By Lacey Buscaglia
What’s that bad word that starts with “C?”
I’m referring to the six-letter one: cancer. I have it, but what’s more important is what am I going to do about it? Well …
I’m going to kick this cancer like a rusty can right on down the road. That’s what I keep telling myself, my sons, my folks, my man, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbors. If determination is any measure of my victory to be, then I’m all good. How blessed I feel to have hope and faith; they say it matters a lot.
It’s funny how I value life, even more now as I face this battle ahead of me. I am thinking of my sons more than anything. How blessed I am to have such stellar men, grown up, industrious, devoted, strong, gentle all at the same time. How blessed I am to have these three sons. They matter so much to me.
And, I mentioned my love, my Ken, a veritable godsend. He breezes into my life just over a year ago, and opens me up to a whole new world of fun, boating, jet skiing and enjoying life here in Western New York. We endured a hellish winter this past year, but still, after a huge, invasive, grueling surgery I was dying to LIVE and get out there on that boat. He practically had to lift me into it the first few times, as I was weak as a kitten, but he’s always there to lift me up, body and soul, grant my wish, be by my side, make me happy. I’m so blessed to have a truly good, strong, tall, gentle man to lean on in every moment of weakness.
I want to live a long, healthy life more than anything words can describe; yet, just recently two very famous in the people in the news, who seemed to have it all, chose to take their own lives. I know that mental illness is the reason, and I fell blessed to be physically ill instead of struggling with mental illness. I’m emotionally sound. I’ve got this, my specialists have this. Whew, I am lucky. What ails me is so much easier to treat and cure than the complicated labyrinth of mental illness.
Speaking of doctors, I’m so thankful that of all the cities in the world, I heard, “You’ve got stage 3 cancer,” in Buffalo. Hmmm, strange, you say? Well, I’m being taken care of at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center by the best of the best. I can get chemo and go home, sleep in my own bed, be with my family and animals and garden and the things I love about life. It’s such a blessing for me. How difficult it would be to be away from home, traveling through all of this.
All this pondering on life and longevity has brought me to a big question: “Am I living a purposeful life? Am I using the gifts God gave me to full potential? If God lets me live, I’m going to really nail my purpose.”
Again, I’m good, I’m lucky. I teach Spanish in Buffalo. I teach in an area that is in very high need. I love my students. I know I matter to them. Positively, deliberately, I bring them something good, different and needed in their academic lives. They crack me up and drive me crazy. I crack them up, nag them to work and do their best, but inside of all that, they are learning and working and creating and some even develop a love of something foreign.
It’s a pretty good purpose. I’d say all in all, I’ve got this.
Lacey Buscaglia, of Amherst, is a Spanish teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools.