Thursday, December 13, 2012

4.0

My first semester is over!  I haven't been blogging because I've been studying my butt off! Well, wait...I just checked, and my butt is still right where I expected it...I guess I've been studying my brains out!

I had my last final today, so I'm officially on Christmas break!

My grades broke down like this:

English: 96 on grammar final, 98 on written final...93.7 overall.  (This class has been a thorn in my side ALL semester.  I'm SO glad to be done with it.)

Math: 98 on final, 103 overall

Medical Terminology: 96 on final, 99.6 overall

Anatomy & Physiology: 99 on final, 99 overall

I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm super proud of myself.  These were hard classes, and I hadn't been to school in a couple decades.  I'm tickled at how much I love college and learning this new field. I'm excited to be moving on to a new path.  I'm excited to make new friends, to meet new instructors...just all of it!

Tonight we're headed to Shannon Winter Chorus Concert.  Tomorrow, Shannon and I are going to a Christmas play at a friend's church, and then Sunday we're taking Shan to the Nutcracker for her birthday!  It must be December!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be thankful for.  I realized, as I was counting my blessings, just how happy I am to have returned to college.  I really can't explain it, because I truly loved my career as a teacher, but I'm just thrilled to have a new goal and destination for my future.  I look forward to school EVERY day, and I love to go.  I'm so thankful that I feel "brave" enough to leave a secure job to follow my dream.  This was definitely one of those things that if I waited for the right time, I'd never do it.  Sometimes you just have to JUMP.  I'm realizing (based on the comments of my friends and people that I meet) that this is a rare thing to follow through on!

I'm thankful for too many things to list here...you know, the biggies...my faith, my family, my health, my friends, my home, etc.  But then there are just so many others.  I am blessed.


My brother and his wife came over for Thanksgiving Day.  I love that they live here in GA now, and we can get together whenever we want.  We watched the Macy's Parade, the dog show, and some football.  We had a delicious meal together, and just enjoyed each other's company.

We didn't go out overnight for Black Friday shopping, but Patrick, Shannon and I did venture out for a few hours this afternoon.  We didn't really need anything; we just like to experience the spectacle.  Most of the stores had little to no lines, and it was fine!  Old Navy had a long line, but we didn't need to buy anything.  

We plan to put up the Christmas tree downstairs tomorrow.  Usually we have it upstairs, but we'd like for my Dad to be able to enjoy it as much as possible.  So downstairs it is!  I can't believe it's Christmas-time already.  This year has just flown.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Home again

Mom and Dad are safely home...and sound asleep.  They seem to have had a great time. Dad's next chemo (but the first of a new type) is on Wednesday.

Tonight, Shannon and I are baking cookies and watching The Goonies for the first time ever!  I don't know how I never saw it...but somehow I never did.  It's funny so far!  We've got a fire in the fireplace, and are just enjoying not having to get ready for school tomorrow! I might have to bust out my coloring books...the ultimate relaxation for me!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Counting our blessings

When a lot of stuff starts happening, my tendency is to try to keep it to myself until it resolves.  You know what happens then?  NO blogging.  Dumb.

We found out about 2-1/2 weeks ago that my dad's chemo hasn't been helping.  His tumors are larger, and have even spread.  He has been referred to palliative care, which isn't hospice, but is much more focused on keeping him comfortable, and less worried about him becoming hooked on painkillers, etc.  He will begin a new chemo regimen next week to see if will slow down his cancer's growth.

Realizing that things are moving kind of fast, my brother and sister in law booked a trip for my mom and dad to go with them to Hawaii...leaving on 11/9.  This is a bucket list item for my dad.  He had a real hard time on the long flight there, and actually had to be hospitalized the first 3 days of their trip.  But the last 5 days have been wonderful for them.  My dad got to spend time at the ocean, see the Hawaiian sights, and fly in a helicopter over beautiful waterfalls, etc.

Meanwhile at home, we've had major construction work going on, to make the house more comfortable for Dad.  We've had a window to the backyard replaced with french doors, and a stamped concrete patio poured outside it, so he has a nice easy way to enjoy the outdoors.  We've had their tub removed and a shower installed.  The edge of the tub was too high for dad to step over comfortably.  We had the end of our driveway smoothed out so it won't be so painful for Dad to ride over it.

And then besides that, we're going to school, of course.  We're sliding into finals time...but first...we are off ALL of next week.  I feel like I'm getting a cold, so I'm definitely glad that I've got some time to rest and recover.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I love Fall

I tolerate summer for two reasons. The first is that I have no choice, lol.  The second is that it leads me to Fall and Winter, my absolute favorite seasons of the year.

Here in Georgia, one of the first signals that Fall is "falling" is that the humidity drops dramatically seemingly overnight. (Aaahhhhh....) When that happens, I finally feel like I can breathe. Typically this happens around the 1st week of October, but then we get a "wonderful" Indian Summer where temps shoot back up into the 80s and I am sad, lol.  Now as we are sliding into November it feels as though Autumn is here for real.

