Occupation: Cancer Ninja – Guest post by Holly Lamont

Today I am pleased and honored to present a guest post by my friend Holly Lamont. Holly is only 40 years old and she has had to retire from the job she loved because of metastatic breast cancer. This post was her Facebook status on June 5th, and she has graciously allowed me to reprint it as a guest post. I’ll step aside and let Holly introduce herself: “I am a 40 year old retired teacher from Reading, Pa. I have a 5 year old son, a 10 year old daughter and an 18 year old step son and a wonderful husband. I am fighting stage IV breast cancer. It is currently in my bones, liver and lung.”


This day is the day. My last day. My resume now reads, retired first grade teacher for the RSD. My only job now is cancer ninja. 5 and a half years of education, 16 years in a classroom, gallons of blood, sweat and tears, thousands of children’s faces, hundreds of coworkers and friends, four principals, two schools, countless papers graded, books read. Hundreds of pledging to the flag every morning and singing My Country Tis of Thee. Thousands of dollars spent on endless items for the classroom. Sleepless nights, tired days, wiping tears, telling kids I don’t tie first grade shoes, dozens of chairs painted, hundreds of thousands of pins on Pinterest for school, one id picture used year after year, hoping I inspired someone to be a good person.
Things I have learned…
* I had good bladder control.
* Teaching was way fun before NCLB.
* I learned as much as I taught.
* I ALWAYS heard duty and do do.
* Teachers are not appreciated the way they should be.
* Need to name a newborn? Teach. You will find out which names you will not name said child.
* Some of the greatest teaching moments are located no where in a teacher’s edition.
* You can’t save them all.
* I hated parent teacher conferences, but learned so much from them.
* Report cards suck.
* People who complain about teaching are completely clueless as to what it takes to be a teacher.
* Children should be learning way before they hit Kindergarten… hello parents.
* Sometimes you just have to read for FUN.
And I could go on and on….
* I am pissed off that I have to end my teaching career due to cancer. I was suppose to retire by having had all MY children graduate high school and go off to college. The youngest did graduate… from Pre K.
So now I will spend my time fighting this disease that is so determined to overtake my body. Screw you cancer. I hate that you have taken my career from me. My heart and soul was Mrs. Lamont and now I have to be full time cancer ninja. Instead of buying things for the class, I am paying medical bills. Instead of searching for new things for my students to learn, I am searching for any new studies or breakthroughs in the cancer world.
I cannot say it enough that I hate you.

So I start the last day of my teaching career as a final Mrs. Lamont and end my day at the oncologist as the cancer ninja.
The final step will be cleaning out my classroom after school is over next week.

Mrs. Lamont/ Cancer Ninja

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10 Responses

  1. Paula Sanders says:

    I hate cancer too Knot and Holly. I just found out one of my old friends has quit her job as a NP due to breast cancer. Totally not fair! Praying for all people fighting cancer today.

  2. Cheryl Martin says:

    Right there with you, I celebrate 14 year anniversary tomorrow, 11 of which have been living with metastatic disease. I have not retired for the simple fact I am single and I cannot live without health insurance or a paycheck for that matter. I know leaving a profession you love is hard, but you can now enjoy more time with your family as well as being a cancer ninja. God Bless you and your family. May you continue to kick cancer butt for many years to come.

  3. Lisa says:

    Tears are in my eyes. I hate this disease. Why does it have to take everything from us?

  4. dear Knot and Holly,

    thank you Knot for featuring Holly’s story. Holly, I am so very sorry for the anger and disappointment and sense of tremendous loss you are experiencing. and I am sorry for your school, your students, and their parents, too. all of what cancer so cruelly steals from us is magnified as those losses trickle down and affect many, many others. I wish I had words to comfort you – but sometimes their just are none adequate enough – except to say, Cancer, you are one fucking bastard.

    Holly, I will be thinking of you as you take on ninja status, sending you many warm and gentle hugs and tremendous amounts of BIG hope that you will find that breakthrough treatment and/or clinical trial that will be perfect for you. thank you for telling your story; and please know this is a tight – knit community always here for you for support in any way you need.

    much love to you, and to you, too, Knot

    Karen xoxo

  5. Diane says:

    Karen always says things so well, I can’ top her eloquent and spot on comments so I will only second them. Knot thank you for sharing Holly’s Facebook share, no doubt a very difficult day. ~D

  6. As Holly’s post so painfully and honestly describes, cancer is a thief. Thank you, Holly, for sharing your heart and thank you, Knot, for sharing Holly.

  7. Maxine D says:

    Thank you Holly and Knot – this is a cruel disease, and affects so many, if not directly, then indirectly as Holly’s story so eloquently states. We so often ‘miss’ the ripple effect when we hear of another being struck with this horrific illness.
    Prayers and blessings

  8. Marcy says:

    Cancer sucks. Decommissioning great people who love their jobs and do them well is just one of the sadnesses. Thanks for sharing!
    warmly, marcy

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