Teresa’s Story

Site created on January 26, 2019

Thank you for your love and prayers and continual support for our family.  We know that sometimes it's difficult to know how to pray or help without being aware of some of the specifics; so if you subscribe to our updates here, we will do our best to keep you informed throughout this journey.  It seems like everything, as far as symptoms go, emerged in the last quarter of 2018, when Teresa started to have some discomfort and swelling in her abdomen.  After trying some more subtle attempts to figure out what was going on and being unsuccessful, Teresa finally went in to get checked with a new family doctor on January 2, 2019.  The doctor immediately sent her for a blood test for ovarian cancer...and then the next morning for a CT scan.  The blood test came out positive for cancer (at the time, they believed it to be ovarian) and the CT scan showed masses in her stomach cavity.  The following week, Teresa had a paracentesis to drain the build up of fluid in her belly, and the doctor used the test to determine that the cancer actually originated in her GI tract.  She then was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer because it had already metastasized to another area, namely, her stomach cavity.  The only treatment options offered were various forms of chemotherapy and immunotherapy, and after listening to the incredibly depressing probable outcomes, both Dean (her husband of 30 years) and Teresa were resolved to find a better way.  Looking back on his father's experience with a natural approach to colon cancer before he passed away in January 2018, Dean decided to delve into some more holistic possibilities in Tijuana, Mexico.  The book, "The Truth about Cancer" by Ty M. Bollinger, was recommended to the family, and as they read through it online, they learned about the Hope4Cancer Clinic.  Ironically enough (or not so ironically), an advertisement for the Hope4Cancer Clinic came up on Facebook, so Lexi, Teresa's second oldest, started to do some research and set up an appointment to tour the facility and talk with one of the doctors.  On January 20, 2019, only 2 1/2 weeks after the first test, Dean, Teresa and Lexi flew down to San Diego and drove across the border the next morning on a mission to figure out which of the few options that they had looked into was going to be the best.  Since they started at the Hope4Cancer Clinic, after the appointment there, they cancelled all of the others because they felt very comfortable with the staff, the spiritual focus, and with what they were hearing from the current patients in the medical center.  This brings us to the time of starting this online Journal with CaringBridge.  The plan is for Teresa to be at the clinic for 3 weeks of intensive, innovative and non-toxic treatments including Sono-Photo Dynamic Therapy, Hyperthermia, B-17/Laetrile and Vitamin C IVs, Coffee Enemas, Near Infra-Red Lamp and Sauna, Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field Therapy, Ozone Therapy, Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber, Ultra-Violet Biological Irradiation, Nutrition and Supplementation Education and Evaluations, and BEST (Behavioral, Emotional, & Spiritual Therapy).  Dean flew back home on January 24th and Haley, the youngest of the children, flew down on the 25th to stay for the duration of the trip.  Lexi is flying home to NC today (the 26th) and Zach, the oldest, will be flying down on January 30th to stay for a handful of days. Dean will be traveling back down with Zach and stay for the remainder of the trip. Levi, the third child, will then go down on February 10th for a few days during the last week.  We covet your prayers for the medical professionals to have wisdom and for Teresa to make a full recovery, for safety in all of the traveling and renewed faith for the family, and for peace and strength for Flora (Zach's wife) and their four children as well as Levi Lukonen (Lexi's husband) and their two children. 
She is STRONG...God is GREAT...and we are expecting a MIRACLE!

P.S. Although we did not intend for this website to bring in monetary donations, we are grateful to the folks that have already given...and appreciate those that have voiced their desire to support and give in ways beyond the bounds of prayer and encouragement.  If you give on this website, however, the donations do not make it to the Frey family.  They are called "Tributes" and they go directly to the administration of CaringBridge.  Please contact Zach Frey at zach.frey.life@gmail.com if you are seeking out a way to be involved, or simply visit the Facebook fundraiser titled "Praying for Teresa Frey".  Thank you so much for caring, and for making all of us feel God's love and presence in this march.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Zach Frey

Good evening family, friends, and prayer partners around the world,

Today marks ten days since Mom underwent the biggest surgery of her life.  So many of you have poured out so much love on all of us, and we truly don't know how to thank you.  This has, without a doubt, been the toughest time we've ever gone through as a family; and knowing that we have a worldwide community that we can lean on through the uncertainty is second only to trusting that our Heavenly Father has a perfect plan.

