Though Teresa taught most of last year, she wasn't hired as a permanent employee until the 2017-18 school year. That means she does not yet have health insurance. This becomes especially important when considering what has happened to Teresa in the past week.
In her own words, from a Facebook post on July 5, 2017:
Hey, you...we need to talk. No, not the "summer is half way done, what have you been up to and what's left that you want to do" talk either. I'm going to cry through out this and you may too, BUT crying is good. Did you know that crying releases stress hormones? I didn't either until a few days ago!
Here it is...
Bug and I came down to Biloxi (6.25) to spend a few weeks with mom before all hell broke loose with school starting and stuff. 2 days later (6.27) I went to the ER for a completely unrelated problem....I couldn't "go", it had been a few days and when I finally did, it hurt like hell.
Off to the ER I went. When I got there, they ran routine bloodwork. When the results came back the ER Dr. came in and asked me how long I had been anemic. I literally slow blinked and said "I'm not." He says oh yeah you are. He then tells me that he is looking at the bloodwork of someone who has leukemia. WHAT!?! Nah, not me I'm fine! He asked if i had been tired. I said stress has me down like nobodies buisness but nothing more than normal. He has me transferred to another hospital that has a better oncology dept.
Off to the second hospital....still only 6.27 mind you. This hospital welcomes me open arms, looks at my bloodwork and IMMEDIATELY gets to work. Platelets, whole blood, antibiotics, pain meds, and tests...oh the tests. The worst one, no surprise, was the bone marrow biopsy. I had that done on Thursday (6.29). Got a PICC line that day, too. Friday (6.30) I had surgery on a mass that was preventing me from "going"...good news there, noncancerous. Saturday (7.1) it was confirmed that I do infact have leukemia. It is Acute Myeloid Leukemia to be exact, NOT GOOD! Even during me writing this we're still waiting for the exact genetic makeup to see what specific kind it is.
Let that sink in...we went to Biloxi on vacay and I get diagnosed with leukemia?!? COME ON! How is this even remotely fair?
So we start talking options. Obviously, I have to go through treatments and I need to begin them ASAP. After much deliberation, it is decided that I will go to UMMC Hospital in Jackson, MS for my first step of treatment. Soooo....
Monday, 7.3, I'm transferred to the new hospital. I meet with with NP who tells me that the Dr. has looked over everything and I would begin chemo soon. Good to know! Let's get this started so I can kick it's ASS!
Tuesday, 7.4, I started treatment...chemo. Exactly one week after I had first walked into the ER. I will have 8 days of non-stop treatment. 8 days of this very powerful chemical pumped through me to basically kill all my bone marrow in the hopes that my body will start fresh with all new marrow. Then I wait. The following week everything will continue to die. It's going to get bad. I'll spare you the deets. I will say this...yes, I will lose my hair. A small price to pay, but I'll gladly pay it.
Please don't lose your mind that I didn't "tell" you. This is me telling you now. I let those who I thought needed to know asap, know. It has gone out at church and at work (among coworkers).
Mom has Bug for the month so he is having a BLAST. Trying to keep him occupied has been a challenge but he has found some kids his age in her neighborhood and he runs off to play them them.
What can you do? Pray. I need lots of prayers right now.
As you can see, she's got a wicked sense of humor. She's hella stubborn and strong. She's got massive amounts of faith and believes in the power of prayer and positivity. She has an amazing mother who is helping take care of her tenderhearted, curious son while traveling a few (3) hours every time they go to see Teresa in this new hospital. Why a hospital that's 3 hours away? This hospital was willing to begin treatment on the Leukemia even though Teresa is uninsured. We are grateful. However, this is a burden for her mother and son. Her mother and son cannot stay in her hospital room with her, nor can they afford lodging to consistently stay with her. So, that means infrequent visits after 3 hours of driving.
We don't know how long this period will last in Jackson. We know it will at least be the 8 days "on" of chemo treatment and 8 days "off". The 8 days off is when they've told her to expect to be the sickest since the chemo is killing all of her bone marrow. She doesn't yet know the plan past the 16 days.
I'd like two things from you. The first is for prayers and positivity. Please add this family to any and all prayer lists and let them know in the comments. Second, I'd like to ask you to help allow Barb and Chris to afford to support Teresa during this treatment. All funds will go toward lodging, food and travel expenses (minus the 5% gofundme takes from the donations).
If you have points toward rooms that you'd like to donate--that would be great too!
If the goal is reached, any additional funds will be used to assist with supporting Teresa in her treatment and recovery.
Thank you very much!
- Lorrie and Dave Brandt
- Faye Ivey
Organizer and beneficiary
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