Monday, March 30, 2009
I'm living in faith that I'm recovering and that with the aggressiveness of my treatment, that the cancer will not return. I'll always have to be vigilant, but I have to live, not live like I'm dying. I've seen the gastroenterologist (last week) and my mysterious pain is probably due to losing and gaining back some weight between last summer and now. Not to mention that my liver was under incredible stress with steroids and poison going through it last year. So it's not sure if I've got scaring on my liver or if I have an issue with too much fat in my liver, but I really don't want to have a liver biopsy to find out! So I'm willing to live with the ambiguity and work on trying to lose weight slowly so I don't over stress my liver. As different as I eat now, compared to before treatment, I really don't understand why I'm not losing weight. It just doesn't make sense to me, but clearly I'm maintaining my weight quite well.
I have my Breast Cancer Support Group tomorrow night, and a couple other meetings this weekend, so I'm going to be a busy girl for the next few weeks. Be patient with me. I'm running as fast as I can.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
The several walks in America raised a NET investment of almost $80M for breast cancer research. 3% of their budget goes to costs for running the events. That's amazing given the kinds of resources (buses, portable toilets, portable showers, and traffic control and who knows what else). 25% goes to advertising, and while I admit that seems really excessive, if it wasn't for that advertising, how would be ever get the cooperation of so many thousands of people who raised that money?
So many charities work so hard just to get a few million. The fact that mostly women, have raised nearly $80M for research just this year, is amazing. Every dollar is a dollar closer to knowing more about what causes and treats this terrible disease.
I also encourage all women healthy or effected to join the Army of Women an initiative of Dr. Susan Love. This effort is pretty amazing by getting the participation of all kinds of women for various studies, many of which don't require much effort at all from a participant. Please consider being a part of this effort.
And for those wondering why the heck I haven't been posting much lately, let me just say, Georgia High School Graduation Testing is all-absorbing! I also have some interesting developments going on in my life that I can't really post about just yet, but it's all good.
Ireland is about two weeks away, and I'm quite excited about the prospects. I spent a considerable part of today researching what to do and how, while in New York City on the 11th of April. I'm thinking very likely that I'll go visit Trinity Church in Manhattan. I'd like to visit the grave of Alexander Hamilton and some other famous folks there. This is the church that George Washington retired to after his inauguration for worship and guidance. There's a cool museum close by, Federal Hall, that I might be able to visit as well. I have about a 12 hour layover between arriving at LaGuardia and leaving from JFK. NYC scares me a just a tad, but I can do it!
I'm very uncertain about my energy levels when traveling my first big trip after treatment. I don't know how much I'll be able to do in any one day or how the jet lag will effect me. At this point, I'm planning to ZONK myself out with very legal, prescribed to ME drugs and see if I can sleep on the flight. I've never been able to do that before, but I've never thought about using major drugs to put me out before either! I'm hoping if I can genuinely rest on the flight and not sit next to the screaming baby or the woman with leg cramps that has to walk the aisle every three minutes, that I can rest some and arrive refreshed. So much more likely too, if I wear myself out in NYC!
Life is busy. Good but busy. It's hard teaching all day and trying to get things done for my one-half of my special education caseload. It's a tense time of the year for those of us doing Special Ed. It's always a RACE to see if we can actually finish the paperwork before the end of the school year. No different this year.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I didn't do my shopping or lesson plans today, but I had a lovely time at the local park with family for a spontaneous picnic. The sunshine was fabulous. The kids had a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun. I've read half a book today (well, actually yesterday now), and should be fast asleep. The alarm will come too early. But, I enjoyed the book the sunshine and the time with loved ones very much. I'll be a responsible adult tomorrow (well, actually today). ;)
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I will be teaching about Latin America, however. Wonder what we're going to do? I might need to think about some lesson plans soon.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Lots of homework for me tonight as I get ready to do a review for the Georgia HS Graduation test in Social Studies tomorrow morning. Tired. Going to SLEEP.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I'm going to subject the poor victims to a discussion of my perceptions of Mexico, AND my vacation pictures of Mexico and the Mayan ruins. Evil. I know.
The school wanted to offer a Saturday review of material prior to the End of Course Tests and Graduation Tests. They couldn't justify hiring a teacher unless they got 15 students to say they'd come. They only had 11. I volunteered to do the reviews those two Saturdays for free. I figure I can do a reasonable job on US History and Biology. Those 11 kids need their review. We need those 11 to pass their tests. We desperately need every single passing student possible if we are to make AYP.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Keeping things from getting too loud is a big challenge. It grates on me a lot the amount of chatter and background noise, but I think it's unavoidable with teens. I got a THANK YOU LETTER today from one student. Wheeeeeee!!!! One student asked me WHY did she have to do something THIS way (roll eyes, and hear a tisk)? I told her, "Because I am mean, and evil and just want to make life as difficult as pssible for you." She gasped, stopped and then just rolled her eyes again and finally just put her head down and started working.
