Sunday, 31 December 2006

Sound of Music

What a day! It's been the worst ever. However at 9:00pm I went to bed and turned on the radio to listen to a series of wonderful programmes on musicals. The one I'm listening to right now is about The Sound of Music. It had me wanting to watch it again and if I weren't ill I'd like to have danced down the stairs. Oh dear, is this the effect of the chemo again! I'm now up and sitting in the living room listening to the end of the documentary. Thank heavens that BBC radio had something other than retrospectives on a rather difficult year.

This has been a day of music and I suppose that music can do so much to keep you going. The first DVD that i watched was Bride and Prejudice. Writing this reminds me that I listened to a wonderful programme on World Service (The Ticket)in the middle of the night last night about music for film and it included a section on Bollywood. The second DVD was Delovely, the bio-musical on Cole Porter. There was a wonderful cathartic moment at the end that allowed me to have a good cry which I was really in need of! (Sorry to those who don't like prepositions at the end of sentences!)

I am trying to look positively on the year ahead. However, the pain at the moment makes it hard. I know that I only have two more sessions of chemo but how much worse will each be. Then of course there's the radiotherapy. I do know that I have learned a lot from this experience but I'd rather look on that at some later date. Am I wallowing in self pity? No, I think I'm just trying to get through one day at a time at the moment.

Saturday, 30 December 2006

Day 3 of Chemo

This chemo really has hit me harder. All the symptoms are coming more quickly. I have greater and almost immediate sensitivity in my fingers and toes. I also have pain in my joints and legs/fingers. Luckily the nausea is now under control.

I bet you really needed to know all that!

So not much more to say about anything at the moment. More later perhaps!

Friday, 29 December 2006

The morning after chemo 3

It's just gone four in the morning and I'm having a post-chemo wakeful moment. The day went fine yesterday. Cliff took me for the first time and Naomi came along with him. I was concerned that it would bother them since neither of them like hospitals but they seemed to cope alright. I was more strongly affected by the drugs this time and became very tired almost immediately. That meant that they had very little conversation out of me and what they did have didn't make a lot of sense. We managed to get there quite early and so I started on the chemo just after 10 and was on the way home by 2:10.

I haven't written for a few days because life has been so hectic and I've been trying to rest up in anticipation of yesterday's treatment. Both Naomi and James, and my friend Melanie from Kansas City arrived on Boxing Day. We also had a visit that day from another friend, Bernard and from Emma and Mike. It was quite a full house!

More later. I'm going to try and go back to sleep now!


Yes, I did sleep but not for long. In fact I'm already to try and sleep again. I've continued to feel sick but I haven't thrown up. Thank Heavens! Melanie has already left for Germany and Naomi has just gone for the train back to Swansea. We are on our own again! At this moment I am typing and trying to watch an Australian film called Australian Rules. (4pm: I didn't finish it. I wasn't really into boy coming of age movies. Maybe later.)

Monday, 25 December 2006

Christmas Day

This is our first Christmas with no one here but us when we woke up. It was strange and actually made it feel as if it were just a regular day, except that the radio wasn't as good. This makes me wonder about Christmas. Was it only ever the children's holiday? What is an adult Christmas like? I'm about to find out! Peter and his partner,Marketa, and Emma and Mike should arrive in the next few hours. I haven't been to church this year. In fact I haven't left the house since Saturday's visit to Waitrose (supermarket). I just don't have the energy.

After dinner

We had a lovely visit with Peter and Marketa. They brought their instruments and played and sang for us. They were wonderful. What a shame they couldn't have stayed longer. Mike and Emma stayed till 5 or so and then went on to dinner with Mike's parents. Peter and Marketa left about 6:30. We watched Doctor Who at 7. It was as good as ever! The whole day was very low key. I suppose that it's just what I needed but it seemed rather flat.

Has anyone read any of the philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. I'm trying to find a good translation. I looked at the Penguin edition but it's rather dry. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Sunday, 24 December 2006

Producer of MGM Musicals

I've had two comments asking for the name of the producer I talked about. It was Arthur Freed. I'm going out to buy some more of his films after the holiday.