When I woke up this morning it was chilly and breezy.  I came out to the living room and Patrick had a fire (our first of the season) going in the fireplace, and was cooking a stew/soup at the stove.  (Could the day be MORE perfect???)  Looking at the forecast for the week ahead, I see our first dips below freezing in store.  Love love LOVE!!!!

I'm sitting at the kitchen table working on my English paper and enjoying a cup of pumpkin spice coffee with caramel creamer. I glance to my right and see the autumn leaves falling in the breeze.  I am thankful.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Setting up to fail?

Is it foolish to begin a weight loss journey just as we're coming into the holidays?  Am I just setting myself up for failure and stress?  On one hand...it's certainly not going to hurt me to make good food choices and perhaps work out, lol.  On the other hand...really?!?  LOL!

I kind of feel like it's one of those things that if I wait until the right time I'll never do it.  Sigh.

Why can't I just be thin?

A weekend of highs and lows

Yep, I'm a week behind.  That's me!

Last Friday I headed up to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge for a weekend of girlie-time with one of my very bestest friends in the world.  We had each made a list of three things we wanted to do, and set ourselves to doing them!  I wanted to go to the Christmas store, eat at the Pancake Pantry, and stay up late chatting.  She wanted to go up in to the mountains to see the leaves (we *kinda* did that...the traffic was SO heavy that we sort of counted the visible mountains from Gatlinburg as going "up into the mountains."),  eat at Mellow Mushroom, and walk around Gatlinburg/PF window shopping.  It was DEElightful to spend time with my girlie.  I needed it.  Oh oh oh!  We rode this thing called the SkyLift up to the top of a mountain...and I literally almost dropped my purse.  OMG.  That would have sucked!!!  But I caught it *just* in time. Shew.

In sad news, just as I was pulling into the Smokies, Patrick called to tell  me that his mom had passed away. We knew it was coming, and it is very sad.  But honestly?  We are relieved that she is finally at peace.  The poor woman was miserable for the vast majority of her life. THAT is the saddest part.  Patrick is of course grieving the loss of his mother...but he encouraged me to go on with my girlie weekend. I had major guilt, but we talked many times throughout the weekend, and he was doing ok.  The hardest part for him is getting his head around the fact that she is gone.  She had, among other things, dementia...so he has been "losing her" for a really long time.  There really was some relief to knowing she is free at last.

I really want to get back to blogging.  Anybody still around to read?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Missed the goal

Well October 15th has come and gone.  That was the day by which we wanted to have walked 300 miles.  We didn't make it.  We walked 140 miles...and you know what?  That's awesome.  We fell short of our goal, but we started college, my dad was diagnosed with cancer, and life happened.  But I"m proud of what we accomplished!

In school news, I'm BEAT.  Midterms were last week, and I got A's.  This week I had a test in every class (again!) and gave an oral presentation in Anatomy & Physiology today.

You know what I need?  A girls weekend...and that's exactly what I'm going to have!  First thing tomorrow morning I'm headed out for a weekend of fun and relaxing with my best girl, Tricia. I can't wait.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Forgotten Blog

Being the awesome blogger that I am, I figured that I should maybe post something!

Hi to anyone who happens to read this! Hope you're having a marvelous day.

Something amazing is happening right now...Patrick and I are ALONE in our home.  This has not happened in TWO years since my parents moved in.  But tonight, my mom is in CA, my dad is staying at my brother's house, and Shannon is at Girl Scout Camporee. Holy cow!

Another amazing happening of the evening, is that Louis, Shannon's pet praying mantis (yes really), laid an egg nest today!  Apparently she is a LOUISE!!!! Wow!  Did you know a praying mantid's egg case can hold 400 babies?  Eep!  Science is so awesome.

Not sure I mentioned this...but it's noteworthy.  The sale of my parents' house fell through.  That's the suckage.  So many things were riding on that sale...but no.

Also, I'm having some financial aid issues....blarg.  I'm breathing deep, having faith, and keeping on keeping on.

Let's see...what else?  I helped name a friend's kitten today.  Volunteered for Shannon's theatre group and sold tickets tonight.  Aaaand, I have midterms next week.  On the agenda for tomorrow?  Church and studying!!!

All in all, life's good...just a few bumps in the road.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Here we go again, lol

Another writing assignment tomorrow.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.  I have NO confidence that I will deliver what this professor is actually looking for...but I will do my best.  I really don't like NOT knowing the topic until we walk in the door, either.  I just feel like I can't begin to prepare until I get there...and that's not my style.  Oh well.  This isn't my favorite class, and that surprises me.  I fully expected to love my English class and dislike my Math class...and the opposite has proven to be true.  Color me shocked.

I have a quiz in A & P tomorrow too.  Hopefully that will go fine.  I'm not really nervous about that one, because I've been studying.  I'll just be glad when it's over, y'know?

And then...guess what it is.

