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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Will the Sea Star Escape?

Courtesy of my dear friend Erik -- what a cheery shot he shared from Santa  Cruitz --- it makes me smile to look at it -- and I wonder if the seastar escaped. It looks a bit big to swallow. Slept 48 hours (nearly straight through) getting up only for essentials, like taking Cannon to the Track/Field fundraiser dinner tonight where he is serving. I am slightly more rehydrated after a few units of saline, more tomorrow, and then I hope to be back on track for a few days. It amazes me the havoc a few malignant cells can wreak. Puppy squeaky clean, collared with with her Draign and curled up angelically next to my knee, where I sit on my bed propped by pillows, a desk and computer that has a knack of repositioning its cursor randomly on the screen about every 20-40 keystrokes... VERY IRRITATING!? Frankly I have no idea but it must've been 2008 so we were in Danville, headed to Godforsaken Valley Springs that summer.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Protective Gear for Chemo Specialist

Yesterday I shared with my medical team that I was writing a small blog and this specialist invited me to take a photo of her in her haz mat suit just before she shot me up with the Adryomycin Cytoxin (red tubes in yellow bag). I feel like I am living in a movie! Today I went back for a reboot of my bone marrow (white blood cells -- to the tune of $2000 per shot). I hope it works!

Nausea has arrived again.... trying to stave it off with drugs.... I'll feel better in time for round 3 if this session goes like the last one. 

Thanks so much for all your thoughts, wishes and support. It means so much to me (especially) and to Isobel and Cannon and my remote family to know that I have local support.


Yesterday I had round two of the poison to cure me. Two down, six to go, as of today. Taking all the prophylactic anti-side effects and just downed my second cup of espresso so I can get done what I really am  not motivated to do..... playing music to help.

On the left you see me at one of my highest moods --- 2004 at my Daddy's wedding 10 years to the day after he met his bride (ironically 9/11). They were actually booked on UA 92 which hit WTC but Lynn's father died a few days before so they cancelled the trip. There but for the grace of God go I. The other image is a card that came with a custom-made (free) silk head wrap (its too cold to wear it now) from it is really nice and the card was signed by hand inside by about 20.... very cheery. 

"It's been a while, since I could hold my head up high...."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

St. Johns's Episcopal, Williamstown, MA

How ironic that my most valued heirlooms are those of my Auntie Nanny, much of which is vintage St. John knits. Classic 1980s.  This is where I was baptized, confirmed and married -- many sacraments from my God Mother -- what a role model The Reverend Susan Crampton (since about 1980). 

Today my Dear friend Rachel is coming this afternoon to stay overnight, and we are making French Macaron's (or trying anyway). I just have to get this grading done (and I won't and I'll feel obligated to do a few hours more until it is done enough to visit).... sigh. I have to learn to be satisfied with *NOT* rewriting every students' papers (which I view as pre-dissertation plans, and have to assure myself primarily that the research question is sound, the methodology makes sense and is going to provide some sort of interesting and useful results). But I cannot let shoddy work sully the degree to which they aspire. I continue to be amazed at the quality and interest level of MANY too many of them percentage wise (honestly about 65%).  They feel entitled to an A with little to no serious thought, let alone a little mind stretching and self-reflection over a reasonable period of time (MAKE time for it if you want to be doing it, stop rushing) instead of simple drivel, and make it clear to me that it is *my* fault for their lack of understanding when I recommend that they  might benefit from some cooperation from the writing center (suggestions about how to make research more robust is not a personal attack). Just because you can pay for it does not mean you earned it. I was appalled to find that 60% of those who attend even one Residency (one week learning seminar in a conference setting) do not finish their degrees. Maybe I should just be a dissertation advisor -- it is much more rewarding working with highly motivated students. 

Honorary degrees, on the other hand, are very meaningful. Funny how on Sundays (all days now, really) my little consistent rituals are what get me through each day. Ironing my scarves, using special meaningful items daily. Like Gwendolyn sitting on my lap blanketed feet (with a hot water bottle in the small of my back in my chair though my morning tea made several hours ago, is icy cold. I did manage a lovely lightly toasted and heavily buttered english muffin, though, and an pleasantly comfortable.

Over a 24 hour period Cannon made his very first attempt at preparing and serving a meal all himself: two self-chosen teacher-approved Venezuelan dishes for which he has to produce an edited 2 minute video for Spanish class. Amazingly delicious and Isobel only found one small chicken bone. He was very proud of himself, though it took me a total of 3 hours to put the kitchen to rights. Baby steps! I am proud of him.