Thursday, 23 August 2012

An Encouraging Day

As you know, I've been spending time thoroughly cleaning my home.  Normally this wouldn't be a significant event but it is the first time that I've been able to do it on my own since before my diagnosis.  I have had to work slowly at it as I tire easily.  Today I got all the vacuuming done, the dusting done and the cobwebs cleared from the corners.  On Monday, I hope to tackle washing the floors on my hands and knees as well as getting the bathrooms completed.  I'm also wanting to get all the windows washed.  Although I'm tired tonight, I feel very self-satisfied and encouraged.  On top of it all, as I was doing laundry and waiting for the spin cycle to finish, I tried singing some easy children's hymns from my childhood.  I pulled out the old hymnbook that used to always sit on my grandma's piano and I found my favourite children's hymns.  I managed to sing two hymns with multiple verses.  My voice had a good solid tone although it was still a little weak but certainly stronger than it's been.  I was able to support the tone with my diaphragm without any ill effects.  The voice isn't ready to do any singing publicly yet but it is very encouraging that my voice and throat are not showing any signs of strain tonight.

I get to have the weekend off as I'm attending my cousin's wedding.  I love spending time with my cousin and her fiance as they always make me laugh and smile.  They are a couple that spread light, sunshine and joy wherever they go.  The wedding will be a fun and enjoyable event.  The party after will most likely be filled with laughs to the point of having a sore face and belly from laughing and smiling so hard and long.  I found out about this wedding when I was sick.  August 24, 2012 became a beacon to me as I fought through the chemotherapy and the low points.  Now that the day is here, I'm excited to be attending and feeling great.  Let's partay!!!!

As life would have it, my son's baseball team made the Ontario Baseball Association Championship Playoffs.  He's playing ball this weekend in Stratford in his very last tournament in Rep baseball.  Thank goodness the tournament is being held in Stratford as it allows us to watch his first game on Friday at noon, make the drive to my brother's home where we'll be staying for the weekend, go to my cousin's wedding while my son drives back to Stratford to play ball on Friday evening.  I know that earlier in my blog while I was finishing my chemotherapy, I mentioned that I was going to make changes so that I wasn't pulled in all different directions trying to make everyone happy.  This time I'm pulling myself in all different directions because I am going to my cousin's wedding and at the same time wanting to see my son play ball for the last time in a very competitive manner.  I'm looking forward to this weekend because at the same time I'll be able to enjoy visiting with my brother.

I'll be completely offline this weekend.  You see, I am a rare breed.  I have a cell phone but it is a basic cell phone with no text or internet plan.  I don't have an IPhone, or IPad or IPod or Tablet or anything else.  I have a computer and I've dragged myself into this century by having a laptop.  I'm looking forward to being offline and visiting with family face-to-face without texting or emailing.  My brother is even more of a dinosaur than myself in that he doesn't have a computer or anything to do with the internet.  We enjoy old-fashioned visits where we recall escapades from our youth through to our current lives.  We laugh, eat, drink (coffee, water, wine, pop, etc.), laugh some more, eat some more and just enjoy each other's company.  Sometimes we play cards.  We do not ever feel like we will offend each other.  We disagree with each other during debates on current events and world issues but we respect each other enough to agree to disagree, although that will only come about after we have all tried to convince the others of the error of their ways.  I always look forward to getting together with my brother and his wife because there is true respect and love shown at all times.  Our visits with them always go by much too quickly.

As my summer winds down, I realize that I have embraced life fully again.  We've been very busy travelling but all our travels have involved visiting family and friends.  In my view, this is how life should be.  We get distracted from connecting with family and friends by totally immersing ourselves in our careers, playing mindless games on our electronic devices and generally wasting hours of our lives.  I have always felt that family and friends are important but since I've started feeling better, I really am much more aware of using my time wisely and making more effort to keep in contact with family and friends.  The problem now seems to be that there isn't enough time to see everybody that I want to see.  I still have my Cathy Conquers (or Conquered as one of my friends has suggested) Tour and living list to accomplish.  My list seems to revolve around food and visiting friends and family.  This means life is good!

Today I met up with a friend of mine who had taken over my students while I was going through treatment.  This was my first step to getting back to teaching in September.  I know that teaching and juggling my familial responsibilities has always drained my energy levels.  I'll have to be aware and make sure that I get enough rest.  I'm a little anxious about this new step in my healing.  I'm wondering if it is too soon to go back to teaching although the truth is I'm also excited about resuming teaching and seeing my students.  I've also become comfortable in being at home and not having too many demands placed upon me.  I've realized that I am a bit of an introvert.  This was definitely confirmed during our visit to Las Vegas.  I know that I'm even more comfortable in my own skin than I was before I got sick.

Anyway, this weekend is going to be a fun weekend and probably one of the last flings of the summer.  Let's bring it on!!

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