Om Namah Shivaya


Monday, August 30, 2010

watch out world...i'm grumpy and irritated and...

nauseous and worn out and just plain skeeved off. I like to think that I'm a pretty good person all around. Sure like any other spiritual being trying to make it's way in this craziness we call a world...a life...I definitely have my moments. Some good, some not so good, some I wish I could do over, and some I'm glad to have experienced. But as a general rule I think I'm a pretty good person all around. So why is it on days like this I just feel like I can't catch a break. All I'm trying to do is "dot all my i's" and "cross all my t's", love my husband, bring the Drum Line to victory, see the Band succeed, balance the six personal goals I've got hurling out in space around me while maintaining it all with a flash and a smile. So why can't the universe just give me a break today of all days.

Chemo #5 was this past Friday if you hadn't heard; we were graced with our favorite nurse, Sue, and it was again fairly uneventful. I slept the weekend away pretty much, reserving my strength for this week ahead but had I known I would have needed it all for today I would've slept more!

There have been many times over the course of my teaching career that I have had to compromise for whatever reason. I like to think that I know the definition of compromise. In a nut shell it's the idea of give and take. 50/50. You get some of what you want while giving up a bit, and I get some of what I want while giving up a bit. Then *WHY* oh dear reader out there in cyberspace, WHY am I continuing to get screwed on this matter?! Why do I have to keep explaining the same thing *over and over and over and over* to an adult who should know better? Why?!?!

Maybe it's because I'm female, or white, or blonde (okay currently bald), or maybe it's the fact that I like to wear high heels, makeup and skirts...who knows. What I do know is this, I am about ready to freak out on some people if I don't get what I was promised back in July.

Here's the deal, cause I gotta get it out...I gotta get off my heart and off my mind so maybe I can see a different point of view and move through to a solution. We're talking about the age old argument between Music and Sports. Raise your hands and yell "That's Me!" if you believe kids should be able to do both. Raise your hands and yell "That's me!" even louder if you *know* kids who have done both! Right. That's my point. It can be done! If you doubt me read about this kid from De Soto high school For me the proof is in the pudding when you look at my Drum Line and know that four of those guys have played football and marched Drum Line for 3 years, and another for 2. Now I feel as though they are being told they must choose. What?! Why?! Choose between two things they love? Now that's just wrong. I don't want them to have to *choose* between one or the other...That thought makes my heart hurt.

So here's where the arts of communication, and compromise come into play. With a little communication between all parties involved, and all sides compromising where it matters, everyone is happy. Everyone gets to have a great season, and most importantly the kids get to do two (or more) things that they love. So come on...COMPROMISE WITH ME! Realize that in the grand scheme of the season and school year, what I'm asking you for is not much at all! You get to practice around 5 days a week for at least 2 hours at a time...I'm asking for ONE day after school that I can have a 2 hour rehearsal with my FULL LINE (Football boys included). Yes you have lots and lots of games to prepare for, the District Title to grab, and that ever magical "State Trophy" to obtain. We have a "I" Superior rating at Raytown to defend, and the elusive "1st place Drum Line" trophy at Carrollton to obtain. How can we do that without any rehearsal? Why won't you help us get there?

Don't make the kids choose. I'm not going to. Help me make it work because it can.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

it's only 10am and I'm done-zo for the day

so before I take my nap (and I'm not even going to set an alarm to wake up) I leave you with this short post...

Currently I'm feeling: I find myself in the land of perma-nausea and am tired.
Procrastinating: Finishing up the cleaning and the small amount of school work I have
Reading: Still need a suggestion on a good book to read
Watching: "Sixteen Candles"
Doing to make me smile: Getting ready to take a nap, then do a nice long yoga practice
, then take a bath and maybe make some dinner...I won't lie though, it'd be wicked cool if Tim would come home with some flowers and make dinner instead...

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm on house arrest this weekend...

