I’m going to be honest, I’m getting a bit sick of this cancer. It seems to be on a mission to test a whole load of my friends and quite frankly I have had enough. Last year as I walked to work I had a call from a friend to tell me she had some news. I told her that if she had a new job I would batter her and she calmly told me she had cancer. My immediate response was that it was ok but what if your hair comes in curly like Merida from Brave.
Appropriate? Of course not.
Delighted to say she has kicked cancer into touch and is sporting a lovely blonde pixie cut!
A few weeks ago I spent the day in hospital as one of my oldest friends had her first chemo.
She called me about 8 weeks ago to say she had a lump and was going for tests but they thought it was breast cancer. I immediately went into the what about your hair routine, you better not embarrass me routine. I came off the phone to her, called my mum and had a small meltdown as I walked to work.
A flurry of tests and appointments later, I went with her to meet her consultant. She was shaking and while I was in bits on the inside, I couldn’t let her see it.
Sitting there being brave for my fried was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.(selfish I know,it wasn’t me who was ill) So the consultant broke the news, it has spread but they can get it.
Who needs breasts and lymph nodes anyway?
So in the space of a few weeks it has been a list of things to do and sort before finishing work and starting treatment.
We spent a day getting tests and her pre chemo visit. The staff were amazing as we asked questions about the daftest of things.
The following day was her first chemo and we had another day in the hospital. We laughed about the fact we had 2 whole days together but it was perhaps a bit extreme that she had to get cancer for us to get some time together. It did get me thinking about priorities though.
Sitting with her and chatting away about nonsense as she had her chemical cocktail really was a privilege. Just to be there.
We are now heading towards session 3 and I am delighted to see how she is responding.Her hair has started to come out and despite having her wig, she’s sporting some wonderful scarves and looking very bohemian. She’s decided to use the time to get back in to her languages and is reading a lot. She calls it the wee c and is determined to get through it and get better. So that means that we need to do the same.
Selfishly I have cried on my own, but would never let her see that. I guess this is where you realise what friendship really means. I’ve realised what her friendship means to me. Where you can tell your pal her wig looks like a deid rat in the box, where she can talk about the decisions about her career and you can both cry having had the what if chat.
Ridiculous that it took for her to have cancer for us to get a day together. Lesson learned.
I had a lovely message from a lovely pal from my uni days. I knew we were going to be pals as he blew 90% of his student loan on a limited edition vox valve amp that was purple. “Look what I found in the loft”and he sends me a picture of some photos of me at my stunning best at 18. Ok so one of them I have on some lovely dungarees and someone’s dug is sitting beside me but the other one still makes me laugh and it’s from my 18th birthday. I had a ceilidh and the great and good from school, uni and work were at it. A total hoot. I started the night in a lovely dress then got changed for a bet into a pair of tartan tights and a take that t- shirt. We are talking 20 years ago. And just for effect, tartan Doc Martins, I was indeed a style queen. ( did I omit the black velvet shorts?couldn’t get them up one leg now if I tried) the hair is still wild, dark but unmistakably wild. Somethings don’t change.
It made me laugh ( secretly cursing you a!) and I just gently reminded him that some things get better with age.
(Certainly my taste in music but I do still look longingly at those shorts)
Am feeling good about going back to work tomorrow. A lot of my friends have been saying how they need a wee bit of routine and to get away from the crisps, dips and chocolate. ( I’ll just pop them in the bag)I’m looking forward to seeing the weans and getting the news, preparing for a move and starting a new chapter.
And most definitely a decent work life balance. Do we ever get better at that as we get older?
Don’t see nearly enough of A but with both us having wee ladies, when we do its precious and for the record A, yer hair is lovely with age……x
A very happy new year from the couch. I’ve pretty much been in the same position for a few days. That’s the challenge of being ill, actually doing nothing! I’ve found myself saying things like I’m better off at work ….eh? Oh aye because I don’t get I’ll at work!
We have a departmental twitter account and we did a wee review of the year in photos and it was amazing. We sometimes forget about the multitude of wee things we do that are actually big successes. It resonated with me as I was reading a bunch of posts on teacher 5 a day and the things we can do to nurture ourselves as teachers and to keep healthy. Not just physically, but psychologically and emotionally.
Health and well-being for teachers.
There is a particular magazine that I have read for years and it’s nice mix of reportage, commentaries and lifestyle but one of the columns really stood out.
It was a woman commenting on how every year she had the same 3 or 4 things on her resolutions and inevitably didn’t do them, just too big. So she decided to do lots of wee things instead, I think this is the way to go indeed!
The little lady and I have made 2 agreements and they are going to be very special to us, it will impact greatly on my health and well-being and time with her. Happy wee lady, happy mammy.
The rest should fall into place……with the right shoes….
Some serious lack of posting, normal service is resumed!
Well it’s the start of the most stressful week for me as we are building up to the national conference on Saturday and I don’t mind saying that I am still worried.
Worried that I will swear, worried that I’ll have my frock stuck in my knickers and worried that I will just sleep in.
Weekend was busy. Saturday was spent being domestic but I did indulge in about an hour of piano playing. Getting ready for a very special wedding and a few new pieces to learn.
5pm on Saturday was aperitif time and I introduced the wee lady to this. Later on OH asked how my gin and tonic was and the answer was that it was “tanned” ie finished so time for another.
Sunday was serious piano playing and then the cinema.
Work this week is bonkers. I can’t keep up with the amount of emails I am getting at the moment. A colleague sent another colleague a message saying they felt ignored as I hadn’t responded quickly enough to emails and considered that they were getting ignored. Really? Really?
The quicker you usually reply the more people expect it!
Lots of wee things to deal with today and then off to visit a school that is waiting on the inspectors. Stress levels are high and you do need to ask is it worth it?
