Do you know the importance of life?


Old person holding up a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness

Long hours, low pay, and tiring kids. These are the problems most teachers face during their careers. Radiation, surgeries, and pain, however, are not as common. Jaclyn Moore, 51, is a teacher at Centennial High School who experienced just this.
In July of 2017, Mrs. Moore went to the doctor for a routine checkup and found a cancerous mass. She then got a biopsy and was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. She was devastated.
“It was quite a shock,” she explained.
Considering that there was no history of that cancer in her family, this wasn’t something she was prepared for. Furthermore, her brother had a different type of cancer 10 years ago and they had almost lost him. As she remembered what happened to him, all she could think about was, “I might die.”
From there, she had 3 different surgeries, 10 days in the hospital, and had to quit her job. She also had to undergo 25 rounds of radiation, a painful process. The radiation was damaging to her body, causing 2nd and 3rd-degree burns all over her.
“It was kind of a physical and emotional hurt,” she noted. “It’s a big obstacle when you go from very carefree teaching, loving my job, my work, my family, and then one day it all just comes crashing down around you.”
Luckily, her family had been there with her through her journey to beat cancer.
As claimed by Mrs.Moore, her “husband and daughter were amazing.”
They acted as her doctor assistants, doing research for her about her condition that she would not have been able to do herself. Additionally, even though her parents and in-laws live in Pennsylvania, they took turns coming down to be with her during her surgeries so that they could take care of her, her husband, and her daughter.
After she quit teaching, Mrs. Moore didn’t know if she could ever go back. She thought of the possibility of the cancer coming back. On top of that, she had to physically get better by doing physical therapy/exercise programs. Mentally, she had to strengthen her mind again.
Questions filled her mind as she wondered, “Do I want to teach again?” and “Will I be healthy enough?”
Due to all of this self-doubt, it took her a full year to regain the confidence to teach again. Now there was only one problem. She got cleared to do so in mid-August when schools were, unfortunately, not hiring. Knowing this, she felt defeated, thinking about how far she came and how much she wanted to teach again.
But, as one opportunity falls, another rises. A charter school had a sudden opening when one of its teachers resigned at the last minute, giving Mrs. Moore a pathway back into teaching.
As she said, “it gave me my mojo back.”
Even as she was teaching again, she still faced hardships. For one, she was exhausted due to radiation, which is essentially a poison to the body.
She defeatedly thought, “What am I doing?”
As her body physically caught up to her mind, her second thoughts about becoming a teacher went away. Even more so, Mrs. Moore declared her hardships with cancer made her a better teacher. It made her realize that things are bigger than school, and her student’s health and well-being were more important than all other materialistic things. More importantly, she realized the importance of life.