Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Let it snow...

It's been snowing just about daily for 8 days now. The temperatures are freezing. When I went out today I took Jacob along with me and made him drive home in it. He did really well - going SLOWLY just like I told him. We saw a bunch of kids sliding down a hill on Vancouver and it reminded me of breaking my leg 3 years ago.

On that day, it was nice and snowy after Christmas - just like it has been now before Chirstmas. I just had to show the kids that I knew how to have fun, too. First time down I hit a chain-link fence. (It didn't 'give' like I had thought it would.) And my left leg was broken. Ouch! No one but a young boy came to help. Every time I see his mom I thank her for raising a great kid! I crawled up the slope, hopped to my car (my kids at least helped me out there) and drove home. Heather took me to the emergency room. I got a cast a couple days later. I haven't been sledding again since. Just like I haven't jumped on a trampoline after a twist ruined a disc in my back.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Things aren't quite back to normal...

I'm back to work after lazying around for four months. My family medical leave ran out and if I didn't return Monday, I'd have had to re-apply for my position. (Don't know that too many would have really wanted the privilege of working with this kiddo at school, but it was time to get back.) The chemo is over - though the side effects aren't; the radiation just beginning. If only I had hair!

My eyes have been runny for over a week now, so it looks as if I'm crying all day long. The students notice. The staff treat me with kid gloves... Another side effect of the chemo is a UTI this week that keeps me trotting to the restroom.

Yesterday, my student, upchucked all over himself. This was, of course, just six minutes before the end of the school day. I ran to the restroom, grabbed some latex gloves then hastened over to get him up and cleaned. The other staff helped out as well. I got him to the restroom and had to change him completely - made harder by the fact that he wears arm braces which had to be removed, cleaned and put back on. Once his hair, face and clothes were clean, I waited with him for his Mom to show up. I was being Dedicated. Exhausted, but dedicated....

Waited a bit too long for Mom, though. Didn't trot to the rest room quickly enough afterwards and well..... you get the picture. I wrapped my coat about me and tried to discreetly leave the staff lounge; hoping to race to my car and home. But, just my luck... my coat caught in the door. This and all outside doors at the school automatically lock when shut. No amount of tugging would release my coat. I was trapped! What to do?

Luckily, the facing door was my classroom. I reached over and knocked on it until another staff member opened up. Seeing my predicament, she laughed. And laughed. And so did I. What else was there to do?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Inane Realizations

Thought-provoking light-bulb moment occurred tonight. I realized that I will never compete in the 2012 London Olympics. Not because I’ll be the ripe old age of 52 (there were all those admirable mature athletes at this past Olympics – the 41-year-old American swimmer, the 33-year-old German gymnast.) No. It’s because - gasp – because I’ve been using steroids.

Yes. It’s true. I use dexamethasone 3 days each chemo treatment. While clearing my heart and lungs of fluid (and keeping me awake at night,) this also obliterates my chances of future athletic competitions. (Jacob will be so sad to learn his mother doesn’t even qualify to play professional baseball. What a shame. I’m now in league with Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds...)

As I figure it, even if the steroids aren’t still in my blood by then, they could always eliminate me by use of the hair test. All they would need to do is take a sample of my almost-existent hair (I have little 1/8” transparent swirlies up on top) and this would prove my use of steroids.

I’ve been thinking what events I’ll be absent from in 2012. The hurdles? I loved running them in junior high. Diving? At fifteen I was a daredevil and would dive off the high dive - usually landing on my back - ouch! Gymnastics? In High School I successfully completed a cartwheel on the balance beam. Or, maybe the vault – that was my real passion. I loved to run, jump, place my hands and throw myself over the vault – woohoo wee! (Can you see me trying that now?)

Well, I guess I’ll have to inform the Committee that I’m no longer available for consideration. I’ll bow out now and clear the way for others to take my place. Sigh…..

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mormon Meals on Wheels

We Mormons are great when it comes to taking in food to someone who's not feeling well. Or when someone has a baby. Or when someone dies. I've been on the receivership of this as I've been going through chemotherapy. What a welcome relief to know someone is bringing us dinner and that all I have to do is sit down and dish it up!

Sometimes, though, everyone thinks of the same menu. I once took a tuna casserole to a family whose mom was having a difficult pregnancy. I invited myself in and discovered the remains of five tuna casseroles already on the counter. They'd been offered the same meal all week long. And the family didn't even like tuna! I helped out by putting each of the uneaten casseroles down the in-sink-erator and washed the dishes and returned them for her. But, I've often wondered since how many more tuna casseroles showed up at their home...

Sometimes the meals have been just plain funny. One dear lady brought me a green bean casserole - with the can lid included. Extra iron? I loved her the more for it. It lightened my day to know I'm not the only forgetful person on the planet! I've got a friend who enjoys serving up yak and other foreign tidbits. Hmmmmm... Our family was ecstatic over the pizza & rootbeer floats. Seven-layer bean dip and chips. Ice cream cones and a variety of ice creams. Yum! True Saints all!

I'm always amazed at how caring and giving people are. I know how hard it can be to get all or part of a meal to someone else at the exact same time you're supposed to be feeding your own family or getting the kids to/from practices. It's expected that not everything run perfectly.

I myself am guilty of forgetting to take over a main dish on my assigned day twice in the past few months. How embarrassing! When it was our turn to be overlooked, I figured it was our just desserts! Max simply took the lettuce salad that had already arrived and added black beans and cheese and we had an excellent taco salad! (And the main course arrived a couple days later - when it was also VERY much appreciated!)

The bishop in one of our married student wards decided that the whole process was too overwhelming for families going to school and working. He forbade the doling out of meals for the sick. He said that the spouses were perfectly capable of preparing basic dinners. What a concept! It relieved us of "having to serve," but it also took away the blessings we'd been receiving from "getting to serve." And after being so richly blessed by being on the receiving end of things here, I look forward to "getting to serve" again sometime soon!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Travelling on 4th

The TriCity Herald just e-mailed me to let me know my note about 4th Avenue has been selected as Editorial of the Week. It will be in Sunday's Opinion Page. Imagine that! They want a photo of me. I had to decide which I would include - a bald photo (current) or one with "hair" (pre-June 2008.) I called Mom Rickords and asked her opinion. She and I chose the latter. Playing it safe. Heather thinks I should have sent them a bald one:

It's been noted by a few of you in letters to the editor that Kennewick's Fourth Avenue is pretty lumpy. What many fail to realize, however, is that it's SUPPOSED to be that way! Don't you realize that we pay good tax dollars to maintain those speed bumps/dips disguised as pot holes and road patch? It keeps traffic to a minimum, eliminating the need for expensive stop lights. It slows down traffic which keeps the neighborhood children and pets safer. So please stop whining - travel Tenth Avenue or Clearwater if you need to cross town. Leave Fourth Avenue to bicyclists wanting a true off-road experience. Or to those pregnant women wishing to induce labor. And to me so that I can cross town without stopping at dozens of red lights!