GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - I though it was important to have a personal team because I needed emotional support, stress relief, physical assistance to get through the treatments, and help managing my work schedule. I craved information, needed to stay focused, tried to find joy from a dark place, and knew I couldn't do it alone.
Meet Teresa's Team:
Lewis Pitsch: My Husband, offered emotional support and acted as dietician, nutritionist, nursemaid, hair preservationist, and comic relief.
Jamie Mills: friend and informal "patient advocate", insurance benefit consultant, resource provider (connected me with people, information, books) Showered me with special clothing and accessories for cancer patients. (Did you know they make tank tops with interior pockets in them for prosthetic inserts and drain tube pouches? Neither did I, until I really needed them).
Dr. Jeff Hendricks: my brother, (South Carolina) gave emotional support to Lewie, Mother, and I, assured I had proper diet, nutrition, and supplements to heal better and faster, with less scarring and side-effects. Acted as a sounding board and resource for my decisions and kept me on course when doubt and desperation arose.
Deb Griffen: dear friend, met through Jamie, Nurse Oncology Practitioner (Harbor Springs) offered curbside advice and even answered late night texts regarding chemotherapy, protecting immunity during chemotherapy, port placement surgery concerns, side-effect worries.
Girl Tribe: Circle of girlfriends that gave emotional support and love, kept me positive and laughing, and when they didn't want to pester me with questions, would check in with each other and Lewie for updates.
Jodie Marlink: (Herman Miller), Susan Gould (Meijer), Shannon Briody (Progressive) , Connie Curiel (Marywood Academy, Sacramento CA), Michele Dybel (Comed, Chicago, IL)
Mother: (Kay Hendricks) I did not have time to ruminate and worry in between surgeries, test results and appointments, so I put the champion of all worriers in charge of that. She accompanied me through appointments, surgeries, chemotherapy, and helped Lewie keep vigil during vulnerable times.
Cindy Silva: Friend and office manager kept both office schedules clear for surgeries, recovery and appointments while co-managing staff and clients. Huge aid in minimizing stress. My law partner, Dan Watkins, also helped with my schedule and clients.
Jordan Pitsch: stepdaughter, was a natural nurturer and emotional support, active in fundraising for Van Andel Institute by making the purse charm beads that education about Breast Cancer.
Michelle (Sister-in-law) and Steven Pitsch: took care of Billy (parrot), for 9 months
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