Dec 24, 2018 Latest post:
Dec 25, 2018
Theresa M. O’Connor (TT) is our daughter who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) on 29 Nov 18. She is the older of two daughters born to me (Michael O’Connor) and her Mom (Margie O’Connor). TT's sister Maria, is 13-years old and has always looked up to her.
TT is a beautiful and funny 17-year old girl in her junior-year at Romeo High School. She likes, but does not love school. TT plans to attend college however, and knows her grades are an indicator of success in college and beyond. She misses school more than she thought would . Theresa's was abruptly pulled out of school one Thursday morning in November because she gets to fight this most horrible of enemies - Cancer! Friends, school administration and staff have been very kind and supportive and she has felt and benefitted from all their concern, love and support! Theresa would like to thank everyone there and her parents humbly ask for your continued prayers, presence and positivity in TT's life!
Theresa is an avid dancer at Dancer’s Image, our community’s recreation-center based dance studio. She has learned and danced there for 12 years (since she was 5), so the studio and the people there are a big part of Theresa's world. She has participated in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, Irish, musical theater and contemporary disciplines through the years and really enjoys dancing. She has been a student assistant instructor for over a year now and enjoys that too. The dance studio's leaders and the girls Theresa dances with are friends she cherishes. The larger community of girls and families that she knows from the studio she has dance
Theresa takes piano lessons from Lisa Niebauer, a good teacher who has given lessons in our home since TT was 5-years old. Maria takes music lessons from Ms Lisa as well. Our girls will most probably not become profession musicians (never say never), but Theresa really enjoys learning to play and Ms Lisa has always made it enjoyable. As parents, Margie and I think these music lessons are another way for our girls to work on becoming the best versions of themselves, besides it is a very positive and enriching endeavor.
Theresa started driving as soon as she was eligible to and her Mom and grandparents bought her a used car just a couple of months ago. TT was thrilled! She loves to go adventuring (what she calls her long drives) and it is a major milestone in growing up and establishing some independence. She of course has named her used Honda CRV Aqua, because it is blue.
Theresa unfortunately takes after her Dad and has poor sleeping habits; sleeping wherever she is when exhaustion descends upon her. Like every other kid of her generation, she is on her electronic devices way too much for her parents liking. We often have to pry one of them out of her hands and run her off to bed at night.
TT exercises often, and was trying out Pescatarianism (fish eater, but no other meats) for a year or so. We tried to be supportive of her choices, but were concerned she wasn't getting enough nutrition. Thankfully to our minds she has begun to occasionally eat some chicken or a 5-guys burger once in a great while.
When I took her to our primary care physician on 28 Nov 18, to follow-up a previous visit over a cold; I think her Mother and I were concerned about exhaustion or perhaps mononucleosis. Even after I was informed about her low Hemoglobin level, we were told to put her on an iron supplement and the doctor would call us when her full labs came back. We never suspected or dreamed that call would come at 0715 hours the next morning with the mind blurring and scary diagnosis that our beautiful young lady had AML.
Theresa’s Fight began the morning of Thursday, 29 Nov 18. The mission is to defeat cancer. The world Health organization (WHO) classification of Theresa's cancer is AML with t (8;21) translocation, q (22;q22) and RUNX1-RUNX1T1. Our doctors believe (confirmed by the literature we have read) there is a generally favorable outcome associated with AML with these specific mutations. We believe our girl has guts and is brave beyond her years! Any and all encouragement, positivity, smiles, laughter and of course prayer is what Theresa’s Mom, sister and I advocate for our daughter to receive. We believe in the power of prayer and know many, many people have faithfully and lovingly added Theresa into there prayers. We thank you for reading about her struggles and caring about her! I for one wouldn’t bet against her. With God all things are possible!