*laugh* at least that's how I have to think about it in order to just stay here. It's hard to stay here at home and not go to the game when I know I won't be feeling icky till Sunday...*BUT*...never fear, I'm not going anywhere. I learned my lesson last time w/the non-stop weekend and the repercussions that followed, I'm not doing that again. Hmm-mmm, no sir, no way. So...I shall stay here this weekend, quite possibly right here in this chair and just relax. Lots of movies are in my future I do believe. Maybe I'll stay in my jammies all weekend too! A hot bath is a must, some light cleaning, and some yoga will of course round it out. Now the most important question is...what am I going to eat?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Starin' down the barrel of Chemo #5

and hanging out with my accessed port. It's hard to believe that I'm almost done with chemo and that before I know it, it'll be time for the mastectomy. The memories of finding the lump, then being told it's cancer are still so fresh in my mind yet feel so very far away. When they told me I had cancer and then when they told me I had to go through chemo I remember thinking "How in the world am I going to get through this?" and now that this journey is almost halfway over (part one: chemo, part two: new boobies) I know that I can get through everything.

Yesterday's doctor's appointment went well. Although my platelets and hemoglobin are down a tad, it's nothing to worry about. I loved the conversation I had with Lori (Dr. Sharma's nurse practitioner) about this yesterday.

Me: "So Lori, what can I do physicaly or nutrition wise to bring the platelets back up?"
Lori: "Most likely your platelets will be back up by tomorrow but blueberries have been known to raise the levels, so you could eat some blueberries tonight and tomorrow. That might help."

I just looked at her...

Lori: "What's that look for? You don't like blueberries?"
Me: "No, it's just that I ate blueberries in a smoothie every morning for years to help reduce the risk of cancer and obviously *that* didn't work!" *laugh*


Anyways, here I am in the chair at the cancer center waiting for Sue (SO glad I have Sue again!!!) to bring me my pre-meds then hook me up to the chemo. Only one more after more...I can't wait for it to be done.

The one bummer part about today's chemo is that I do have to miss our very first football game tonight and Tim (and Sue) both told me to do NOTHING this weekend. So, Bluntski I'm sorry I won't be coming by your bday party tomorrow night. LOVE YOU AND WELCOME TO THE DIRTY THIRTIES!!!!!

I hope to see some good highlights on TV tonight and good reports from folks on the Drum Line and the Band. Enjoy the assembly at school hope the Drum Line rocks your socks off! Go Eagles!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

it's Sunday morning and what do I find myself doing?

Looking at bilateral mastectomy reconstruction before and after photos. Good Sunday morning to you too! Sheesh. This is pretty heavy. Please don't misunderstand me; I'm not talking about the scars, bruising, or overall pain, that I can handle, I've had a reduction and remember well those initial weeks of healing. Besides, most of the pictures I've looked at so far, 8 months or so from the first surgery you can barely see the scars. I know how to take care of that part of it and besides Tim and I are the only two who have to look at them on a regular basis and he loves me regardless so I'm not concerned about that.

What I'm concerned with is the reaction *I* am going to have that first time at home right after the surgery when I see a completely flat (or relatively so) chest with horizontal lines where the nipples should be. Now that, my friends, is going to be super weird...and scary...and sad...and possibly a little traumatic. My sense of who I am in terms of my beauty has already been tested with the loss of my hair and even though I know that in the end this is what must happen for the benefit of my long term health, and while I *also* know that in the end my body and my life will be given back to me and I'll be even stronger on the other's still going to be weird, scary, sad, and a little traumatic so forgive me if I cry a bit.

You never think, when you're 13 years old or so and starting to get breasts, that someday they'll be taken away from you. Sure you may think about implants, but that's strictly a cosmetic procedure most times where a teeny tiny incision is made, the implant slipped in, you're sewn up and good to go. It's also a conscious decision a woman makes on her own. She *decides* to go through that surgery, it's not forced upon her, especially not in a bid to "save" her life. This, on the other hand, is a decision that essentially has been taken out of my hands. This entire cancer thing has been that; out of my hands and out of my control, I'm just along for the ride. I think this is something the universe is trying to teach me...

