Today we’d like to introduce you to Slone Kays.
Hi Slone, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I had battled brain and spinal cancer earlier in life, at 15 years old. The treatment, though long and painful, was ultimately successful.
In 2018, I landed my dream job as a second-grade teacher in North Kansas City. I got into the profession because of the difference I knew that I could make in the lives of some of the children who need it most. It’s not just about helping them make good grades or learn the material. It’s about teaching them things like kindness, generosity, and self-worth. I love to make them feel special… because they are special.
I got engaged in 2019 to the man of my dreams, who’s brother passed away of brain cancer. He is one of the strongest people I know. We had a special connection and there is no doubt God put each other in one another’s life for a very special reason.
In 2020, I was getting a yearly MRI to make sure my tumors were staying stable, as they have for the past nine years. This time we did not get the best of news. My cancer has begun growing again and I needed to have immediate surgery with treatment following. As I was finally living the life I had been dreaming of, overnight, everything came crushing down.
I have been on and off chemo for about a year now, as they bring many horrible side effects. The year has been filled with a lot of pain and unknowns. However, I have faith that my “happily ever after” is out there. Drew and I are to get married in April 2022 and I pray that I can return to the woman Drew fell in love with by that time. Cancer is a hideous disease that has taken so much away from me. I truly hope I see the other side of this so I can one day help more young women with whatever difficult journey they’re on.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road? If not, what were some of the challenges along the way and how did you overcome it?
Chemo causes many side effects that sometimes made me question if I’d want to live another day through. I thought I had many close friends in my life, but fighting cancer for the second time showed me who those friends are that are loyal and will be ones I can count on for the rest of my life. Losing friends has been a heartbreaking part of this journey. Mentally it was also very difficult for me to see my family struggle and watch how helpless they feel. Drew tells me everyday, “I pray to God each morning that He would give me your disease.” I hate making my family feel so bad.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I teach second grade. I love my students like they’re my own and truly want them to be better humans when they leave my classroom. Unfortunately, in the coming year, I do not have the strength to go back to the classroom. I’m needing to focus on getting stronger and kicking cancer’s butt. It was one of the saddest decisions I had to make because I know those kids will cheer me up, but I need to focus on myself at this time.
Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Something that has gotten me through is by having something to look forward to each day. Whether it be some as small as “I can’t wait to cuddle up on the couch tonight and watch my favorite show,” or maybe planning something big. For example, “we are taking a trip, so I want to reach this goal by then so I can be a little bit stronger for my trip.” Sometimes I look forward to and dream about things that are so far away… I’m excited to hopefully have children someday and raise a family.
- Website: https://linktr.ee/slonestrength
- Instagram: @slonekays