I found a lump and within a month, my doctor had me seeing a surgeon and I had a lumpectomy. The surgeon said, I will probably need radiation but would be fine to work. Within ten days I was feeling great and ready to go back to school. I had an appointment to see an Oncolgist and thought, I will schedule radiation appointments for the afternoon since school was only in the morning. That wasn't in the cards for me. The oncolgist informed me it was a very bad tumor. Even though I was at Stage 2, the type of cancer is bad. I had 3 negative cancer. Not a good cancer to have, due to its aggressive growth and because it was not hormonal related. Treatment was going to be aggressive. But most importantly my decision to go back to teaching was gone.
I taught in a class of four and five year olds. I am also the director of the school, responsible for over 100 children ages 3 through kindergarten. The financial responsibility was also mine. The daily running of school had been my responsibilty for over 20 years. Besides the responsibilities I may not be able to do because of the chemo, I could not take the risk of contracting anything from the children. As we all know, young children are famous for catching every cold, flu, or virus going around. My body could not take getting ill. So, I had made the difficult decision to leave for the rest of the school year to concentrate on myself and battling this beast.
I have the love, prayers, snd support of so many people in the community. Past and present families that have been part of the school have rallied around me. I feel their love and support and it has kept me positive as I start this journey. But, with my husband retired and only receiving Social Security and a mother who is 90 years that lives with me and forgetting what I am going through. I see more than a battle of cancer but also with our lifestyle changing. I know we will make it with the help of God and those around us, just as we did when we lost our oldest son, Matt, 6 years ago. We do survive even though we are never the same person. My other 2 children, Michelle and Jason, are always there for us and we are blessed with them and our grandchildren. It is going to be hard on everyone just as it is for so many others who are dealing with this crisis in their lives, but as my daughter has always said, "We Will Survive." and we will.
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