. thank you so much for sharing her with us through the mediums of twitter and the blogosphere where we are all so much richer for knowing her

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  33. What a beautiful, glittering light it is that dims with Rachel's passing! You just couldn't interact with her and walk away unaffected. I know the first time we "met" on Twitter, it was her passion and spirit that shone through so clearly, but even more than that, her love. For those Family and Friends who loved her most, I hope you can find a bit of comfort in knowing that there is a network of people out here in whose hearts Rachel lives on. I am deeply sorry for your loss.

    And for you, Rachel -- *confetti*

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  34. I have known and loved Rachel since I was eleven years old. I have so many wonderful memories of her, she knew me better than I knew myself. We spent our teenager years together in a blur of pop music, mascara, way to much blusher and had endless d&m's (deep and meaningful!!!!). In our twenties we both went our separate ways to 'find ourselves' and search for a better life, in reality we missed each other and in our thirties and with the help of Facebook we reconnected. The first time we spoke, the sound of her voice took me back to my teens and I was enveloped with that feeling you get from talking to someone who truly knows and loves you for who you are - we discussed this and realised that we had been searching for each other - just because we missed each other.
    From that moment we just moulded back into each others lives. Rachel tirelessly supported me through getting my social work degree, coming out, several operations my daughter had just always being there with a huge smile and her time.
    We were lucky to share many joyous moments together over the last few years - like the time we discovered mice in her pantry - much to Rachel's horror the little critters had been having a rave in her pantry while she and the beloved were away - we screamed and laughed hysterically while cleaning mouse poo and throwing out sackfulls of half eaten protein bars.
    Or the time when Rachel was visiting me in England we decided to hire a row boat, it wasn't until we had floated into the middle of the lake we realised neither of us knew how to row the bloody thing!!! She joyously shouted I am playing the cancer card and shouted for us to be rescued - more hysterical laughter.
    I could go on forever with these tales, the thing with Rachel is no matter what happened or how much shit was going on she made me smile and within minutes the smile was laughter.
    I struggling to imagine what my world will be like without her.
    Anthony its be such an honour getting to know you, Rach was so right to call you her beloved! What an amazing husband you are to her, a friend could not ask for more, you were her strength and her inspiration.

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    1. Beautiful Jo! Thinking of you.

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    2. Gorgeous words Jo! Thinking of you and Rach's Beloved. Hope wee Newman doing ok Jan xx

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    3. So lovely Jo! xx

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    4. Beautifully written Jo xx Ness

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    5. Lovely words Jo. I met you all when you and my daughter attended primary & high school. What an inspiration Rachel is. God Bless you All

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  35. I had the pleasure to meet Rachel briefly in Muscat, almost four years ago now. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family today. MChojnacki

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  36. Rachel did more than anyone to help us see what it's like to live with metastatic breast cancer. She used her fierce intelligence & professional background to shine a light on Komen. She never flinched from sharing how cancer was stealing her body. She sent the most deliciously snarky tweets from her chemo stints. She would never hesitate to call you on it if your logic was flawed but she also respected you if your views were different. She nicknamed me Jacks & I was thrilled every time she called me that. Those of us in the #bcsm community feel such a huge loss. It must be a zillion times worse for her family. Please know our thoughts & prayers are with you. I'm typing this through tears as many of us are, sitting in the Laa Vegas airport so I'm sure people think I lost at gambling. Rachel that not of snark was for you. Love always,Jacks

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  37. Very sad news indeed. Its evident Rachel will be missed by so many. I often laughed out loud at her posts. She must have been such a fun person to know and share life with. My prayers are with the family.

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  38. What a heartbreaking loss - I am forever changed from having the honor to be friends, with such a smart, funny, beautiful woman like Rachel. Thoughts to her family, and her wonderful husband - he is example what it means to truly love someone.

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  39. I am very saddened by this news and my heart goes out to your family. You will always be an inspiration to all the women. May your soul rest in peace. Aparna

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  40. I am sorry for this extraordinary loss. Rachel made me laugh and cry and think, a rare combination. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her blog and her family is in my thoughts.

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  41. I am quite devastated by this horrible news. I spent 2 years in MBA classes (and out drinking...) with Rachel and she was such an outstanding person.I just wished i could have kept in touch more, now it's too late. I am sure she's already bossing around a few angels up there...will miss you immensely. My thoughts are with Anthony. Tommy V.

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  42. Thank you, Rachel, for teaching this newbie about honesty, courage & humor. You will be missed... and remembered.

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  43. I am so sad to hear of Rachel's passing. She welcomed me once I jumped into the social media foray. Her remarks were always on point. Your light burned bright while here... It will sorely be missed.

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  44. My condolences to Rachel's family, friends and followers. She spoke with such truth and passion about breast cancer and was an inspiration to many, including myself.

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  45. I never had the privilege to meet Rachel in person, but as so many of us know, it didn't matter. She touched me regardless. There is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said so well except that I'm so sad. For Rachel's family, her friends, for me, for all of us. She is a special light & we will miss her. My condolences to everyone.

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  46. What heartbreaking news this Monday morning. My deepest condolonces to Rache's loved ones. Rachel's strong voice and powerful writing brought her truth, humor and insight to the world. She has had a tremendous impact on countless individuals and been a driving force in the breast cancer activist movement. What a tragic loss for the breast cancer community and for the world at large. In a week where so much about what is wrong with the cancer industry is being 'discovered' by the media, Rachel's voice continues to resonate.

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  47. Rachel never held a punch back when putting her views on breast cancer across.. she will be sadly missed.. Bless you Rachel.. and my deepest condolences to her family...

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  48. I'm so sorry. Words fail me. Rachel and her profound messages to all of us will be sorely missed. XOXO Jan

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  49. I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Rachel Moro - I had the privilege of meeting her several years ago well after being diagnosed with cancer. I remember remarking to several colleagues/friends just how truly inspirational and special a woman she was. Rachel's spirit will live on with those who she shared her honest words and brave accounting of this horrible disease. I am also incredibly touched by the love and dedication of Rachel's husband Anthony, who I know quite well - I can only imagine the deep sorrow he and the rest of Rachel's family are feeling now. I am confident Rachel is in a better place and I remain grateful for the brief opportunity I had to know her. Please accept my sincere condolences on her passing.

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  50. Oh Rachel. You were one of the first people I truly connected with when I started blogging and welcomed me into a strong, supportive community I had no idea existed. Now, I can't imagine life without it or you. Over the last week, I kept looking for your insightful take on the whole Komen disaster. No doubt your post on it would have been brilliant. You are already sadly missed. I hope you truly are dancing on sunshine wherever you are. Pet Goliath for me. To your Beloved and Newman, thank you for sharing your Rachel. She was very special.

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  51. So so sorry to hear this. The brightest stars burn out the fastest, and Rachel surely was one. How I appreciated her snarky tone about the absurdity of the BC industry. She will be missed. My deepest sympathies to all her loved ones.

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  52. I too only found Rachel's blog quite recently, I am deeply saddened that she is no longer with us, my thoughts & prayers are with her family & friends at this sad time. I don't quite know what to say except that, even though I didn't know her personally, I loved to read her blog, she was quite an amazing lady. Sincere condolences. xx

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  53. Rachel and the beloved have been friends of our family for many years now. Rachel cheered on my dad in his his first triathlon, yelling "raise your legs you pussy" during the run, which to this day I think is my dad's favourite memory of the race. She shopped up a storm in South Africa with my mom, supporting all the local artists buying art and ornaments which have helped create the most beautiful home.She went guido hunting with my sister, hunting down the Jersey Shore in the middle of winter, eating bad mexican and watching worse horror movies.
    But she was more than a cheerleader or a wonderful friend, especially to me.
    In June 2010 I moved from South Africa to New York for a 9 month internship and I started my journey staying with Rachel, the beloved and Newman. Rachel was my first tour guide in my now favourite city. We spent the day making our way from Wall Street up to my temporary dorm at Columbia, finding the perfect cupcake at Magnolia, checking out the view from the High Line Park and opening my first american bank account. She even helped move me into my Dorm a week later, and I thought that goodbye was hard. Those first few months she took the place of mom. She ensured I spent my July 4th weekend celebrating in true red, blue and white style - introducing me to key lime pie and a pizza bbq; she took me apple and pumpkin picking in the fall whilst introducing me to vegan style nachos and educating me in 80s movies.
    Even when she became more ill, she always managed to participate in my life, regardless of what continent I was on, even if it was by a simple email reply.
    I have so many happy memories that include Rachel and I think that was her influence on everyone, you couldn't help fall under her spell.
    She was such a confident, self assured inspiration. She stood for women's rights, pursing your dreams and taking a chance, yet she also took great pleasure looking after her Beloved and Newman. Her love for her 2 favourite men was so apparent and unmistakable. She was truely an inspiration in how she lived her life and viewed the world.
    She fought cancer with such determination, she tried everything to out smart it. In my mind, she will always be a figher and a survior because through it all she maintained her grace and spirit.
    I will always be truely grateful to have known her and every member of my family feels the same way. Her cancer took away some of her greatest pleasures, like travelling when ever and where ever to see places she had never been and people that she loved, enjoying a good speed boat ride in the sunshine with the beloved, cooking and typing with 2 hands and so in her passing, I hope she has a wonderful view from heaven that allows her to participate in the lives of those she loved as she would have wanted to.
    Forever in our hearts, Christine and the Haddons.

