Three years ago today, I was on a table having sections of tumors sucked out into a core needle biopsy syringe. It was painful as the lidocaine didn’t work, we had to keep stopping as I screamed and cried, but the nurse had soft hands. It was the surgeons birthday the next day, same as me. I remember asking if she could show me all the samples so i could pray over them, and when she showed me, she had sad eyes.
That’s when I knew.
I both hate and love this weekend. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I know how lucky I am to be alive. It’s also the beginning of the anniversaries.
The biopsy on 11/15.
My birthday on 11/16.
The phone call telling me it was cancer on 11/17.
The oncologist telling me the pet scan lit up on 11/28.
The spinal biopsy on 12/15.
Being told terminal on 12/21.
My life is separated into two parts.
BC or before cancer.
AC or after cancer.
I had a frustrating day yesterday, as once again my assistant was pulled. We have a teacher shortage and it’s impossible to keep a program running smoothly when your assistant is pulled. Add on trying to prep for thanksgiving and assessments and report cards…but we do it and just have work harder.
No one works harder than kindergarten teachers… period.
When I was a young teacher, it was near impossible to even get a sub job. Now? We are constantly short. People who couldn’t get hired moved on to other jobs. After the whole common core debacle, enrollment in teacher programs dropped drastically. We will have a shortage soon. Add on all of the retirement buyouts and districts trying to unload seasoned teachers to lessen their budget bottom line, and you’re going to have trouble. Who will mentor the new teachers?
I also got pulled for training for another new program. Programs written by researchers and not teachers. Which means the teachers are spending time trying to fill in the gaps and make it age appropriate, while being told what to do by people who have never walked the walk.
I would never go into my oncologists office and tell her how to run her research facility. I support her and back it up with action.
If only that was the way everywhere.
To top off the day, I came home and saw that my friend Rosie died. On December 24, 2016, three days after being told it was terminal, Rosie reached out. I was frantic for hope stories, and Rosie gave me her number. We spoke on the phone and she was so full of information and hope. She was just what I needed. She was frustrated trying to navigate new doctors as she had just moved back to New Jersey from Seattle, but she kept going. She loved walking on the boardwalk on the beach and Bruce Springsteen. We were supposed to walk in a fashion show together but I had to back out. She was one of my long term stage four thrivers, and losing her yesterday was so hard.
Especially this weekend.
The weekend when the dates of memories begin.
People are up in arms about Taylor Swift and how she can’t play her own songs. She asked for help and retweeting and sharing of her issue, and it’s now in the millions.
Meanwhile, people are dying every damn day from cancer, and it’s people that you actually know…. but apathy rules.
Imagine if instead of a song dispute she asked people to retweet stage four needs more and donate a dollar for research?
But no, sheep will follow their idol, and help the rich get richer while the sick keep dying.
I got an email from my herbalist and he is sending a new formula for the new chemo I’ll be starting. Mederi center contacted me and Erin said she saw the video and it was beautiful. Donnie is keeping me on the same protocol as the chemo treatments are similar, but this one is a little less toxic. All of my appointments are now set, and the waiting begins.
Once again it’s my birthday time and I’m waiting on cancer tests and results.
Don’t ever take your life and health for granted.
Tonight I’m hoping to celebrate a book release for acclaimed chef Claudia Fleming at the North Fork Table. Tomorrow is my birthday and I leave early for the cortaca jug to see all of my friends from cortland. I’m nervous as it’s a football game outside and I’m exhausted, but I’m hoping to find everyone and get hugs.
I was a founding sister in my sorority and I’ll get to meet a lot of new sisters.
Please keep our scout troop in your prayers as well. I’m dumbfounded reading the trial notes every day. I’m disgusted, angry, and so sad as I read every night. Pray for a swift and harsh verdict… and for the families who are reliving the pain over and over.
And don’t ever drink and drive.
May today be a day full of peace.
In Jesus’s name, amen.