So you're 13, 14, 15 just going along when suddenly the girls appear! You're overjoyed, a little embarrassed, and slightly confounded on what to do with these things that have appeared on your chest. So you have an awkward relationship at first. Torn between wanting to show them off and wanting to cover them up. Proud to be looking more womanly, yet geeked out now you are looking more womanly! Then you move into your late teens and early twenties and start to put the girls on center stage. It was fun to explore the power that a large set of knockers (or really any set cause let's be honest...guys aren't picky ;) gave me. I was in college, I was young (oh lord was I young), and I was free. Low-cut, skin tight, glitter covered...that's how I liked 'em when we went out. What can I was a phase thank goodness! :)

I then took a slightly different path from the average girl. I decided to downsize my girls. Many of you know that I had a reduction done, oh I guess it's been about 8/9 years now. Best darn thing I ever did for myself. While I won't discuss the size I was to the size I am, I will tell you that the reason I had it done was I had reached a point where I was tired of *them* always freaking being the topic of conversation, as well as the stares, and the comments. Oh the back aches, the shoulder grooves, the overall uncomfortableness in anything I wore, the awkwardness in exercising, and don't forget the permanently numb spot in my back that caused my fingers to tingle as well as the tip of my nose. With the reduction came a higher sense of self-confidence and comfort; I finally felt proportioned correctly, and more balanced overall.

So now I'm in my early thirties and was really hitting my stride in the self-confidence/beauty area, when WHAM! cancer reared it's ugly head, and I now have to reconcile myself to the fact that for whatever reason the universe has decided that I must go through this journey and experience of losing the one thing that really and truly defines you as being girls. I know, I boobs don't define me, and as I stated above I know it needs to be done and in the end I'll have them back (and hopefully be rockin'!)'s just gonna be one weird ride with many tears. Before you judge, I suggest you explore feelings of what you would think/how you would feel if you had to go through the same thing...I bet you'd feel pretty similar to me.

If you wish to view before ad after pictures of women who have gone before me, here's a link. Please note that these are post-surgery pictures of the nude breast. As a public school teacher I feel I must state that I am in no way putting porn on my blog. These are medical pictures of women who have had bilateral mastectomy's with reconstruction. This link is posted for educational purposes only. I believe all women and girls need to be educated on all stages of a breast cancer journey. This is one of them.

Currently I'm feeling: Good but being lazy so I'm a bit sleepy
Procrastinating: Cutting Oops passes, cleaning and the grocery store
Reading: In between books at the moment. Any suggestions?
Watching: "Fact of Faked; Paranormal Files"
Doing to make me smile: Getting ready to go upstairs to take a bath then do a nice long yoga practice

Saturday, August 21, 2010

one of the best gifts I've received...

"Yo Emily! In solidarity I shaved my head!
Let's Kick Cancer's A$$!"

Miss Ava shows her support...Thanks Hupp & Colleen! Love it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

first week down and I'm completely bushed...

but it is a good kind of tired; at least for now. Chemo number 5 up next Friday so I better enjoy the "good" time I have left cause then another week of the chemo ickies is in store.

