Seeking advice

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by TripleJ, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. TripleJ

    TripleJ Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I'm normally not the type of person to share my personal issues in public places like this, but I'm in desperate need of teacher advice on handling a possible uncomfortable issue with my students this year.

    I will be teaching 3rd grade this year. Last March I was diagnosed with a rhabdomyosarcoma (soft tissue cancer). I was in and out of the classroom receiving treatments. My kids really didn't see the physical effects (hairloss, weight gain etc.,) other than I was on crutches for a period of time. I've been receiving treatments since and had hoped to have the tumor removed in August. However, I will have to continue treatment through Aug. pushing my surgery up to Oct. with the possibility of more chemo afterwards.

    I've made a personal decision to wear do-rags /scarves instead of a wig. I know that this will bring up questions on the issue. I'm needing some help in figuring out the best way to approach the subject. I found a book about a 3rd grade teacher who was diagnosed with cancer and recovered. Have any of you had a similar experience? How was it handled? Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated. Thanks in advace. :hugs:
     
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  3. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I don't have any advice- just wanted to say that I have so much respect for you and for what you are going through. I am sure that your students will be supportive of you, and understanding as well. My thoughts are with you!
     
  4. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I really don't have any advice either. My mother has just passed her 2nd cancer-free anniversary following surgery to remove 2/3 of her right lung followed by chemo therapy. She sometimes wore wigs, sometimes hats/do-rags, sometimes none of the above. I think it takes great strength to face a disease like cancer, and even more to survive it with a good attitude. You are now on my church's prayer list. Stay positive, and pray or meditate to keep yourself grounded. Generally, I think that students will respond in the same tone that you address them. If you are professional and positive, then they probably will be, too.
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 25, 2007

    Prayers for you.

    I would be candid with the kids and say that an illness caused you to lose your hair, but that it will grow back. You could say that you always liked scarves and feel comfortable wearing them. I would also reassure them that you are taking care of yourself and expect to get better.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2007

    My prayers are also with you. I agree with Upsadaisy, be as open and honest with your students as you can be; your students and their families will appreciate it.
     
  7. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    TripleJ -- Honestly, I am not trying to throw a negative wrench into your plans, but I have a question. Have you spoken to your oncologist about your plans? I know that, while she was taking chemo treatments (and a while afterward), my mom's immune system was compromised, and she had to be very careful where she went and with whom she spent time. We even had to keep my newborn grandson away from her on one occasion -- turned out he only had an ear infection, but you never know....
     
  8. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2007

    HUGS

    I think I'd talk to the school counselor to let her/him know about it, find out if they have any ideas and let them know that the kids might have questions they'd like to discuss.
     
  9. Loves2TeachinSC

    Loves2TeachinSC Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I learned in my masters that the brain contains mirror neurons. This just means that the different images we see, our brain mirrors that in our reactions. Simply put, if you are okay with yourself and your circumstances, and you can handle the different situations, your students will "mirror" your reactions and actions. I think that reading the book is a good idea as an "introduction" to explaining your situation. I would also talk to your school counselor and administration. I wish you the best with your cancer! I hope all goes well!!
     
  10. TripleJ

    TripleJ Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2007

    I appreciate your candor. I have discussed this with my oncologist. The week after my treatments will be my down week. So needless to say, I'll probably be hanging out at my keyboard on the atoz forums...haha! I thank you all for your prayers,words of encouragement and ideas.

    I agree with this wholeheartedly. I've experienced this in life not from this learning experience, but from others I have had in the past.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2007
  11. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 25, 2007

    Then I say, go for it! :2up: I can't help but think that by keeping to your teacher routines/schedule, you will be willing your own recovery! :hugs: Does that make any sense?:confused:
     
  12. TripleJ

    TripleJ Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2007

    I know exactly where you are coming from. Thanks again. :)
     

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