Posted by: Teri Simon | 2013/10/22

Join the Flying Elephant Team to honor Teri.

by Jenny White

My name is Jenny White and I am a lung cancer survivor. Last November, I asked Teri if she’d like to join me at the 3rd annual LUNGevity 5K walk at Centennial Park. She wasn’t feeling up to it, so I asked if I could walk in her honor and call myself “Team Teri.” She cheerfully agreed and Team Teri was born.

I uploaded our team photo to her Facebook page and many of you posted that you would have joined the team had you known about it. I was inspired by your outpouring of love and support of Teri, so this year we established an official team for the 2013 LUNGevity 5K which we have affectionately named “Flying Elephants.”

Teri was closely associated with and believed in the mission of the LUNGvity Foundation. Their mission is to have a meaningful and immediate impact on improving lung cancer survival rates, ensure a higher quality of life for lung cancer patients and provide a community for those impacted by lung cancer. The LUNGvity Foundation is the leading private provider of research funding for lung cancer. LUNGevity funds the most promising research into the early detection and successful treatment of lung cancer.

This year’s event is called the LUNGevity ‘Stache and Lash 5K. If you live in the Nashville area and would like to join us on November 2nd at Shelby Bottoms Park, please sign up at the Flying Elephants team page: click here. The entry fee is $25. We will have team t-shirts available for the cost of $10 (S-XL) and $12 (2XL).

Flying Elephant T-ShirtsIf you are unable to join us but would like to support the Flying Elephants team as we raise funds for lung cancer research in Teri’s honor, commemorative t-shirts can be ordered for $30 through Paypal; click here to email us and you’ll receive an email with payment instructions. Donations may also be made directly to the Flying Elephant team using the link above.

Lung cancer is the #1 cause of cancer death. More women will die of lung cancer than those with breast, ovarian and cervical cancers combined, yet lung cancer receives less research funding than breast, prostate and colon combined.

If you’d like more information on team Flying Elephants, LUNGevity Foundation or your risk for lung cancer, please contact jennywhite@comcast.net.

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Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/12/22

Teri Simon’s Memorial Service | December 18, 2012


A video of the memorial service at Congregation Micah is now available for viewing. Speakers included Rabbi Laurie Rice, Micah Education Director Julie Greenberg, Dr. Leora Horn, Felice Apolinsky of Gilda’s Club, and Teri’s brother Sam Cole. The music was a beautiful tribute, with Cantorial Soloist Lisa Silver, Conni Ellisor on violin, John Mock on guitar, Sam Levine on flute, and Jerry Kimbrough on guitar. It all came together in a fitting memorial for a creative, loving woman. Click here for a copy of the program.

It was a beautiful day, just the type of day Teri wanted. In her own words:

Bury me on a day like this
When the golden sun shines in
the Caribbean azure sky
That precious blue hue peeking through
tree branches, leaves of Crayola palette

Let the air breathe of fresh fragrance
Not of rot and waste, nor of death
Sad, sorrowful death
Let the breeze blow warmth
Blow sweet memories, gentle peace

On a day like this
When friends and relations gather
to swap stories and Kleenex
To cry or laugh or stare in silence
To be together, or stand alone

The earth may welcome me
on a day like this
As those assembled watch,
A light jacket as comforting as
an arm gently placed over shoulders

Let them look up, from that final place of rest
See the sky, the sun, the trees
Hear the stories, the tragedies, the triumphs
Feel the breeze, the comfort of one another
Bury me on a day like this

Get Teri’s books on Amazon | Get her Kabbalat K’tan Shabbat here

A special thank-you to Steve Lubetkin of Lubetkin Global Communications for posting the memorial video.

Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/12/21

Teri’s Memorial Program

eshet-chayil-thumb-jewish-papercut-artSo many people came to Teri’s service that not everyone got a program; some of Teri’s fans live far, far away. You can click on the image to view the program and/or download it.

Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/12/19

A First, Special Sign from our FOREVER Flying Elephant

To the literally hundreds of people who came out to celebrate Teri Simons’ amazing life yesterday at Congregation Micah, we thank you for the love and support shown to all of us, and most of all, to Teri – on what was a picture-perfect, bittersweet day.  And, to the many others out there, blog buddies and friends alike, who couldn’t make it to Nashville – we  definitely felt your energy and love from afar.

The service was full of moving tributes and heartfelt messages, as well as awesome music and song (thank you BFF Lisa Silver and musicians).  And, as the large crowd of attendees slowly made their way to Teri’s final resting place for the graveside service, it was impossible not to take note of how gorgeous a day it turned out to be: crystal clear blue skies, a warm sun and gentle breeze  – completely atypical for a mid-December Nashville day…  our Flying Elephant already at work, making sure we were sun-kissed and shined upon, as only she could do.

