Friday, August 31, 2007

My First Day of School

I was suppose to be at school by 8 am. I was there by quarter till. The school day is from 8:15 am to 2:30 pm. I didn't' leave until about 5:15 pm. I had a very long and tiring day. My feet hurt. Besides adding a 4th grade class, they also added 3 kindergarten classes. The other two 4th classes had like 34 or 35 students in each room.

I was given 11 and 12 students from the other two rooms, which gives me 23 students. We didn't move the kids until after lunch. I spent the morning, getting manuals, finding some supplies, making notes and lists. By noon, I was tired. I put my students into alphabetical order and made up a seating chart. By 12:30, all the students were in the classroom. I tried to introduce myself, talk about rules, etc. Do you know how hard that was? They would not shut-up. My students in TX talked, but not like this. I talk, they talk. I wait for them to get quiet, they still talk. Lining up, they talk. Standing in the hallway, they talk. I am hoping you can see the picture, I am making. Almost, non-stop talking. They wanted to go to the bathroom, I kept putting them off, because I couldn't get through anything, because of the NOISE.

After restroom break, we did a getting to know you worksheet. I saw to whisper, they do not know what that means. They were loud. After about 5-10 minutes, I said, by the time I count to 10, you will be sitting down, quietly. Were they? No way! I had to yell, raise my voice. In about 2-21/2 hours, I raised it about 5 times. We finish that activity, and I pass out a reading packet on the Oregon Trail.

We start reading it out loud. Get through about half of the paragraphs. Some were talking, not paying attention, had no idea where they were, etc. I stopped, and told them they were on silence and would work on the packet by themselves in silence. No talking. There is about 30 minutes left in the school day. Were they quiet? NO! The principal even came into the room, before school was out, they still talked while working, even though I said no talking.

On Tuesday, I will assign them numbers, and they will line up in number order. When they want to be rude and disrespectful, they will sit with heads down, and practice being quiet. They will also practice standing quiet in a vertical line. I told them they are in the 4th grade and know how to do it properly. Since they don't seem to, then they will practice.

After school, I had to get textbooks, short on heath books, talk to teammates, and think about for next week. I will do lesson plans over the weekend. I copied pages for Tuesday only. I will do the rest of the week on Tuesday.

This is very interesting, the principal is a year older than me, and we went to the same elementary school. She has a daughter in the first grade, who is going to the same school we went to; which is where my niece goes to school. Her daughter and my niece has been going to the same summer camp. This principal knows my niece. A small world.

The next few weeks will be a challenge. I feel for the kids, in knowing they will have a new teacher in a few weeks. I am not going to decorate the classroom. I will be taking as little stuff from home as possible. It is a nice school. I pray and hope things go better next week.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Teaching Job

I will be teaching 4th grade for 2-3 weeks starting tomorrow. Yeah!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited.

Akron Public Schools opened two new schools yesterday. One was a rebuilt (old building torn down for a new one to be built), and the other was an actual brand new school. Both schools had extra students show up yesterday than they were expecting. So they need extra teachers. In about three weeks, they turn in the number of students for each school, and that tells them how many teachers they can have, if any need to be moved or what. This school I will be at, they are adding classes of the different grades. I will teach fourth grade until they time of turning in numbers and deciding from where they will get the teachers they need. Who knows, maybe they might actually need to add positions and hire new teachers. It will be great to be making money.

Update on Surgery and PT

I called over to my surgeon's office this afternoon to speak to Deidra. The two current residents are rotating out on Saturday, with two more rotating in. One of the two rotating in, I saw back in May and he did my surgery at the end of June. The doctors are only in the office on Wednesday mornings. She will talk to the two residents next week, and find out which one wants to do my surgery. From there it will be scheduled. I hope to know come next week.

