Saturday, January 19, 2013

A 100% Stinky Lesson

     I was blessed to be able to rejoin my students and colleagues at Honey Grove Middle and High School beginning January 2nd, as they returned from the Christmas holidays.  Not everyone has been thrilled to see me in the normal setting.  In a loving way, some have said,  "You know you probably have enough years to retire. I know I wouldn't be here!"------ "I know you're wearing a mask, but should you be here with all these germs?"------"Does your doctor know you are doing this?"  It has been hard to answer each of these questions. But a man called "STINK" summed my feelings.

     Chris and I live about 15 minutes from the school district, so many times I listen to one of the Dallas sports stations on my short drive in to work.  On my first week back I heard a valuable lesson on this station which strengthened my beliefs in returning to be with my students.  The hosts of the show were discussing the impact of a major knee surgery on the career of Robert Griffin III and they were joined by Mark Schlereth, who is lovingly called "Stink."  Schlereth played in the NFL for 12 seasons and has had 29 sports related surgeries, including 20 knee surgeries.  I would call him a specialist as a consumer of knee surgeries.

     Mark grew passionate in his discussion when the terms "100%" and a "player's return" were mentioned.  He told the story of happening upon a player from another sport in his surgeon's waiting room.  The other athlete was dejected and said he didn't know when he would be 100%.  "Stink" shared the reality, "100% of what?"  He said to the younger player, "You will NEVER be at the same place you were before surgery.  If you are missing the opportunity to play the game you love while waiting on the old 100%, you are missing a window of competing.  You now have a new 100%."

      Thank you, Mr. Mark Schlereth.  (You're too large for me to call you "Stink.")  In the world of cancer we call this the new normal.  While I will never let multiple myeloma define me, the side effects and scars of battle will take their tolls.  The only danger would be sitting on the sideline waiting on everything to be perfect or back the way it was.

     On Friday my new normal, or 100%, changed yet again.  Since Christmas Eve I have been dealing with an eye issue that we thought was a retinal bleed. We learned that my retina was torn, detached, and had actually rotated 360 degrees. I had surgery Friday afternoon (1-18-13) and today I had the patch removed. For the next week, I will sit in a posture facing the floor, to allow my retina to reattach properly. Complete restoration, or 20/20, isn't being discussed. They are hoping in a few weeks or months that I will be able to see the "big E" on the chart. That in itself will be a miracle. Chris and I had our time for tears and now it is time to move on. There is a very real possibility that next week I will be in meetings in a Post-vitrectomy chair, facing the floor while making educational decisions and leading a campus. Shouldn't I stay home, you ask? I could. And I might have to, but I will not miss out on windows of opportunity because I can't accept my new 100%.

Silly moments with Chris at school.
Beta Stands Up to Cancer

Silly moments with staff member, Elizabeth Shelton.
Jacob, our new State VP
Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

No comments: