Never underestimate the power of the DEN as life changing. We reach across country and continent. We grow exponentially. Face to face or virtual, we learn, collaborate, inspire. Whether rekindling old friendships or creating new ones, at gatherings or special events, we find our tribe. Together, we change the landscape of education. We envision the future–now.
For all of us, attending the annual DEN Summer Institute is a milestone, affecting our learning curve, expanding our network, enriching our life experience. A game changer. A life force.
Some of us travel great distances, and others travel uniquely. All share a sense of anticipation. A journey. Excitement. Fulfillment. DEN Friends. Where the DEN gather, fellowship, kinship abound.
For me, attending this DENSI is a journey four years in the making. A homecoming. And I am thrilled to walk among you. After all…
I was not supposed to live.
In April, 2012, my Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma needed treatment, but nothing worked. By the second core biopsy in October, 2012, we learned my blood cancer transformed to Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), an aggressive cancer, terminal if not defeated. Time is not your friend with DLBCL. Nothing worked until the 7th chemo cocktail in January, 2013, when my clock was ticking loudly, and believe me after all the salvage chemo I had, this effort was a shot in the dark, I think. It worked.
The problem with things not working had to do with an uncommon c-myc oncogene, a pathogen in my body that enables rapid cell growth. NOT good for someone with an aggressive cancer. My lymph nodes under my arms were literally softball size. Scary. So, I have two B-cell cancers in my body which is just bad luck, plus the c-myc oncogene. A triple threat.
I think if I can beat cancer, almost anyone can, given you do not get an always-terminal cancer diagnosis. How did I do it so far. YOU! Without you and your daily support, your “likes” and your comments (I treasure them) and your PRAYERS, (would be lost without them), and gifts (visits, card showers, and thoughtful things, soul food for a cancer fighter), it would have been a hard haul. YOU make the difference EVERY DAY.
Early on, I faced how much time I would have if nothing worked, and what death would look like. And then I lived. I am one determined person who always believed I would be cured and given some more time, and I have great plans to do good with that time, God willing. God bless all of you for helping me everyday on my journey to wellness. I love you all! YOU keep me strong.
Without you, I would not be here.
For me, this is truly a life event.
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