One year I scheduled my routine mammogram for those days between Christmas and New Years. Unfortunately, something peculiar showed up. The doctor was concerned enough that he suggested they do a biopsy. It was scheduled on what would have been my first day back at school. Of course I was alarmed, but did everything to remain positive. Being at school would keep my mind on a million other things while I waited for the results.
When I did go back to school, my students were very concerned and asked where I had been. There was another teacher in the building who had spent the year going through chemo treatments. The students were all aware of that teacher, so I decided to talk honestly about why I had been absent.
“Well, boys and girls, I had to spend a little time in the hospital. The doctors were checking to make sure I don’t have cancer. I had something called a biopsy.” The students looked at me, knowing I had more to say. “Has anyone ever heard that word before? Does anyone know what it means?”
The students became very thoughtful and quiet until one little hand shot up accompanied by a “Oh! Oh! I know!” I’m sure you can picture the wiggling arm and the confident smile of the little girl anxious to be called on.
“Yes. Amanda. Do you know the word biopsy?”
“Yes,” she beamed. “Isn’t that where they find out why you died?”
I managed to stifle my laughter as I explained that she was referring to an autopsy, but I did say that I was very grateful that I had no need of one of those!