Speaking of a "good time", got my packet of info concerning my surgery from the plastic surgeon. I remember reading through something similar when I had my reduction done 9 years ago...this is gonna be fun. Ha! Two weeks before the surgery I have to start squirting an antibiotic ointment up my nose twice a day and I have to start taking Cipro (antibiotic) twice a day. Then the night before and the morning of surgery I have to scrub head to toe with an antibiotic body wash (and man that stuff stinks). The Cipro will continue for two weeks after the surgery among other prescriptions I'm sure. The bruising will be significant, the incisions are gonna hurt like hell and I'll be in a sports bra for months. The only thing that will be significantly different for me this time is that I will have drains for 10 days; I didn't have those with the reduction so that shall be interesting. Because of the drains I *have* to be out of school for 10 days. I plan on taking an entire two weeks off from school, then hopefully I can return after that. We'll see.
I know it's all necessary but damn I'm gonna be sore for quite a while. *sigh* I'll do what I need to do in order to heal and not make anything worse but I don't want to be gone for too long.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I have to say that my school year has been great so far...

and I really hope it continues...of course there are going to be many many days in the near future where I don't feel good and have to do the bare minimum for a while but damn it's going well right now.

The 2010-2011 school year, my 8th, officially began on Thursday Oct. 12th. I was slightly nervous about how the kids were going to "receive" me (the 8th/9th graders, not high schoolers); but I put my awesome
"1st day of school" outfit on, wrapped my leopard scarf around my head and rocked it out. I was standing outside the choir room with Mr. Young (he is the orchestra director at RHS, has been with the district for years, is very nice and helpful to me. He's teaching 8th grade Orchestra with me as well...I'm glad to have him to learn from), anyways, I'm standing outside the choir room, greeting all the students as they walk past...(imagine the following in my best teacher sing-song voice)..."Goood Morning sir! How are you today?", "Lookin' good ladies but put your badges on please. Around your neck, not in your hand :)" "Boys! You *almost* have it all together! Pull those pants up now...thank you :)"

To which I get some smiles, a few stares, but mostly kids going about their business and aside from the Orchestra kids, no-one pays me any more attention than normal. This is good. Seeing those ninth-graders walk in...sheesh...I had these kids when they were in 5th and 6th grade. I remember how geeked out and excited they were in 5th grade when they started playing and how some of them couldn't figure out how to even hold it for a while! *laugh* I can't wait to see/hear them play and watch them develop into even better players.

A few of the kids asked me what happened to my hair or "Why yous wearin' a scarf Mz. Stout?" :) They're so silly. Granted, they've definitely grown out of the joyous 5th grader stage and into the moody teenager phase but they're still good kids. I told them and when the words "Breast Cancer" came out of my mouth I heard a few "awww"'s and they all sat up a bit straighter but they took it in and one girl even said "Psht. You got this licked Mz. Stout".

That was nice.

The second day of school saw me in my purple dress (forgot to take a picture) with energy to burn. The
nausea switch had been flipped off overnight and I was ready and rarin' to go. Runnin' around on the marching field that morning I must have been a sight to behold. Roster in one hand, gock block in the other I was ready to get down the names of the kids in the band. From kid to kid I went making it fun and silly..."Noop...don't tell me! You're Tonya! No, Wait...who are you?!" :)- Ha. It was fun and useful, I had their names by the end of the rehearsal. Too bad it was friggin' hot and I was all revved up on coffee and feelin' good that I got all hot and bothered by the end of the period. Nothin' like gettin' all prettied up for school only to sweat it out on the marching field first thing. Such is life.

I went to happy hour after school with teacher friends from school. That was the first "meal" I ate with a modicum of success in a week. I was happy. Happy to be feeling better, happy to have a beer in my hand and fried green beans in front of me, surrounded by the people I've known and taught with for 7 years, going on 8. Even though we were at two different buildings, we were still together. Laughing, talking, joking, was good.