We didn’t intend to send out a blog today, but we felt compelled to, after finding this poem amidst some of Teri’s papers and keepsakes: a poem she wrote and dated October 22, 2010.  We’re not sure if this poem has ever been shared with anyone; we only know that we didn’t know about it until this evening.  Once you read it, and especially if you were with us yesterday, you’ll surely feel as we did when we discovered it –  a first and special sign from our FOREVER Flying Elephant:

BURY ME ON A  DAY LIKE THIS

Bury me on a day like this
When the golden sun shines in
the Caribbean azure sky
That precious blue hue peeking through
tree branches, leaves of Crayola palette

Let the air breathe of fresh fragrance
Not of rot and waste, nor of death
Sad, sorrowful death
Let the breeze blow warmth
Blow sweet memories, gentle peace

On a day like this
When friends and relations gather
to swap stories and Kleenex
To cry or laugh or stare in silence
To be together, or stand alone

The earth may welcome me
on a day like this
As those assembled watch,
A light jacket as comforting as
an arm gently placed over shoulders

Let them look up, from that final place of rest
See the sky, the sun, the trees
Hear the stories, the tragedies, the triumphs
Feel the breeze, the comfort of one another
Bury me on a day like this
                                                                                                   Teri Simon, 10-22-10

Our Flying Elephant, always and forever with us, in our hearts and minds, and in the skies.

With love,
from Teri Simon’s Family

Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/12/16

Peace in the Land of Lung Junk

Dear Friends and Blog Buddies of our favorite Flying Elephant,

It is with a bittersweet mix of profound sadness and grateful serenity that we send out this week’s blog.
Last night at 9:45 p.m., our brave and caring sister, our selfless and generous mother, and your courageous, graceful and always-inspiring friend, took her final “Flying Elephant” flight.  She was lovingly surrounded by her three children, Emily, Taylor and Joey, sister Tami, and brother Sam.

Teri’s last hour with us, which commenced as soon as Emily had arrived home from graduate school, was an especially peaceful one for her. As we cried, laughed and spoke our last messages of goodbyes, Emily softly told her mom that while she was clearly heartbroken to lose her, she knew that those 20 Connecticut children, whose lives had just been so tragically cut short, were fortunate to have the world’s greatest mom with them now.

Although no longer able to share new insights and inspire through her challenging story, we are committed to continuing Teri’s amazing legacy of helping others.  She remained, even while physically struggling these past few months, completely committed to her weekly writing, to attending her support group at Gilda’s Club, to responding to texts and e-mails from people who read her books/blog and became her friends, and to caring about and for others inflicted with Lung and other types of (cancer) Junk.

We invite you to join us, as we celebrate Teri’s life and honor her burial, at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 18th, at Congregation Micah in Nashville.  For those unable to be here, you are welcome to “attend”, by visiting www.congregationmicah.org , and using the following log-in:
Username: micah
Password:  webcast2010

In lieu of flowers, Teri’s request was for us to continue supporting Gilda’s Club of Nashville, Second Harvest Food Bank, National Healthcare for the Homeless Council, and Congregation Micah.

 Thank you so much for the multitude of prayers, thoughts and love sent both Teri’s and our way during this journey.
And, remember to watch the skies – she will surely be flying above us all, now and always.

the simons at the beach

with love,
the grateful family of Teri Ragosin Simon, the FOREVER-Flying Elephant

Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/12/09

Well, that caught me up on the news!

crazyHello, my friends and welcome to this week’s muddled mess of blog.  I remember some time ago typing something slow and poignant and I was hopped up on so many drugs and chemo that the message got caught up in a hot mess.  It was kinda funny.  Of course, I fixed it, much to the chagrin of those whose lives had/have become that hot mess.

So tonight, I’m forging ahead. It’s been  a hot mess of a week, and a bit of a new lifestyle.  Going onto hospice care seems to freak EVERYbody out.  I’m not gonna lie -it’s hard.  I’m tired 100% of the time,  As in 100% of the time.

I have to tell you that I STILL don’t understand why people enjoy being out of control or getting high.  I HATE being out of control. I need help for everything from using the bathroom and bathing, to eating and getting comfy in bed.  But if I tell you I’m starting to do better around the parameters of being in hospice care, maybe you’ll start to understand that hospice doesn’t mean “death” and doesn’t mean “bad”, it can also mean “recovery” and “good”.

