Have I ever shared with you my extended family structure? I don’t think I have. I typically try to keep The Linda Project focused on my thoughts and reflections and not divulge other people’s situations out of respect. But, today God is telling me in my heart that it’s time to share something that’s been weighing on me and my family for a while now.
Between Matt and I we have five brothers, five sister-in-laws, twelve nieces and nephews, two moms and two dads. We are blessed to have a large family and one that is very supportive. Today, I want to focus my story on my first sister-in-law, Tera. I was six, yes, six years old when she walked into our lives and started dating my oldest brother Chad.
Chad and Tera dated for six years and then I officially was able to call Tera my sister-in-law. Their love gave me more gifts than I think they even realize. Because of them, I got to take on so many new roles. I got to be called a bridesmaid for the first time, an aunty, a sister-in-law, and a Godmother. All of those titles were so special to me when I first received them and are still today.
When I sat down to write this post, I wasn’t sure where to begin, but I thought it was important to acknowledge just a few of the gifts that I have received from Chad and Tera before asking you to help them in any small way you can.
On Dec. 23, 2017, I received a call early in the morning from Chad. I thought it was strange as he doesn’t call that early and I would be seeing him and his family the next day. Regardless, I called him back and my life changed forever. On the other end of the phone I could hear the pain, fear, and utter sadness in his voice as he ultimately told me that the love of his life had cancer — pancreatic cancer. I was in shock and the tears began to roll down my face. I was bombarded with thoughts of disbelief. How can Tera have cancer? She’s young, she’s healthy, she takes care of herself. But, you know what? Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It can come after anyone.
Since that December date, Tera has undergone many aggressive cancer treatments, has had multiple scans, a couple of procedures, and has gone for second opinions. I wish I could share amazing news about how the treatments are working beautifully, but I can’t do that right now. The first rounds of chemo didn’t work the way we had hoped, but that doesn’t mean that Tera has given up! She has been amazing. She’s strong, positive, and faith-filled! She’s trying a new type of chemo and has a scan scheduled for next week to see how her body is responding.
So, what am I asking of all of you? First and foremost I’m asking for your prayers for Tera and her family. Tera and Chad have two children Carly and Will and three fur babies. I ask that you keep them all in your prayer. Second, there is a walk in Sioux Falls (where Chad and Tera live) that I will be participating in. I ask that if you’re able, please donate to my page and Tera’s team. Pancreatic cancer is one that doctor’s know the least about, so these fundraisers are critical to support. We need to support the medical community to learn more. These walks also help create awareness for us all. Please consider supporting — even if it’s a few dollars.
As I sign-off on this post, I always try to wrap it up in a little bow, but I just can’t do that today. This is real life. This is what punches me in the stomach daily. But, like Tera, I’m going to keep my head up and help “fight” this terrible disease in any small way I can.
Blessings to you and your family.
Three items I’m grateful for: