The Impact of Cancer on Our Staff – Part 1

openclipart CCL

openclipart CCL

Cancer can affect every age of any human. It even affects the adults that we look up to, even if you don’t notice their pain or the way they’re hurting. We just fall for the smile on their face instead of seeing the pain in their eyes. We expect our teachers to just teach and thats that, but there’s more to a person than just their actions. If you look deep enough, you can see what there really is. Teachers have made a huge impact in my life, not just by giving me a good education but sharing their story and helping me realize that I’m not alone.

Someone who has been impacted by cancer is Mr. Russell.  He’s an eighth grade English teacher.  He fought Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer stage four and has become one of the strongest people in my life. He has taught me that sometimes all you need is someone to let you be weak and vulnerable, but at a point you have to stand up with positivity and fight with the best attitude possible.

He once told me that he always cared about his hair, if the barber messed him up, if his hair was too short or long, he based how his day was gonna go on how his hair looked. All of this changed when he got diagnosed and started chemo. He would brush his hair and it would be falling out. He realized that he took so much time and took things for granted, but now he doesn’t care about the small things but cares about whether or not his wife knows that she is loved, that his students are a getting a good education, or whether he loves himself and his personality.

He has learned so much from cancer. He has learned that you should never take anything for granted. He remembers this moment that he will never forget .  It was around five in the morning, and he couldn’t breath.  He had to go to the emergency room and when this was happening, he was begging and praying for another breath.  He realized that life can be taken at any moment. Appreciate what you have and who you are because the future can take it all away from you at anytime.

Mrs. Brenda Parrish, a bookkeeper in our main office, was diagnosed with breast cancer in her right breast. She carried rapid invasive cells, and it could easily spread.  In order to keep this from happening, she had to get a double mastectomy.  During this surgery, they also removed five lymph nodes from her right armpit and two of them had cancer in them. The doctors had told her that if they removed all the cancer, that she wouldn’t have to do chemo or radiation.

She is then took Letrozole, a five year chemotherapy pill for cancer prevention. This caused her to be tired all the time and extremely tired other days. Her leg muscles got weak, her joints hurt and she got fluid that built up in her right side armpit from the removal of her lymph nodes. After her five years of taking Letrozole, she would be at risk of the cancer returning since part of her cancer was estrogen driven.  Because of this, she had surgery to remove he ovaries and tubes.

She is now losing her hair gradually, and some days she just doesn’t feel the best. She told me that when she had her cancer, she felt that others don’t really understand you and when they tell you that you will be fine, be positive, you are strong, you can do this, they seem to just be words. She knew that her family wanted to help but they didn’t understand what she felt or what was going on in her mind, but everyday she prayed and asked God to help her grow old with her husband and kids. Cancer can take everything from you all at once.  She adds, “I prayed everyday and asked God to help me grow old with my husband and kids.”

If you are fighting cancer or love someone who is, it’s okay to be weak, but at some point you have to get up and fight with your best. God is not finished with you!