Below is a message from Derek. While Teresa and Derek aren’t on Facebook, we are relaying the messages, thoughts and prayers to them. You may also post here, where Teresa and Derek may read the messages directly or on the GoFundMe page. We will work with Derek and Teresa to keep you updated as much as possible. Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of love and support for our wonderful friends.
Our world rocked off its axis two weeks ago when my beautiful bride Teresa, the most remarkable mother, teacher, nurturer and friend anyone can know, was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. The shock remains raw, but what won’t surprise you is the determination, grit and bravery Teresa already has shown as we brace to fight this beast. She began round one of an 18-week chemotherapy regimen today.
Just before Easter, we learned that what seemed like a left breast cyst was a 5cm malignant tumor categorized as invasive ductal carcinoma. It is also Her2 positive, meaning an extended treatment plan that will last one year. Our highly recommended and highly capable team of oncologists, surgeons and support staff want to perform surgery late summer followed by five weeks of radiation then six months of administering the chemo agent herceptin — a strategy equally aggressive to the challenge.
This fight will be long. There will we tough moments and impossible thoughts. Plus, a physical and emotional toll we can only guess at. We are terrified, angry, hopeful and considerably more spiritual. True to her nature, Teresa is not thinking of herself but our young children, Rourke and Emelia. She will remain the centerpiece of their unfolding lives, shielding them from the worst while harnessing their innocence and energy for her own.
Partly because our precocious son Rourke knows about the worst side of cancer, we have given the C-word the nickname Lola. “She’s a mean bitch,” Teresa likes to say, “but she’s going down.” Spoken like an All-Star roller derby girl. My wife’s toughness, tenacity, stubborn nature and candor will serve her these coming months. She doesn’t do well with pity. Never has. Instead, we will live with unflagging enthusiasm. We will laugh, learn, love — soak up Utah’s outdoor splendor — and we will rest.
But all of this would not be possible without you — our friends and family. Your kindness and generosity floors us. It’s staggering. Each day we are buoyed by the gift of your words, gestures, offers and prayers. Say nothing of the other thing. Your humanity humbles beyond words — but more than that, it has paved Teresa’s recovery road. We don’t just have friends who are family and family as friends — collectively, you are our army. Having you in our corner both steels our resolve and softens our pain.
A word about that. We are going to beat this. And the reason, is Teresa. From the first time mine met her soulful, ocean eyes I saw two things: depth and purity. Those qualities define her more than ever today. She is simply the best person I know, and my best friend. Since this fight pits poison against purity, I know what to bet on. And so do you.
As Paul Westerberg sang, “sometimes angels walk.” We are honored to have you lock arms on this march.
With love and loathing for Lola,
Derek, Teresa, Rourke & Emelia