Happy New Year!! This is my first blog post of the year!

I’m going to start posting on a biweekly basis, so some will be long and some will be short. But I’m committing myself to blogging more often in 2020!

2019 Gone But Not Forgotten

In January 2019 I was officially diagnosed with DCIS – Ductile Carcinoma In Situ – Breast Cancer Stage 0. Emotions were everywhere and yet nowhere at the same time. How do you deal with such news when 3 different highly respected professionals in their respective fields say “If you had to get cancer, this is the best kind“? As if there’s a vending machine of illnesses to choose from and “the claw” chose a noninvasive cancer from my spent token. Please stop trying to make me feel better. It’s not helping.

February brought about the second attempt to remove all cancerous cells only to discover a new cluster of cells and those margins were not clear. How many more surgeries will I need? Why can’t these people get this stuff out of me? Why doesn’t anyone see how hard this is for me?

March forced me to decide between mastectomy and radiation therapy plus hormones for up to 10 years or a complete bilateral mastectomy and me saying goodbye to two parts of my perceived womanhood. I found myself in need of prescribed pharmaceuticals to keep the negative angry thoughts at bay and my blood pressure under control. The struggle was real.

April was the surgery, but before that happened, I adopted a very positive attitude and hosted my own “retirement” party. I believe a great time was had by all. My faithful friends laughed and told jokes about how they met me and we discovered everyone was connected in some manner and not just through me. Everyone wished me well, offered prayers and meal train support beyond measure!❤️ When this is over I will no longer need a particular piece of clothing. Good thing or bad thing? Time will tell.

May through July was recovery and the need to get back to feeling useful but my mindset had shifted. Self-care became my top priority! How often do we get undressed on autopilot? Well I found out it happens more than you think. There were several times I reached to unhook something that is longer part of my wardrobe. That’s when reality hit me and again I relived the process one more time. It was then, and now still is. hard to get others to “see” the psychological effects of what transpired because physically I appeared the same. I always thought everyone naturally had empathy, but at 54 and down two body parts, I learned that was not the case.

August through October started the best whirlwind, if there is such a thing, that a person who is passionate about their impact in education could experience. I was accepted into, and participated in, the Google for Education Certified Innovators Academy in New York! Spending a week with people who have the same like-mindedness is exhilarating to say the least. Everyone needs a person who they can confide in and champion through life as an educator with…I found 49. I CANNOT speak enough about this experience! It has been transformative!!

November through December had some highs and lows, more like sideways than lows, but the low moments helped me remember my new mindset: SELF-CARE. I spent the entire Winter Break enjoying being with my family and doing things for me which included vegging out in my PJs exploring Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon on my Roku. 😎

2019 Resolved – One Word

If I had to choose a #oneword from 2019 for 2020 it will be #selfcare.

I strongly encourage everyone to practice self-care. Find something you enjoy doing and make time to go do that something! This blog will be mine.

I spent the first half of 2019 finding out what happens when I don’t put my mental and physical health first. That cannot and will not happen again.

Thanks for reading!

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