Saturday, October 28, 2006

I'm Miss Melanoma.... and my prices are INSANE!!!

Snobby Bobby, the amazing counterpart to Miss Melanoma, has posted a blog of late, and I feel a response is in order. He says teachers are insane.

Okay, yes. Yes, teachers are insane. They work insane hours, cry over their job, think about the kids 24/7, seemingly never have a day off, miss out on fun events and sleep and going out and seeing friends because they're trying to figure out ways to reach the kids and fill that notorious achievement gap between the classroom and the test. And by the test I mean THE TEST (as in TAKS).

My job takes a lot out of me, and it takes a lot of me. By that I mean that when I'm working, it's all I'm doing, and I do it 100%. I may not be the best teacher in the world (yet), but you can't say I don't put every bit of me into it.

That being said, keep in mind that work has always been my way of dealing with things. When life is stressful outside of work, I go to work to have something to occupy my hands and my mind so I can think through life with a more positive outlook. I guess it's like working out, but instead of just physical exercise, work requires both the mind and the body. It's always been this way, and I like it this way. There are negatives to it, of course, and one of them was very obvious after my diagnosis: sometimes you just CAN'T work, and when that happens, what do you have to fall back on as a means of dealing with stress?

Or, like I experienced earlier this year: what do you do when your job IS the stress? How do you use work as a stress relief when your work is the cause of it?

I tell people that having melanoma is just a part of who I am.

And being a teacher is part of who I am, too.

The other parts of me are less obvious, but they're still there- like being an animal lover, a big fan of music of all types, a runner (who hasn't run in over a year), a semi-artist, a partner, an activist, a writer, a dreamer, and a daughter.

Teaching, just like being a cancer survivor, is not the way I'd like to define myself, but it is a big part of me. What we have overcome often becomes, in the process, a clearer picture of who we are.
And it has been a challenge balancing work with a real relationship, which, at 31, I'm experiencing for the first time in my life. I love what I do, but, more importantly, I love this life that I've been given, and I don't want to waste another Saturday afternoon doing lesson plans when I could be enjoying the sunshine (with UV protection, of course). And I don't ever want to be in a hospital bed again, thinking of "all of those little lost moments we don't even realize are passing us by."

It's a tough balance, but worth it, and good to think about, I think.

So, for now, I'm heading home for some quality time with the fam.

Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Good Vibes

This post is to send good vibes out to the people today who can really use it:

To Mandy, I'm sending out the best possible vibes to get through this hump your trying to get over.

To Peter, I'm hoping that, through this terrible loss, there is some value we cannot yet see.

To Carver, I'm sending you all the support and love that you offer all of your friends.

To Helen, I'm melting those brain mets every day with my positive thoughts.

To Sarah, I'm wishing that euphoria would last forever for you.

And to the friends and family of Kim, I'm sending peace.


In Memory

This will just be a short post.

When someone dies, it's so cliche, but someone always says, They were such a bright light. They never complained. They were so strong. Or, even worse, They will live on forever.

For some reason, this always irritated me. Now, after experiencing the death of family and friends firsthand, I understand. When you know someone is dieing, suddenly it becomes so clear how much of them you've missed over the time you've known them.

I didn't know Kim well.

We emailed each other from time to time, and she always had positive things to say. She gave me good advice whenever I was in the midst of the worst part of my treatment, and she sent me jokes when I didn't think I could possible laugh.

And then I read how upbeat and happy she was after coming home from the hospital, all laughs and smiles days before her death.

I can't explain how hurt I am that cancer wipes out such amazing souls.

But, the truth is: she is out of pain. She was a wonderful soul, a bright light, a woman who was a model of strength who never complained.

And, she'll live on forever.


Monday, October 02, 2006

10 Things I hate about... well, everything

At first glance it might seem like a negative title, but in reality, let's face it, shit happens. I try not to use too much profanity on this site, but I think today calls for it.

I've been busy. Busy, actually, is an understatement, and I know that a lot of that business comes from me just having something else to think about besides cancer for a change. The whole time I was doing chemo I asked myself how much it really sucked and how other people went through the same treatment so much more gracefully. Was I faking it? The answer, now, looking back, was no, I wasn't faking it. I was just on a lot of drugs and under a lot of influences and didn't feel like myself.

Now I wonder why I'm so lucky. I have all these wonderful people around me that have gone through the same thing, and now they're not okay. Now they're dealing with more stuff, and getting more treatment, and having more tumors removed.

And it's just not fair.

And I guess, of course, no one ever said it would be... but I'm having a tough time thinking this is okay, when it's really not. I'm really pretty pissed that this could be happening to my friends- to people who have been positive and wonderful for me, and who deserve so much better.

That's really all I know how to say right now...

I don't even think retail therapy is going to help this one.



I'm Too Young For This!