Weekend Alone

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:30 pm
everchangingmuse: kacha in the famous dress and pose (kachasabeth)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
My wife went to visit her parents this weekend, and to help them learn their way around their new smartphones. My in-laws are now officially head of my parents in the updated tech department. So, I was left on my own this weekend. This is the first time I've been on my own for longer than a few hours since my surgery, so it was a good test/predictor of how I'm doing.

Verdict? Success!

I spent all day yesterday cleaning, and I mean cleaning. I scrubbed, scoured, mopped, dusted, etc. I worked in 45 minute chunks, and took 20 minutes to rest after each chunk of cleaning. I think I did 7 or 8 chunks overall of cleaning yesterday. I was tired, but not exhausted or completely wiped by the end of it.

What did I clean? I did the kitchen - dishes, counters, cleaned out-of-date stuff away, swept, spot-mopped (which turned into all-mop), and dusted. Everything but the top of the fridge. Because that's a bit too much dust for me to tackle right now. I shredded everything in the shred bag. I took three bags of garbage and all the miscellaneous cardboard boxes out to the bins. Four trips up and down the stairs, carrying heavy things. I put books away, and cleaned the dining table/desk, and the top of the coffee table. I put various things that were out of place back in place, and gathered all the plastic bags to take to school and recycle. During all this, the soundtrack to Descendants 2 was my friend. I know I'm stronger, because I could sing along while cleaning for the majority of the tasks.

In my breaks, I colored, messed around online, worked on my bullet journal. I also made myself tiny video diaries - maybe 3 minutes at the longest - reflecting on the work I'd done, because I like playing with the camera on my laptop.

Today was schoolwork day. I graded three classes' worth of papers - this is a week's worth for each class (though it's only about 3 assignments per class), put all the grades into my school's learning management system, and then got the marking period totals for each student, since grades are due at the beginning of this week. I input those based on what I have right now - there's always the chance a student will email me a photo or a typed paper, but it's not a guarantee. I also binged a bunch of season 2 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers on Netflix. I have a long-term goal to watch all the Power Rangers' series, from the beginning. I like when I can binge, because it's formulaic enough that I can multitask. So I can input grades while watching (but not actually grade). I can clean while watching, or color, or mess around on my phone. I've also been doing the usual Sunday laundry.

My wife got home around 5:30. We've been having a nice evening together. But we both agree that getting back to a normal routine will be welcome. She needs to have her alone time in the house as well.

So, when does my normal schedule resume? Sometime the last week of the month. I'm talking to the FMLA coordinator at my GYN-ONC office tomorrow to see about getting the paperwork in. Ideally, I'd like to go back on a Monday, so I can have the whole week. My mom thinks I should try for Wednesday, instead, so I can ease myself back into the schedule. I'm just worried I'm going to be clawing at the walls if I wait too long, and that going back later will be more detrimental for my students.

That, and I just really miss them all. Grading their papers today drove that home hardcore. I could picture each of them, and their quirks and seat-sprawls. Talking to them online helps, but it isn't the same.

All in all, this was a nice, relaxing weekend. Busy, but not frenetic. I did things at my pace on my schedule, and made sure to build in time for non-chore things. I exercised, I read, I sat around to think and reflect, I doodled and colored. Definitely feeling rested and ready for the week.


Sep. 17th, 2017 04:25 am

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 08:16 am
palmedfire: (Default)
[personal profile] palmedfire
Hello author!

This is my first year doing this exchange, and I'm really looking forward to what you're working on for me!

General likes:

I like character-driven fic, even at the expense of plot. You wanna write a character study of a character or characters you really like, even if not much happens? Awesome. This isn't to say I don't like plot, but don't feel like you have to tell some big story. I like the little moments too.

I'm a huge fan of female characters, and relationships between female characters. Not necessarily romantic relationships, though I love those too.

I love strong friendships between characters, and seeing ties between characters that are every bit as strong as a romantic bond.

General dislikes:

Sex being the main focus. I don't mind sex scenes, I just don't want them to be the main focus of a fic. I prefer sex to be consensual at all times.

I dislike gore and shock horror. Violence is okay. Scary stuff is okay. I just don't want graphic descriptions of guts spilling all over or stuff like that. And please, please, please stay away from eye trauma.

So, on to my actual requests and ideas & such for them!