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  54. Dearest Rachel - I am heartbroken by the tremendous chasm left by your departure. You were my daily light since 2009, as you shared my MBC journey with me, with your humor and compassion. Each day I looked to you as the trailblazer. A vanguard of our Pink-Grumbler movement. Scrappy, even while you were in pain. Even a short 10 days ago, when I was in a dark fugue, feeling isolated by my own MBC -- YOU, dear Rachel reached out and helped me find my own humor once again. Dear Anthony - I am so sorry for your loss and grief. But jealous as well, because how wonderful for you to have been loved by such a "force" that was Rachel. So much love for the both of you. Peace.

    ~TC

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  55. I just found Rachel's blog last week, and I am thankful it will be kept available because there is so much more I want to read! Cancer sucks. As a women with metastatic breast cancer myself, I know that. Losses like this confirm it like a punch to the gut. So. I just want to say, in my limited experience, Rachel was a kick-ass writer, smart, funny as hell, and I appreciate her willingness to share her private life with the larger world of strangers like me. Thank you.

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  56. I can't even find any words. I'm so sorry to Anthony and Rachel's family and friends. A truly amazing woman.

    Katie @ Uneasy Pink

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  57. So, so shocked to read that we lost Rachel. I loved her honest writing and her wit. She made me laugh. I looked up to her. And now she is gone. This is so sad. My heart goes out to her family. Sending comfort and {{{hugs}}}.

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  58. I'm soooo sorry! I will miss her. I loved to read her blog. She made me smile a lot and had this positive attitude and a lot of gallows humor. It was a pleasure to learn about her life and how she coped with this damn sickness.
    Sincere condolences!

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  59. ... miss you deeply, Rachel you are sorrowly missed in Germany as well.

    http://www.bcaction.de/start/rachel-cheetham/

    Condolences to all.

    In deepest sympathy,

    Gudrun

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  60. I am so terribly sorry to hear this sad news.

    Rachel touched my life through her fierce and loving online presence and I'm so grateful to have "known" her. I met her on Twitter a year ago and since then she is someone I carry in my daily thoughts.

    Right now, her humor, intelligence, grace under fire, and all-out truth-telling badassery are just a few things that come to mind, aside from her brilliant debunking of all that Pink-assery and the heart-warming concept of Sherpa. The memory of exchanging virtual Sherpa tweets with her in the middle of a difficult night is making me smile, despite my sadness.

    Through the legacy of her writings she will remain a leader and an inspiration to us all. I wish I could have met her in person and shared a hug.

    Sending love and blessings to her Beloved and loved ones. Thank you for keeping the site going.
    Liza, aka @itsthebunk

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  61. I am touched by the comments I have read and inspired by what you all have created with Rachel's foresight and time/energy/money contribution she made to getting the word out and being a proactive change agent related to what affected her health and life, being metastatic breast cancer.

    I very much feel from what I read that Rachel created opportunities to TRULY and deeply connect with people as close to in person as possible in many occasions by those who have posted, and through her blog reached MANY. I'm sorry I was not along for that journey but am so honored to learn of her because of her recent passing.

    I am an occupational therapist since my late 30s who had unique job/health experience meld together and, I believe, take me on a similar journey that Rachel has had, but related to fibromyalgia and overall immune system/wellness/illness. Three to five years ago I was starting to create a new direction for getting the word out through the Internet and created a website to bring people together related to fibromyaliga, I though. That was the 'right sized bite' and what I knew most about.

