This summer I attended CAMT as a featured speaker in San Antonio Texas. The CAMT board had asked me to do a passion piece in addition to my clothesline math sessions. Besides math, what else am I passionate about?
An idea had dawned on me. How could I tell my story of breast cancer and all the lessons I learned? Not everyone knows or has breast cancer. How could I turn my story into an inclusive presentation where everyone can empathize and think of their own lives?
Adversity. That was the answer. Who hasn’t gone through some sort of challenge, difficulty, or speed bump in their life? As humans, we are so similar, but different because of our experiences, backgrounds, and choices. Adversity can be physical, financial, social emotional or religious. Adversity can tear humans apart, but bring us together. Humans have a mechanism of wanting to help, empathize, and future.
And with this in mind, I told my story at CAMT. I documented so much of my cancer journey that putting together visuals for the presentation was a snap. It was emotional to put the slide show together because I started to relive my experience. My story, though, was not only mind but my family’s. I included my husband, son, and parents in my presentation because they were my support team. Cancer free for 3 years and still standing.
And after my story was told, I regaled the audience with the life lessons I learned. These lessons weren’t brand new, but adversity had definitely reminded me of them. Adversity does that. Adversity reminds you of what’s important and what should take priority. The life lessons were applicable to educators.
Sixty minutes of putting my vulnerability out there for my audience. 60 minutes of my emotional journey. 60 minutes of wearing my heart on my sleeve. And it was met with a standing ovation and applause. Some in the audience teared up. Never in a million years did I think that one of my presentations would make such a deep impact.