Saturday, January 2, 2010

Full Circle

January 2, 2009, was the day I received my last chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I received it in the Infusion Center of Fauquier Hospital. The wonderful nurses there with whom I have become friends, gave me a little wooden doll with all their names and warm wishes on it to celebrate my last treatment. I've visited them a few times throughout the year and think they are some of the most remarkable women I have ever met.

I learned so much about life during those 7 months of my life, through the diagnosis, the treatments, the hair lose, the help received from friends and family, the hopefulness and love of my husband, the ever helpful hands of my mother, the joy of my chidren, and the support of our church and neighborhood communities. In hindsight, my short battle with cancer was such a gift. I am amazed that such a short period in my life can yield such wonderful fruit. In the span of life, seven months is just a blink of the eye.

Today is January 2, 2010. A year has past since that last cancer treatment. Yet, I find myself in the same place, Fauquier Hospital. Ready to begin a new chapter in our book of life. Dave just took my belongings to the car and I am about to pack up a living doll, our new daughter, Gianna Joy Marie Paccassi, into her carseat to take home. She is a living reminder of God's promise to us last year at this time, of new life and continued joy.

I can't help but wonder how God is going to bless us this year!

May the peace and Joy of God be yours today and everyday this year,

Teresa

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

touch my toes

Well, what do you know. After a long day of rushing around yesterday I stretched out and touched my toes. Sounds small but in reality it means a great deal to me. I have been flexible all my life and unfortunately have secretly prided myself on it when in a class and seen others struggle or wince while trying. After 6 months of chemo and stillness, I couldn't get close to my toes. I was shocked and privately humiliated from my past pride. What a simple way for God to teach me humility, but soooo effective. Now I want take it for granted and I won't think any less of those who can't or anymore of myself.

We are doing great. I feel soo much better. I've even been able to forgo a midday nap every now and then. I cleaned my kitchen floor yesterday and even scrubbed the dinginess out of our shower floor last week. Don't worry, I also played slap jack, read stories and played wii with the kids too. Balance, balance....

I have two more prayer requests for all of you. Our dear friend Maryann, mother of 8 children and wife to Matt, had some scary results from a CAT scan the other day. She has mulitple masses/tumors in her body and is awaiting a biopsy scheduled for Friday. Her doctor believes it is some sort of cancer. Please pray for her miraculous healing and guidance in all of their decision making. From experience, Dave and I know that the first few weeks with a probable cancer diagnosis is agonizing. You are constantly fighting the fears of what ifs while you await doctors appointments, diagnosis and treatment options. Please add her name to any prayer list you may have access to. Please also add my friend, Lucy, she has been diagnosed with some type of skin cancer. Thank you all for everything. In hope and joy, Teresa

Monday, March 2, 2009

Whoopee!

Need I say more? The scan went well. No ugly cancer monster rearing it's head. Next scan in 5 months. Sorry for the late post. I hope we didn't worry you much. Crazy day. I'll share ore later. In joy and hope, Tree

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Waiting around...

So I am feeling much better, I have finally returned to my pre-cold energy level, but have realized I still have a way to go to get back to normal. I'm really making an effort to balance my to do list with my to love list. I really don't want to get caught up with my little plans and forget about the little ones running around my feet. Today I built block towers for Sam to knock down, threw Peter a ton of pitches and read books with John. Lily-tomorrow it's your turn lovely girl.

My friend, April, and I brought our kids out for free stack of pancakes last night at the local IHOP. They give you free pancakes hoping that you will contribute to the charity last of their choice. I was shocked and excited to discover that the charity that night was the Luekemia and Lymphoma group. YEAH!

Speaking of lymphoma, I have my scan on Monday. If everything goes well, I'll get my port removed too. Whoopee! God bless you all, keep praying. Teresa

Monday, February 16, 2009

I would like to thank all of you who were praying for friends of mine I have listed on this blog over the last few months.

Sadly, my friend Mary Lynn Flook passed away this past Thursday. She was diagnosed with stomach cancer right after I got my diagnosis. She was a dear friend of ours. She and Dave taught an RCIC class together and then she taught the class on her own for a few years. She was always very concerned about her students. She spent extra time meeting with them, if they couldn't make the regular class time. She worked hard preparing her lessons for the variety of ages she taught. But most importantly, she loved her students and laughed with them often. I will always remember Mary Lynn's laugh. It was a robust and joy-filled laugh with a tinge of spit fire in it. She always gave it to you straight in her gentle voice with a sly smile. I loved her. I will miss her.

In the early fall, Dave and I snuck away from the kids and made a visit to Mary Lynn and Bill. We had brought them some leftovers for a later meal and ended up staying for a long discussion of cancer and treatment and little hints on how to avoid nausea. Soon we all grew weary of talking "cancer" and decided we needed to have some fun. Bill pulled out some Uno cards and and pulled up a table to the couch. We had a rousing game of Uno, penalizing anyone who mentioned cancer with drawing a card. We laughed and laughed. I think for all four of us the laughter and fellowship was salve on the soreness of disease. I will always remember that evening as one of the special ones in my life.

We will bury Mary Lynn later today. She was married for 42 years, loved her children, her grandchildren, and her God. She will be missed by many. May God welcome you into heaven, my friend, you are a good and faithful servant.

In hope and joy, Tree

Monday, February 2, 2009

quick update

Here I am. We've been busy having fun and enjoying life. I wanted to quickly let you know that we had to delay my scan to March 2. So we'll all have to wait until then to find out if any cancer has returned while I've been off the chemo.

I'm feeling better everyday. I actually got out twice this weekend for walks. I'm hoping to start the couch potato to 5k workout again in a few weeks.

Our family, including my mom, went on a spur of the moment vacation to St. Augustine, FL, two weeks ago. We had so much fun, despite a few blustery days. I'll post pictures soon.

Peace and joy to everyone. Tree

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday. I am 37 years old. My parents called and serenaded me with the traditional song. Then my mom said, "Pushing forty, eh?" I responded, "It's better then pushing daisies!" She agreed.

No please, stop racking your brain figuring out what great gift you can run out and buy me, I need nothing. You all have already given me such a gift, the best ever...true love and friendship. I can not thank you enough for all the meals, scrubbed toilets, childcare, little gifts, cards of love and support and of course the thousands of prayers that have been storming heaven in the past 6 months.

Dave and the children gave me a new under armour shirt and new pink running shoes. After lunch Dave had me try them on and suggested I get out for a walk. I decided to give it a try. I hadn't done any exercising in 5 months, so I was a little nervous. What do ya know, I survived the entire 10 minute walk with a little 30 second run at the end. I wasn't moving my normal brisk pace, but I was moving. I was moving!

When I stared running, I felt great joy on this my birthday. I felt like a fresh start, a new day, a new year, an open window. Now onto the next 37 years!