Indexing - Seanan Mcguire
Character Requested - Sloan Winters
Trick or Treat

Sloan is hands down my favorite character in this series, mostly because she doesn't want to be a villain, but she also doesn't want to be precisely good either. She wants to be normal, and that's essentially the thing she never can be. And while that's the tragedy of her character, she's also not hung up on it, which I find refreshing. So I don't really want fic that has her bemoaning her lot in life. Things I do want (These can all be considered ORs):
Sloan being awesome and badass
Sloan's past, any time in between what we've seen in the novels.
(For Trick fic) Sloan's time at Childe Prison
Sloan dealing with any of her previous team leaders. Treat fic if it went well, trick fic if it didn't ;)

Valor Series - Tanya Huff
Character requested di'Cikyes Alamber
I hated Alamber when he first appeared in Truth of Valor, but he's really grown on me. I love the vulnerability under his arrogance, and how he so needs to be needed. Because I'm only requesting treat fic for this, I'd really love something that focuses on Alamber after he's joined Torin's crew. Maybe just a small moment in between the stuff we see in the books with him adjusting to the rest of the team. I would also be interested in seeing his young life, perhaps before he got abandoned on Big Bill's station.

Characters Requested - Any
Trick or Treat

I love the lore of Exalted. I love how big and expansive the world is, and I love how *real* it feels, even though there are these characters who can punch mountains. I'm not really requesting any specific characters, because I honestly have no preference who the story is about. I just want to see more of Creation and it's people.
For treat fic - Solars actually doing a good job at ruling
A Lunar and Solar pair finding each other in their new incarnations (and it going well)
An arraigned Dragon Blood marriage where they come to at least really respect and like each other, even if they aren't in love.
For trick fic - I don't have specific prompts, but I do love stories where characters mean well, but are misguided/undercut in their efforts and just manage to make things worse.
I'd also love to see something involving the Great Curse activating and the fallout from that.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall
Characters Requested - Glory
Trick or Treat

When I first played through this game, I missed Glory's backstory entirely. And then when I read/played through it on my second play through, I really found it compelling. She's a character who's been through a lot and made a lot of mistakes, but I like that she at least someone owns them, and a lot of what she's done is trying to escape and atone. I'd love to see stories from her past - trick fic about her getting her cyberware and how it burns away her humanity, but keeps everyone safe from what she could become would be awesome. Or anything from back when she was a mage.
For treat fic, well, I'm a sucker for happy endings. I'd love to see her find some sort of home, some sort of acceptance post-game.
everchangingmuse: 9's shaking a bomb like Steve's handy dandy notebook (notebook)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
Last weekend, I found one of those dot-journals on clearance at Walmart for $5.00. The kind that look like graph paper, but with only the four corner dots to mark the squares (like a whole journal made for playing snake). I've been reading about and seeing examples of bullet journals for a while now, so I decided to pick this up and give the whole bullet-journal-thing a try.

The concept is awesome. Make an index/table of contents at the front - just like I ask my students to do in their Latin notebooks - and fill in each topic as you go. Ideally, the first set-up after the index pages is what's called a Future Log - basically a self-created calendar grid for the number of months you want/need to make note of right away, not counting the current month. The creator of this type of journaling makes a 6-month grid on a 2-page spread. I've done mine with the same grid, but I'm allotting two spaces per month - so quarterly planning. Anything I need beyond that, I'm writing in December's grid, so I can add it to the next Future Log I make.

From here, there's a Monthly Log (write the dates down the page in a column and make short notes about important things happening on the day), a Monthly Goals page (the other half of the 2-page spread), and then the Daily Logs. It works like a planner, but there's no set amount of space, so you can take as much or as little as you need. There are also notations used to show a task versus a note versus an appointment, and markers to indicate importance, research, and the like. Everything else is called a collection, and the collection idea is amazing.

Collections are lists, notes, writings, etc, all on the same topic. And if you run out of space, you find a new page, even if there's stuff between. When you write down the heading of your topic, it goes in your index, and the page number goes to the right, so you can find every page related to the topic. Headers and indexing are what hold the entire thing together.

I've been using this method for five days now, and I'm really enjoying it. Is it "Pinstagram" pretty? Nope. But it's functional, which is the whole point. And I can doodle or try making cute headers or dividers and such as I go. I wanted to actually get started using it first, because I can get very easily distracted trying to make something pretty, and end up missing the point of the thing.

So, what's in my bullet journal? The basics, along with a key at the front of all the notations I'm using, to start with. I write down the tasks and stuff I want to get done each day, and I have space to make notes. I've made notes of the days my mom called me, or that I ran into a former student at the store. I made notes today about the problems we had trying to do a chat with Google Hangouts with my students. We ended up doing audio-only...on their end. They could see and hear me, but I could only hear them. I've made a note in my future log to ask my GYN-Oncologist about something at my next follow-up, based on something my sister's GYN asked her today. I've also got a habit tracker on my monthly pages, and I'm coloring in little boxes for every day I get a certain amount of rest, I exercise, and I do schoolwork.

