Ten years ago, in 2007, my life took a turn for the worse -- or maybe the better depending on how you look at it.  I was 29 years old. Happily married for 7 years and my daughters were 2 & 4. I was teaching Social Studies at my school and had a follow up doctor’s appointment during my lunch break.  It was here at this appointment that I got the news from my doctor.  I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and cancer was now a part of my life. Wow, what a shock!  I went back to my classroom, finished the day teaching, and tried to understand what just happened. Soon later I was scheduled for my first chemo treatment on the day after Christmas.  It was a “gift” I never asked for and a gift I will never forget.

Receiving my first chemotherapy treatment the day after Christmas.

Receiving my first chemotherapy treatment the day after Christmas.

Though this tragic news was devastating at the time, as I look back on it now, this was also a turning point in my life.  A point in which I began the long road of asking better questions and seeking solutions to better my health and my life.  In the end, cancer was ultimately a wakeup call to begin an improved future. Now, 10 years later, I am so grateful to be cancer free and have a new perspective on life.

Those years of cancer and post-cancer were certainly tough.  They were some of worst years of my life. My days were worrisome and my health was horrible.  Post-cancer was almost worse for me as the radiation and chemotherapy had not only destroyed the cancer cells, but also the rest of my body.  Physically I was a wreck, and when you can’t go to work, or feel miserable when you do, life gets extremely hard. Although these years were awful, I wouldn’t trade them if I could.  It’s in these darkest of times that foundations are made on solid ground and seeds of truth are planted that bear much fruit.  

My month at Mayo Clinic receiving radiation treatment.

My month at Mayo Clinic receiving radiation treatment.

Looking back, cancer was the start of a new beginning and a new me. The seeds that were planted during this trial produced fruits of love, joy, peace, gratefulness, perseverance, less negativity, more generosity and so much more. I truly believe that I am a better person with a better perspective on life because of my days with cancer.

Though much of the Mister Harms blog is about teaching and the classroom, in the months and years to come, I also hope to share about what I have learned regarding health and more importantly life.  From experience, having strength, health, and life are also necessary in order be successful in the classroom.  It’s much harder to help others and be a positive influence when physically sick or even mentally drained.  

Recovering from my cancer treatments.

Recovering from my cancer treatments.

During these past 10 years, many people and life experiences have spoken truth into my own life. Whether you are a school teacher like myself, or working in a totally different profession, hopefully aspects of my story can be beneficial for you or someone you know.   I truly want others to enjoy life as much as possible and to be the best version of themselves they can be. If I can help someone else recover from their current situation, give another hope for tomorrow, or even prevent others from experiencing what I went through - all the better.

So if you want to follow along, I’ll be sharing some of these helpful resources and experiences that have had a huge impact on my life.  Click here to receive updates on future posts that will focus on being rooted in truth, growing in freedom, and prospering in all of life.

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