Making Choices

0042_39432It 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 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 Choice

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.

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  • Terri,
    I am so excited that you started a blog! You are such an inspiration 🙂 I will be looking forward to reading all of your entries.

  • Mary Wade

    Dear Teri,

    My name is Mary Wade and my daughter Caitlin Wade Bridge was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in Dec 2010, she was 25. When she had her surgery the day after her diagnosis, one of her ovaries was removed, lymph nodes, part of her colon, and they couldn’t do anything to the liver because it was full of cancer and she had spots in her lungs. She started chemo in January 2011, and also was being treated with homeopathic treatment from a doctor in Mexico. There were several set backs throughout the chemo, she developed an allergy to Oxiliplatin (not sure on the spelling),she had an intestinal blockage and a Y90 Embolization of the liver. Caitlin endured 22 months of continuous chemo. She had a great attitude and a smile that could light up a room. It was amazing how great she felt throughout the entire ordeal until the cancer took over. We lost Caitlin on October1, 2012, and she didn’t leave without a fight. Her brother was tested, he was 28, and had 3 precancerous polips. My message to you is to fight with everything you have, try everything out there even if it is outside the norm, and live. My daughter never wanted anyone’s pity, and was determined to not feel sorry for herself. She was married 5 weeks before she died and lived every minute of her life.