As for the collections? I have one of current podcasts - that is a long list! I have one of contact info for each of my doctors, one for the work we want to do to the bathroom this month, one for books I read this month, one for what I want to do this weekend while my wife is visiting her parents, one for our podcast, one for my current OTPs, and one for Nanowrimo Prep.

I've watched several videos, both on the official bullet journal website, and that I've found through pinterest recs, and really do think this is something that will work for me. Only having one book is nice. And I'm used to taking notes next to tasks, thanks to how I set up my lesson plan notebook for work. We shall see how this pans out over the next few months, but I'm feeling confident.

Adventures in Remote Teaching

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:31 am
everchangingmuse: 900 year Diary from the 1996 tv movie "Doctor Who" (Default)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
I love my long-term sub, don't get me wrong. She is doing me a HUGE favor by taking my kids while I recover from surgery. She knows little Latin, but she's working hard, and the kids are being super-understanding and trying their best, and it's all well and good.


It's been difficult to get any actual work done during the time I set aside for doing schoolwork. I spend an hour answering emails - from my sub, my students, parents, asking permission to forward IEP information to my sub, since I'm not there to fill it out, and that stuff is classified, etc.

I'm also not sure how exactly the class pacing is going. I left a pacing guide for my sub, along with ideas, etc. for class, a key for the notes, a choice board of activities the kids could do to show understanding (or not) of the readings. But my classes have each only completed one quiz so far for the marking period (which ends Friday). They're taking a second quiz this week, but we've decided not to count it on this marking period, since there's no time for retakes, with the schedule being what it is. I get my folder of work on Fridays, and it goes back to school on Mondays. That's it. I see things on the weekend, and have to intuit.

I'm also answering a lot of questions I feel like I've explained already. It gets frustrating. Not from the kids - that I expect. But, my sub is a working professional who came highly recommended by others in my department. Good with kids, a quick study, hard-working. And I'm finding things not quite as promised. I am hoping my fellow Latin colleague was able to help them this morning. My colleague has offered, several times, both in my hearing and via email cced to me, to help my sub if they had any questions about material, grammar, etc. My colleague doesn't want me worrying about school - she's told me so every time we've spoken. But I can't not worry, since this is affecting not only the comprehension levels of my kids, but the pacing of my class, and the routines of my class.

I'm not sure what to plan for when I go back, because I have no clue where my classes will be. They won't be at the intended points; that I do know. I'm worried my kids this term will be short-changed for their next level of study. But, at the moment, there's not a whole lot I can do.

The plan of going back the last week of the month still stands. So I've got a week and a half to continue building my stamina, and working to come back prepared and ready to step in wherever the kids happen to be, and go from there. I can do this.

Another Sunday

Sep. 10th, 2017 09:32 pm
everchangingmuse: kiriya hiromu as sir percy blakeney (pimpernel kiriyan)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
I've gone out both days this weekend to go shopping. Each day, I ended up tired and napping on the drive home, but I was able to walk around (with breaks) for a couple of hours. Today I stayed out longer than yesterday, which I attribute to the types of places we went.

First up today was the pharmacy, which was a quick in-and-out. Then, we went to Staples, which was having a sale on office supplies. They were also having chair sale, meaning all the office chairs were out and scattered around the store. So, when I got tired, I could sit down and rest. We got lunch at Tropical Smoothie after we finished at Staples, which was also good, since it was sitting and food. I overdid things at Michaels, where we went for yarn and other crafty supplies, so I ended up going to a nearby Bed Bath and Beyond to sit down for a bit. Then, we walked around that store for a bit, before heading home.

I have a routine I'm planning to start tomorrow, so that I can build up my stamina. I need to get back to work by the end of September, and while today was a good measure of where I am now, where I am now isn't where I need to be.

So, here's to a new routine.

Doctor's Prognosis? Awesome.

Sep. 8th, 2017 04:42 pm
everchangingmuse: Colin Baker's 6th Doctor poses with two Imperial Daleks (OMG Dalek Hug!)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
I saw my GYN-Oncologist yesterday. My in-laws drove up and drove me to my appointment. They were super sweet about it, and it was lovely to see them. I remembered to bring the box of sharps, which I gave the nurse when I was called back for my appointment.

So, here goes. I did indeed have a cancerous tumor. It was 2cm at its biggest, and was attached to the inner wall of my uterus. It had started to try and push its way through the inner wall, but hadn't breached the outer wall of my uterus yet. There was the one tumor, and it hadn't spread beyond its initial spot. According to the doctor, this means I only have a 2-4% chance of the cancer reoccurring. Woot!