My birthday weekend!  My birthday is on Saturday!!! Woohoo!  We don't really have any big plans...but my parents are taking us out to dinner Friday night.  I'm LOVING how the weather is beginning to cool down, so maybe a Jeep outing and hike would be just right for the actual birthday?  Not sure.  We'll just see what feels right.

We bought ourselves a new toy this week...a Keurig machine!  Now we're having fun trying out different flavored coffees (well, I'm trying the flavors...Patrick's just trying different brands, brews, roasts, etc...he doesn't do flavors), etc.  What's your favorite K-Cup?  Where do you find the best prices on them?  Help a newbie out?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Life of a Student

The pattern and flow of my life has dramatically changed since going back to school.  I go to bed earlier, but much more tired.  I wake up at about same time, but with a much different agenda to my days.  Some days I hustle right out the door.  Other days I have time in the morning to get things done, study some...not leaving for school til just before lunchtime.  My time at school is pretty hectic and full. I like the rhythm to my life now...but I'm not good at it yet!

We are still struggling to find and carve out our walking time.  Studying MUST happen, and then we are suddenly DEAD tired.  Or, there are appointments that can't be changed, or a sick child to take care of.  Whatever.  We'll keep plugging away at it.  There's no finish-line...so we'll just do our best.

That 80 on my English paper really through me for a loop, but I'm happy to report that I got a 94% on a major test we took on Thursday.  Steps in the right direction!  We have another writing assignment to do this coming Thursday.  I'm cautiously optimistic that now that I know how she grades, I can be more watchful to my writing style.  We shall see!

Crazily enough, my Math class is giving me NO trouble at all, and I'm rocking a 101% average right now.  My two medical classes are great. I love them.  Anatomy & Physiology pushes me harder than Medical Terminology does, but I have very high A's in both of them, too.  The work is getting more detailed and the expectations higher...but so far, so good!  I love it.

We're only about a month in, but I'm already starting to think about the classes I'll be registering for next semester. I've made some sweet friends at school already, and we're gonna try to get some of our classes together.  That'll be fun...and makes me feel 16!  LOL!

Dad is doing well, but his immune system is basically gone. He has an oncology appointment tomorrow, and then his second round of chemo begins next Monday.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday

Yeah...today was kind of a Monday.

I got my score on my first writing assignment today...and I got an 80.  I was SO disappointed.  Thank goodness I got my score at home, because I literally sat down and cried.  I really thought I did a lot better, and I never would have thought that English would be my hard class!  Sigh.  Lots of room for improvement.  I lost 8 points for commas. Ugh.  I have always thought I write and speak fairly well, but apparently not as well as I'd have hoped!

We have our first big grammar test on Thursday. I was already nervous about it...now I'm really concerned!  I sat tonight, and did two complete modules (online) from our grammar book.  I looked back to see my progress, and the it had only logged one module.  Argh!!!!  I'd had it with English and Grammar at that point!

The big news of the day is that Patrick changed his major.  It's a long involved story, filled with much heartache (for him), introspective thinking and realizations...but he has switched from respiratory therapy to radiology.  Hopefully next fall, he'll be accepted into the X-Ray Tech program!  We're gonna need lots of positive thoughts late next spring; he'll be applying for the X-Ray program, and I'll be applying for the Surg Tech program!

Anyway.  It wasn't my favorite day.  Very tumultuous, and lots of feelings.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Making a goal adjustment

On July 15, Patrick and I set ourselves a goal to walk 300 miles in 90 days.  In our first month we walked 88 miles.

We have continued walking as often, and as far as we can...but between my dad's cancer diagnosis and starting treatment, and us starting school and the homework/studying that goes with it...We are at about day 45, and we're at "only" 121 miles.

Family, church, and school have GOT to be our number one priority, with fitness coming in right behind.  I could feel my Virgo tendencies starting to stress that we weren't going to reach our goal. Rather than have that spin me around into a "why even try, then?" attitude...I told Patrick that I needed for us to adjust the goal.

Our new goal is this:  To walk as far and as often as we can (a minimum of 3x per week) for 90 days, and to see how far we get!  I have a feeling that once the 90 days are over, we're not going to stop, either.

So...onward!

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Normal?

Wow...I don't know how people go to school full-time AND work full-time.  They get a major fist-bump (typed fish-bump..hahaha!) from me!  This full-time school thing is NO joke.  By the time Friday rolled around last week, I felt like I'd bruised my brain! Ha!  Hopefully as I keep up this pace, my brain and body will adjust and I won't always feel *quite* so overwhelmed.  I'm writing from the school library again.  I've been in here studying since 8:15, and it was time to take a break.

I have my first Anatomy and Physiology text tomorrow.  I'm a little nervous about it, because I've never done it before...but we did take a practice test last Thursday and I only missed one.  So, hopefully that's a good indication of grades to come!

Kate asked in my comments what a career in surgical technology is.  The Mayo Clinic website describes it much more succinctly than I could, lol!