Many have asked how Mom has taken to the arduous stage of recovery, so here is an attempt at keeping you updated.  The day after the surgery, November 5th, felt pretty surreal; especially when Dad connected all of us kids, Nana Amick (Mom's mom), and Aunt Deb (Mom's sister) on a FaceTime group call to see her for the first time since she'd awoken.  Even through the fog of a lot of medicine in her system, she was beaming with a big smile and bright eyes; and just as seeing someone after they die is for closure, I felt like this was "closure" that she had really made it through!  

The next several days were thankfully uneventful.  Haley drove out and was able to take her new little service puppy, Teddy, into the ICU to cuddle with Mom in her hospital bed.  On November 6th, she was transferred to a normal room; and even though her nerve block wore off the next day, we are all grateful that the pain that she feels now is almost a "good" pain that takes her toward full health (as opposed to the escalating "bad" pain that was slowly sucking the life out of her over the last two years).  On November 9th, the medical team determined that she had hit some targets regarding her digestive system and decided to take one of her tubes out.  Those of you who have been getting some of Dad's little video updates could tell that there was a renewed sparkle of hope and strengthened belief in his eyes.

Unfortunately, Lexi's time with Mom on November 10th, 11th and 12th proved a little more frustrating and scary.  After dealing with some considerable cavity drainage issues and realizing that her stomach was leaking later in the evening on the 10th, the doctors scheduled a CT scan for the next day.  Dad then sent out an urgent call to prayer on the 11th, as Mom's blood pressure dropped, one of her lungs partially collapsed, and she started going septic in her stomach.  It was decided pretty quickly after her oxygen levels plummeted and she passed out that they would do an emergency surgery to drain the extra fluid.  Lexi, now 20 weeks pregnant with Dad and Mom's seventh grandbaby, was given the opportunity to stay in the room, and then watched as they reinserted the nasogastric (NG) tube.  Following the surgery, Mom was taken back to the ICU due to the immense amount of pain and her fluctuating oxygen levels.  Thankfully, instead of just opening her back up completely, the doctors had agreed to use the NG tube to keep her stomach empty with the hopes of giving it some time to heal itself.  Before heading back to North Carolina, Lexi voiced that although Mom seemed a little confused, agitated, and sometimes giggly on the pain medicine (she was quoted telling the doctor that she "could've done the surgery better herself" ;)), she could breathe freely again after the new incision drained about a liter of fluid from around her lungs.  She had also gotten quite dehydrated, but was receiving lots of fluids now that the complications were under control.

Dad has spent the past two days with Mom in Pittsburgh, and physically, she is back to a stable state.  Yesterday, the medical team took the uncomfortable NG tube back out, and although she is still on oxygen, she was able to ingest some broth and ginger ale.  There is still a large amount of fluid draining from her cavity, but right now, it seems that this is a good sign.  Mom has been mentally disoriented and confused, and to add to the emotional burden on Dad and the nursing staff, she has been pleading with everyone to be able to "just go home".   With all of the medicine playing tricks on her, she believes many of us/you all have been there in the room or the hallway...so you might have had a conversation with her without you even knowing it! ;)

Even miracles have their own timelines; and as we all can see so clearly, God is using Mom's experience and battle to challenge, bless, and inspire people across the globe--as well as right at her bedside.  Please continue to pray with us that she get the very best care from the medical providers (a prayer that's been answered time and again already), and that we could get her home as soon as it's safe to do so.


Thank you for being there.  It means more than you could possibly imagine.


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