Yesterday began the first full *week* of school. I'm not fully entrenched in my actual schedule yet; one of the advantages of my position. I start my day with band at Ruskin then I'll have three back to back 5th grade Orchestra classes with a good plan period for travel, and lunch as well from 1135-130, then I get to end the
day with *my* class, 8th grade Orchestra. *eek!* That's right folks! Ol' Patty's got herself an actual bonafide CLASS to teach! My name's even on the roster! :) It's pretty frickin' awesome if I do say myself. When this blog post is done I'll be working on classroom expectations posters thank you very much. :) So because I'm not up and running with 5th grade quite yet (but that does start Thursday with demonstrations) I've been able to take advantage of the "free" time to get quite a bit of work done. So far I've made my Handbook, Classroom Expectations/Policies and Procedures handbook, contracts, posters, lesson plans (still a work in progress), spruced up my office, LOA's for Drum Line, 5th grade beginning letters, demo instruments, 8th grade technique books and started pulling some music w/the help of Rod (Mr. Young). I've put together a seating chart form, put my substitute folder (which might actually get used this year and isn't just full of "fluff") together, and gotten to know Mr. Tope better. He's quite a riot. Just call us "Old D" and "Double C". I'm *really* glad I have him to learn from.

Oh and I'll have you know that I totally *rocked!* my shoes/outfit yesterday, and I thought it was quite a
riot that the gift the Ruskin staff made for me totally matched it as well. At Friday's happy hour I met Shelli Copas, counselor at RHS. She came over to me, introduced herself and said "Stop by my office Monday, I have a little something for ya." What? I was a little stunned...I mean, I didn't even know this gal and here she was telling me she had something for me...I was intrigued. :) So I stopped by yesterday and she handed me what you see in the picture...a pink chain of good luck, love and positive vibes (although whoever wrote the one about how to prevent bullying behaviors either didn't get what they were doing or was making some sort of joke w/me that I totally don't understand but whatever, thanks anyway). It now hangs on my office wall and is just really cool too see all the time.

Yesterday afternoon was a great way to start the week...Drum Line rehearsal...I swear I had a spiritual moment. it came when Kiestan just broke out of his shell and totally owned the quints, even making Mitchell jump back in surprise. I *knew* he was gonna make a good quint player...I think he's on his way. Then came the first time the basses just purred up and down the entire time without a falter between them. Oh that made a whole lotta joy burst outta me! Then the snares all phased into one another for a long moment of time and it was like they were one. The cymbals splashed above them all, adding their own sparkle to the group. Oh it was a beautiful thing. Please check it out. We still have quite a few things to do, add, change, polish...till we're competition ready but I know they're going to do great. I can't wait to see it; I'm gonna bawl like a friggin' baby I just know it. Please come support them if you can. Their most accessible competition is on Saturday Sept. 18th in Raytown. I can't remember at the moment which high school it is but I'll let ya know in a comment. :)

So then today I got busy finishing up, and altering some work I've been working on and had a good session with 8th grade. Had a good day with Tope and even garnered a compliment from him. Organized up my area at RHS, especially the music, got the quints rim guards on and a head changed out. Ate a good lunch while I worked on my "Oops" passes for 8th grade, then printed out some forms I've been needing and set up the room. It's good to be busy. I only wish the Drum Line would have had time to play Grizzly this morning as the Band was putting their stuff away. That would have made this day perfect...but there's always tomorrow. :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

skinny b!tches have body image issues too!

so Friday after school I went to happy hour with teacher friends at Side Pockets at Lee's Summit and my friend Cristin asked me if I had read her most recent blog; I had to admit that I hadn't. She told me that I needed too because "I inspired her" and that she had linked my blog to hers...hmmm...inspired her to do what I wonder. So, I logged on yesterday and read her post entitled "Did this skinny skank just high-five me? The Art of Being Resolutely Motivated" . Please read it, it's quite entertaining, and besides the fact Cristin's one cool chick so you should read it. :)

Anyways, as I sat there reading it I realized that we share a lot of the same body image issues and frustrations. Yes, I understand that our bodies are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum...I'm the "skinny chick", she's the "fat girl"; but we still have a lot in common, as do all of us.

