I took some steps today. Steps that require a deep breath and a willingness to believe I have a future where the shadow of cancer may loom, but the shadow does not swallow me like it has done the last several months.
I’m tired of living in the shadow of cancer. I know I can’t escape it completely, and I do understand I have no control over it, but I can control a few things, things that are important to me and help me survive (beyond my daily medications).
I love my job. (Hang on, it all connects together, I promise!) I’ve said that many times here on my blog, but it’s the truth. Teaching is my gift, and (most days) I love coming to work, even on the days when I’ve felt bad, suffered from horrible side effects, or had skin so badly burned even the school nurses winced when they saw it. I don’t talk in specifics about my job too often because this is my personal blog, so I shouldn’t talk in specifics too often about my school, my students, or anything else. That’s just common sense as far as I’m concerned.
Some opportunities came my way this week at work that make me very excited for next school year. Taking advantage of these opportunities are the steps I’m taking that require me to breathe deep and believe I do have a future…that I should look ahead to next school year and assume not only will I be here to teach it, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll only have the shadow of cancer looming over me next school year instead of being my constant companion as it’s been this school year. Today, I went so far as to ask for something for next year (to sponsor an organization) because it’s something I want to do. Yes, it’s going to be a lot of work, but I can handle it. Next school year is going to be a lot of work. There’s no way around it. I’m taking on a new prep (one of the steps I’m taking), which is a fabulous opportunity and going to be an amazing part of the school where I teach, and I’ll still teach AP English. Now, I’m going to sponsor an organization. It’s going to be a lot of long, hard work, but you know what? I’m not fragile. I can handle it. I truly can, or I think I can. They told me I could be anything when I grew up, so I choose to be the Little Engine who Could. 🙂
Maybe cancer will come back to slap me in the face. After all, the best laid plans of mice and men…But, I cannot keep going the way I’m going. I just can’t. It goes to the whole “you’re not treating yourself well,” and I deserve to treat myself better. I deserve to take some steps, take a deep breath, and say, I can do this. I can look forward a few months down the line because let’s face it, I’m not looking a year in advance, I’m looking down the road to August. That’s a step, though, and it’s more of a step than I’ve been willing to take.
Next school year is going to be awesome, and I’m so excited for it. And, I’m going to tell myself I deserve to be excited. It’s an honor to do what I do, and it’s an honor to be regarded as capable. So, if others see me as capable, I should see myself that way, too. Cancer be damned.