Christmas Eve

When I talked yesterday of enduring the supermarket, I had no idea how true that would be. We were in the queue for the check out for nearly an hour. Luckily, everyone was in a good mood and we had some interesting conversations. However, I came home from the experience quite exhausted and that led to me becoming very depressed. I have fought back from that I will try to keep it in mind that I mustn't let myself get too tired.

Later in the day

I have finally finished wrapping presents and have a strawberry and rhubarb pie in the oven. The triffle will have to wait till tomorrow. I just don't have the energy for it. I watched an interesting documentary on the man who produced Singing in the Rain. He started as a song lyrisist (wrote Singing in the Rain), became an assistant producer and finally headed up the most successful unit at MGM (Singing in the Rain, Meet me in St. Louis, GiGi, Showboat, American in Paris to name but a few). His name escapes me at the moment but if anyone is interested I will look it up. Then again, maybe I'm the only one who likes musicals.

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Run up to Christmas

I'll start by thanking Emjay for a posting a comment yesterday about poaching fish. Sounds good and I'm going to try it.

The fog is still with us but it is not as intense. Travellers are beginning to fly out of Heathrow and hopefully all will be home for Christmas. I have the supermarket to endure today. I would have done it all earlier in the week but I only have an under the counter fridge so I can't store that much. I also thought that it would be best to buy the fish as close to Christmas as possible. However, I won't buy it at the supermarket. There's an excellent fish monger in Virginia Water.

I have baking to do as well. I'm not making cookies this year since I was given so many in my hampers but I did promise Emma some brownies and my famous rhubarb and strawberry pie. I think that I'll shop today and cook tomorrow. I only have a certain amount of energy and I don't want to use it up all in one go.

I must admit that I don't feel very Christmasy this year and that's a shame since I really enjoy Christmas. I haven't gotten around to putting up a tree and the only other decorations are the cards and a wreath. Cliff and I decided for the first time not to do stockings for each other. I know it's the logical thing to do but I'm really going to miss them. I think I like the stockings more than anything else.

I think that part of the problem is that I have been thinking far to much about the chemo next Thursday. I suppose that it's because the last time I was so sick and depressed. I'm sure that I can overcome that this time by not tiring myself out. However, it hangs over me at the moment.

Friday, 22 December 2006

Sea voyages

The other day I read an article in the Guardian about travelling across the Atlantic by boat. I have done that. 5 times in fact. But a long time ago. It did get me thnking and I had a look at the Cunard site. Cliff and I are celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary next June and wouldn't it be great to take the Queen Mary 2 from Southampton to New York next year and then go up to Canada by train. I sent for a brochure and it arrived today. My goodness what wonderful state rooms! Some are bigger than my house. I had hoped to go to Cuba in February but we can't becaue of my chemo. We can't go at Easter either because I'll just be finishing the radiotherapy. A boat voyage in June sounds good. My only concern is that Castro may die before I ever do get to Cuba.

Just a few more days till Christmas. I haven't managed to do all my present shopping but I just don't have the energy and so I'm not going to worry about it. Tomorrow I finish with what we need for Christmas dinner (including fish for Marketa). I'm not good with fish so I hope I get it right.

How are your plans going?

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Fog, fog and more fog!

Yes, it is still foggy as the title implies. All domestic flights from Heathrow have been cancelled and some of the international flights. I feel sorry for people who have had to wait till now to fly. They have long waits ahead. Hopefully this weather condition which is hanging over the UK will move on soon.

I've been working on my book this week. I was very disciplined with it when I started and then I started chemo and returned to school. The combination of the two made it difficult to keep up the writing of 1000 words a day. I am hoping to get back on track over this holiday.

I used to think that I couldn't leave the UK because I couldn't bare to leave BBC radio 4. Now of course I can listen to it over the internet or download podcasts. If I can, so can you. I would like to recommend In Our Time with Melvin Bragg. This week, as I write in fact, the topic is the history of hell. Here is the synopsis from the website:

A fiery vault beneath the earth or as Sartre put it, other people - it seems our ideas of hell are inevitably shaped by religious and cultural forces. For Homer and Virgil it’s a place you can visit and return from, often a wiser person for it. With Christianity it’s a one way journey and a just punishment for a sinful, unrepentant life.

