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November 1, 2022

What’s going on with Mr. Nemecek?

This is Mr. Nemecek, a P.E teacher here at Day Creek Intermediate who is optimistic about battling cancer. 
Sydney N.
This is Mr. Nemecek, a P.E teacher here at Day Creek Intermediate who is optimistic about battling cancer. 

Mr. Nemecek is beloved on Day Creek’s campus. He’s one of those cool, funny teachers that kids hope to have when they get their schedules in the fall. He is known for the fun and energy he brings to the P.E. department, and that personality rubs off on others, who love to be around him.

When recent rumors began to spread on campus, kids feared the worst. What was going on with our P.E. teacher?

“I have had girls ask me if he had cancer because they heard it from other people. Mr. Nemecek gave us permission to share about his cancer. He’s being very open about it,” said Mrs. Ybarra, a fellow P.E. teacher.

Prostate cancer, or prostatic carcinoma, is a common cancer among men in the United States. According to the link, the prostate is a small, rubbery gland about the size of a ping-pong ball, located deep inside a man’s anatomy. The average age of men when they are first diagnosed is approximately 66. Many types of prostate cancer grow slowly, and treatments vary, including monitoring the prostate to surgery. Patients often don’t have any symptoms or may have trouble going to the bathroom.

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“Right now I don’t have any [symptoms], it was just a blood test that told me I had something,” said Mr. Nemecek. “They did say that I would’ve been dead in two years if I hadn’t gotten all this done. Everything just happened like it should,” said Mr. Nemecek.

Day Creek students reacted by immediately showing their concern. They shared their appreciation for the impact and enjoyment Mr. Nemecek has brought to our campus in hopes of lightening his load and raising his spirits.

“[My favorite memory with Mr. Nemecek is] when we sat around our office after school, coming up with game ideas and helping me come up with some ideas for my credential stuff,” said Mr. Marshall, his long-term sub.

Mr. Marshall will teach Mr. Nemecek’s class in the meantime as the treatment process takes place. Treatment for prostate cancer varies depending on what stage it’s diagnosed, but prostate cancer is highly curable when found early so long as the cancer hasn’t spread. Local treatments include surgery, which can effectively get rid of the cancer. Otherwise, radiation therapy and medication are also common courses of healing.  While it is still unclear whether or not Mr. Nemecek will need chemotherapy, he will be receiving surgery on Nov. 29.

”A robot does my surgery and takes out my prostate.” Nemecek said.“The surgeon runs with, like, joysticks. He watches a screen and moves these little hands.”

According to Nemecek, several incisions will be made in order to take out his prostate.

“As far as I know, I think he is going to be okay, so I am not concerned anymore. I was a little concerned that his cancer would have spread, but he told us it has not. I don’t think he is concerned, so we shouldn’t be concerned,” said Mrs. Ybarra.

His absence will definitely leave a gap on campus. Fortunately, Mr. Nemecek will have plenty of time over the holidays for recovery without missing many school days. He knows that he makes an impact on the lives of his students and he is intent to continue to do that through his diagnosis and treatment.

“Actually, the timing couldn’t have been better. It worked out just perfectly. They [scheduled] my surgery right away. From the day I found out to the day of my surgery was 26 days. They did an amazing job of getting me in there really fast. I am super thankful to get [the holiday] break to recover and not have to have to take as many days off,” said Mr. Nemecek.

In situations like this, students and staff are quick to want to do something.

“Just keep giving me positive vibes. Tons of people have come up to me and say, ‘you got this,’ and sharing stories of their relatives that have gotten cancer and been okay,” said Mr. Nemecek.

A few positive words can make a big difference. This is a tough time for Mr. Nemecek, but students and staff can come together to raise awareness and bring positivity.

“I’m going to try to recover over Christmas. The earliest I could come back is after winter break. If I’m feeling good, I’ll come back,” said Mr. Nemecek.

We can’t wait to see you!

This story was originally published on The Day Creek Howl on December 19, 2023.