Stop The War In My Rack

Late spring, 2014 – after a 2 hour, small talk phone conversation – our friend, Kirsten informed me that she had an alarmingly sized “lump”. After having her describe it to me – we both were overwhelmed by fear but knew that it was well past time to  get some experts involved.  Luckily – she was planning a trip to Omaha and I happen to have a few connections here in the Oncology world.  We quickly scheduled her flight and set up a gammet of appointments.

The day of that initial appointment finally arrived after what seemed like forever.  We knew – going into it  what was about to happen– but there’s no way you can ever fully prepare yourself for those looks you get when the medical professions know  immediately that things aren’t looking good! And of coarse…. it was confirmed that Kirsten had a sizeable tumor and involvement in her lymph nodes that most likely were malignant.  And so it would all begin….

Tests, and decisions, and tests, and decisions

Being the independent, tough as nails (lovingly referred to as stubborn) girl that we all know and love…. She decided to stay in Los Angeles where she’s lived so much of her adult life, rather than to come home and be babied by all of us that adore her.    Truthfully , it felt defeating to her to give up her “life” – all that she had worked so hard to accomplish, professionally and personally- and we could expect nothing less of her, being who she is!  But it was going to be tough!  Her job as a Scenic Artist is extremely physically demanding.  She lives alone, in a house in a canyon that requires her to walk up 30 steps to enter.

Her treatment began pretty quickly upon diagnosis.  Given her age, and the size of her tumor – they weren’t messing around and very aggressively went after it as follows:

4 rounds of ADC aka “the red devil”-  three weeks apart for 12 weeks

12 rounds of Taxol weekly

30 day break

December 2, 2014 bilateral mastectomy with skin expanders

This will be followed by 25 radiation treatments daily for 5 consecutive weeks

And finally, another surgery to replace the skin expanders with the permanent implants


We’ve been best friends for over 30 years!    I’ve always thought she was inspiring and amazing, but through this, It’s been validated repeatedly how incredible her strength and character truly are!  It was a very, very long hard summer for her – and truthfully it’s a long way from over!  She ALWAYS has a laugh.  She ALWAYS has some quirky funny spin on things!  And she has ALWAYS remained independent and humble.


She worked very hard – even through  the chemo to save money to support herself as she recovers from the surgery.    She pushed herself beyond imaginable limits when she felt absolutely awful.  She’s applied for some disability to help supplement, but is not yet sure if she will be able to get it.

I’d really like to be able to remove some of the burden on her while she recovers.

Please help me help her!  Even a small amount might make a big difference!

  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 63 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 67 mos
  • Jaeme 
    • $50 
    • 76 mos
  • Tracy Ronk Machado 
    • $100 
    • 76 mos
  • Alan Zwart 
    • $50 
    • 76 mos
See all


Gabrielle Rainey 
Omaha, NE
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