"Surgical technologists, also called "scrubs," or "operating room technicians," assist in surgeries under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses or other surgical personnel. Surgical technologists are members of operating room teams, which most commonly include surgeons, anesthesiologists and circulating nurses.

Before an operation, surgical technologists help prepare the operating room by setting up surgical instruments and equipment, sterile drapes and sterile solutions. They assemble both sterile and non-sterile equipment and ensure it's working properly.
Technologists also prepare patients for surgery by washing, clipping and disinfecting incision sites. They transport patients to the operating room, help position them on the operating table and cover them with sterile surgical drapes. Technologists also assist the surgical team with putting on sterile gowns and gloves."

Patrick and I did a 7 mile hike this weekend, bringing our walking total to 114 miles each.  I'm gonna be honest here and say that I'm not totally sure we're going to hit our goal of 300 miles in 90 days...but we are going to do the BEST we can.  I'd love to see us reach that goal, but we are finding that occasionally there just aren't enough hours in the day, or miles in our feet! But we are going to walk walk walk further and more often than we ever have.  That's still a victory, right?

My dad starts chemo today.  I'm nervous.  I want to respect his wishes...but I also really hope that his health concerns + chemo isn't a disaster.  I guess time will tell.  We went to church together yesterday morning, and had a really nice family dinner (his favorite: steak and tater tots, lol) last night.  I know we are entering the final chapter in his life, and I just want to help make it was good and positive (and love-filled) as possible.



Friday, August 24, 2012

Five Question Friday


It's time to join in on Mama M's Five Question Friday!



Here come the questions!


1. If you could have been (could be) any profession you wanted (brains and $$$ no problem) what would it be? I've just gone back to school to pursue my chosen profession...surgical technology!

2. How often do you clean out your car?  My car is pretty small (Jeep Wrangler), so I keep it pretty cleaned out.  The outside though, is just like a Jeep should be...dirty! 

3. Do you wish there was such a thing as fashion police or are you deeply relieved? Nah, I'd rather be comfy.

4. What's your go to food/drink/activity when stressed?  Diet Coke.  I  have a weakness for donuts too...but I'm trying to be strong!

5. If you had twins, what would you name them?  When I was a kid, I wanted boy/girl twins, and to name them Erin and Aaron.  I thought that was SO original.  Now, I'd probably just name them my two favorite names  Jackson Irwin, and either Fiona Grace or Piper Grace.  If I had two boys, my other boy name would probably be Ian Carter.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blogging from school

Guess what's happening to me....

My evenings of sitting on the couch, blog-surfing, playing on FB, etc...have been replaced by sitting at the table, reading and studying textbooks, making flashcards, and learning new computer programs.  But you know what?  I love it.  I'm still in the overwhelmed, oh my gosh how will I ever learn all of this stage, but I know I will.  Because I already am.

As Patrick drove us to school this morning, I was quizzing us on flashcards.  And there were only a couple I didn't know! Go me!  (His chemistry ones are scary, lol!)

Here's another new thing.  I'm blogging from school.  Right now, I'm between classes, and I'm eating my little lunch that I brought from home.  I thought I'd take a few minutes to sit and record this moment.

I've made some new acquaintances, and that's fun...but also a little scary.  I am/was very happy and comfortable with all of my long-time preschool friends.  Walking up to new people and introducing myself, or starting a conversation is hard.  But I've already found two people in my field of study who are also brand new to the program, and a few other nice folks too.

Learning and growing, learning and growing. <3 p="p">

Monday, August 20, 2012

College Student

Well, it's official! I'm a college student.

Yesterday I got my textbooks and book-bag ready.



This morning, I took our family's traditional "first day of school" photo.
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And then...my honey and I headed off to school! Here I am in the library, before my Math class.


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I was a bit nervous, just because this is so new, and so important to me. I mean, I quit my job to do this...and now, here I was about to begin! But, everything was fine. I talked to two "strangers" in class, and they were both very nice. I wasn't the oldest one there, and the girl across the aisle from me had a Hello Kitty backpack. (I adore Hello Kitty.) I showed her my HK pencil case, and we both smiled. So, it was a success! Tomorrow I have English, and then Anatomy & Physiology.

Patrick and I hit a "milestone" tonight. We did our daily walk, and it put us across the 100 mile mark since July 15th! Woot! We're a few days behind our "plan," but that can't be helped now. We just keep moving forward!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Twas the Night Before College....

That's right!  I start school tomorrow!  I can't believe it's fiiiinnnnaaaallllllllllly here!  I feel like I made the decision SO long ago, but it reality it's just been a year.  But throughout this past year, I've been planning, preparing, and thinking about it SO much that it kind of felt like it would never get here!

I quit my job, gave away all of my teacher stuff, and I am ready to start on the path to my new life!

I bought my textbooks last week, and have them all organized.  My book-bag is ready to go, and I'm charging my computer.