    But I learned at that time to start going with the flow, that my ideas might only be the foundation for what is to be, and what eventually came to be named Lumigrate is now a stable, vibrant platform with congruent concepts and intentions as hers/yours here. I added a had a cancer Forum just over two years ago and section for medical preparation, end of life issues when my father passed in late 2010 of progressive neurological/fibromyalgia-spectrum issues. I'm grateful my health allows me to be able to continue being on Earth continuing my work. Her passing reminds me of that. Thank you.

    Cancer and fibromyalgia might not seem to have anything in common to allopathic medicine but in functional medicine such as is becoming increasingly shifting to progressive models such as integrative care or collaborative care models, they do.

    I would very much welcome collaboration in the future to continue to get what Rachel has created with your help to more people in the future. I/we are in Grand Junction, Colorado which is in a uniquely connected place and leading changes in health care in the US, that naturally have benefit for 'beyond' and the bigger world.

    I realize you are all in your process with this and there is no expectations but when someone is feeling up to it, I welcome seeing if that is a possibility. Facebook, Twitter, etc too, naturally.

    I understand the sadness that comes to those who had enjoyed Rachel through her work or her life, as you clearly have a void with her passing.

    I wished I'd know of her before today, but I am GRATEFUL I learned of this legacy you have created in her life because of her passing being posted on Facebook by one of her friends which is somehow a friend of mine due to the Internet and Facebook. Amazing how Facebook has changed our Earthly connections.

    I'm grateful it brought me to know of this amazing person and blog today. There are many good places in Cyberspace, but there are some vibrant gems. This is clearly one and I believe your presence at Lumigrate would be synergistic - I've worked similarly in the past to include a particularly wise spiritual coach with decades of hospice administration experience, and they've been well received and helped many people as
    I clearly see this site as on it's own as well.

    Again, my condolences and wishes for peace today to all, and to our futures and changes we hold in common.

    Mardy Ross
    Founder, Lumigrate -- "Lighting the Path to Health and Well-Being"

    PS -- if you venture to my website and get a security warning when you land at Lumigrate, it truly is my website, not an abduction and I am in the process of finding a local webtechhy to help tie a new security certificate into the back end of the website so eliminate that. However, I found this more important and compelling today. This is a stunning community and you're very lucky.

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  62. Wishing love and light to all who love Rachel. Many warm blessings on this sad, winter day.

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  63. I'm so sorry to hear about Rachel. I just discovered her blog recently, and I will miss her words. My prayers go out to her family.

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  64. I cannot even describe how much my heart hurts. I first met Rachel in 2008 when I was waiting to hear whether my colon cancer had metastasized. I never had the opportunity to tell Rachel of the positive influence she was in my life. She helped me make the decision to leave the job I loved to be able to spend more time with my family, my puppies, and my friends. Thank you Rachel.

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  65. I am so saddened to hear of Rachel's passing. Such an incredible loss. I will miss her so much. She made such a difference in the lives of so many. I only knew Rachel online, just one of her many cyber friends, fellow snark and breast cancer advocate, etc. She has changed the world. She changed mine. I can not imagine the depths of her loss to her family. The loss of Rachel to the breast cancer community is huge. She has made such an incredible difference. I can't imagine not seeing any more blog posts from Rachel, can't imagine not hearing her cyber voice. I am so very, very sad. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

    Love,

    Lisa

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  66. I clicked on the Cancer Chonicles email in my inbox this morning expecting a delightful dose of "grumbling" about cancer and groups who "profit" from cancer. My first (and second and third) reaction was 'Oh, NO!" I am so sad for her family and many friends. I will miss immensely her sensible and sensitive "rants", all so justifiable. Normally, as a Stage IV metastatic breast cancer patient, I try to focus on positivity, but sometimes that needs to be balanced with reality, expecially when delivered in such a humorous way (albeit black humor, often.) At any rate, I'm glad I found the Cancer Croniclers blog, and will now be reading all the past archives.

    My condolences to all who knew and loved her.

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  67. Tina and Jason SteinbergFebruary 6, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Tina and I were deeply saddened to learn of Rachel's passing. We had the opportunity to get to know each other during our time at the shore. Rachel was a special person in so many ways. She was smart, funny, vivacious and most of all, care free. Rachel lived every day as if it were her last, enjoying everything there is to enjoy about life. Though Rachel suffered more than her fair share, she had a amazing way of putting a smile on her face while enjoying the company of others. Rachel fought this horrific disease with everything she had and can now rest peacefully in heaven. She will be deeply missed by all.

