There’s a lot of learning going on in the classrooms at riverside middle. some lessons come from the books, while others come from the heart of a teacher battling breast cancer. Kimberely Scott has this month’s University Hospital Buddy Check 6 report.
Marjorie Coleman is a teacher at Riverside Middle school, who is still learning a few lessons along the way, “I teach 8th grade language arts this year, I love the children. This was a great group of kids and to have gone through a reoccurrence of breast cancer with them, they were just so sweet and really helpful to me.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer, not once but twice, and says her journey is filled life long lessons.
She was initially diagnosed with breast cancer after doctor’s found a spot during her routine mammogram in August of 2010…..and the beginning of the school year was underway.
Marjorie, “my biopsy was done on open house day, so i made them do the biopsy early in the afternoon so i could be back at school for open house.”
Her 2nd diagnosis in January 2014 was also filled with treatments. She faced a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Hearing confirmation of a new diagnosis, made her remember how she felt with the first one, “I was devastated, I immediately thought death. just like a lot of people would.”
Her love for teaching has spanned at least 11 years, and she wouldn’t even allow a breast cancer diagnosis to keep her away from her students, “I was asked one day have you gone back to work? I said what no body even told me I couldn’t work, I always thought I had to work. This school has been my safe place. They are so supportive, a support system is extremely important, you have to have a support system.”
Even though she’s battling this disease, this teacher is still handing out assignments, ” number one, you have to have a positive attitude, the second, you have to have a very good support system. and the third thing, I’m seeing the second go round as being very important id exercise.”
She says those factors in conjunction with following the doctors orders helped a great deal, along with her family, she’s received so many gifts and gestures of compassion from the pupils who sit in these seats, “it’s a pink heels fire truck, it says in honor of mrs. marjorie in honor of you love Rachel, a student that i had the first go round.”
She also received a ball from her daughters soccer team, ” the whole team signed it, the coach so it was real sweet.”
Ultimately she’s here to let people know that there is life after diagnosis, “I feel like i’m like a spokesperson, I’m an advocate, I need to get the message out. It’s about helping others.”
This survivor is working to get out her message of hope to all who need to hear it.
Marjorie has been married for 25 years, she has two children in their 20’s and works out everyday. If you need a mammogram, contact University Hospitals Breast Health Center.