Writers and painters like Dante and Hieronymus Bosch gave free rein to their imaginations, depicting a complex hierarchical world filled with the writhing bodies of tormented sinners. In the 20th century hell can be found on earth in portrayals of war and the Holocaust but also in the mind, particularly in the works of TS Eliot and Primo Levi.

So what is the purpose of hell and why is it found mainly in religions concerned with salvation? Why has hell proved so inspirational for artists through the ages, perhaps more so than heaven? And why do some ideas of hell require a Satan figure while others don't?

Last week I listened to a spellbinding programme on the development of mathematics and Indian mathematicians. Gripping stuff! I'll put up a link to the site.

I have people coming over for lunch. They're bringing it but I would like to make dessert so I'm off now to do that. Perhaps I'll make the brownies! Yum!

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

The newer Beta Blogger

This probably doesn't mean anything to you but apparently today is the first day of the 'newer beta blogger'. With luck that means that you won't have any further problems posting comments. Time will tell!

As I look out my window, I can't see that much! For the last two days we have had very heavy fog. It's at moments like these that I would happily be somewhere where there is lots of snow. Not for long, mind you. However, my friend in Reno sent a postcard today with a beautiful picture of Lake Tahoe on it. I could enjoy that view over fog for quite a long time! (By the way Emjay, no package yet.)

No chemo effects anymore except the strange feeling in my fingers. However, I am now on the countdown to the next chemo treatment on December 28th. Naomi, my oldest daughter, will be coming down on the 27th and is going to come with me for the day of chemo. I may suggest that she goes into Guildford for part of the time since I know how she feels about hospitals and needles.

I have nearly finished all my Christmas preparations. I'm so glad I got much of it done before I went back to school. How are you doing? I've decided that I am going to work hard (not too hard) next year to do the same and be finished most preparations by December 1st. I also plan to simplify Christmas but not Christmas dinner. I do enjoy preparing for and cooking the Christmas feast. Peter, my brother, is coming for dinner and we will be meeting his partner Marketa (hope I spelled it correctly!) for the first time. She does not eat meat so I am looking for recipes for a fish course. Anyone have any ideas? I suppose it depends on the type of fish I can find. There is a good fish monger in Virginia Water so I will go along on Saturday and see what I can find.

On Friday I'm going to try and go up to London. I was talking to a lady on the bus about it yesterday and she made me realize that I'm not really going there to pick up a tart or buy a few last minute items, but to enjoy the buzz of the season and look at the windows.

Did you hear about what happened to Hamleys in London? That is the big toy store on Regent's Street. They have lost millions on an internet mistake that had people buying at heavily discounted prices. Click on Hamleys above for the link.

I just went hunting for that story and have discovered that Hamley's had decided not to sell the toys after all. Apparently people are upset. However, you can't really blame Hamleys.

Tuesday, 19 December 2006


Back from the cinema, I regret that the film wasn't worth the while. All I can say is that they should have stuck to the plot of the book! What a shame they didn't! So if you are looking for a good Christmas film, don't bother with this one. However, the book is quite good.

Problem with comments?

I have a friend who is going to create a blog for a trip she is escorting to Papua New Guinea. She can't decide which site to put it on. One of her concerns with this one is the facility for commenting. Could anyone out there who has had problems commenting, try to let me know via the comment function, and if you can't, let me know by email: or

Has anyone else started blogging since reading this? Or, perhaps you were already 'blogging'. Emma, my youngest daughter has been doing so for quite a while. I'd be interested in knowing. Have you found any blogs that you find interesting?

I'm off to the cinema to see the movie of Eragon shortly so I will stop now and post more later.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Blogs and More on Baldness!

