Day #30 – 30 Days of Gratitude

This “30 Days of Gratitude” turned out to be a bigger writing/life assignment than I had originally imagined.  Focusing on the positives really helped my mindset this month.  There were days when I was totally uninspired and not feeling particularly thankful, but I found that if I waited a few hours, something put itself in my path.  As I look back, the topics are slightly haphazard but that is indicative of my brain these days.  I know that I have a lot to be grateful for and have only skimmed the surface over the last thirty days.  I am hoping this attitude will stick with me in the days and months to come as we head into the hubbub of the holidays as well as doctor visits and new treatment plans.

This Thanksgiving season has passed so quickly.  Samantha heads back to school tomorrow and Dave’s family begins leaving today.  We head up to Johns Hopkins on Monday for a second look at Dave’s recent test results and scans.  For now the plan is to trade Vectibix for Erbitux (basically same drug, different manufacturer) and add back a previously used drug called Irinotecan.  Dave has mentioned that he isn’t going to stay on the vectibix/erbitux for too long since the rash is driving him crazy.  I am praying that his symptoms settle down, and he can stay the course for as long as possible.  His oncologist walked us down the treatment path last Wednesday.  After this third line stops being effective or tolerated, we have one more “standard care” drug line before drug trials.  So, I will encourage and support sticking this line out as long as possible at the same time listening and looking for Dave to indicate that it’s too much.  It is a delicate line between encouraging/bolstering and pushing/imposing.  I think we do remarkably well with those kinds of conversations – another thing for which to be grateful.

I slept a lot this break.  My mind seems to be in overdrive.  Even when I am with other people, I find my brain pinging around.  So, if I am talking to you and I seem to go away for a minute, just know that it is not you.   I am probably thinking about recycling or Joaquin Phoenix or bacon.

Happy December,

Robyn

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Day #28 – Friends / Day #29 – & Family

I am grateful for my friends and family.  Without them, I could not be as strong as I am.  They lift me up, make me laugh, make me think, problem solve.  They provide a shoulder, an ear, a hand.   They keep in touch through email, texts, phone calls, weekly coffees, lunch/dinner dates and at work.  There are definitely times when I FEEL like I am alone, but I KNOW that is not true.

I have had brief periods of frustration about things said/unsaid or done/not done.  Some things have been said to me almost as if I don’t understand the gravity of the situation.  Trust me.  I understand.  But as I have said before, that is not where I live.  Some things have remained unsaid for a variety of reasons.  Over time, I have come to understand two fundamental truths; 1) people are who they are whether there is a cancer diagnosis or not and 2) they are doing the best that they can.  So, if I start to feel troubled about something, I remind myself of these things.  And I am hopeful that others give me the same grace.

xoxo

Robyn

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Day #27 – Digital Microscope

I am thankful to have access to cool technology, and the digital microscopes are definitely cool.  As a way to engage kids in some out of the box thinking, we have been posting pictures in the hallway with the title “What is it?”  Last week I used the microscope to take a picture of a piece of skin shed by one of the leopard geckos.  As the days passed, the poster was full of ideas that the kids jotted down.  When I pulled the paper down today and really read what the kids had written I had a good laugh.  Amongst the earnest answers of snake shed, leopard skin etc were also ideas like “poo” or “booger” and my personal favorite “my butt”.  Kids are hilarious!

xoxo

Robyn

So, what is it?

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Day #26 – New Phone

Today I am grateful for my new phone.  It’s the one on the left in case you were wondering.

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I’ve had my old phone for about three years.  It didn’t always look like that.  At first, it was shiny and lovely too.  One fateful summer day, while sitting by the pool, I dropped it.  Face down.  On a rock.  And it looked bad.  But I wasn’t due for an upgrade so I made do.  (A year later I dropped it again while walking the dogs which is how the metal part came to be exposed.)  Anyway, a few months later, I was okay to upgrade my phone but it was Christmas time and phones are expensive even with the “discounted” price.  I justified waiting because we were focusing our spending elsewhere.  Then I started to hear rumors of a new iphone coming out.  So, I decided I would wait and see what that one was like.  The release date came and went and still I carried my pitiful phone.  I confidently told Dave that I just knew the NEXT iphone would be in fun colors and then I would finally upgrade.  Wouldn’t you know it?  They did put out colorful phones this fall but I didn’t really like them.  Having waited for so long, I decided that I would get the new 5S but it HAD to be the champagne colored one.  Of course, those sold out right away, and I am not a “stand in line for hours waiting for the newest technology” kind of gal.  Today, as I was passing the Verizon store I decided to pop in and see if they had one.  And now I finally have a new phone.  (What’s that?  You can’t tell that it is champagne colored because the case is covering the entire thing?  Hmmm…..yea…..)  I am grateful that I don’t risk glass splinters now when texting and the buttons actually respond when you push them.  I’d like to say that next time I won’t wait so long, but I probably will.  : )

xoxo

Robyn

Day #25 – Meeting of the Minds

I am grateful for rich and meaningful conversation.  Brainstorming ideas at work, diving into the meaning of a book, debating politics – I love digging into a topic and hearing all sides and opinions.  As long as the other parties feel the same way.  There is nothing more annoying than listening to someone who is only interested in their own point of view.  

Today I had the opportunity to visit another STEM lab and share ideas with the teacher there.  I learned so much and walked away with a head full of ideas.  My favorite part of teaching is when I have the opportunity to collaborate and network and take what I have learned back into the classroom.  Awesome.

xoxo

Robyn

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Day #24 – The Little Things

There are some things that I am grateful for pretty much daily.  What can I say, not every blog post can be deep and thoughtful….

I am grateful for all products Haribo – bears, cola, twin cherries.  I love them all.

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I am SO lazy when it comes to makeup.  This makes my life easier and (I think) disguises restless nights or late bedtimes.

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This scent is my favorite so totally worth the splurge to me.  I don’t know why but it always makes me feel more dressed up – even in a t-shirt and jeans.

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I am grateful for Panera coffee.  It has gotten me through some long days.  And the lady who sells it to me is always so warm and cheerful.  It is a nice way to start the day.

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Sometimes the little things make all the difference.

xoxo

Robyn

Day #23 – Humor

I am grateful for people who have a great sense of humor and share it freely.  Most, if not all, of my friends are hilarious.  I suppose that is what drew me to them in the first place.  When people describe me, I hope that one of the first things they mention is that I am always laughing about something.  It’s hard to imagine a day going by that someone or something isn’t cracking me up.

Yesterday we had a Family Game Night with Dave’s “A Team”.  At the secondary school level, the administrative team is pretty huge – Dave, 1 associate principal, 6 assistant principals, 2 directors of student services, 3 security officers, 1 director of student activities and Dave’s admin assistant.  Someone brought along the game Taboo which was the perfect choice as it really brought out peoples’ personalities.  One of the funnier moments for me was when trying the guess the word hamster, the hint given was “you have these in your house”.  At least four people shouted out “rats!”  I mean, really?!  I am so glad that Dave has such a great group of professionals to work with at school.  They tease and they challenge each other, but at the end of the day, they always have each other’s backs.

xoxo

Robyn

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