I have only one class tomorrow...Math.  What a way to get started, huh?

Think a good thought for me, ok?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sinking in

For those who are new to my blog, a little background.

My parents live with us. They moved in almost two years ago. Last summer my Dad had triple bypass surgery, and then dealt with a pain syndrome and hospitalization into the early fall. He has Alzheimer's disease and COPD. Their house in CA has been on the market for two YEARS and two months. About two weeks ago, it thankfully went into escrow. We are hoping and praying that the sale goes through without trouble.

 On Thursday, we received his sad diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. It has metastasized to his liver already. This spread of disease is called "extensive," providing a very grim prognosis. I found this information online later that evening:

"For extensive stage small cell lung cancer the median survival with treatment is 6 to 12 months, and only 2 to 4 months without treatment."

I may have said all this the other day. I apologize.

The next thing I wanted to say is that...this is starting to sink in. For all of us. And it's sad. Deeply sad. It's the kind of sad that you just can't get away from or make better. We are attempting to do some fun things with him, and make the best of each day...but we're all just sort of still in disbelief. Like...this does not compute. Listening to my mom on the phone yesterday, setting up his chemo schedule was surreal. Dad? Chemo? Wait. What?

In slightly better news, today my mom also set up her flight to CA in October to finish packing up their household belongings, and arranging the moving truck, etc. My sister lives in CA and will be going with her to help. We are so hopeful that my Dad will still be stable enough that Mom will feel like she can leave him for a week.

I want to write about my feelings about starting school on Monday...but my brain just isn't going there tonight. I'll try again tomorrow.

Peace.

Five Question Friday

I've been a hit and miss blogger over the spring and summer. I had some big things happening, that I just couldn't widely share until the people in my life that were affected found out first.  These happenings were so big and consuming so many of my thoughts, that if I couldn't blog about them, I didn't want to blog at all!  But now that EVERYBODY knows that I've left my job and am going back to school...and now about my Dad's illness...NO MORE SECRETS!

I'm so happy to be able to come back to blogging.  It's a great way for me to record my days, my feelings, etc.  Plus I love the friends I've made online.  So...I'm baaaaack!

And just in time to join in on Mama M's Five Question Friday!




Here come the questions!


1. What's the one thing you buy every time you walk into the store?  Soy Milk, eggs, lunch meat, cheese, frozen waffles

2. If you had a day all to yourself how would you spend it?  I would sleep in, go for a hike by my favorite river and then sit on the rocks.  I'd take myself out to eat, and then come home and give myself a pedicure.  In the evening, I'd have a couple drinks and either watch chick movies or read a book.

3. Are you a speed limit driver? If not, over or under? I tend to drive the speed limit.

4. What's your favorite dessert to make, homemade or from a mix??  I love to make this "Apple Cheese Danish Braid."  It's easy, delicious, and everyone loves it.  It's home-made...but you use crescent rolls.  Not sure if that counts, lol.

5. Would you rather have a spider or a mouse scurry across your face (no copping out and saying "neither!!")? Oh Em Gee.  This is nearly impossible.  I guess I'm going to have to choose a mouse.  The idea of a spider on my face nearly makes me hyper-ventilate!  The notion of a mouse on my face is horrifying as well, for the record, lol!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Walking

We had to take a couple days off from our walking schedule.  Patrick got a sore foot, and he needed to rest it.  We had chiro appointments today, and the dr. confirmed that nothing is broken, but probably plantar fasciitis.  I KNOW how bad that hurts.  Poor man!

Anyway, we hiked 3.9 miles today, which brings us to 88 miles this month!!!  We "should" be at 100 to be on-target...but I think 88 is pretty darn awesome.

On the day we started, I had Patrick take a picture of me.  Now that it's a month later, I had him take another one.  Let's see if there's any visible difference.  I have lost 8.8 lbs.

This is me on July 15, 2012...our first day of walking:


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And, here I am today...August 17, 2012, after a month of walking.  88 miles:


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I'm not sure I see a difference...but I know I'm stronger.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Full Diagnosis

We found out this morning that Dad has Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC). This type of cancer is not staged I, II, III, IV. It's either classified as limited or extensive. My dad's is extensive, because it has metastasized out of the place of origin. (This would be Stage IV in other types of cancers.) The oncologist said that now that we know it's SCLC, we don't need to pursue *where* it started, because it's already progressing. 

Surgery is not an option. Chemo will not cure it, only possibly slow it down. However, none of us are certain that chemo won't kill him faster. He does want to start chemo though, and he will go August 27, 28, 29. Then he doesn't go again for 4 weeks. The doctor said that if he hates it, or can't tolerate it, he can stop it at any time. 

I read a very sobering statistic today: "For extensive stage small cell lung cancer the median survival with treatment is 6 to 12 months with treatment, and only 2 to 4 months without treatment." 

Sigh.

My dad has had basically no response at all.  

I just want to sit on my bed for a little while and be sad.  