Funny isn't how you start on a thread and suddenly it pops up all over the place. I heard a story yesterday about a temple in India where people have their hair cut off to help them cast off their vanity. The hair used to be sold to orthodox Jewish women (who shaved their heads) in the form of wigs. At some point, it was decided that these wigs weren't kosher and the market for the hair dried up. Now the hair is made into hair extensions so that western women can pander their vanity. How ironic!

I don't mean to belabour the question of baldness but it was been a great discovery for me. I am considering going out without my head covering at some point but it is a bit cold at the moment. Emjay asked where I was getting my scarves from. If anyone is interested, try They are great!

Now on to blogs again. Woman's Hour on BBC radio 4 is going to serialize the blog of a young woman from Baghdad who has been writing since 2003. The blog looks interesting and I've provided a link to it for you. You might also want to check it out on the bbc website. You'll be able to listen to their dramatization.

Saturday, 16 December 2006


Day 12 and the only effect of the chemo now is the sensitivity in my fingers and toes. Thank heavens! So, this blog does not need to have its focus for the moment on illness, anymore than my life does. I did however order more scarves today from the States. I think that scarves are more my thing than wigs. Not that I won't wear the wig now that I've bought it. It's just that every time I look in the mirror I think I'm looking at the kid who played Annie in the musical. Not quite the image I want to cultivate! Both scarves and wigs can make you very hot. They just don't breathe the way real hair does. Obviously! Given the choice I would rather have to take off a scarf in public than a wig.

Continuing on the subject of hair and hair loss, I have discovered that I don't have a problem being bald. I might have a problem with other people seeing me bald in case it upsets them. The most difficult part being bald is becoming bald. Once the hair has gone, once it is no longer falling out all over the house, then it's just fine.

Friday, 15 December 2006

Last day of school before the holidays

Well, I've made it through the last two weeks but only barely! Three days off out of 10! Ah well, at least I know that I'll have to rest more after the next chemo session (December 28th, just to ruin the end of holiday)! It's the 'Winter Assembly' today and I'm missing it! Many of you know how I feel about it. They've decided to call it an International Assembly to completely get away from the religious nature of the season. The school is so unfestive! It's rather depressing. You can't help but wonder who the grinch was.

I had a big surprise last night. I received an email from the upper school secretary inviting Cliff and I to a little 'do' in our honour at 12:30 today. How sweet of everyone! It was rather funny though because I had just gotten home from buying goodies to put in the main staff room to thank everyone for all their support. I'm going to take it in anyway. They'll be people who don't make it to the lunch time get together for us. More on that later.

It will be so nice to be off school, though as I said, I haven't been all that 'on' in the last two weeks. I will get caught up on marking over the next few days and plan out classes and set exams for when I go back. Then I'll take the rest of the holiday off.

Well, what a surprise I had. I thought that I was going to a little get together. Something to drink, a little something to eat, conversation with good friends. Instead, there was a huge gathering of people with a presentation of three hampers full of Christmas goodies and other treats. It was so overwhelming! The picture above was taken at the presentation by the librarian, Sandra Houston. The whole thing was organized by Deborah, the high school secretary and Virginia, the high school principal. As Emma, my youngest says, wow, this is the best Christmas ever!

Thursday, 14 December 2006

Yes, Moyra, I am teaching again!

Today my head of school discovered that I was back teaching. Only by accident, did she discover this as she passed by window. Luckily, a window and wall separated us, or she might have taken it into her mind to hug me. That would have been more than I could take, more than anyone on chemo should be asked to endure!

More interesting than the above, was an article Emma, my daughter sent me from the BBC web site. If you haven't visited the BBC site, you should. it's an excellent source of so much information. If you are learning a language the site probably has something that will help. Also, there's a wonderful section on food and recipes. That's where I got the Nigella Lawson recipe for brownies.

Back to the article Emma sent. It was about blogs and blogging. I have put a link to it, if you are interested in learning more. My friend Mary Jane is going to lead a tour group to Papua New Guinea in April and is thinking of using a blog to help with the marketing. I'm using blogs with my French classes. There are all sorts of ways to use them. If you are interested in looking at one, try

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Better, Better, Better

I am feeling better today. Again, tired but no pain and only a hint of nausea! I even managed to go in to school and teach! Tomorrow is day 10, the low point in my chemo cycle but I am feeling positive and don't seem to have picked up any infections! I may even be able to get back to writing my murder mystery! More later!

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Feeling Better

For those wondering, yes, I am feeling better. I'm still tired and get even more tired if I do much of anything. I did not go to work today. I might have been able to but I slept right through till 7:45 and my classes would have started at 8:40. I don't think that I would have made it. I'm going to try for tomorrow. However, I have learned a lesson from this. I will not wear myself out again after chemo. I will take time off and not go back till I'm ready.

Wow, I just looked at the details on the site meter and discovered that someone in Indianapolis has been reading my blog. When I started this blogging 'adventure' I wondered if anyone other than a few friends would be reading it. I wonder how people, other than friends, come across other people's blogs. I ask that question and yet I have some idea of the answer. I have read all sorts of blogs simply by going to the 'blogspot' blogs of note. Very interesting. I particularly enjoyed the blog from Antarctica.

Monday, 11 December 2006

Chocolate Brownies for Christmas

Emma and I love some of Nigella Lawson's Chrismas recipes and in particular her brownies. They are to die for! So here we go:


375g best quality dark chocolate

375g unsalted butter at room temperature at least

1 tablespoon real vanilla extract

6 eggs

350g sugar

1 teaspoon salt

225g plain flour

250g white chocolate buttons, preferably Montgomery Moore, or just chop same amount of good white chocolate

tin measuring approx 33cm x 23cm x 5.5cm

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4/350F.
Line your brownie pan base and sides.
Melt the butter and dark chocolate together in a large heavy based pan.
In a bowl or wide mouthed large measuring jug, beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla.
Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.
When the chocolate mixture has melted let it cool a bit before beating in the eggs and sugar, and then the flour.
Finally fold in the white chocolate buttons. Beat to combine smoothly and then scrape out of the saucepan into the lined pan. Bake for about 25 mins.
The brownies are ready, when the top is dried to a paler brown speckle, but the middle is dark and dense and gooey still; remember that they will continue to cook as they cool.

I'm going to stay home till I feel better!!

Here I am on the sofa, too exhausted to move. I feel slightly better as far as the pain goes but very, very tired. I tried to go into school but I only lasted half an hour. I had promised my students that I would be there no matter what. However, 'no matter what' has overcome me and I have come to the realization that I must take care of myself first. I knew that intellectually but had to go through this to realize it on a physical level as well.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

A bad day

I am so sick today and was yesterday so I'm afraid that there will be little from me today unless I pick up!

Saturday, 9 December 2006

Rage, Anger, Depression

Yesterday was not a good day. I was very tired, I had a great deal of pain in my bones and joints, and I got very angry and cried my eyes out in the middle of the night. It's interesting how everything is intensified in the middle of the night. I woke up, couldn't sleep because of the pain in my legs and after taking some pain killers, laid there getting angrier and angrier with my employer for so many reasons.

To start with I received a letter from some girl in human resources in which she asked if I was feeling better and then told me that the school wasn't going to pay me anymore! That was in late October but it still angers me. The stress it caused was intense. My principal appealed and it was agreed that I'd be paid till the end of November. However, there was no guarantee that I would be paid after that so I decided that I had no choice but to go back. I had the first chemo and then once I began to feel better, I suggested that I come back in December and teach just my high school classes. I look back at this decision now and wonder if I was mad. After the second chemo, I feel so much worse. I did enjoy teaching last week. The students are wonderful and I realize how much they lift my spirits. I couldn't stay home alone. I'd get myself all upset. At least at the moment I would. But, I've been in so much pain while trying to struggle through the classes. I think that guilt was part of what sent me back. I was particularly worried about my exam year group.

Then there's my head of school. I found myself raging at her. She's not even aware that I'm back at school teaching. Has she phoned to see how I am? No. Actually, I don't even know why that should bother me. I don't like her. She oozes insincerity from every pour of her body. However, you would think that when you've worked with a teacher for over 8 years, you would have something to say to them.

