If I had my druthers, I'd treat every one of you to the quaint little coffee shop in Fairview so we could sit and talk for hours catching up. Since it seems rather unlikely that all of you could make it to our little corner of Tennessee, I thought it best to do our catching up here! So grab a cup of coffee and let's chat.
You might ask-
How is treatment going?
Thank you for asking! You're so thoughtful. Treatment is going very well! I had some hiccups (seizure, rash, hospital), but I've been on the up and up since then! My energy is MUCH better than it has been in the past, probably because my thyroid hormones are more normal now.
The clinical trial is a 2 year program, so my treatment will conclude in May. At that point I am planning to go off my trial meds! There's no way to know if the meds are controlling the disease or if my immune system has learned how to fight the cancer on its own. So I will take a break and see what happens. My oncologist and I have been talking about this possibility for the last year and have both been growing in confidence that this is the right decision when the time comes. Her confidence gives me hope. I don't think about it too much since it is so far in the future; better to do it one day at a time.
This is my cardiologist. Rarely have to see her anymore!
That's so great! You'd reply. And your hair is so curly!! Was it curly before?
Yes it was, but it wasn't nearly as curly as it is now! It was more wavy before radiation and it's grown back as ringlets/curl bomb fro. I love it. I just got it cut this week and I love it even more now that it doesn't resemble a mullet.
How's your house coming along?
We have a foundation! We bought a forest and cleared part of it into a plot and a yard with only big trees. Now the plot has been cleared with foundation and blocks laid. Hopefully it will be done in about 4 months.
So yes, we are still living in an RV! It's starting to feel smaller as we switch from flip flops to boots and squeeze our winter jackets into the closet. We love being so close to John's parents. We are still on the back of their property and enjoy greeting the cows and horses next door as we drive back to our little temporary home.
Are you teaching this year?
No I'm not. I really loved teaching and had the best students anyone could ask for (I'm not exaggerating! An honors elective science class for college credit really only attracts the students that want to be there!). At the end of last school year I felt that I was stretching myself to the very limits of what I was capable of doing in a day. I didn't have much time or energy left over for things like mothering or wifing. So I made a change.
So what are you doing now?
Well. I know what you're asking. You want to know how I'm being productive right? Well, the answer to that question is that I am doing graphic design. Mostly layouts and publications. I just finished designing the style guide and bulletin for our church. I've been doing some posters and custom calligraphy work as it rolls in, and I enjoy it. The work allows me the time that I need to be a mom to a preschooler still at home most days, and provides the brain space for me to be mentally present more of the time.
But really the answer to your question is so different than the chit-chat answer. While I was giving my most to being a good teacher, it left little presence of mind to care for my family well. Something needed to change. I tapped into my other talents and artistic nature and expanded my design projects.
So here's the real answer: I am spending time taking care of my family, giving them my focus and attention. I'm sleeping and healing, staying away from unneeded stress. I'm prioritizing and listening for where God will call me next. And while I am doing those things, I do a little design.
At this point I would say Well enough about me! I've been talking for an hour! Tell me about you!
You would tell me all about your adventures and your family and your job and I'd be enamored by the beauty of what God has gifted you to do.
I'm so glad we could catch up!! Let's do it again soon!