Hello my friends. I am recovering well from my March 4th surgery and I received the much-anticipated pathology report. However, It’s a mixed bag. While the lumpectomy was successful with clear margins present (!!!), that’s unfortunately not the case for lymph nodes. They appear to not have responded to chemotherapy and cancer was found in two of the three lymph nodes removed, without clear margins. So… I’ll be going back into surgery next Thursday, March 25th, to remove all of the lymph nodes from my left armpit. This will be a more invasive surgery and I will need more time for recovery. And, while it was not the report I was hoping for, have no doubt – I still have lots of fight left in me and I am more determined than ever to win this battle.
As I head I into the 24th week of my cancer treatment, I realize it has been a while since I have posted an update. The pathology report and news of needing another surgery took some time for me to digest, process, and eventually accept. The good news/bad news report brings joy and relief, along with fear and disappointment. Like the rest of this wild journey, each turn brings a new adventure and with every challenge conquered comes a renewed sense of hope and deep determination to LIVE! It turns out living with something actively trying to kill me form the inside has made me look long and hard at my personal values and life priorities. LOVE and LIFE are securely placed at the top of my list.
Another lesson this journey has highlighted for me, is the amazing adaptability us humans innately possess. As Charles Darwin wrote in his ground-breaking book “On the Origin of Species” in 1959, “It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself”. And that’s exactly how human beings have been able to survive and thrive for so many centuries. We humans do anything and everything we can to survive and thrive when things are against us. This same adaptability has allowed me to progress through this treatment, maintaining positivity and hope, despite the many physical, logistical and emotional challenges that have come along the way. Now I must prepare to adapt again. And, I am ready!
I will remain in quarantine for quite some time while completing my treatment plan, but it is so exciting to see real progress being made in vaccine distribution and the initial signs of some normalcy returning to life. In just over two weeks Bridges Middle School will open its doors – safely – for students to return to in-person instruction. While I am sad to not be there to witness their excitement, see their smiles or hear their laughter first hand, I am so happy that our students will once again get to experience the magic of human connection. After a long year of isolation, we all need that connection, few more than our amazing students.
As my journey stretches on, your Love and support continues to help me adapt along the way, and your words of encouragement guide me through even the darkest times. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. More to come soon…