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An Indescribable feeling

February 28, 2015

Throughout this journey, I have learned so  many things.  I have learned about resilience, I have learned about faith, I have learned about the power of hope; but above all I have learned that the relationships I have, the support I feel and the trust I have built with certain key people on my journey has given me the ability to have resilience, have faith and trust in the power of hope.

The first day I walked into chemo almost three years ago, I was full of fear.  I had heard so many horror stories about chemo, I had heard how it wrecks havoc on your body and I just could not wrap my mind around making myself sicker with chemo in order to help my body heal. I arrived with my entourage(Mom, Dad, Michele and Julie) and also with about five bags of what I like to call “chemo supplies.” Basically, I combined every item from every single article I had read about “what helps during chemo” and I decided I need to bring it all with me for my first treatment. From ginger gum to heated blankets to pretzels to extra socks, magazines, books, an Ipad and literally everything in between.

I walked into the infusion room and there she was. She looked over at me, smiled and then began to laugh in this kind, comforting tone. She walked over, held my hand and said, ” How long do you plan to be here sweetie? It looks like you are planning to stay a few weeks but did you know you get to go home at the end of today?” Well, in that moment, some of the tension that had been mounting for weeks finally began to subside and for the first time in forever, I laughed. In that exact moment, I knew she was exactly who was meant to walk into my life.

She walked over, hugged me and said, “My name is Rose. It is going to be ok. I will take care of you here.” In that moment, tears began to stream down my face and it was such a release….because I believed her. My Nonna, who was the closest thing to me aside from my mother all my life until she died when I was 28-her name was Rose. When I was diagnosed, one of my first thoughts was how much I wished she was here to hold my hand, tell me to be strong, kick my butt a little when I needed it and above all to remind me that no matter what happened, I would be ok.  My Nonna always had a way of making me believe. So when this woman named Rose walked into my life, I knew my Nonna was with me.

For three years, whether it is a treatment day, a blood test day or just a day I need fluids because the chemo has done a number on my body….no matter what day it is, Rose is there.

A few months ago during a treatment day, Rose and I were talking about “If there was one celebrity in the world you could meet, who would it be?” Without hesitation, Rose said, “Whoopi Goldberg.” She said she had seen every movie, very trv show Whoopi has ever done and how she has so much respect for all Whoopi does for the world. I left that day knowing I had to make this happen. I tried figuring it out on my own and then decided to reach out to the Facebook World and see if anyone could help. Well, thanks to an incredible friend, I found a way.

This past Thursday, Rose and I went to a taping of the view and then had the opportunity to go backstage and meet Whoopi. When we saw her, I told her all about Rose and how important she has been on my journey and Whoopi’s eyes filled with tears. (I later found out Whoopi’s mother was a teacher and a nurse) After Whoopi began to cry, Rose began to cry and then I fell apart with tears of joy and gratitude.

The feeling I had was indescribable. To be able to do something like this for a woman who has done so much for me and has made one of the hardest aspects of my chemo life so much more tolerable-weill I am pretty sure it was one of the best feelings a human being could ever feel.

  1. Rachel Cook permalink

    Ms McRedmond. It’s Bradley Cook’s mom! We are all thinking about you and rooting for you every second of every day. You are a special and insanely unique person – a true gift to Bradley and our family. You are the first teacher to really touch his soul and give him love of learning. We are here for you whatever and whenever you need us. The Whoopi story was beyond special. You, my dear, as special!


    • Rachel,
      I have tears streaming down my face reading your words. I remember a particularly hard day I was having my first year at Avenues just not feeling well and heading to treatment after school and that was the day Bradley cut out all those circles, drew smiley faces on them and taped them all over his clothes- he walked over and I smiled and he said, “Ohhhh look like you caught a case of the smiley pox!” He made my day. Such an amazing little boy. All my love to you and your family. thank you so much for your incredible support.


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