See, I'm already intimidated by their athletic prowess and their ability to wear shorts, which makes it difficult for me to even discuss how I feel with them. The thing that really gets me about having physically fit friends is that they don't consider their chubby friend for volleyball teams and softball leagues. When there is a pick-up game of basketball to be played, the phone doesn't ring for the girl who needs to be on the court. I don't blame my friends: it's not their responsibility to make sure I'm working out. Plus, they want to win! Hard to do that with the girl who is huffing, puffing, and lagging behind." (Blunt's Blog post)

*News Flash*

*I don't feel comfortable wearing shorts higher than about mid-thigh because I don't like the way my inner thighs have a tendency to swing in and out when I walk, especially now that I haven't had a consistent workout routine since this whole cancer BS started.

* I don't get considered for volleyball teams, softball leagues, or basketball either cause I'm not seen as athletic in that way. I'm the "Yoga Girl", which is all fine and good, believe me, and even though I probably wouldn't be able to consistently participate in a league type situation (my schedule is stupid crazy during school except for a few months in the winter)... but I would still like to be asked every now and then as well.

*As for "huffing, and puffing, and lagging behind", hear me and hear me well Bluntski...*cups hands around mouth* "Skinny *Skanks* huff and puff and lag behind too!!!" You don't think that girl in Loose Park wasn't huffing and puffing? Psht! Please. And as for her "running like a gazelle", I assure you that inside her brain she felt clunky and awkward and probably had a few parts that jiggled as she ran which she despised. Ha!

I was told once that I had a "beautiful gait" to my running (which for me is more like jogging). I almost choked on my Gatorade when I heard that! What?! Me? Beautiful Gait? I felt like a two ton buffalo pounding away on the treadmill with about as much grace as a labrador puppy! *chuckle* And you can forget about the physical pain that running brings me...hips, knees, right shoulder, and please don't forget about the labored breathing and side stitch near the end. Oh, and if you were wondering...I hate the way my butt jiggles when I run... :)

Years ago it was the good old cardio and weights that helped me get the "freshmen fifteen" off. I know that the best combination of exercises for me is to practice yoga in the morning, take a run in the afternoon/evening, then practice yoga in the evening. This is what works best for me and I know it but I hate the running part. I absolutely hate it...actually despise might be a better run. But I feel better when I go, and despite the pain I feel better when I'm finished. I need to stop being a pansy and I just need to DO IT. So here it is; my goal is to run the 5K next year at the Race...anyone wanna run with me? :)

Ladies...It's in our nature to have areas on our body that we don't like and to even not like the whole thing! There are days when I hate what I see in the mirror. I feel fat, ugly, bloated, too jiggly here, not firm enough there.
I remember plain as day *on my wedding day* getting dressed in the beautiful gown my mother made for me, feeling beautiful as all get out, yet thinking "Damn I wish my stomach were flatter, and the swing would go out of my arms". Okay, now, come about stupid! On my wedding day I came in at a whopping 120lbs and had muscles galore, there was no reason to have those thoughts; I was healthy, I was super fit, and yet I did. And then there are days that I love the wholesome beauty of what I see. The light of my eyes, the curve of my hip, the strength of my back...the days when my hair *was* just right, the makeup perfect, the clothes just so, and the feeling of being toned and firm unmistakable. It is a beautiful thing...

I know I'm always going to have issues with certain areas of my body and yet love myself all at the same time for as long as I live. That's all part of the deal. It's what makes me a complicated, beautiful woman. I'm okay with that. What I don't like is when I get that look from people when I've said something like "Yeah, I really need to get back at it cause I'm feelin' a little soft around the edges right now",...notice I didn't say *fat*?! And they're looking at me as if to say (and sometimes they do), "Whatever; you look fantastic and are a skinny b!tch and I hate you for that". When all I really want that person to do is commiserate with me and say "I know what you mean, wanna go for a run?" To tell the truth sometimes it pisses me off and I just wanna yell "Excuse me but, Skinny B!tches have body issues too!!!"...*laugh*but I think that would be slightly inappropriate so I just nod, smile and change the topic.

