Explaining to the parents of my students was difficult. I had written them a letter that would go home with the students that evening, but wanted to preempt it with a Remind message, a texting service I use to communicate with families. However, consolidating a 1682 character letter into a 140 character text is no easy feat. I decided to make a short link for the letter with a brief message explaining that I had cancer and had shared that with the students.
They, too, showed a huge outpouring of love and support. Every parent I heard from said to focus on me and my health and offered their help. It was simply amazing - they were putting the needs of a more or less stranger ahead of their child’s education.
After pressing publish on “I Have Cancer: Telling My Students,” my Twitter notifications were on full alert for the next few days. The response from social media was amazing. Statistically, the two tweets where I shared the blog post were retweeted or liked over 100 times, commented on dozens of times, and shared countless more within the first three days. More importantly, I experienced so much support, positive interactions, and shared stories of how cancer had touched various people’s lives. Cancer truly does affect us all, and I’m thrilled to see honest conversations about its effects happening more and more.