Hello and Thank You
“Once you get on the joy and gratitude frequency, you come to see that the universe is not only a co-creative force, but it's your strongest ally.” ~Pam Grout, author of Thank and Grow Rich
Good morning! Today is the day after my second chemotherapy infusion at Penn Medicine. I teach English Language Arts at Timber Creek Regional High School in Erial, NJ and our school moved to remote learning on March 17, 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions. I had previously scheduled some testing because I hadn't been feeling well, and on March 23, 2020, I found out I had colorectal cancer.
This was obviously a pretty terrible discovery. My husband is a Camden City Firefighter and we have two beautiful, amazing daughters: Zoe turned 4 on April 2nd and Emerson "Emmy" turned 2 on March 27th. So we're quarantined with a 4 year old and a 2 year old, I have cancer, and my husband is an essential worker. Michael, my husband, is the only safe person to care for the girls, so I am getting treatment at Penn Medicine...alone.
When Emmy was born in 2018 we had just discovered that Michael had a, luckily non-cancerous, but still scary brain tumor! He had to have 12 hours of brain surgery on Emmy's 2-week birthday! Here's the silver lining, which is frankly an understatement: We have the most amazing friends and family. Back in 2018, my friends and colleagues at Timber Creek rallied and raised money so that my best friend, Abbe Elliott, could organize a meal delivery service from Rent-a-Chef in Haddonfield, NJ. They delivered meals every Monday and Thursday for almost three months while I nursed a newborn, cared for a 2 year old, and helped Michael recover from brain surgery.
So here were are again...
In the face of my diagnosis, Timber Creek has rallied again and we are again getting meals from Rent-a-Chef for the foreseeable future. Since I have so many people to thank, and I'm not licking envelopes during a pandemic or trying to write at a desk with my munchkins trying to steal my pen and paper, I will be posting thank you notes here, on my blog. My thank you posts will come in no particular order because I'm truly equally grateful for the biggest gestures and the smallest. I know there is not a single person who WANTS public recognition for their thoughts, prayer, gifts, emails, texts...etc. But, oh well. I am going to blazon the names of everyone who has helped me feel like a survivor instead of a victim.
P.S. Fair warning: While I am an ELA teacher and I actually teach a grammar course, I will definitely not always be grammatically perfect on this blog; please don't judge. If I feel as if I have to check every grammatical element, this will feel like work, and I want to only feel grateful when blogging.
P.P.S. I will likely be attaching links to non-profits that fund colorectal cancer research, in the future.