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Topic: anyone else a teacher?

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues —

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Posted on: Jul 16, 2021 08:46AM

Middle-School-Teacher wrote:

Hello all,

I will have my lumpectomy in 2 weeks, then I'll be back teaching middle school.


Any advice on what to say to students about why I missed school, and why I may have to miss because of treatments?


Thanks!

Tracy

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Jul 16, 2021 09:41AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Middle School Teacher,

I just retired ( so weird to say that!) and I taught elementary school but here’s what I did. I simply said that that I had a medical problem and would be out for a while but would be back as soon as possible. Middle schoolers may ask for specifics on your medical condition and it’s entirely up to you with respect to how much you disclose. I am a very open person but I did feel a need to protect my privacy at such a stressful time.

I think everyone handles this situation differently depending on the age of their students and their own comfort level with discussing medical conditions with students. One more thing to consider is that any information you give your students regarding your absence will be shared with those they know. So in effect, everything you share with them will become public knowledge. I was very open about my bc once I returned to work but prior to surgery, there seemed to be too many unknowns and I preferred a bit more discretion.

I taught for 10 years beyond my stage IV diagnosis. After a few years most people forgot all about my bc but Iwas able to support a parent and an instructional aide when they were diagnosed so I am glad that I was open about my situation. It will be beyond weird to not start getting ready for the school year but I look forward to this new chapter. All the best to you for your surgery and the school year.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jul 16, 2021 02:02PM ruthbru wrote:

I was a middle school teacher. I was honest and factual with the kids, but didn't go into detail. "I have breast cancer, I will be gone more than usual for some of my treatments. I will tell you ahead of time when I have to be gone. I am going to be okay (which I wouldn't have said if I hadn't believed it), and you will be okay too." I felt it was a teaching moment about how to handle fear & uncertainty with some grace under pressure. And also to take the stigma away from a cancer diagnosis, and a cancer patient.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 16, 2021 10:35PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Oh, you middle school teachers have my admiration! I can only deal with the K-3 world 😊.

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jul 16, 2021 10:49PM - edited Jul 16, 2021 10:50PM by star2017

I am a teacher, but was parttime when I was first diagnosed and took a year off. This new diagnosis occurred just as the school year ended. My colleagues know, but not the students.

Best wishes to you.

Dx@37, pregnant, BRCA2+ Dx 9/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/16/2017 Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 11/28/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/17/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 5/21/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/24/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 6/18/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 5/2021, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy External: Bone Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy Verzenio
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Jul 17, 2021 08:12AM Middle-School-Teacher wrote:

Thank you for your advice, especially that anything I tell my students will become public knowledge. That slipped my mind, and it's good to be reminded. I'm going to be missing the beginning of school, so I won't even know these students.

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