I haven't been this upset throughout my entire illness. Probably, it was the night but I also think that a visit from the MacMillan cancer nurse might have started it off. I found myself talking a lot about what had been happening, especially my dependence on Emma, who seems to be able to handle things better than the rest of the family. However, last night I started worrying that I was overburdening her. It's 8:45 in the morning and everything looks quite different. Well, better anyway.

My hair is still bothering me. Last night I kept dreaming about hair falling out, and teeth as well, come to think of it. My teeth were aching so that probably explains the teeth dream. I had no idea that the way I look would upset me so much. I'm not a vain person, at least I don't think I am. I can't even look in a mirror.

Enough! I'm sorry to go on this way. The sun is shining! I will enjoy the day and try not to get too down about things I can't change.

Thank you to all of you who are giving me so much support. I can't ever express how much it means to me.

Bye for now!

Friday, 8 December 2006

Spies, murder and chemo

The police decreed yesterday that the Russian, former spy, who died in London recently from radioactive poisoning had been murdered. Who would have thought anything else? Would you accidently take something like that or perhaps decide to committ suicide with it. Surely there are less painful ways 'to shuffle of this mortal coil'. If you are at all interest in this continuing story, click here.,,1967289,00.html

Thursday, 7 December 2006

I have finally run out of post-chemo energy. I won't be writing much, if anything tonight. I can barely write or speak without making very amusing mistakes. My wig did arrive today and I look very different with auburn hair. I'll have a picture taken when I feel brave enough to wear it! Bye for now to all!

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Wonderful surprises!

What a great day! Classes were good but beyond that I had two lovely surprises! A good friend at school gave me the most wonderful present, 4 beautiful scarves! And she made them herself. I was so touched I cried in the staffroom. Then when I got home, my friend in Reno had sent me three packages of dry fruits to help me along with my diet. I have only ever heard of the cherries. There were also tropical Mangosteens and Dragon fruit. As I write this I am going to open them and have one of each. First the tropical mangosteen. Surprising! A wonderful subtle fruity flavour and crispy, almost melt in your mouth. Now for the dragon fruit. They are large and purple, verging on black. Also crispy with a suble but tarter flavour. Now for the cherries, morello cherries. According to the package they are quite tart and full of flavour. They are also very small. Yes, the package was correct. I love all of these and am going to take them to school for my snacks. Yum!

Wednesday Morning

I survived the night. I had some feelings of nausea but I wasn't sick at all so that was good. My mum left for Cyprus this morning so I'm on my own now. Well not really, since Cliff and Emma are here. I feel well enough to go to school. I would have gone anyway since I promised my students that I would be there. I only have two groups for a total of 4 periods and should be home by 12:45 so that isn't too bad. It's 6:26 right now and I have just seem mum off, eaten and taken the many pills I have to take each morning (especially just after chemo!), I'll see Cliff off to work and then I am going to lie down for an hour or so before I head off to school. My friend from Papua New Guinea tells me that she does know Ricky Martin because she now lives in Reno where there are a lot of Spanish speaking Americans. But I wonder if she knew him in PNG. You can read her comment with yesterday's post.

Can you believe that the British Prime Minister is considering renewing the Trident missile programme. As if we aren't spending enough money on war as it is! At the same time, our beloved government is thinking of closing hospitals in our area. In fact, one is very close and I received my first blood transfusion there. The other is the one where I will be having my radiotherapy. It is right next door to the private hospital where I am having the chemo. Everyone in this area would be expected to go down the A-3 to hospitals close into London. What madness! I won't even go into their proposals on education. Well, perhaps I will another day. Now I've got myself worked up I'll go to bed for a while!

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

First day of the second cycle

I had chemo again today. We left at 7:40 and got to the hospital an hour later. It's so much longer at rush hour. When I got there I had a blood test and they okayed me for treatment. We could have gone off to something for an hour or so but parking is terrible and once you are in a spot you don't want to move.