See, when you’re first diagnosed, everybody thinks you’re going to die a week from next Thursday. Then, crazy bitch that you are, you don’t die a week from next Thursday. You work your treatment plan, then get a little bit of a break, and you actually can live your life. The sad thing is, that that doesn’t last. The body breaks down. Some cancer dies. Some healthy tissue dies. You change your plans over and over again.

Eventually, the body says, “I can’t do this anymore, at least not right now.” And hospice sweeps in and says, “we can help you feel better!” Unfortunately the general public believes, you’re once again going to die a week from next Thursday.

Rest assured my friends, I am very tired. I am very grateful for how much excellent care I have right now from so many varied places. And I’m going to keep forging forward, hopefully to a place where I can try treatment again.

Meanwhile in other important news, apparently the Kardashians’ dog has gone missing.

With love and a super good week,

Teri, the Flying Elephant.

Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/12/04

A Guest Blog from Lisa and Taylor

download-2

A Guest Blog from Lisa and Taylor:

 

Dearest Blog Buddies,

Teri has given us the dubious responsibility of being guest bloggers today (all to be submitted for her approval of course). Because “enquiring minds want to know”, we will do our best fill you in, perhaps in not as clever a manner as Teri, but here goes: Teri is at home with the care of Alive Hospice. They provide a great service with a team of expert caregivers. They’re making sure that she is as comfortable as possible, albeit a bit loopy from the medicines that help reduce coughing and nausea. They’ve added some steroids to the mix, so her appetite is a little bit better than before. And hopefully once she eats a little more and gets the “roid rage” going, then she’ll have a little more pep in her step! For now she’s hanging out in her comfy bed, and actually getting some much needed rest without being poked and prodded by various nurses, doctors and students in the hospital. Beloved cat Barfy is keeping her company. Teri’s family has also added a lovely caregiver named Doris to be here during the weekdays while Joey is at school. Teri welcomes cards, and emails, but right now she’s not having many visitors because not only is she loopy but she’s pooped! Again, thank you all so much for the prayers/vibes/good thoughts/ good juju, keep ‘em coming!

If you are hoping to visit, Teri requests that you email or text her directly, to see if she’s up for a visit.

As Teri is wanting peace and comfort for herself this week, we know that she would wish a week of peace and comfort for all of you.

With love from,

The loopy and drunkenly flying elephant

(We just read this to Teri, and it elicited a laugh and a small cough).

Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/11/30

An Update from the Flying Elephant Herself

3104690415_d1c9e5d186Hello, all my dear friends far and wide who have keeping up dated through the great efforts of my friend, Kim Phillips, and my sweet daughter, Taylor.  Your prayers and kind thoughts have been so very helpful, and Holly Roche put together a meals calendar that has turned into life saver for my son and my brother.  DO NOT ASK ME DETAILS ABOUT THE CALENDAR.   I’m hopped up on many many drugs and many other people have a handle on such things.  Not I!  (Holly’s email is hollyroche@comcast.net.)

For the rest of the tale, let me be brief:  this past Monday, my dad was over reading me.  I felt terrible.  I couldn’t stop coughing, which really wore me out.  I dictated an email through him to my Nurse Practitioner, and the next thing I knew I was at the Vanderbilt Clinic, diagnosed with an infection in my catheter (which I already knew about, pneumonia, which was a surprise and extreme dehydration, also a surprise  I was admitted into the hospital Monday night.  Over the course of the next two days, important and difficult conversations took lace.  My family, friends, doctors, and I worked very honestly to come to the conclusion that I would return to my home as a Hospice Patient.  Currently, cancer treatment is doing more to destroy my healthy body than it is to kill the cancer and this just is no way for me to live.

There are many hopes in Hospice Care- one is to restore the patient to some sort of health allowing for treatment again.  One is to keep the patient as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.  One is allow the patient all that is needed for an easy transition to the next place.  BUT ALL of Hospice care is about caring for the whole family system the whole time so that the patient doesn’t have to over-do with worry.

I hope you will respect this choice I have made and hope with me for peaceful outcomes.  Meanwhile, reach out to one another for support, and if you’d like to visit, please call or text or email first–I’m pretty worn out!

Much love to all,

Teri, The Forever Flying Elephant

Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/11/27

Update on Teri

by Kim Phillips

Teri is still in the hospital, getting the pneumonia treated. The fluids make her feel better, but she’s developed another infection. She hopes to be home Thursday. Visits are okay but call first; she tires easily.

Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/11/26

The Flying Elephant has hit some extra turbulence.

This post is by Kim Phillips.
Teri has asked me to let y’all know she’s checking into the hospital this afternoon due to pneumonia, dehydration, and some other general yuckiness. So, there may not be any posts for a little while but please post your well-wishes and send out some extra-good vibes for her. Will post an update if she is still grounded …

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