The cyst on my left ovary, which was 8cm long, was found to be not cancerous, also woot! Because the chances of cancer reoccurring on my right ovary are like .01%, the doctor advised me to keep that ovary, since I'm still under 45, and the hormone regulation that comes with having a functioning ovary is beneficial to me. I am totally cool with that idea.

If the gods decide to say, "silly mortal!" at me, and my cancer does reoccur, it's most likely to do so at the top of my vagina, where it used to join my cervix, and is now stitched shut. So we're going to be keeping an eye on that spot for the next several years.

I've been taken off of the majority of my restrictions. Pain meds are still as-needed. I'm not allowed to do sit-ups. I'm not allowed to have penetrative sex until after my next follow-up, in six weeks, and then only if the woman doing my pap and looking over my vagina says I can. And once I'm allowed to have penetrative sex, the doctor recommended me being on top for the first two months. He was quick to say he wasn't trying to be funny or pervy, but that it was necessary for healing. And I get that. I asked a few follow-up questions about how he defined penetrative sex, just so I understood my limitations.

Right now, the goal is stamina-building. I'm going to be tired for the next three months, according to my doctor. But I can do things as I feel up to them. So, I'm working on being up and active for longer stretches of time. I did about 20 minutes of cleaning today, and felt so happy and productive. I also had a Google Hangout session with my level 2 class, which was amazing! It was so good to see them all, and to talk to them again. I miss my students terribly.

I got very, very lucky this summer. If I hadn't gone to my gynecologist, if I hadn't wanted an ablation, we wouldn't have done the biopsy. The tumor itself was small, even in comparison to the size of my uterus (I know because I have an awesome printout of measurements!), so I got lucky that the biopsy grazed it and grabbed a sample. The cancer was in its earliest stages, and hadn't moved beyond its initial site. And that site is no longer part of my body. The cancer developed in a place that could be removed wholecloth without lasting damage to me. And my recovery has gone well so far. I joked to my mother last night that I got cancer the way my brother got mono back in high school - mild and easily treatable (Seriously, my brother had the slackest case of mono ever).

So now, after a nap on the couch, I'm awake and writing. It's a lovely day out. I opened the windows and the porch door to let in the cool, fresh air this morning, and it feels so nice. The house hasn't warmed up at all today, so I know I made the right call on the windows - we keep the house AC around 76-77 Fahrenheit in the summer. And I am so, so thankful that I can sit here and enjoy the day without worry.

One More

Sep. 6th, 2017 06:47 pm
everchangingmuse: 900 year Diary from the 1996 tv movie "Doctor Who" (Default)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
One more time I have to stab myself with a needle.

Post-surgery, I was given a prescription for an anticoagulent that has to be delivered via injection. I didn't think I'd be able to do it, but it's become almost routine. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

On the one hand, I can give myself a shot (I'm so not a needle person), so if I ever develop diabetes I can do my own insulin injections. And I don't think I'll have trouble administering an epi-pen if I ever need to at work.

On the other - I'm stabbing myself with a freaking needle. In the fat in my thighs and sides. I have a container for empty sharps in my bathroom. That is going with me to the doctor tomorrow, once I take my last injection, so they can dispose of it properly.

I have two doctors' things tomorrow, ironically. I'm having blood drawn in the morning for my GP, as a follow-up to my checkup six months ago. Yay, fasting bloodwork! And, I have my first post-op check up with my GYN-Oncologist tomorrow afternoon. My in-laws are coming up to drive me, for which I am grateful. I do not want to drive that stretch of highway. They're coming up early, so we can all have lunch together before my wife has work and we have to leave for my appointment. I'm excited about this part, at least.

I'm also taking the unused bottle of oxycodone with me to the doctor's office, and asking them to dispose of it. I've managed my pain with the other two meds, the ones that aren't opiates, since I was released from the hospital with a giant bag of meds, and I don't want the opiates in my house.

I've done some cleaning around the house during my walking-around times today, and it's made me tired. Which means I need to do more of it, but not super-much, because stamina and recovery. I got in some good squats by loading the dishwasher, since I'm not supposed to bend at the waist - a restriction that hopefully goes away tomorrow.

I have no idea what the doctor's going to actually tell me tomorrow. I'm assuming he'll look over my scars, possibly grab a speculum and look to make sure the cut in my vagina is healing properly, and tell me more about what they pulled out of me two weeks ago. I mean, I know there were cancer cells in my uterus - they told me that at the hospital - but I'd like a bit more detail, and I'd like more detail about the cyst they removed. Was that cancerous, too? I'm also assuming I'll get given a new set of strictures on what I can and can't do, and what I should do. But, for all I know, it's going to be a trans-vaginal ultrasound and blood draw with a few talking points.

Time will tell.
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