Lowe battles breast cancer, receives student support


Anna Barrett

Students made a sign to show support for OHS teacher Barbara Lowe. She is battling breast cancer and recently started receiving treatment.

Anna Barrett, Staff Writer

Chances are, if you have ever stepped foot into Oxford High School, you know Barbara Lowe; what many don’t know is that  her life recently took a sharp turn. On Aug. 28, Lowe was diagnosed with breast cancer, and just like that, her life was forever changed.

Lowe has already begun treatment for her diagnosis in order to fully maximize her chances for a complete cure, which are very, very good.

“Whew. The past week has been a blur,” Lowe said. “I don’t think I have fully processed the news yet. In fact, I know that I haven’t. Right now I’m all about getting these tests done, getting the chemo going. I’m ready to kick some cancer butt.”

Throughout this past week, she has had blood tests, two types of mammograms, a CT scan, a triple biopsy, a surgery to implant a port, which is used to deliver chemo, and has met with multiple doctors, and this is only the beginning.

“I’ll have four courses of chemotherapy to shrink the tumors, then surgery, then two more courses of chemo. I’ll have radiation if needed,” Lowe said.

According to Breastcancer.org, a non-profit organization, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, besides skin cancer, is breast cancer. Although a woman’s risk nearly doubles if she has had a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) with the disease, about 85 percent of the women who are diagnosed have no family history.

“I was shocked. I only have one blood relative—a cousin—who has had any type of cancer, so I really thought I just had some sort of cyst,” Lowe said. “So the diagnosis was definitely unexpected.”

Assistant Principal Christopher Bush believes that any time a teacher may have to be absent or take on a different role, the daily routines of students and coworkers change. What keeps the class working are those who step up and lead the way for the other students, which is already being done.

“It’s different for our class,” sophomore Lily Hemmins said. “Since I am in her zero period and everyone in there has been with her for a few years, we are trusted to be autonomous.”

According to Bush, the number one concern is that Lowe is given support and help during this time in her life.

“Honestly, when I met with Dr. Lowe, and she told me her news, we prayed together.” Bush said. “Because anytime you go through a trying time, for some, faith is what helps carry us through.”

Lowe has received a tremendous amount of encouragement from friends, coworkers, students, and many other people in her life, including one of her closest friends from elementary school.

“She’s making a chemo quilt for me now,” Lowe said. “I know how lucky I am to work with my colleagues in the Oxford School District. I have had love and prayers and blessings pouring in from my colleagues, students, former students, and parents of students. I plan to #fightlikeagirl and #winlikeawoman, and I know that I’ll be able to because of all of the love and support I am receiving from so many amazing people in my Charger family.”