Ahhhhh the wonderful phermones wafting through a room of 9th graders! It's just a phantasm of emotion every moment.
Monday, March 09, 2009
I have two cheap seats on Delta for the wrong days that I'm just going to have to toss into the wind. It costs more to change the tix than to just be a no-show. I can't even give them away because they're in my name. Sux. And I never say that. But it does. At least I figured it out a month before rather than a week before!
Learning new things comes a bit harder now. It's really hard to recall certain words. It's frustrating sometimes. I know a lady though, that can't drive anymore or work or even get out of her house much anymore after her chemo, so I should be grateful! I'm alive and have some brain left. I get very frustrated with myself sometimes though.
Midterms are Wednesday and Thursday. Friday is going to be a FOOD day. Kids seemed interested when I announced the multi-cultural, multi-sensory experience of having Mexican. Tomorrow I'll look for some easy crock-pot recipe's. Not a big cook here. And the crockpot doesn't set off the fire alarm. Having set it off in the past, that's a pretty good criterion for me to meet. Gonna take some decongestants and go to bed. Night all.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
One of the churches I used to attend had a guy with a knife run right through a service some years ago. I believe he got trapped in the Sacristy and ended up being subdued by the priest and a few police chasing him. That is scary enough, but to be shot dead in the middle of a service ... I suppose you get assumed right into heaven from there. In the Catholic faith it would be instant martyrdom, but this poor Baptist guy is just dead.
Then they are also reporting an IRA shooting of two British soldiers in Antrim, which is approximately where I'm going in April. Of course, you don't have to travel to Ireland to see troubles. It wasn't four years ago we had our own shooting at a mall just down the road. Violence is everywhere. I'll try not to wear anything camo when I'm in Ireland and I'll be fine.
I'm glad that we're going to open up some to Cuba. It's another place where Americans are liked (at least right now). Maybe I can get to go there, a destination that would make dad spin in his grave, except he's ashes so I guess the dust is jumping in there, simply saying such a thing!
My lungs are clearing and I don't wheeze quite so much after a weekend of rest and recovery. I've planned a lesson plan next Friday that includes cooking Mexican food. Since I'm not much of a cook, I'm not sure what we will have, but I'm guessing after mid-terms the students will be glad to have anything to eat and relax a bit. We'll be SPEEDING through Mexico because we have to get moving to get through the rest of the world! I believe Middle America and South America come after Mexico.
Be well everyone.
Friday, March 06, 2009
The crud in my chest is loosening up a bit, and it's easier to breathe but sounds very wheezy and rattly. I've been OUT OF IT all week, and am just starting to have some awareness of what's going on around me. If I wasn't in school, I've been in bed asleep or trying to sleep. I'm turning in soon.
I hear we are due for a dose of sunshine this weekend. I'd like to get a little on my skin just to get some vitamin D and let the sun bake some of this sticky mucus out of me. I've been "out of it" for the last week, so I hope I can rejoin the human race slowly. I miss my family.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
I've been working this week in the place of my colleague and friend Jeff, who died two weeks ago. A long-term substitute has been secured to do what I was doing, and now I'm doing what Jeff was doing. It's a regular education job that is possible because I was able to get certified in a few social studies areas some years back. The school has made it perfectly clear that I revert back to special ed as soon as this special circumstance is over. I can, of course, apply for the job if I want to, but since I'm only certified in World and US History and not in all areas of Social Studies, I probably don't stand a chance of winning the job. But at least I'll have three more months of experience than someone straight out of school or something. It's hard for me to know what the possibilities are here. Right now I'm happy to just finish the year out in Jeff's memory.
While I've been sick as a dog, rat or snake this week, I've been trying hard to handle our old classroom. It's hard on the students, and hard on me too. I'm hoping that by next week when I feel better, we can do some more fun activities. I have to feel better before I can do too much fun. I like doing hands-on things though. I wish my first week with them wasn't so overpowered by bronchitis, but one does the best one can.
Right now my best friends are Coricidin HBP and Mucinex and my bed. Tomorrow we're having World Geography movie day with popcorn. The "movie" is of course a streaming video about the geography of the United States. Next week we move on to Canada!
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
I have acute chronic bronchitis right now. An extra day to rest would be good. Alternatively, you can see the road is not icy (right now) so, I'd rather work tomorrow because if we're off another day, I'm sure we'll have to make it up some other day. We've already lost a day because of the tornado, and one due to really, super cold weather one day, so I don't want them taking back some of my spring break or something (especially since I've already bought tix). We'll just have to wait and see what develops. I'm ready for tomorrow -- if I go to work, or if I get to roll over.