St. Teresa? I know her!

Are you familiar with the life and story of St. Therese of the Little Flower? According to The Society of the Little Flower: “The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, "Story of a Soul". She described her life as a "little way of spiritual childhood." She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. "What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love." Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.” I came to know her story through a friend when she presented me with a holy medal embossed with her likeness. It is considered a holy relic because it had been present on a full tour of the holy land and had been blessed within the tomb of Jesus by a priest. I wear this medal almost everyday and when I place it around my neck I intentionally pray for several close friends that are battling cancer. Why am I writing about this daily ritual in my life? It’s because the actual blessed story of St. Therese was brought to the forefront of mind a few weeks ago and I can’t shake it loose so I am compelled to write it all down.

I was attending the Cancer Patient Family Council Meeting for just the second time (I am new to the council) and this day was even a bit unusual because we were meeting in an alternate site. The secretary had emailed us all to tell us the address of the substitute meeting area and I immediately recognized it. It was going to be in the patient resource area of the Cancer Center Radiation building. This was a place that was very familiar to me. I arrived a few minutes early and parked my car in an open spot for visitors careful to avoid any patient designated parking. I had been a patient once and those close, handy parking spots were a Godsend many days. It was strange to walk into those all too familiar doors. I knew I was going to be going to the left. The right was the waiting room dedicated for patients and their families that are receiving radiation therapy or seeing the radiation oncologists. As I turned left I caught a familiar silhouette in the waiting room. It was my rad oncologist’s nurse, Teresa. She was seated next to a family her hand placed gently on the patient’s arm. They were all talking in hushed tones and I didn’t linger as to not overhear words not meant for my ears but the scene created a flashback of sorts. I was the patient, her hand was on my arm, my sister and my husband were listening in as she relayed to me her concern for my well-being and gently told me that it was time to be in the hospital. I was resistant to the idea and she was prepared for that with kind understanding but firm intentions. I was going to be admitted. Period. End of discussion. This led me to recall the multitude of kind and compassionate acts she performed on my behalf over the last five years from working with my family, to relaying her concerns to doctors to holding my hand through the painful weekly examinations of my “nether area”. Never wavering in her care and love, yes love, for my family.

I attended my meeting but could not get the scene out of mind. I tried to stop in to say hello as I left, but she was busy with patients. That evening, as I removed my medal I prayed for my friends and smiled to myself thinking of St. Therese of the Little Flower and realizing I was blessed to have been cared for by a nurse that emulated her beautiful soul through my terrible, ugly disease. She treated me with dignity and respect, compassion and love. A nurse caring for patients, “doing the ordinary with extraordinary love”.  St. Teresa? I know her!

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What a great story, Michele! Hey, I saw our friend Bob Saturday night and he is actually doing vocals now! :)
Michele likes this comment
I have added hearing Bob perform and meeting you in person to my bucket list...
Smurf likes this comment
Sweet! I would love that! You are always welcome at my home and the next reservation for my guest room has your name on it!
Michele likes this comment
Great story...they are so many kind and caring nurses and doctors(and some not so!)thank god for all of them and their ability and willingness to put us and our feelings above all else.
Michele likes this comment
Wonderful statement of life. Thank you for sharing.
Michele likes this comment
How wonderful to have a nurse like that! Thank you for sharing your story of St. Therese. I wonder if Mother Therese was named after her or chose her name when she became a nun.
Michele likes this comment
Beautiful story!
Michele likes this comment
Thanks for relaying the story about Teresa "The Little Flower" for us Michele. That's what's so neat about many of the saints - very common, very ordinary people, some even flawed, but they all showed us that an ordinary person can do extraordinary things that greatly improve the lives of those they encounter - with love. I would assume Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta will someday join the communion of saints - a young woman that took a vow of poverty and a personal vow of love for the destitute, and that everyone IS important. No matter what you do in life, if you do it with love, you have succeeded. It's great when you have a health care worker, especially in the oncology world, that shares their love and compassion for us when we are at our physical, mental and spiritually weakest point in our lives as cancer fighters. In retrospect, I should pray for our health care helpers just as much as I do for my BFAC brothers and sisters. Thanks for the reminder and insight.
John, Did you know that St. Therese died at 24 years old from TB? In her short life she touched so very many and 500 years later continues to influence the lives of many. Truly a saint for the ages.
One person can make a difference. I know this is true.

I knew that she was very young, and if I'm not mistaken, her body was never embalmed, yet remained intact? It's good to know that there are still good people these days when so much of our media is about the worst people, not the ones who go about sharing their time, talent and love.
Michele likes this comment
Thank you for sharing this story :) Much love and appreciation to all of those out there who honestly care for us with their whole hearts during our treatments ..they make it so much easier to endure. It's funny how much power the touch of a hand or a warm smile or some kind words can have.
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Vital Info


October 3, 2011

Click Here

January 31, 1963

Cancer Info

Anal Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the anus

February 5, 2010

Stage 4

2.1 - 3.0 cm

Grade 3


As much as possible

Proceeds from my published blog donated monthly

It is a thief

You have to live every day of your life and stay positive :)

Donate $$ to the anal cancer foundation. Raising awareness saves lives!

Is there anything good about poison?

Bone, lung recurrence 9/20/2012

Cancer Center of Kansas, MD Anderson

Bland diet, sitz baths, take your drugs...nobody gets extra credit for suffering.

Talk, talk, talk to somebody. I chose to write.

April 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

Rectal bleeding, itching, sciatic pain. (thought my hemorhoid was acting up)

My blog has been published and proceeds go to The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation.


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