So I feel your pain sister. I may not actually be a "fat girl", but I still can have a "fat day". I still struggle with the number on the scale not always saying what I want. I can still feel like my clothes don't fit right, or I'm uncomfortable in what I'm wearing. And I can be embarrassed by how I might appear to the world when I'm out running or just living life. Everyone should just start supporting each other and say "Let's go workout!" or "Let's do yoga!" when someone says "Yeah I should really get back at it because I'm feeling a little soft around the edges". Don't just poo poo the skinny girl because she's having a "fat day" and can't possibly know how you feel because she can and she does. So let's go for a run instead. Any time our schedules coordinate that is ;)

And can I just say that I think, no, I know that I'm gonna have some *really* negative thoughts about myself over the rest of the year as I go through this transformation and that's okay because I know that when I'm done, healed, and able to live life normally again I'll jump back on that wagon and start chuggin; *my* cabsoose up and down the hills of my neighborhood, huffin' and puffin' all the way. I hope you're with me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

what a week so far and school hasn't even started yet!

what a run to the start line it's been so far! Or, rather, maybe I should say what a painful body haul it's been to the start line, at least for me. I know I pushed this weekend, and I know it caught up to me on Tuesday...but I'd do it all over again in a heart beat.

If you weren't around lately to read, this weekend was the back to School Parade and Rally combined with 3 Trails Day (like a school carnival), and The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I was actively involved in both. Of course the Band & Drum Line marched in the parade
and performed at the rally, but I also had a table set up upstairs (thanks Mom and Dad!) to "peddle my wares", as it were, and hand out literature about breast cancer. Early detection, monthly self exams, yearly exams, mammograms, catching it early, etc...ya know, the basics. Karen & Mom made the banner (which totally rocks) and that was off to the side. I talked to a lot of folks, convinced a lot of young girls to feel the fake little boobie to try and find the three lumps...I hope an impression was made on them. Really had the opportunity to have a chat with our board president, Bonnaye Mims, and April Cushing. They are quite engaging women; I look forward to working with them in the future. It was a good day.

Sunday was the Race for the Cure sponsored by the Susan G. Komen foundation. It was beyond awesome. The whole scene was indescribable and the fact that my Drum Line was jammin' out on 20th & Main with a crowd the whole time and about $200 in donations raised was just icing on the cake.

Monday began the "Professional Development" part of my school year commence. It's a double edged sword, especially when you don't feel good. I understand that it's a lot of info that our district is either required by law to go over, or it's info pertaining to the start of the school year, things you need to know, blood borne pathogen video to watch....but sometimes it can just be so mind numbing...especially when you don't feel good. I felt like I was walking through water all day Monday; "half a bubble off" as my hubby would say, and I felt completely worthless. It wasn't until after we got home from dinner with the family and started toward bed that I started to even out. But then Buck woke me up at 3am and the nausea fairy had definitely visited me in my sleep...ugh. I took an Ativan and went back to bed. Hour and a half, two hours later I'm up for school and the Ativan did *not* do what it was supposed to do...damn. So I pull out a Compazine, second in line in nausea defense, and prepare myself for battle. The battle isn't between me and the pill, it's between me and even the teensiest bit of water it's going to take to get it down. I don't what it is about me and drinking water in the morning that don't get along. Even back to junior high, if I had water in the morning I was guaranteed to puke it up. So, you're probably asking "Why did you drink water with it then?" and the answer is simply this...I can't dry swallow those pills when I'm nauseous, and the out of the other available liquids I had on hand, water was going to hurt the least coming back up. So it's the lesser of two evils if you will.

