It has been a long time since I sat at the computer and wrote a message. In fact, the last time I posted an entry on my CaringBridge.org site was December 2011.
With the launch of my new website, I wondered why it’s been so long. I quickly realized that much of the posting on CaringBridge was to communicate difficult news. Today, I am inspired to share a new, positive message. I see this blog as a fresh opportunity to share my experience, struggles, strength and hope.
For those of you new to my journey, here is a quick history. I am married and have two kids in college, a son and daughter. In September 2009, two weeks after completing Ironman Louisville, I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer (I was 48 years old). Two weeks after that my two sisters (both in their early sixties) had colonoscopies, one had precancerous polyps and the other Stage III colon cancer (today she is cancer free). I was treated with radiation therapy, chemotherapy and had a colon resection and liver resection. Today I continue to receive chemotherapy and remain optimistic that the longer I survive the better a chance for a cure.
One of my passions is endurance sports, particularly the Ironman distance triathlon (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a marathon – 26.2 miles). After my initial diagnosis I made a choice to continue to exercise and train ––never giving up the dream of competing in the World Championship Ironman in Kona, Hawaii. In October 2011 that dream came true. I was chosen to be an inspirational athlete. As the first to compete while undergoing treatment (chemotherapy), I was a feature story on the Ironman NBC Emmy-award winning program. Crossing the finish line – with 35 family and friends (known as Teri’s Troops) there to support me – was a victory!!
Since crossing the finish line I now have two major goals: to inspire others and to save lives.
One tree can start a forest,
One smile can begin a friendship,
One hand can lift a soul,
One word can frame the goal,
One candle can wipe out darkness,
One laugh can conquer gloom,
One hope can raise our spirits,
And….One choice can change our life.
I made a choice the moment I received my diagnosis to never, ever give up!
I made a choice when my sister was diagnosis to spread awareness of colon cancer and all cancers.