They won’t care about the angles of displays, or the smell in the class, are weans safe, sound, achieving? Are staff safe, sound and inspired?
Mammy points 7/10 too early a start and too late a finish
Methodology points 8/10 a balancing act going on today
Manolo points 8/10
A braw day. The last day of the long weekend and it was a smasher. Spent with the wee lady then an evening of work.
Bit of quality roller skating this morning and domestic goddess duties.
We headed out to the park with the Wellies on and it was magic. I have great memories of kicking through leaves as a wee girl and it’s a joy to see the wee lady doing the same. Literally gay abandon. It’s such a pity that we don’t stop to enjoy the wee things like that. (Like smelling the flowers I know!)
She rolled about and attempted to bury me in the leaves! Certainly beats teaching my 3rd years!
After a wander round the glass house to see all the beasties we wandered off the track a bit in the park and found blackberries. So we happily picked them to take home to make a crumble. She kept saying how it was “awesome” and her favourite day in the park ever. ( That’s saying something as we are in the park A LOT) clearly her half hobbit in the city side coming through. It reminded me of the time I took a group of city kids on an outward bound trip and we were canoeing and passed some fields ” Miss, is that a real coo?” Nearly fell out my boat laughing.
However, we made blackberry and raspberry crumble and it was lovely.yes, it was indeed “awesome”
Normal service resumes tomorrow for mad Tuesday!
( a brilliant rough cut version of the song that makes me laugh…..)
Well if I was going to have one if those days off where I didn’t clean the loo or iron or think about work, then today had all of the essential elements!
I remember in the summer chatting within a good pal about a Dr.Seuss day and we decided that roller skating was definitely called for. I’ve always loved roller skating and the wee lady is showing a great aptitude for it, so we both got new boots and I laughed my socks off as we left the house at 930am to get to the park to whizz around. ( reckon I could still take my pal in a race!)
It was so cute to hear her assume the role of the teacher, telling me to be confident and keep my bum in, head up, don’t get distracted, hand out for balance, don’t forget to stop and my favourite “I’m here for you mum”
Laugh? I nearly cried I was so proud but it did get me thinking once again about the way we talk to children both our own and the ones we are lucky enough to work with every day.
We spent the afternoon having lunch and running round outside ( even had to put suncream on – the joys of being fair skinned) with our good friend auntie R and her wee lady and it was great to kick back and blether about being the balance and r said the same as me, the luxury of being able to take the wee people to school or nursery is just that. Sharing parenting chat is always a hoot and we both agreed on how we just couldn’t do it all with our own mammys.
This week is shaping up to be a bit bonkers in a good way, but I think I’ll be laying more attention to the way I speak to my weans at school. Wouldn’t it be great to have the weans say, “don’t worry, I’ve got you?”
Ooft a smashin day if a bit manic. Went to bed early so was awake by 430am. Loo cleaned and a load of washing on by 6am. It’s not all glamour you know!
School started with a cuppa @ 715am with one of my fellow PTs and a good chat about or favourite things – weans. The logistics with OH going to uni have not really kicked in so I am still able to get a few mornings in early. I work better in the morning so I enjoy getting in, cranking up the tunes and pottering till the weans arrive at 7.45- I kid you not! It’s our own wee cafe and I love that kids feel welcome and pop by for coffee.
I have two pretty big S3 classes that are challenging in the nose that they are boy heavy, so I always feel like I need to be over prepared, so a wee bit of printing and copying before turning up walk this way by Aerosmith and dancing down the corridor with DR.
Ladies in the dept are getting back into their stride and I think the timetable has finally settled down…. We never seem to all be off at the same time so a lot of snatched conversations and blethers in corridors. A good HF class then 4 classes of S3 boys teaching about la tecnologia in Spanish. We looked at adverts for products, looked for cognates and false friends as well as looking at the slogans, all peppered with some tunes on in the back ground. There may have been some shammy shaking.
Lunch was a funny affair. A colleague from another dept came to tell me he was moving on to another school and how he had felt bad for 2 years as he had not been very welcoming to me and it had bothered him.
I thought that was really nice and there was part of me thinking about ” how others see us?” I know fine what people said about me taking over the post…..shall we all sing ” who’s sorry now?” Must be the tattoo and piercings.
I don’t have any S1 pupils this year so always like to do my nosey and of odour we did a wee dance for them, no wonder they all think I am mental, not exactly a picture of decorum when it comes to the dancing ( well except for the tango but that’s another story)
My seniors yet again were a source of joy with their dedication and excitement about all things languages and honestly, I don’t think I have ever taught a more dedicated and inspiring bunch ( apart from a certain lady on the pink bus – you know who you are Tia Clara)
Senior assembly about soup kitchen and off to a primary for a meeting.
A really good day at school despite not having a minute, and do you know what, I would not change it for the world.
It was all manageable as I had slept and had the RIGHT SHOES on as well as the flowers in the hair.
Got home to the wee lady flying about the pavement on her scooter with the hair flying and a look of joy. She is indeed a Grandad’s girl and they had been for 99 cones so she was chuffed to bits! I was a bit gutted to come in and not find my mum here- apparently taking advantage of the good weather and had a backdoor full of washing ( such a mammy thing to do)
Some serious cooking ( in a previous life I was a fat Nigella) and then the usual routine of homework, bath and stories.
Indeed, a wonderful day full of wee joys, it’s amazing what a good sleep can do. Oh aye, and a day off, and a night with Brad Pitt…….
Mammy Points 10/10 it’s all about the wee lady when I get in!
Manolo points 8/10 not heels but most def the right shoes
Methodology points 8/10 still need to work at the confidence of the seniors and sheer craziness of the 3rd years.