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Nancy Teicheira battling thymoma for 2nd time

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Manteca Unified Board of Trustee Nancy Teicheira, left, shares a laugh with fellow trustee Manuel Medeiros during the last AgVenture field trip held at the district farm earlier this year.


POSTED June 28, 2012 12:56 a.m.

Nancy Teicheira attended Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting looking very stylish. On her head was a newsboy hat with a floral accent that lent it a feminine look. Dangling from her earlobes was a pair of oversized earrings that is all the rage today.


Teicheira, though, was not trying to be fashionable when she came to the Manteca Unified School District board meeting, the last one for the 2011-12 school year, all dressed up.


The three-term trustee who represents Area Four in the district is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for thymoma, a rare and usually benign tumor that usually occurs in people between the ages of 40 and 60. It is also described as generally, a slow-growing tumor.


This is actually a recurrence of the disease that first manifested itself at the start of the second millennium.


“I had surgery twice before – in 2001-2004 – to take them out,” said the spunky mother, grandmother and farmer who, just hours before Tuesday night’s meeting, had been at Stanford all day undergoing chemotherapy treatment.


“Tuesday was a short one,” she said of the treatment, which is why she was able to attend the meeting after missing a few of them in the last several months.


Monday’s treatment was a long one; it took all day. She has to go to Stanford for treatments on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Amazingly, she never missed any of the meetings when she went through the chemo treatments in 2000. That’s because the scheduled treatments did not conflict with the days of the board meetings.


Prior to the recurrence of the disease this year, Teicheira only missed two meetings throughout her three terms of office. One of them was when her youngest son, Daniel, died in a tragic car accident during his sophomore year in high school. The memorial stadium at Sierra High School where he was a standout football player was named in his honor. The second meeting she missed was because of the surgery.


This time around, “I’m hoping for six (chemo) treatments,” but she will know for sure at her next hospital visit – her third in this latest round – when she will go through a CT scan.


She is also buoyed up by the results thus far from her first two chemo treatments. “I have the best response (to the treatment) this time,” she said.


In this particular treatment she is receiving, she is part of a study at Stanford that involves a new drug that has already been used in Japan.


“There are five of us in this study,” Teicheira said.


She has lost all of her hair due to the chemo treatments, and that was unexpected because “I’m supposed to have only thinning hair, but I’m losing my eyelashes and my eyebrows, too!” she said with a laugh.


Thymoma is usually a benign tumor arising from thymus tissue, and is sometimes associated with myasthenia gravis. In her case, Teicheira said she may have developed the disease because “I had X-ray treatment when I was a young girl. They say because of that some” people end up having thymoma.


At the board meeting on Tuesday, Teicheira thanked everyone who sent get-well cards and letters.


Teicheira is not the only one in her family who is having health problems. Her husband, Frank, a second-generation dairy farmer, is also undergoing surgery the latter part of this week at a hospital in Walnut Creek.


“Frank is having total shoulder replacement,” she said, a problem that was the result of playing football in high school, at Delta College and later at Oregon Tech in Medford, Ore., where he received a sports scholarship.


This is not Frank’s first time to go under the knife, Teicheira said. He has had knee replacements on both legs before, she said.


He is expected to go home this weekend post-surgery, she added.


Asked how they are going to go about with their daily routines with two patients in their household at the same time, Teicheira declared in true farmer form, “We’ll manage!”




Contact Rose Albano Risso at or call (209) 249-3536.

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