    Anthony, you have been equally courageous throughout Rachel's battle. Rachel's sickness rarely seemed to phase you. You were always the rock Rachel so needed to make it through the toughest of times. No words can express our sympathy for your loss. It goes without saying that the hole Rachel has left in your heart will forever be felt, but your extended family is here to support you however possible.

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  68. My thoughts and love go to Anthony, Newman and their families at this very sad time. It is clear that Rachel had a truly special gift both within her heart and in her words that touched so many people and made a positive experience to their own lives. I hope that her work, strength and absolutely brilliant wit and snark against the pink myth continues on as she would of course want it to. I was lucky enough to become Rachel's friend many years ago at uni in Perth and will continue to hold those great memories of playing pool, sledging the guys and studying together in my heart forever. Will miss you Rach. Wheeeeey - Reilly xxx

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  69. Rachels father and I knew nothing about this blog site. A very good friend directed us to it this morning. Rachel adored her father but didn't want him to see the dreadful progression of her illness and so it was kept secret from us. We are devastated by the loss of Rachel who could always make us laugh on the phone. She was beautiful, brilliant, witty as, adventurous and 'full of life'. The wonderful thing about reading the blogs and the comments from her 'blogmates' is that she was able to make all who talked with her laugh at the outsiders view of BC as well as their own experiences. God Bless Anthony, we're sure his strength and love saw Rachel through many of the worst moments. Anthony and Christine Cheetham

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    1. im so sad so sorry for you and Pete Tony... Bridget

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  70. I am so sorry for your loss. Really, truly sorry.

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  71. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

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  72. I knew you via a friend in Perth, Australia. Your personality was large .. in your face kind that always made me laugh. I heard the sad news via this friend today and it has stopped me in my tracks. You were a very special person, which this site proves and you will be missed. Love to your family.

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  73. Love to all those who are hurting from this great loss.
    Rach may not be here in body but anyone who knew her will know that her presence in our hearts will never leave. Thank you Rach.
    Rachelle - Perth Australia.

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  74. Oh my. I am so very sorry for your loss. I did not know Rachel but just saw this on Twitter and read some of her blog. What a great loss. Please accept my deepest condolences. I am also now, a 3rd time breast cancer patient so I know the level of fight and attitude that she must have had. Much love to you all.

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  75. Rachel was such a worm person spreading hope and happiness around her. she had such positive energy around her all the time. so sad that she left so quickely but her positive memories with frinds friends and Anthony will always be around. rest in peace and God bless you.

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  76. I have no words to offer here. I've had no words for the last 3 days. And before that, i've had no real words since the onset of her Mesatasic Cancer and before that, nothing real to say about her initial cancer diagnosis. How long did she fight this thing? 7 years? I dont know, it doesnt matter now. Whenever she told me about it, I wasnt really listening, because I was never prepared to accept that it was real. Or that it wasnt something that wouldnt just pack its horrible bags and drift off down the road and leave her alone.

    I still dont really know what to say here, so I'll just ramble a few thoughts out.

    My sister loved shouting at me. It was her favourite hobby. She would invite me over to stay and spend the time alternating between feeding me her cakes or new dinner recipes and shouting at me. Sometimes the 2 were related ie WHY HAVENT YOU EATEN THE DAMM CAKE????? I think it somes up her personality quite well though. Warm, generous, loving and caring coupled with a non malavolent violence that demanded you do as she said or you wouldnt get any cake.

    We argued almost constantly when together. Nothing serious of course. Just a constant stream of sniping and bitching at one another. It confused other people, but it was our way of showing each other affection. Whenever someone has insulted me, it just passes straight over me, as it had nothing on my sisters efforts. Always at the end of a more heated argument, she would always say, 'its only because I love you.........Anthony gets the same crap from me'

    My sister could never accept that I was doing ok in life and didnt need some assistance. She was always asking me what I needed - money, clothes, advice, wherever I was or whatever I was doing. On one occassion, and this is not a joke, whilst I was working and living in London she arrived for a short visit. Her bag was full of clothes she had bought for me in New Jersey. I couldnt believe it.
    'Rachel, why have you bought me clothes across the Atlantic?'
    'Because you need them, when was the last time you went shopping, huh huh? who else is going to be you clothes idiot'.

