Mahoney Making Progress in Cancer Treatment

Upper school math teacher excited for his return to teaching

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When strolling through the math wing on an average day, whether leaving lunch or retaking skill quizzes, you may feel a missing presence. Ryan Mahoney, one of upper school math teachers, has been on leave so that he can focus on his health.

According to his Caring Bridge site, Mahoney was diagnosed with Follicular cell lymphoma on April 25, 2018. He has been battling the persistent cancer ever since, mainly with chemotherapy. Mahoney describes cancer as “a terrible disease with an even worse cure.” The “cure,” chemotherapy, is an intense process by which an assortment of drugs is introduced to the body in an attempt to kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, chemotherapy also kills other fast-growing cells, and its side effects include hair loss, nausea, extreme headaches and more. Mahoney elaborated, “Just writing about it makes me nauseous.” 

In addition to his physical medicine, Mahoney also supports the idea that “laughing with friends and family” is also great medicine. He goes on to write about his journey from another perspective: his faith. When he begins to lose faith in medicine, he turns to the Bible. His faith has supported him when he has nothing else and helps him to be thankful for being alive.

Mahoney plans to be back around the last week of October. He will start out as part-time and planning on the direction of his treatment he may be able to commit to full time or possibly or take more weeks off. Despite the negative possibilities,  Mahoney remains optimistic and selfless, stating, “In the times when I have felt most alone during this journey, even when surrounded by loving friends, I need to stop and be silent and remember the miracle that it is to be alive. I am owed nothing but have been given everything.”  Mahoney is very grateful for the Blake community, especially for our patience and support. He says, “I am blessed to work at such an amazing place that treats teachers like family.”

For those eager for Mahoney’s return, know that he shares your eagerness, as well as new wisdom from the unfathomable experience that he has humbly battled through. Mahoney assures, “No matter what happens, I will keep all of my students informed.”