Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Fabulous First Week of School!

Hi, everyone! This week was my first week back to school with kids. It was awesome! I have 29 4th graders and each is sweeter and nicer than the next. I feel like a whole person again. I can't post a picture of them yet, because I'm not sure if I have photo releases for everyone, but here are some pictures of their mini-me's they made.

Aren't they cute?

Here is one member of our class I didn't need a photo release form for. He is our class pet, a rat named Oreo. This isn't a very good picture. Janaya took it with her phone camera. I'll try to get a better one for my next post.

It is great being back with all my friends at school, too. Everyone has been absolutely wonderful. I have gotten so many hugs and heard "welcome back, we missed you" from so many people. People are so nice and are always offering to help. I know I work at the best place and with the best people ever.

I am doing really good! I only have eight treatments left to go in my radiation. The therapist that does them each evening has warned me that these last two weeks will be the most difficult, but so far I continue to do just fine. My skin is getting red, but it isn't really sore. I'm exhausted when I leave school each day, but so is everyone else. I will be glad when I don't have to make the trek to Scottsdale every evening though!

I know this post is going to end up long, but I want to share this story. I think it shows what amazing doctors I have caring for me. Once a week, I meet with the radiation oncologist so he can check on me and see how I'm doing. This week, he came into the radiation room while I was on the table because he had to make markings on my chest to get ready to do the booster treatments to my incision that are done the last five days of treatments. I always feel a little self conscious, but it was worse in this setting. I'm laying there on the table with nothing on from the waist up, my chest scarred and red, he's drawing all over me with magic marker, and then he looks up and starts to say something to me and then stops and says, "Do you know you are beautiful? You are. I hope your husband tells you that every night." Now, this might sound creepy to some, but it wasn't. He was just being so nice to me. My therapist was in the room and everything. I thought I was going to cry, but instead just grinned from ear to ear. Joe does tell me all the time that I'm beautiful, but even though I know he truly means it, I still don't feel very beautiful some days. I went home that night with an extra bounce in my step. I have the nicest, kindest, most caring doctors any person could hope to have.

Guess what? I have a full set of eyelashes now and my hair has continued to grow in with the chemo I'm on right now. I'm so hoping the next chemo doesn't make it fall out! It grows very, very slowly and having to start from scratch again would be so discouraging. Here is a picture of my hair right now.

I left my camera at school so this is taken with Janaya's phone again.

I have an appointment with Dr. Livingston on the 24th, two days before I'm done with radiation. My understanding is that at that point he will decide what chemo he wants me to do. He will be sending his treatment plan to an oncologist in Phoenix so I can get the chemo without making the trip to Tuscon and still continue to work. I am doing so well right now, it is scary to think about starting something new. But, it will only be for twelve weeks. I keep telling myself it can't be any worse than anything else I've gone through so far.

My family is doing fine. Pam returned to NJ after being an absolutely amazing help in getting my room set up. I am kind of a slow pokey worker. She's a no messing around, let's get down to business type of worker. She got done in one day what would have taken me a week to do! My niece, Mary, came with her. Here is a picture I took of her enjoying the pool.

Isn't she beautiful?!
Janaya and Joey are enjoying their last few days before NAU and ASU start up again. Michael started his senior year. He decided to do swim team this year and is enjoying it so far, but is exhausted in the evenings. Probably a good thing for a teenager to be, don't you think? He is really struggling with what he wants to do next year. He has talked about wanting to be an engineer and work in the automotive industry for as long as I can remember. But, last year, he had the most amazing social studies teacher. Michael was so inspired by him, he is seriously considering getting his degree in secondary education so he can teach history. A teacher who can inspire a young person that way is one to be valued. Unfortunately, the last we knew, he had lost his teaching position in the district due to the budget cuts. It makes me sad to know we lost a truly gifted teacher at a time when our kids need role models like him more than ever.

Well, this has gotten really long! I just have so much good going on in my life right now and wanted to share it with everyone.

Hoping your lives are as happy and wonderful as mine is right now!
Love you all tons!


velvet brick said...

I feel like I have a front row seat to the movie 'Miracle Before Us' - starring Martha H.

I am so grateful that you are feeling so well, dear friend! The doctor was so are beautiful! I am loving the hair, too! That's actually my kind of fuss, no muss - free-spirited, it is!!! It's awesome to see you in the workroom or pass you in the office! You really do look amazing, Martha.... and I'm happy to have you back in the saddle again! We missed you terribly, but understood.

You're going to have such a wonderful year with your class and parents - they are so very lucky to have you as their teacher!!

Welcome back, dear friend....
welcome back!

Jane said...

I am so inspired and in awe everytime I visit your blog, and it seems I get a bit teary too...I could only hope to have half as much of your positive attitude as what you have. I come here and feel like I am a better person for reading about your journey.

It has been great to see you back at school, everytime I do you have a huge smile on your face!

I love the mini me's your class made, they are so stinkin' cute. I am not so sure I feel the same way about the class pet, I have a little bit of fear towards those litle critters.

Enjoy your weekend.

N-Search of Peace! said...

As always, I feel apart of your life, world, and day....thank you!

You are such an amazing spirit and I again am grateful that we are all here at the same time on this earth!

Love your classroom! the teacher more!!!


Kari said...

It is so nice to see your smiling face around school. Welcome back !

ZueZQue said...

You didn't cry, but I did. :)

You are amazing, fortunate, AND beautiful!

Love ya,

Cheela said...

Martha, so glad everything has gone so well. You are an awesome teacher and I am proud to have you as a colleague and a friend!!

Jill said...

Hi! I hopped over here from Carol's blog. I am a fourth grade teacher too. I love the mini me photos. Hope your year is wonderful. Stop by sometime... I hope to update my blog soon.