The Tides Are Changing

familyIt’s been another rough couple of weeks…  But i feel myself finally starting to pull out of the blackness and into a better place.A big part of that has to do with the amazing outpouring of love, prayers, blessings, uplifting and encouraging words, and donations that have come my way since the last post.  Thank you everyone!!  Wish I had the energy to respond to each and every one of you!!  And shout-outs also go to the amazing hands on support of my best friend Auntie ‘Cole who continues to be there for me…  And my darling hubby…  My entire family…  And the special love of the O’Neil crew!!

Right after I posted my last blog entry I was hit with a crazy MRSR like infection in my chemo port.  It landed me in the hospital for an entire week.  Thankfully my family whisked Miss M off to Massachusetts and hubby was able to take time off from work to be with me and hold my hand as they brought  me to surgery to remove the infected port.  It’s been just over 2 weeks since I was discharged.  I took 3 weeks of hardcore IV antibiotics am now taking 2 more weeks of oral antibiotics.  I was feeling pretty low.  But I think the worst is over.

Last week I also made the decision to start a new chemo regime – Xeloda & Tykerb. Fortunately they both come in pill form since I no longer have a port for intravenous drugs.  It’s been exactly one week and so far the only side effects i’ve had are nausea and tummy upset.  But I also know the side effects of chemo are cumulative.  The longer these drugs build up and percolate in my body the higher the chances more intense side effects may appear.

We also learned last week that my liver enzymes are elevated so we need to keep an eye on that.  It could be from the onslaught of drugs I just started taking or from the cancer.  Time will tell.

But amidst all the craziness, some incredible news came my way…   It all started a few years back when friends and family in Massachusetts banded together to create The Gracefulwomanwarrior Committee to raise funds for my never ending medical expenses.   They were scheduled to meet again last week.  Now to tell the rest of the story is my fabulous Auntie Laurie…


Ideas had been percolating among us about what to do; holding a 5K, raffling an IPad, scheduling a golf tournament. My daughter Jamie suggested I contact the folks who run THE BLOWOUT in Dartmouth, a FABULOUS annual fundraiser that has been making an incredible difference in our community since 1977.  Figuring it was too late, I never reached out.

While Terri was in the hospital, Tom B. who works with my husband at Tomlinson & O’Neil Insurance just happened to mention that THE BLOWOUT didn’t have a recipient this year…  (Coincidence?? I THINK NOT!)  The brothers O’Neil immediately told him about Terri and he put her name forward. I promptly dialed my sister Dori who reminded me she has played THE BLOWOUT for years and she wasted no time contacting her connections!  Before I knew it, my fellow committee member, Peggy B., reached out to her brother Ricky, a BLOWOUT volunteer since its inception. The serendipitous threads of connection continued all week, as news of Terri’s remarkable journey and the thousands upon thousands of folks she has inspired reached the committee.

I received the call from my sister Dori on the eve of our committee meeting.  Terri was chosen to be this year’s recipient!!   I immediately called Terri. Tears flowed down my cheeks as I literally heard the “joy and happiness” my incredible niece is forever searching for, amidst the suffering that suffuses her life…Hearing that light, that life, emanating from her being was a gift I will treasure always.

So, mark you calendars!   Come on down…  Saturday August 9th in Dartmouth, Massachusetts!

For more information on The Blowout go to facebook:  …  If you are local and want tickets please email me at For Terri’s NYC and CT friends and family, there are several hotels nearby! Terri and her entourage are beyond excited to share this remarkable day with all of you!  If you are unable to attend but would still like to help please consider donating on the blog to assist the da Silva’s with ongoing medical costs.  

As for our Warrior, she keeps on keeping on, embracing her new “modified” lifestyle like the true New York-ah she is…

Thanks Auntie Laurie!  And thank you to the entire Gracefulwomanwarrior Committee!  And the Blowout team!  I am so grateful!!!

Peace!  Hope to see ya’ll there!

With love, – T

First day home from the hospital

First day home from the hospital

Embracing the new 'modified lifestyle

Embracing the new ‘modified lifestyle

7 Responses

  1. You continue to amaze, Terri! Your strength is inspiring.
    I look forward to seeing you when you visit your Dad this fall.

  2. I think of you all the time, bunny rabbit. Lots of love from TO. And that Miss M. is just the loveliest thing I’ve ever seen! xo

  3. Ho! What a roller coaster ride! Glad you’re out of the hospital and back to kicking butt. Silymarin aka Milk Thistle will restore and protect
    your liver, especially during chemo (so says Germany’s Commission E and my own experience). O yes, Miss M is a very interesting person, and I love her smile – and yours as well :-). Best news of all: BLOWOUT! Warms my heart. Wrapping my wings around you, Elizabeth

  4. Keep the faith Terri! God bless the O’Neil crew….they are an amazing bunch….believe me, I know! The Blow out is a perfect venue for more love and support… And fun.

  5. You are truly amazing Terri. I am constantly sending positive thoughts and love to you. I was so happy to see you were the recipient of this year’s BLOWOUT. Look forward to seeing you Saturday. Positive thoughts continuing to be sent to you.and your family.

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