Man, I'm so sorry! Let me just tell you first off that my scan turned out AOK. The weird blister/scar tissue thingey on my left chest ended up not having cancer cells in it. I guess the test they did - called a Fine Needle Aspiration (really, it seems like a biopsy to me) - is 97-98% accurate, and because of that small margin of error, to be on the safe side, my doc is going to monitor it every six weeks or so to make sure that it doesn't grow or change. I see him again in...two weeks or so. Doctor Pirate. Maybe I should bring him a larger hoop earring as a gift. Wink.
So yeah, I left a lot of you hanging out there. I had put a post on my Facebook wall, where most people who know me were able to see it, but I realized, after a reader I don't know found me on Facebook to ensure that I was okay, that I left people high and dry. And for that, I apologize. I sometimes forget that it may not only be my close friends and family who read this thing.
And I'm so sorry for lack of posting! Sometimes I get into an anti-posting funk. And sometimes I'm really, really busy. Both are the case for me right now.
Yes, I have started my dance teaching jobs!! Here is one of my "offices":
A nice, big space. Ideally, I'd want different flooring and more barres, preferably fixed to the wall, but I'm just happy to be dancing, you know? Adjusting to dancing 7 hours a week is interesting. I was really, really sore at first. Heck, I'm sore now! Which is the way it is when you dance. Depending on the moves you're doing that day, you'll be sore the next couple of days in the weirdest places. My knee was sore after doing a move in the yoga pigeon pose when I taught lyrical this week. My abs are sore from leading those same girls in a core workout. I've lost some weight in the past several months, so my pants are loose in my waist, but now they're becoming exceedingly tight in my legs. I think my muscles are getting bigger and bulgier thereabouts. Which is good. My inner thighs have been woefully fat for the past several years.
Ben is doing a great job with the kids on the evenings that I'm gone, getting their homework done, getting them bathed, etc. I'm just...so happy doing what I'm doing. I probably should get my teaching certificate updated for Oregon, but... it just doesn't feel right. After all, for the first time in my entire life, a year and a half ago, an actual audible voice in my head told me, "Teaching dance is what you were meant to do." And I'm not talking about a voice like a schizophrenic would hear. (I do have mental illness, but it's not schizophrenia!) I'm talking about the Holy Ghost. Usually, the promptings from the Holy Ghost come as impressions in my mind and feelings in my heart. So this answer to many prayers at the time hit me hard. You hear a voice from the Lord, you follow it.
And hopefully my meager earnings will help us muddle along. It alarms me more and more how little we're making, and how much more the cost of living is in Bend compared to Idaho Falls. It's killing us. I feel like we've backpedaled ten years.
I don't know. I'm starting to realize even more fully how blessed I was growing up. I keep comparing Dylan to where I was at his age. He's 12 and living in a cramped apartment with no yard. We can't afford to put him in extracurricular activities. In fact, he has to baby-sit for about 45 minutes each day between when I leave for work and when Ben gets home. When I was 12, I was living in a roomy house with a huge yard and taking dance lessons, which were extremely expensive. I had no idea how good I had it.
I just worry, so much, about any detrimental effects our lack of fundage will have on our kids. We won't be able to help them fund their college tuition, or maybe even their missions. To say that it's extremely humbling is an understatement. I'd say it's more...soul-crushing. I just have a lot of guilt.
Which is why I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't work at the vocation I went to college for. Maybe I could endure the sheer mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion that wiped me out when I taught school, in order for my kids to have a better living situation. I remember coming home from work, just...a shell. A shell of a person. I had no more energy to give to anyone or anything else. I worry that, if I returned to my original vocation, would I have anything left to give to my kids? I'd be grading papers and making lesson plans instead of helping them with their homework. I would have no energy to prepare dinner or do anything fun. I would be falling asleep sitting up on the couch at 9 each night. I would have no down time with Ben.
Yet...they would have a more stable home and would be more financially secure. I don't know. All I know is that God is at my helm, and He let me know that this is what I'm supposed to do, and that it makes me infinitely happier to teach dance than it did to teach school. And I have the time during the day to volunteer in the kids' classrooms, to take them shorts when they stubbornly wore heavy sweatpants on a day that it was like 85 degrees outside (one guess as to who that was), to take medicine for Dylan over to his school, to pick up Sadie from her school when she was sick and threw up. To go through the hours-long process of submitting paperwork for the kids to get insurance for another year. To arrange dentist appointments, speech therapy appointments, occupational therapy appointments. My kids have some pretty major needs, and they need a mother, not a shell.
I just hope I'm not being selfish. :(
As far as my health, I'm doing well. I went in for another herceptin infusion last week:
And I really hate that shirt. I don't know why I continue to wear it.
I continue herceptin until February, and I have reconstruction in July or so. My foot is really, really ticked off at me for dancing on it. In addition to the plantar fasciitis that has plagued it for two years, I've now developed posterior tibialis tendonitis. That's a mouthful. I tape it every day that I dance, and I wear my big old clunky shoes with orthodics when I'm not dancing. I'm due to get some custom orthodics in about a week, and I can't wait. My feet are my moneymakers! I need them healthy!
The kids are doing great. Gage quickly got used to the school routine - in fact, he's doing much better since school has started than he did in the summer, when there was less structure. Micah is doing fabulously on his anti-anxiety meds. A complete turnaround in that kid. Sadie has started speech therapy. And Dylan seems to be handling having seven different classes better than he did last year. I can't believe he's a seventh grader! They're all growing like weeds. Dylan's feet are bigger than mine! And he's only a couple of inches shorter than me. Sadie wears my size in shoes and is only maybe four inches shorter than me. And I'm a tall person!!!
My church calling is fantastic, and I'm reading an incredible book right now - Into Thin Air by John Krakauer. Amazing. I've had a cold, so I haven't been sleeping well - lots and lots of coughing. But it seems to slowly be improving. Life is good!