Tuesday, September 02, 2008


A year ago I didn't even know her. She's a teacher one that was born to educate and mold the minds of first graders. She's hysterically funny but considers herself shy. She was my first friend after the move and my biggest encourager ever since. She was the most excited to hear I would be teaching in her building this year and will continue to push to help me land a full-time classroom position.

She invited me to school on Monday so I could show LM my classroom. I was as excited to see her as I was to see my room. We talked for over an hour. She had met LM before, but she was quickly entertained by him. Pam has never married, although I can't figure out just why no man hasn't fallen for her.

I noticed the bruises then, but didn't say much. I don't want to act concerned when it's her cancer we're discussing. If she wasn't worried, I'd try not to be, too. She excused them away, she'd been carrying in loads of things to get her room set up. I nodded and agreed, but wondered about the back of her arm, the back of her leg...

I was thrilled today to walk in and see her. We hugged and cheered that we'd be seeing each other every day this year. I caught her from time to time in the hallway with her kids - she told me one of her students had asked why her shirt was fuzzy. "Cat + black shirt = fuzz" she answered in typical Pam fashion.

It was at lunch that our concern racheted up a notch. Others had noticed the bruises and some she'd known for longer, known when she was fighting leukemia asked if she'd made the calls yet. She'd tried, but had gotten an answering service for the cancer center. She'd try again after lunch she promised. We tried not to talk about it. But in just one day I saw more bruises, more colors, more inexplicable marks. I was genuinely scared.

While it was only a half day for students, she intended on staying in her classroom until 5. I had training until 3 but told her I'd stop by before I left for the day. She poked her head into our training an hour later and said she was going to get her blood count checked. She wasn't in her room when I stopped by.

When I called later, the news wasn't good. Platelets are low. Not as low as when she was originally diagnosed, but low enough they want to see her on Friday for a bone marrow draw. She's been through this before. It isn't fun and it didn't come out well the first time.

My heart sank with the news. For all she's so recently been through, just two short years ago, with her hair finally getting longer again, she's faced with the same fears, the same worries, perhaps the same outcome.

The first day back, the first day with her new students, the first week of school and classes and she has this weighing on her mind. I pray that God lifts her burden. I pray that He takes this out of her and keeps it from her. I pray that the draw on Friday is not the outcome that seems so likely. I pray.

For it's all I know to do.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9


Jennifer said...

I hate cancer and all that it does to a body!!! I will be praying for perfect peace, healing and strength for her.

jenny said...

It certainly puts my complaints into perspective...I will keep my fingers crossed for good news for your friend.

stacy said...

amy, i have been thinking of you and your friend, pam. i am praying for her and for miraculous healing!