Progression and a Night of Strings

I had just picked up my kindergarten and was walking back to class through the hallway when I got the email.

My sons teacher was walking with me and read the email alongside me. I held it together, quick dropped of my class to another kinder room and walked to my assistant principals office, closed the door, and cried and cried. I called rob and cried some more. Then I called my mom and cried. One of our secretaries held my hand through the phone calls and reminded me to breathe. Then I went and cried with my principal. He hugged me, I took a deep breath, then went back to work.

I got my class, we finished a math lesson, then I dropped them off at music. I went back to my room and sent my email to my team informing them of results. It’s a little scary that I don’t know how much progression there is, but I know its bones, lymph and liver. Truth be told, I’m not surprised, as I seem to be intuitive. My liver had been hurting, my scapula and clavicle and hip joint, and breast. I’ll see tomorrow where it all is. She didn’t say brain, lungs, ovaries… so that’s hopeful.

Some more friends came into my room and hugged me, and my assistant principal called me and reminded me of my faith. I went into the reading room and my three reading teachers prayed over me.

Then I went to get my kids and they were ending the class with a dance party to Taylor Swift’s song, “Shake it Off”, so I did. I danced and sang… and shook it off.

We read for reading workshop, had snack, then I taught them how to balance six dice on a popsicle stick that they held in their mouths for “minute to win it Olympics”, and then taught them “Tenzi”, a dice game. We ended our day with playtime and a dance party.

I came home and told Joe that we would be telling the kids at dinner and keeping it light. My sister came over to check on me, and then rob came home and we discussed how to tell the kids. We all sat down to dinner and somewhere in the middle I said that my doctor called and told me the results were in. The medicine isn’t working so I have to try a new one. I’ll go to the hospital again this week and decide. My doctor will draw all of the possibilities on a big piece of paper, then we will choose.

They all said ok, then quinn talked about the puberty video, we all laughed, and they kept talking about their day. I looked at Joe and whispered, “And that’s that…”.

My kids are three amazing, courageous, hopeful, brave and loving kids and I am so blessed.

We all went to the night of Strings, and Paula met us there too. She is usually gobsmacked at how busy I am, and last night she saw the fruits of our labor. It’s quite a night, where you see the students in our district when they first start with their string instrument, all the way to high school. The progression is amazing. I told Quinn that my dream was coming true and all three kids would be playing together. He said not quite, because his little ragtag group of violins were only playing twinkle twinkle at the beginning. When the concert ended, he was bubbling over because his teacher got them all up in the finale onto the stage, even though they never practiced the song, and they “played the D string on the beat.”

He said, “See mom? Your dream came true”.


Today I’m going to chaperone Quinn on his field trip. We are going to old Bethpage, and I’ll make memories with him.

Life is for living.

Tomorrow I’ll go to the hospital in the afternoon. Then I’ll bring all of the options to my team. Dr Stopecks email last night was hopeful, and she said we just haven’t found the right treatment yet, and sometimes it takes a few tries. Snuffleuffugus will tell me to go to Mexico and stop chemo because they are poisoning my body, Donnie will tell me he will add more pills, Swish will keep swooshing, and everyone will keep praying.

Some people get focused on the “Why, God?” Im switching it to “How, God?”

How can my story be used for His glory?

I’ve been able to keep going because I’ve researched and found stories of people who have been much worse than me and have continued to live.

I’m going further into the fire for refinement. My story will be that much greater when remission comes, or when I prove that you can live with cancer all over for years.

Madame swoosh has said she saw so much more cancer inside of me when I saw her a month ago.

She was right.

But she also said I’m not dying.

I’ll hold onto that too.

I’m not dying.

I’m living.

Every day.

And I’ll keep living until my story ends.

May my story continue for forty more years.

In Jesus’s name, amen.



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