(In other news, I got my college textbooks today.  That was exciting...and staggering.  Thank God for financial aid.  My books cost $587!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One step at a time

A month ago, Patrick and I set a goal for ourselves to walk 300 miles in 90 days.  As of today, we've walked 83 miles!  It is very challenging, but honestly we are loving it.  All of this walking is giving us plenty of time to talk, and lately...we've had lots to talk about.  Plus, we've found some really beautiful trails and walking paths in our area!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What we were afraid of

Got results for my Dad.

It has been confirmed that he has cancer in both his lung and his liver. The biopsy results for both locations match...meaning it's cancer on the move.  The doctors have not yet been able to determine the origin of the cancer though.  We hope to schedule his first oncology appointment tomorrow.

Of course I'm very sad.  But there are so many other feelings too.

Some of my feelings are, my dad feels pretty good right now. I would love for my parents to be able to do some traveling, have some fun, etc. If he starts chemo immediately, that will tie them to home, and he'll fairly immediately be very weak. 

My dad does NOT take care of himself. Any care that he receives is due to my mom, or Patrick and me. He hates (and gets surly) to be reminded to do (or not do) things. He will not remember all the special things that will need to be done while he's on chemo.

His respiratory system is WEAK. He has Alzheimer's and COPD. I am quite fearful that chemo will kill him faster than cancer.

He wants to fight, and if the oncologist sees reason to do that...of course we will do as he wishes.  There are just no easy answers.

There is a little bit of good news to share also.  After two years and two months on the market, their house in CA is finally in escrow.  In addition to prayers for my Dad's health, and our peace and wisdom...would you please keep this sale in your thoughts?  My parents really need for this sale to proceed normally, and to not fall apart. It's a long escrow, not due to close until around Halloween.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Still waiting

We are still waiting on a definite diagnosis for my dad, but the evidence is sadly pointing toward lung/liver cancer.

I've sat here for about 3 minutes after writing that, and just don't know what else to say about it.  I can't put my thoughts into words.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday Update


So guess what we found out from the doctor's office today? That's he's out of office until 7/5! Ugh. But we also found out that the biopsy results aren't in my dad's chart yet, either. And so we keep waiting.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Waiting

Waiting is hard.

We are waiting for some medical test results for my dad, and it's SO hard to not get ahead of myself with what-ifs, etc.  There's a difference between thinking about something, maybe even having a plan for the worst case scenario...and fretting.  I'm making a conscious effort to NOT fret.  Patrick and I are having conversations about our part in all of this (we all live together, so this affects us, too),  our plans and hopes for the future, etc.  I don't feel like I'm letting my worries get away from me, but it will be a relief, one way or the other, to get the results.  The hospital said it would take three days...which falls on Saturday. I don't know if they'll contact us then? or if we have to wait til Monday.  Time will tell, and any and all prayers are appreciated.

In school news, I registered for my classes on Tuesday!  I had mapped out my first choice of days/times, and then I pulled together a Plan B, just in case the first ones were unavailable.  I got into all of my first choice classes!  I will be taking Math, English, Anatomy & Physiology, and Medical Terminology. 

Shannon's off with her BFF in Florida this week.  She started off the week playing with TS Debby, but now the weather's nice, and they're getting lots of beach time, etc.  Today they toured Florida State University.  Shannon said she really liked it, but she didn't think she could go there, because she might melt, lol!  As much as I miss her, it's actually been good having her away during all of this medical testing and the resulting conversations.
 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shingles and NYC

Summer's off to a whiz-bang here! 

Shannon finished up her freshman year of high school with straight A's.  So proud of that girl! She went on an impromptu 4-day camping trip with her BFF, to kick her summer off right!

I've been noticing over the past 2 weeks that my arm was extremely itchy, and that my upper back/shoulder blade area was sore...like a sunburn.  My underarm ached.  Those symptoms didn't match any ailment that I knew of, so I just kept an eye on them, and tried to drink a lot of water in case my glands (underarm) were swollen, etc.  Saturday morning I woke up with a line of bug bites on my arm.  Patrick looked at them, and agreed that they were probably spider bites.  Sunday morning, my bites were more "clustered" looking, and I concluded that it must be poison ivy (I've never had poison ivy, so I was just guessing).  I felt better, because I assumed this explained my weird symptoms.

I was talking to a friend of mine about my "poison ivy," and she said that whenever she'd had poison ivy, it DIDN'T feel like what I was describing.  I did a little googling, and began to notice a trend of seeing Shingles mentioned.  Finally, I searched Shingles, and lo and behold, the description fit perfectly.  Argh.

I went to the doctor on Monday morning, and she confirmed it.  I've got anti-viral meds, and medicine to help with the nerve pain...but to be honest, I'm pretty miserable.  I feel generally ill, and my whole right upper body/arm feels like it is simultaneously being stung by fire ants, badly sunburned, and very deeply bruised. My arm is still developing bumps; they haven't blistered yet. Funzie! (My parents live with us, and have both had the Shingles vaccine, in case anyone remembers that, and wonders.)


