By Drew Carr, Statesman Content Marketing
October 1, 2016
“This life, I have realized, has been filled with much joy and a lot of sadness. This helps us evolve into, we all hope, better and more compassionate humans.” – Teresa Green
It was March of 2015 when Teresa Green attended a cancer luncheon with a friend at a local hotel — a few hundred strong and beautiful women, all somehow connected to a cancer survivor or battling cancer themselves— and thought about how lucky and grateful she was to not be battling the disease. Two weeks later, she consulted a plastic surgeon about hardened tissue in her left breast related to an implant scar following a skiing accident. An ultrasound was ordered, followed by a biopsy, and then Teresa found herself in a waiting room listening to Pharrell’s song “Happy.” She would be informed about her Stage 2 breast cancer that day.
Teresa consulted with her physician Dr. Jason Melear at Texas Oncology–Austin Midtown. Her treatment included surgery – a double mastectomy – and four doses of chemotherapy, followed by radiation treatment. She was determined not to lose her hair, and while researching online, came across Elastogel Caps made in Missouri, which she would use to freeze her scalp.
“Dr. Melear provided me with all the information I needed to make the decision about my treatment with peace of mind. I would go to Texas Oncology–Austin Midtown on 38th and Lamar – the live music and foot massages were helpful – and then travel to my acupuncturist, Dana Stanley Torres, wearing my cap.” – Teresa Green
The cap worked, and Teresa has helped several other amazing women keep most of their hair throughout chemo since, using the same method. As for herself, Teresa feels brand new.
“When I look at myself in the mirror, I see a new version of me. Yes I look like I have a really cool shark bite, maybe my breasts don’t move as they used to and I’ll get some tattoos for touch-up. This journey has given me a sense of being really present in time, grateful for my body, and how to take better care of myself and those around me and to certainly love more deeply.” – Teresa Green
Even in the midst of cancer treatments and the ending of her 26-year marriage Green was a source of inspiration to her family, her friends and even her doctors. She was determined to view her cancer journey as an opportunity to be more present in life for her family and friends.
“I wrote notes to my doctors on my arms telling them ‘thanks’, and made sure they listened to feel-good music and had happy thoughts. Five hours later, I had no idea how much pain I would feel. Two days in the hospital, my daughter Nicole stayed with me. She was a huge help, holding my hand through the pain. My crazy international book club was there too. No one tells you it feels as though you got run over by a train. The pain is so great.” – Teresa Green
Teresa said that during this trying time, she even encountered God in dreams.
“The night I came home from the hospital I had a dream. I was so scared, like I was going to die. There was a man who looked like Jesus—handsome and wearing a tunic. He held me. “I am good,” He said. My fears went away. I walked through a glass door and saw my other daughter, I felt love and joy. The message He gave me was, “At any moment you can change your reality. Believe. It can shift in an instant. Trust in joy.” – Teresa Green
Teresa also believes one of the most important things to do when fighting cancer is to have a positive mindset, and that if your mind believes it, your body can heal itself.
“I have realized that once I got cancer it was another lesson, maybe for me and my family or those that I touch. Sometimes we don’t know. My kids, Tori, Jordan and Nicole, my ex-husband Henry and my family were a huge support through this, and still are. There are so many other people that I want to thank and you know who you are. Love, always.” – Teresa Green