    Bear in mind this is all the while she was struggling with this awful illness. I can only assume she was thinking - god i'm sick of this horrible illness, oh hey my brother hasnt any clothes, what an idiot, i'll go buy some!' Such a strange thought process, but it made her happy to do things like this. And its the way I will always remember her. Looking out for other people, even if they protested they didnt need help. Perhaps thats why she wrote on this subject breast cancer awareness. Even if you disagreed with her writings, at the end of the day she was only trying to help people that didnt think they needed it.

    I cant believe she has gone. I cant believe their will be nobody to shout, hug and feed me all at the same time. Whevever she is now, I hope she is happy. She is probably in charge of the place and shouting at some people whilst making dinner.

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    1. To Rachel's brother,
      I just read your post for the first time. It made me cry, made me think of my own brothers and how they have coped with cancer taking roost in my life. Your sister is so missed. I can not imagine how missed she must be by you. I only connected with Rachel online. I truly believed that one day I would meet your sister in person. But, sadly that day will never come. I have two brothers. One was around while I was going through chemo and the other was not. I understand the not listening thing - neither of my brothers wanted to believe that cancer was in my life and yet it was and is - even though I am currently in remission - it still is here on a perch somehow, seemingly waiting - it is hard not to think about it. I lose friends now, it seems constantly. Two just this past week. I am so, so very sorry for your loss. I can not imagine losing one of my siblings. My heart goes out to you and to Rachel's husband and all who knew her and loved her. I wish I had been able to meet her.

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  77. oh goodness the post from her brother above gave me a lump in my throat that quickly turned to tears. I can't believe there will no longer be funny, witty posts from Rachel any more...she always found obscure things on facebook and educated us about her 'world' through this blog.
    I knew her from highschool in Perth...I wasn't in her inner circle of friends, but we shared many classes and remember her in English lit classes giving her interpretation of texts and was amazed at her eloquence. We also did Home Economics together and had her entertaining us while we did sewing and cooking....we bonded over our Dad's having new relationships and living in Queensland (we we think all divorced dad's go to live!) and shared stories of their capers. But I will remember her ability to talk to anyone in our year group and her overall friendliness. I found her through facebook 3 yrs ago and we had many long conversations about life/relationships/struggles/health etc and could see her sense of humour still present yet refined but admired her ability to be open on her blog, so she could help others and start conversations of importance. We had discussed (laughed about) having a school reunion and planned a 25yr one ...which I'm currently planning for this year....but when it comes, we will have a big toast in her honour that is for sure. Her passing is a real loss to the world, let alone Anthony, family and friends (plus Newman). RIP gorgeous girl xx Vanessa Bell (Watson)

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  78. We all loved and respected her. So saddened.

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  79. I am a breast cancer survivor. I did not know Rachel, but would like to offer my condolences at this time. Her ability to share her experiences and strength with others was a gift to us all.

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  80. We grieve Rachel's loss with you. The blogging community who got to know her & love her is devastated.
    Brenda Coffee

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  81. My husband first met Rachel on an Aussie cruise around Manhattan many moons ago and then i bumped into her by chance at Fordham, where we bonded as fellow Aussies. My condolences to Anthony and your family. May your memories of Rachel comfort you in your loss.

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  82. I don't know what to say. Just very sorry.

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  83. I met you at my first real job. You were the most lively and active people at our firm. Rach was the ultimate friend magnet. It was in your blood. I think there were only two people at our firm whom you did not manage to befriend – Mr. Ernst and Mr. Young. We became very good friends. You were a true, true and dear friend. I mean it when I say that it was Rach which had such an enormous influence in the course of my life so far. Rach has been my angel. She was Anthony’s angel first of all and one for so many of you who read this page and her blog. I miss you, Rach. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
    Yury

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  84. Rachel was my partner Jo's best friend and I know how deeply she is loved and will be missed by so many people. I enjoyed our chats and she was such a hugely important person in the world of my family - it has been so reassuring and lovely to know that Rachel was there for Jo. I wish I’d had a chance to get to know better this wonderful woman, but I know beautiful memories of her will always be kept alive in our home. I'm sending all my love to all those who loved her and are missing her, we will miss her very much.

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  85. I am so very sorry for your loss. Rachel was a giving and wonderful woman! Thank you for keeping her blog alive!