While all of this has been happening, there has been other excitement in the house, too!  We've been preparing Shannon for her trip to NYC!!! For the past two years, her Girl Scout trip has been saving and planning this trip, and it's finally here!  She spent Monday night at her leader's house, and they caught an early morning flight on Tuesday.  She texted me a few pictures yesterday, and all I can say is that she has perma-grin!  My girl is in heaven, and I couldn't be happier for her.  It's a very nice distraction from my dumb arm.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Well. I did it!

Thursday was my last classroom day.  It doesn't feel real yet.  I'm not sure when it will.  Lots of people came by my room to wish me well. I didn't cry, but I sure felt like it, lol!

During each of our programs, my director made me stand up and be acknowledged because this was my last year, but also because it was my 10th year of service. I hate standing up in front of a group of people, but it was nice to have the recognition!

Yesterday my girlies took me out for lunch and gave me presents!  They gave me THE CUTEST Hello Kitty umbrella, and a Kohl's gc for "back to school" shopping. I know I will keep in touch with them...but I'm gonna miss my peeps.  They've been my "family" for so long.

I'm cleaning out my storage room here at home, and giving everything away.  Feels awesome.  I thought I'd be sad to see it go, but I've known for months that this day was coming...that it just feels good.

I have to work on Monday to finish cleaning out my classroom, and then our staff party is on Tuesday.  After that?  I'm unemployed.  Gulp!  LOL!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Heading into my last week

I have birthday parties at school the next two days, and then End of Year parties the following two days.  And then I'm done.  That's it. 

In other and unrelated news, I found this cool quote and it really resonated with me:
"Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones.  And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.  God is awake." -Victor Hugo

That quote just really speaks to the worrier in me.  I can let go.  God won't let me fall.


Friday, May 11, 2012

The last Friday

This week has literally been a blur.  After Monday, and all the way through next Thursday...we have a party each day at school.  Whoa.  Yesterday and today were "Muffins for Mom" parties.  Fun, but a lot of work.  It's magical seeing the kids' faces, and then the expressions on the mommies faces as they enjoy their first preschool Mother's Day parties.  I love it.  I was working through the reality that these are my last preschool Mother's Day parties.  What I had forgotten is that today was my last preschool Friday.  We're really getting down to it, now.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Time to check in

Was kind of a weird week for me.  I wrote about our awesome weekend, and went to bed last Sunday night, ready for my normal week ahead of me.

When I woke up Monday morning, I knew something wasn't right.  My stomach was upset and as I rolled over in bed, my head just pounded.  Turns out I was getting a migraine that didn't leave me until Wednesday! Ugh.  I missed those three days of work, which is a *little* stressful because our Muffins for Moms parties are coming up this week, and it's just a really busy time wrapping up assessments, class projects, etc.  Oh well, couldn't be helped I guess!

Last night was Shannon's chorus Spring Showcase.  Her chorus sang two songs, and she had a solo!  We think s he did a great job!  What I'm most proud of though, is that it's HER idea to try out for these solos, to practice them, and that she has the courage to stand up in front of a large group and SING.  Awesome!

She is switching high schools next year and had to audition to get into the chorus at her new school.  That audition was last week, and she did so well that she was placed in Advanced Chorus, and the director only had her sing half of her piece, and didn't require her to sight-read! Go, Shannon!

Today was spent running errands and then working on Mother's Day stuff for preschool.  The best news is that I'm about 98% done now!  I just need to put the text into the cards, and one little boy needs to make up one page for his book.  That's it! Woot woot!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another thing off the checklist

Every month of the school year, for the past 10 years, I've created a calendar and newsletter for each class.  I just did my LAST ones.  EVER.  Wow.  It's just surreal.

We've had a FUN and FULL weekend.  We had an unused inclement weather day to use, so we got a 3-day weekend, with Friday off.  Thursday night, Shannon and I were sitting up late, and decided to sleep out on our deck.  We pulled out her old Playhut tent to keep the dew off us, and camped out!  (Good thing we did, too...because about an hour after we went out, it rained for about 20 minutes, lol!)

Since we had slept outside, we woke up much earlier than we normally would on a weekend morning.  We were sitting on the couch talking to Patrick, and he said "I want Crab Shack for dinner."  (An aside...The Crab Shack is his FAVORITE restaurant...but it's in Savannah, GA...which is 5 hours away.)  We kind of got *that look* on our faces and said "OK, why not?"  My parents agreed to watch our dogs, we Pricelined a hotel room, and within an hour of him saying that, we hit the road!

We had the best time!  We spent a couple hours on the beach, ate Crab Shack for dinner, walked on River St. after that, and then went to our hotel.  Saturday morning, we went back to the beach and just enjoyed the water, sun, and sand.  We watched pelicans dive, we saw a pod of dolphins swim by, and it was just...blissful.  On our way out of town to head home, we stopped by our favorite island ice cream stand for a treat.



