DCC athletic director overcomes hurdle: Breast cancer diagnosis leads to discovery of other health issues
Finding out she had breast cancer came as a shock and that was a lot to take in but then Sharon Lauer was told she had a mass on her pancreas.
That was in August and now Lauer is recovering after having a lumpectomy, two-thirds of her pancreas removed as well as her spleen and gall bladder removed. She's been through the wringer but the assistant principal and athletic director at Discovery Canyon Campus considers it a blessing.
“Really the breast cancer saved my life,” Lauer said.
The mass was detected during a scan she had after finding out she had breast cancer and turned out to be pre-malignant however if it had not been for the breast cancer she would have never known she had the mass and it would have ended up cancerous.
Doctors determined that the mass and the breast cancer were not related. Lauer did not have to have chemo therapy but did undergo radiation and is happy to say she is cancer free. She is still weak from the surgeries but continues to get stronger every day. She is hoping to be back at school in January.
“That's my hope. It's really hard not to be at school. I feel the progress every day. I try to meet one goal every day,” she said.
Lauer said she drew a lot of strength from other women who have breast cancer and she has received a lot of support from her immediate family and her DCC family.
The students had a pink Friday before she was scheduled to go into surgery to show their support and the swim team is wearing pink hats and pink shirts to honor her this season. She also received a `bad day' box from students and staff complete with jokes, prayers and inspirational quotes.
“It is overwhelming to have that support. It made me strong. Every voice that was expressed was overwhelming,” Lauer said.
Since she's been on leave the other assistant principals and coaches have been chipping in. Lauer has been at the DCC high school since it opened six years ago and prior to that she spent 25 years at Air Academy High School.
“We are greatly looking forward to having her back,” Jim Bailey, DCC high school principal, said.
Bailey said it's been great having other staff members chip in but Lauer is a workhorse and not only does she do a lot for DCC but for the district and other athletic organizations.
“She's a bedrock for a lot of different organizations,” Bailey added.
Lauer is excited to get back to what she loves and is thankful for a second chance to continue down that path.
“I feel like someone gave me a ticket to the second half of my life,” Lauer said.