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  86. What can I say... she was my friend and I loved her. Words that come to mind are fearless but something more...Courageous. She knew fear but took actions that were scary and intimidating because she had courage.

    Did you know she's a great travel companion? It's all about the food, right Rach? We bonded over..... where would our next dining experience would be. No, we weren't starving students, we were girls who loved even more discussing it. I will miss the recipe swaps.

    I remember on one visit she made this amazing tea cake... explaining to her beloved, how us Aussie girls need cake with their cup tea in the afternoon. We discused so much of life over that tea cake.... it seemed to last forever. It was the cake that kept on giving...

    What about the Maine lobsters? Yep about 75 of those suckers over 5 days. How many ways can you eat a lobster. Apparently even leftover for breakfast is an option.. But I remember most of all going shopping to mega market and I confided to Rach... I like porridge in the morning and she said 'Reg, you can have whatever you want' and she lovingly made me porridge the next day. It's funny the things you remember.

    Rach's catch cry on that trip was 'I want pie!'.... dammit we weren't going to stop until we go that girl pie! And oh, what a pie it was! A little stall on the side of the road with an outhouse an' all. Blueberry pie like you've never tasted.

    For those of you who didn't see her at parties she was the Queen that held Court. Her story telling was enthralling. She was unselfish in her friendships, spending her evening engaging and introducing all her friends to each other, connecting us all. She involved us in the joy she had in her life, her beloved, her home and of course the ever stubborn 'Newmsy'... I can say that as I had to carry him a number of times up that damn hill, when he decided he'd done enough or potentially saving him from a bird of prey. I remember her engagment, wedding and house warming soirees, happiness is the word I use to describe them. You could see and feel it.

    Rach, I will always remember the so many laughs, the walks together where you solve my problems. Gosh sometimes you were like an Oracle. You kept my secrets when I needed you too and told me not to be such a nancy, when I was being one.

    Rach's blog life was immense and I loved seeing her grow to this eloguent, insightful and impactful human being. But for me it's the memories of sitting on a couch, reading a book, or talking with you while watching you prepare a meal that will stay with me always.

    How fortunate I was to meet you in that 'interesting' little London hostel so many years ago.... which we called home for so many months... a home we shared with 60 or so others ha ha! But it was I who was blessed when you called me friend and we started spending time together.

    Rest in peace my friend. You will not be far from my thoughts and in my future life decisions, I hope I have your courage.

    Reggie x

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  87. This is Bridget, I have known Rachel my whole life, our childhoods were entwined by fate. Our time together as kids was magical, we shared the strangeness of circumstances, and found fun wherever we could. Just the other day, I found myself with enough time and quiet to go through things in an old cupboard which led me to look at an old album full of pictures of Rachel and her brother and sister, that day it turns out was the day she died, I was reminded of her wonderful sense of magic as a child, her "fairy gardens" that she delicately designed with rocks and flowers and gladwrap waterfalls to attract the fairies!!! We played "bike chasey around mosman park for hours, and shared crazy rides on beanbags on the back of ute to go to the drive -in! Rachel was
    the "little mum' in her family ALWAYS on the lookout for her younger siblings... Rachel was smart, she figured things out and made a career for herself, she also had emotional intelligence, she was great company..our parents and our paths separated just as we hit puberty, and we saw little of eachother thereafter. We reconnected through facebook a few years ago and im so glad got to spend a precious and beautiful morning together and visit a beautiful park in Melbourne, my kids and I now call it "Rachels park" We were able to reflect on our childhood with the maturity of years, and make peace in a way with how things went... I only regret not following her Blog, Rachel was strong, a survivor, she never let on to me that day how serious things could be... I didnt know how sick she was getting. I wish we could have come and visited New Jersey and meet her loved ones there... My heart grieves
    for my childhood friend, my soul more than 'step" sister and for all her loved ones,Especially Anthony and Pete and Tony and Mandy and young Jayden Deep condolences... I feel in my heart Rachel is at peace and witnessing the wonder of the other side now, shes an adventurous spirit, and no doubt in my mind that the fairies did visit her garden and now she will visit another garden where winged ones dwell... With much love... Bridget

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  88. I just "met" Rachel, i mean just a few weeks ago. She was so a woman after my own heart. I will continue to get to know her through her enduring blogs and will grow to miss her even more. Thank you for the pictures of her and for sharing her life. My sincere condolences to Anthony, Newman and her family.
    Mimi

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