I was diagnosed with my first recurrence the day before we were set to fly to Anaheim, California. I was hospitalized that day. I remember it vividly, calling to tell the other coaches I was in the hospital and I didn't know what they were going to do. Waiting to see if the gynecologic oncologist would be able to see me. When it became clear he wasn't going to make it in to see me I asked what the plan would be. I told them, "if he isn't going to operate tomorrow you need to let me out of the hospital now and I am going to take my robotics students to California." Well, they released me and I had the amazing experience, along with the other coaches, of taking our first ever VEX IQ team to the first ever Worlds for VEX IQ! It was a great event and we even got to take our students to Disney! It was amazing to see students from inner-city Indianapolis, some of whom had never been out of the city, boarding a plane, traveling across the country, and competing with students from around the world. You have to see it to believe how massive the event is.
When we returned from California my treatments were fast tracked. However, there was one constant during my treatments. I always made it to robotics. I scheduled my chemo sessions around robotics practices and competitions. I worked from the hospital bed, at times, to help prepare for tournaments. It all paid off when we had one elementary and one middle school team which qualified for the second annual VEX IQ Worlds held in Louisville, Kentucky.
This morning as I drove into the first robotics competition of our season I thought about how robotics and cancer has been intertwined into my story. When I opened up my Timehop today I realized another way robotics and cancer has intertwined in my life. Today's date is special and I didn't even realize it. One year ago today was my final radiation treatment for my second round with cervical cancer. I am amazed it has been a year. I am disheartened that the cancer is back and we don't have a plan to rid the cancer from my body. However, I am thrilled with my ability to continue living my life. I am thrilled to have not only the constants of family, friends, and work but also to have the constant of robotics through my extended fight with cervical cancer.
If you are wondering, this year we had over 60 students try out for our robotics teams, which we had to narrow down to 13 competition students (with more students at the club and tutoring level). We have added a coach for our competition team and we are now running four teams. Quite a jump from our first year, but we are still so excited about it!