Anyhoo, I started my morning Tuesday with a long and prolonged prayer to the porcelain god but pushed through to get myself dressed and my sister to the airport. All I was thinking on the way to the airport (as I was trying to choke down a protein drink and a croissant) was, "How in little baby Jesus's name am I going to make it through this day?", and that was right about the time Julie asked if I'd like her to drive cause "You look a little green". Oy. Dropped her off at the airport and hugged her goodbye. Got back in my car and about had a "moment", if you will, but thankfully it passed. I finally decided I just couldn't do it. I flipped through my phone and called one of my principals to say "I just can't do it today". I got home around 730 or so, crashed on the couch and didn't get up until about 230. I managed to stay awake until about 8pm I think. I guess that's what I get for pushing too hard the weekend immediately following a chemo treatment. Point taken. Lesson learned. Thanks Universe, won't be doing *that* again.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

KC Star Pics

I dont want the rest of the day to go by without saying thank you

too all my friends and family who came to the race today, and especially to my kids on the Drum Line. You are the light that keeps me going, and I will be forever grateful for that. Let's keep Drummin' for the Cure this year and see where it takes us!Thank you to:
My husband Tim for giving me an entire weekend and being very helpful. I love you with all my heart Peter!
Jim and Karen my inlaws for the awesome banners
My mom and dad, Ione and Del for being there with me and helping with the booth at school
My sister Julia for taking such amazing photographs and spending time with me. It's been awesome.
Romanda, Dan, and Thomas for being there today, nothing warms my heart more than hearing the yell of "Emmie to Emmie!" :)
My awesome friend Dana! Hi Dana! Love you!
My friend Cathy: thank you for taking the time out of your busy day
Foster for wearing my shirt; nothing better than a guy in a pink shirt with a high heel on the front :)
Angie, Anne, Heather, and Stacie: So good too see you and I hope you made it through the 5K okay! Love you girls!

Thank you to all the parents who hung out with the kids while they performed and for Mrs. Baker helping us unload equipment back at school.

**Pictures too come**

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Twas convocation eve when all through the house...

Not a cougar was stirring, not even a mouse. Ken and his team cleaned the building with care, Anticipating that many students soon would be here. The teachers were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of meeting AYP and Bridging the Gap were dancing in their heads. And Principal Davis in her pant suit, and the VP's in their ties, Had just awoken their brains from a long summer's respite. When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I ran from the band room to see what was the matter. Away to the front mall I flew like an Eagle, Tore open the front doors and felt fairly graceful. The sun on the gleam of the newly mown grass Gave the lustre of heatwaves to objects in brass. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a Marching Band, a Cougar, an Eagle, and a community sincere. With a smart looking band, so big and so bright, I knew in a moment this fledgling bird could take flight. More rapid than eagles the marching band came, And they whistled, and shouted, and called them by name! "Now Drum Line, now Trumpets! now, Piccolos and Flags! On, Baritone! On, Clarinets! on Sousaphone's and Sax! To the top of the hill! to the front of the school! Now march away! March away! March away all!" The band they came like the prideful group they are, With a strut down the street you can see from afar. So up to the school the Drum Line they grooved, With the community full of joy, and Superintendent too. And then, in a twinkling, we heard from the school The yelling and cheering of students galore. As I came out the door, and was looking around, Down the sidewalk the Superintendent came with a crowd. Their eyes-how they twinkled! Their smiles how merry! Their cheeks were like roses, Their joy like a cherry! Their big smiles had joy and humor to share It was hard to believe the school year was here! The games that they played, the food that they ate, The smoke from the BBQ encircled the place. They had bright shining faces and comfortably full bellies, Yet everyone eyed the dessert table especially the cookies! They were happy and content, a right jolly old group, And I laughed when I saw them, this good-vibing troupe. A shout from the back and a Drum Line's approach, Soon gave way to the grooves of their own. They saluted the crowd, and went straight to their work, They "Drummed for the Cure" their duty they did not shirk. Looking out at the crowd, the joy all around, They nodded and felt good knowing the school year would be profound. They jammed the day away; the Band and Drum Line too. Cheerleader's they cheered, the crowd they exclaimed, The school year is here and we shall proclaim, "Happy Convocation to all, and to all a good-year!"