I was told that I had done very well with my symptoms. However they were concerned about the slight numbness I have been having in my finger tips. If it continue or gets worse they will have to adjust the medication or I could have nerve damage. If you know nothing of chemo treatment, you receive your medication through an IV over a certain period of time. I started with medication which would counter act the negative effects of the chemo drugs, then I had one of the chemo drugs, followed by a saline solution, another chemo drug and a final bag of saline. For me it took 4 and 1/2 hours but it varies from person to person. Lunch today was wonderful, as good as any restaurant. Again I was very tired and I slept for a good deal of the rest of the time.

And now for something completely different! Did you know that you could clean your toilet bowl and unblock your drain with Alka Seltzer. To clean the toilet, drop two into the toilet, wait for 20 minutes, then brush and flush. To unblock the drain, drop three in, followed by 1 cup of vinegar (8oz), leave for a few minutes, and then flush. The things you read in the National Enquirer! I also now know that Ricky Martin is thinking of adopting overseas. Some on you may be saying, "Who is Ricky Martin?" (Those who recently came from Papua New Guinea, perhaps.) Others, 'Who cares!'"

Monday, 4 December 2006

The Day Before

Today was my first full day back and I have survived without difficulty. Again the students seemed glad to have me back. French 1 was the only class where I had only taught a few of the students before. The supply teachers have done a good job and we will be able to carry one well from this point. I have put together a blog for each of the classes so that I will be able to give them information on assignments, tests, grammar, vocabulary and any web sites that may be useful. if you are interested in looking at one try:

Tomorrow I have my second chemo treatment. I was dreading the first because I had no idea what it would be like. I'm dreading this one because I do. I've promised my students that I will be at school on Wednesday but I remember how I was last time. the only thing on my side is the fact that I only have 3 periods to teach that day. I can come home early and sleep for the rest of the day.

My murder mystery goes well and I have gained all sorts of ideas just by going back to work. It's amazing how a little interaction with people can do that. I still haven't had the chance to investigate how one would go about publishing it. There is a site where you can self publish. I had also thought that since the novel is done in the format of a blog that it should be published on line. However, I'm not sure how to go about that either. Any thoughts from out there?

I had a bath a short while ago and a lot of hair came out. By the end of the week I may be bald. Last night was a particular problem. I kept waking up with hair in my mouth. I'm now really looking forward to being bald. How much easier it will be!

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Books and blogs

Lots of hair loss yesterday! Alas! I may be bald by the end of the week.

School went well Friday. I only had one group form 11:00 till 12:20 but I did stay on for lunch and to work on the handover with the supply teacher. She and I will be sharing my classroom since she is now doing all my middle school classes.

The students seems to appreciate having me back. It helped that in that class of 12 I had already taught 9 of the students in previous years. On Monday I will see the rest of my classes and then on Tuesday I will be off again for chemo. I'm going to try my hardest to be there every day next week no matter how badly I feel.

I've just started reading a new book. I don't know if any of you are interested in fantasy. I'm reading Eragon, a book published for young people but which is equally good for adults. It follows the adventures of a young man who discovers a dragon egg and then becomes one of the legendary Dragon Riders. I was originally attracted to the book because it was written by a 15 year old. This Chrismas it is also coming out as a film.

I have been continuing my voyage of discovery of blogs. I have set up one each for my French classes, which will give me an opportunity to keep in touch with students even when I'm unwell. I got the idea from a teacher in the UK who is using a blog with her A-level English class.

Has anyone else reading this started a blog. It would be interesting to see how others are using them.

Friday, 1 December 2006

Here I go!

I'm off to work shortly for the first time (except for visits) since the end of August. I'm really excited about it. Some of you may find that odd, especially those I work with! (It will be good for material!) I'm going to have to be careful because I'm full of energy at the moment (some might even say speedy) and I have been wearing myself out. In particular I'm finding it hard to sleep because my mind is going a mile a minute. I'll need to learn how to pace myself. I'm sure that my body will bring me back to earth next week when I have the next chemo but I don't want to over do it before then or I won't be in peak condition to have the treatment. I think that reports of my baldness have been exaggerated. Since yesterday I haven't really lost any hair, or anymore than one would expect!

I'll write more when I get back from school.