GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Regenia Ambrose was at work when she got the call that she had breast cancer.
The Madison Elementary School technology assistant told her colleagues in an e-mail but made it clear that she didn’t want her students to know.
“I did not want them to be afraid,” Ambrose said.
She was determined not to see cancer as a death sentence.
“This is going to be a positive walk," Ambrose said. "I'm going to place myself in a bubble. I'm not going to receive any negativity from anybody and anything that comes that's negative, it's going to bounce off my bubble."
As positive as she was about her journey, she says there was one moment where she wondered.
“Okay, Lord. Why am I going through this? I know there's a reason,” Ambrose said.
She got the answer from a woman she knew at school.
The woman told Ambrose that her attitude about having cancer allowed her to open up about battling cancer too.
“She said, ‘I was just so blessed by your freedom,’” Ambrose said. “I sat there, and I started to cry because my question that I’d asked less than 24 hours, ‘why am I going through this,’ I got my answer.”
She continued to work while undergoing treatment.
Even though her students didn’t know her story at the time, Ambrose says they helped her stay encouraged.
“Being able to come in here and work with them daily no matter how I felt, good or bad," Ambrose said. "I was able to smile at them and bring joy to them as they were bringing joy to me.”
Ambrose also credits her faith, family and colleagues for getting her through that tough time.
Ambrose was diagnosed in March 2017 and the cancer was detected early.
She shared her story with the students once she was cancer-free.
“My teacher did it. You can do it too. That's a testimony that they have that they can give to someone," Ambrose said.