Thankfully, I had a quick and relatively painless journey. I had the luxury of finding out at the end of the school year so the tests didn't get in the way much and I was able to face the scariness head on without having to worry about a class or a concert, or rehearsal. Starting the chemo over the summer afforded me the ability to get used to my "new normal" without the hustle and bustle of the school year on top of it, and it also gave me the chance to get comfortable being bald before baring it in front of my students. The only thing I had to live full on in front of my students was the mastectomy, but I wasn't overly concerned, even though they were concerned about me :)
After we made it past the really scary weeks, and after I dropped it on my kids, I picked myself up brushed myself off and determined to just live my life as normally as was humanly possible. That meant getting up each morning, going to school, teaching my kids, going home, washing, rinsing, and repeating. I didn't think I was doing anything special, and I believe that anyone out there would have done the exact same thing, so it was a wonderful surprise when I was presented with this at our last PD of the year.
My principal said some very lovely words, and it made me cry, then I said garbled thanks and awkwardly sat down. So here is the real thank you to everyone who supported me through this school year.
Thank you for comforting me with kind words and concerned gestures,
for telling me to go home and sit down when you could see I was tired (even if I didn't listen).
Thank you for accepting my bald head and mangled chest as I wandered the halls with my heating pad strapped to myself, counting down the hours till it was time to go home and take that pain pill.
Thank you for understanding when my energy bottomed out
and I could do no more then just "be".
I'm blessed to be who I am, working where I do, with such fabulous people.
I thank you from the depths of soul for the love and recognition behind this gift,
it means the world to me.