Mansfield ISD Magazine Fall 2018 | Page 22

Garner said the campus and community support she receives keeps her spirits high as she fights cancer. TEACHER DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER FINDS STRENGTH IN COLORS FOR CARING J une 11, 2018 is a day that will be forever etched into DeAnna Garner’s memory. Along with her wedding planning, closing on a new house and enjoying the summer, she received devastating news from her doctor. have been fundraisers, shirts, gifts and an outpouring of kind words that have helped her make it through tough times. The teacher also said Mansfield ISD’s Colors for Caring monthly initiative, which encourages the community to wear cancer awareness colors to show support for a loved one affected by cancer, took on a whole new meaning for her. “I have triple negative breast cancer, and then it’s also in my lymph nodes, so I’m stage three,” explained the Martha Reid Leadership Academy art teacher. “It makes you feel kind of like poisoned or something. I wanted it out of me.” “I think Colors for Caring is amazing because coming to school on a day when people were wearing pink for me…it does make you feel better,” Garner added. “I think it’s really good.” Garner said breaking the news to her kids was probably the hardest part. She said it was also hard reliving the moment of her diagnosis with each person she told. Garner underwent her most recent chemotherapy on Sept. 20. She has a few The Colors for Caring Days more rounds of for 2018-19 are: chemotherapy to go before - Monday, Sept. 3 she undergoes - Monday, Oct. 1 surgery. The mother of four began chemotherapy in the summertime, and shaved her head beforehand due to the hair loss it causes. She was worried about how to introduce herself to her new students with her new look, so she turned to her best coping mechanism—humor. “I wore a shirt that said, ‘Does this shirt make Ms. Dee’s head look bald?’” Garner said with a chuckle. “That’s how I want them to know that it’s okay.” She hopes to transition from being a cancer patient to being a cancer survivor by August 2019. Apart from comedic relief and her strong faith, Garner noted that the love she receives from her school has been tremendous on her road to recovery. She said there 19 - Monday, Nov. 5 - Monday, Dec. 3 - Monday, Jan. 7 - Monday, Feb. 4 - Monday, March 4 - Monday, April 1 - Monday, May 6 M A NSFIELD ISD.O RG