About Me

A former NYC party girl and world traveler – born and raised on both coasts of Canada…  A social worker…  and most recently, a stay at home mom…  Doing my best to navigate through the every day ups and downs of marriage, parenthood, and a recent diagnosis of metastatic Stage IV breast cancer at the ripe ol’ age of 37.

The name for my blog comes from the name I was given at birth – Luanna – which means graceful woman warrior.  Although I have chosen to go by my “new” name Terri for most of the years since I turned 12, as an adult I have come to embrace the name my mom chose for me at birth and now use both…  aka: Terri Luanna da Silva.

Looking to get in touch?  Email me:  gracefulwomanwarrior@gmail.com


October 2011 - Before diagnosis

October 2011 – Before diagnosis

March 2012 - Chemo

March 2012 – Chemo

May 2012 - Done with chemo

May 2012 – Done with chemo

August 2012 - Feeling Good

August 2012 – Feeling Good

24 Responses

  1. Terri Luanna,

    You dont know me but I work with a colleague who is your aunt’s, sister-in-law. She sent us your blog because she knew we would want to send all the love and support we could to you. I am here in my office with tears in my eyes. My husband and I fostered two infant boys for a year who went back to their mom and just recently finalized an adoption of another little boy who is now 2.
    I just went through a biopsy for a “spot” in my breast and while I waited for the results experienced much of what you did. I was distraught over the thought of just finally getting the family I always wanted only to be told that now I might have to fight to keep it. I was given a gift and it turned out to be nothing but I want you to know that those few days gave me a whole new perspective. I want you to know that I am here, routing for you and will stay connected as long as you want. Stay strong! Keep living your life! My thoughts and prayers are with you!! Carol Eaton

  2. Hi Terri
    I am a good friend or your friend, Maureen. I remember you from her wedding, tearing up the dance floor! I just wanted you to know that we are sending loving thoughts to you and your family. Wishing you lots of luck and strength as you battle this terrible disease.
    Kind regards,

  3. Hi Terri!
    It’s Gina here, Irene’s friend. The last time we saw each other was at your place in Bowen Island around 11 years ago. My heart goes out to you and your family. I’ll be sending you Metta (loving-kindness) each day and wishing you recovery. From what I hear you are extremely positive and from what I remember you have a strong spirit! Those are your greatest assets! I hope laughter and peace will continuously find its way to you to keep up your spirits.
    With strength and love,

  4. Terri…I sort of know your mom and dad, love them both and miss your mom. I didn’t know about your illness until Barnstead mentioned your blog in his Live Journal. You have all the warmth and lobe and blessings I can send, and I sincerely hope that we can lessen your pain by sharing. *hug*

  5. Hello Terri Luanna,

    I’m here via kittent, and I wanted to send you warmth and love and strength and all the blessings I can send. You’re in my thoughts.

  6. Hi Terri.

    Auntie Cole sent me your blog and I wanted to take a moment to say I’m thinking of you. You already know this, but it’s always worth repeating. I adore you! You are such a wonderful inspiring woman with such grace and strength. How apt the name your mother chose for you.

    If ever there is anything I can do for you, say the word. I am sending much love and positive energy your way.


  7. Hi Terri,
    I am very good friends with Peg and Mike Verroneau. I also know your aunts Laurie and Dolly. I want you to know my prayers are with you, I hope the good lord watches over you and answers all your prayers.Good Luck.
    Carol Souza

  8. Terri,
    I am a friend of Dori Legge, and I came across your situation on Face Book. I have the same exact condition, same stage, same mets. to the bone, etc. etc. Please feel free to contact me, I have finished chemo and am doing radiation right now. I lost 2 feet of long gorgeous red hair, and made a wig out of it myself! Making the wig was cathartic, and it looked awesome, my own hair. The hair is coming back fast and furious now. I have much to share, if you would like to compare and contrast, get in touch with me! I would love to hear from you. By the way, being bald was kinda fun too. I did it with big earrings, sunglasses, & lipstick when I didn’t want to deal with the wig. I went into “edgy rock star” mode, it helped. You will get through this. I have learned a lot and been everywhere in search of answers. I’ve spoken with quacks, brilliant professors, and all in between. There’s a lot to navigate through. Stay positive!

  9. Terri Luanna,
    I met you and the Magnificent Miss M once via skype when I was visiting your dad at Bowen Island. My home in KY is about 6 hours drive from you–if you need backup, your dad has my number, and you can find me on facebook. All best wishes to you and the family.
    Marie Guthrie

  10. Hafa Adai from Guam! I’m a mom, an Oma, a DoD teacher on Guam and a fan of your Dad’s books. I will be participating in my first Relay for Life here on Guam in May in support of a cure in our lifetimes. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. One more thing…we have this local fruit called Soursop, kind of tastes like really ripe pineapple and it is supposed to be a very effective healer. I haven’t been here long enough to do anything but search it out and try it…but it may be worth a go.
    Stay strong, Graceful Woman Warrior. Cyn Vargo

  11. I don’t know you, Terri Luanna, and you don’t know me. And yet, I feel a very real connection…because I have always been a fan of your dad’s work (haven’t met *him*, either!) But through the things Spider’s written about Jeanne, and about you, I feel that I *do* know all of you. I was very sorry to hear about your mom’s illness and passing, and even sorrier to hear that now it’s your turn to fight that battle. Take heart…you have tons of family and friends, and even strangers like me, who are pulling for you.

    • I’m in the same boat as Doug, above–I only know of you and your mom through things your dad has published about you. However, it’s obvious that you are a wonderful person, married to an equally wonderful person, with a younger wonderful person to raise up.
      This is an incredibly tough battle, and I am deeply sorry that you and your family (or anyone) has to fight it. Keep heart, and keep living and loving. There are many people in your corner–even strangers like me.

  12. Patsy told me about you and asked if I could contact u. I had liver cancer and 5 months to live. That was 9 years ago. The first thing is to. Be + and just take each day at a time do not get stressed out by your situation. Everything will happen in some logical order. You may be able to extend or change outcome. Anyway this is what I. Did I took a parasite cleansing kit from health food store. After reading about all the people that survived this is what they did. Clean your body out to help your immune system fight the problem. Next I took esiac tea then found naturalpathic doctor. He told me to stop taking anything white. Bread flour sugar meat I then started juicing. No coffee just fruits to make juice in blender. Also I got wheat grass from health food store and ground it down so a little juice came out and drank it. I also contacted a p john cancer clinic in Greenwich new York. He sent me amino acids every month and a diet to use every day. After having ultrasounds once a month to see if tumor was matasticing or not on the 5th month they could not find tumor. I think that I starved the cancer cells. Anyway that’s some of the info I have. If you want more info email or call. The cancer clinic in Vancouver was called centre for integrated therapy good luck and call me if you like. 604 836-2047

  13. I also did not cook food as it hinders the benifit of the food. We steamed all our vegetable and once a week I could have skinless chicken

  14. You don’t know me. I’ve emailed with your Dad, (my favorite writer!) a few times, and know how deeply he loves his family. When I saw his post about you, I came wandering over, and I see a strong and determined woman who WILL beat this thing.

    I pray for you.

  15. God Bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand. My wife found a very small cancer in one breast in 2004, it was removed, came back in her bones starting sometime in 2007, probably, and was discovered in 2008. She’s been in chemo over three years, has had radiation 3x, and you can’t tell it by looking at her. ATTITUDE! “I have the cancer, IT doesn’t have ME!!” Our prayers are with you, and please pass our sympathy and best wishes to Spider from two grateful readers. May all of our pain and sorrows be lessened by sharing it and knowing that others care and pray. Joe & Wendy.

  16. Luanna,
    It’s been many many many years since we last played barbies on the porch on Henry Street.( : I was so sorry to hear about your Mom’s passing. Although I am sad for the circumstances that we have crossed paths again I am so happy that we have. I will be thinking of you and your family and sending prayers and healing thoughts your way. Although I am currently living in Calgary I do get down to Chicago a couple of times a year and Ohio is not that far, I’d love to see you. I am off to dig out the old purple rain record and reflect on the wonderful childhood memories.
    Sending healing thoughts.
    Alice (Leewis) Nicholls

  17. Spider’s Daughter –

    I cried, wept, and bawled with tears pouring down my face until I couldn’t read the font over your father’s post regarding your mother’s passing. So much so, my husband came to see what was so horribly wrong, when I was trying to be discreet, as it’s somewhat complicated to explain the hysteria over the love-affair between two people I had never met. I was horrified to check Spider Robinson tonight and see his recent(ish) post regarding your health, but was thrilled to see your good news. I am overjoyed for the healing and the hope. I have no words to explain, but I’m grateful and wish you the best. – Laura

  18. Dear courageous, amazing woman,
    I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting your mother and father years ago at a convention. I shared your family’s sorrow and loss when your mother passed. You have all the love and support I can send as you travel this path. I know you and your family are taking the best possible care of you. I wish you success and joy, damn it, because you and yours deserve it!

  19. Hi Terri, you seem like a great person and a great human, thank you for sharing with us, the world needs more like you.

    i just stumbled on your site after reading your fathers wiki, he is another great person who i admire greatly.

    i look forward to reading more of your blog when i get the time, you will be in my thoughts and prayers.


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