We drove 5 hours home, and then took my parents (they don't drive at night) to a North GA Symphony concert at our church.  WOW.  It was tremendous. The kind of music that just sends goosebumps up and down your spine, and makes you close your eyes to take it in.



On the way home from church, we stopped and picked up a friend of Shannon's to spend the night.

This morning we had waffles, bacon, and coffee for breakfast.  (Have I mentioned here that I'm a big girl now, and like coffee?  It's TRUE!  I know, it only took 40 years! Ha!)  After Shan's friend left, we took her to a study group for her Lit. class.  We brought our 15 year old Jack Russell Terrier with us, because she desperately needs a haircut...but the groomer couldn't get us in.  We decided to surprise Shannon with a pet fish (she's been asking, and asking...but we kept saying no) while we were there.  So, we brought the dog (and fish) home and got everything set up.  Can't wait to hear what she decides to name it.



We "installed" a new screen door that the dogs can get through on their own, ate lunch, and I worked on my preschool stuff.  Then it was time to get Shan.  We didn't tell her about the fish...we just let her discover it on her desk when she went in to finish up her homework.  She is excited! It's a real pretty teal/aqua betta fish.

Anyway...I'm BEAT now...good thing tomorrow's Monday!  I can go back to work and rest up from my weekend!  (Wait, no.  I'm a preschool teacher...no rest at work! LOL)


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Out of practice

Before I could share that I was leaving my job, I took a blogging hiatus because the one thing I couldn't talk about was the only thing I wanted to talk about, lol!

Well now unfortunately, I'm out of practice.  I feel like I just blogged...but it's been more than a week.  Oops. 

Things are good.  I've been doing a pretty good job getting exercise in, and I'm drinking way more water than I used to...but  my eating is still hit and miss. I realized yesterday that I'd forgotten to log ANY of my food. Duh.  But then I realize...this is life.  You just keep working at it.

So this is me.  Working at it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back on the wagon

Did you know that starting an "eating and exercise plan" the day after Easter is challenging?

The good news is: I logged my food this week, even if it was bad. I drank a LOT more water than I have been, although I still need to get all the way up to my 64 oz. minimum. I exercised 3 times this week (including today), walking 7.5 miles. Not great, but certainly better than I'd been doing in previous weeks.

So, it could've been better. But it could have been worse! I'm looking forward to a better week. The Easter candy is gone. The birthday cake is gone. I was sick last week, and I'm getting better, etc. Onward!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Preschool Winding Down

It's so strange...after 10 years, to be coming to the end of this chapter. In 2002, when I took my job at the preschool, I never really considered how long I would keep it. I loved what I did, and each year I was happy to return.

Now that I've made the decision to further my education, my time at the preschool is coming to a close. It's bittersweet. Each event that we hold, gets a mental check-mark next to it, as if saying "that was the last time for that." Friday, we had Circus Day, an event that has always signaled "we are almost to the end of the year" for me. And now it's past. That means we are almost to the end of my last year.

Wow.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Accepted!


Not that I really thought I wouldn't, but I checked on my application status for college...and I've been accepted! I'm really doing this!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Like a boss

It feels good to blog again! Can you tell? Two posts in one day...after months of silence.

I've had SO much on my mind, changing my life path, leaving my job that I've held for 10 years, going back to college, etc. etc. But...I couldn't talk about it! I had to wait until I'd notified my boss on my letter of intent for next school year, and then go through the process of letting preschool parents know, etc. So *I* knew my life was about to make a 180, but I couldn't let it out yet!

Ahhhhh.... feels good to be out in the open again! LOL!

So anyway. I went and took my placement tests today. I thought it'd be quick and easy. Ha! It was neither. But it was, however, very good. I scored 100% on the writing test, which was actually hard! It was proofreading essays. I scored 100% on the reading test, which wasn't hard...but very boring. And then I scored 94% on the pre-algebra test, which was very hard...so I was incredibly surprised at my score. I tested into diploma-level algebra. God help me! LOL! I can do this, I can do this, I can DO THIS!

After my testing, I went and talked to a counselor, then a person in admissions, and THEN someone in financial aid. By the time we left, I was pretty much a quivering mass...but it's all good!

Feeling pretty proud of my day today!

My big secret

LOL.

You may have noticed, but my blog has been dead here for a few months. I've had something big going on, but I couldn't talk about it yet. I needed to let certain people know first, etc. Finally the "secret" is out, and now I can blog again, ha!

This is my last year at the preschool where I've taught for 10 years. I am going back to college to study to be surgical tech. I am scared to death, but SO excited.

Today I'm going to the school to take my placement tests. I haven't taken a test in over 20 years! I'm a little nervous...but whatever. I'll do what I can do, and get placed where I'm meant to.

But here I go! Gonna go create a new future.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Misery is a choice

Read this today, and it really resonated:

"Troubles are inevitable, misery is an option." ~ Unknown