I have two more PT visits, then I will be finished. I went because I was off my right leg for 10 days, and the doctor wanted me to get some help in stregthening my leg. I talked to the PT, and I have decided that after I have surgery and the high dose of my treatment, for him to recommend me to go back to PT for the lyphodema. I will wear the stocking every day, but I think having some type of exercises might help also. That is my opinion.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Indians vs Twins

What an awesome game last night! I went to the Indians game last night. I had been bugging my mom all summer about going to a game. Last Wednesday, on the way home from church, I heard on the radio, that Monday's game will be military appreciation night. I called the Indians Team Shop at Summit Mall twice on Thursday making sure I had the details I needed. Friday evening, dad, stopped at the mall to show his military I.D., he is a vet, to pick up two free tickets. Our tickets were in section 178 there at the left field. We were next door to the bleachers section, with Home Run Porch above and behind us. We had to turn to the side to see the big screen.

Grady Seizemore walked to start the bottom half of the game, and scored that inning as well. Paul Byrd was the starting pitcher for the Indians. He was great the first four innings. In the bottom of the 4th, we scored 4 runs, so Byrd had to sit a little too long. Kelly Shoppach is Byrd's personal catcher, so Victor Martinez played first, giving Ryan Garko a night off. Victor hit a 2 run home run in the third inning. Kelly hit a 2 run double in the 4th. I was so happy for him, since his previous at bats, he mostly struck out. He was due some good at-bats. I think Kelly is a good player. The score is now 5-0. Kelly and Grady are on base. Travis Hafner hits a 2 run single and the score is now 7-0. The guys had some good at-bats with men on base and in scoring position.

Paul Byrd came out the top of the fifth and was a bit rusty. He allowed 2 runs to score. The top of the sixth, he allowed a in the park home run-the ball hit the yellow line at the top of the wall in left field. At the end of the sixth, mom went to the restroom. Byrd comes back out at the top of the seventh. I wasn't expecting him to come back out. Byrd couldn't get an out. Rafael Perez warms up in the bullpen, and comes out to replace Paul Byrd. At this time, mom comes back and I head to the restroom. What I am going to share next, I missed, because I was in the restroom.

There were to men on base with no outs in the top of the seventh. The Twins players were on first and second base. Perez throws the ball, the Twins player (don't remember his name) hits the ball, and it travels towards third base. Casey Blake, third basemen, gloves the ball, steps onto third base, throws it to Cabrera, who is standing on second base, who then throws it Victor Martinez at first base. They completed an infield triple play! That was the first American League triple play made this season.

When was the last time, Indians completed a triple play? 1992, in August, in Baltimore. That time, Kenny Lofton playing in center field, gloved the ball and threw to Sandy Alamor, the catcher who then threw it to complete the triple play. The last time the Indians completed a triple play in Cleveland, was in 1976.

Cleveland Indians won the game last night with the final score of 8-3. Paul Byrd's record is now 13-5. The Indians have three pitchers with records close to 15 wins. They won 3 games in a row. The Detroit Tigers also won last night, 16-0 against "The Enemy", aka: New York Yankees. So we are still 2 1/2 games above the Detroit Tigers. We are in first place, while the Tigers are in second place.

There were times last night, when I said the pitcher needed to throw a strike, and guess what, he did. It was a great game last night! I just loved it! Can't you tell?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Victory One Step at a Time

"And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, least the beasts of the field become too numerous for you." Deuteronomy 7:22

When God led His people into the Promised Land, He did so step by step. If he had allowed them to annihilate their enemies at once, the land would be have been too difficult to manage. So He allowed some of the enemies to remain for a time in order to maintain the land and suppress the wildlife. In doing so, God taught His people to trust Him step by step. He gave them only as much responsibility as they could handle at one time.

As God leads you in your Christian growth, he will allow challenges that match your character and relationship to Him, God will not totally change your character at once when you become a Christian. Rather, He will lead you through a process to become more life His Son. He will keep working in an area in your life until it is controlled by the Holy Spirit. You may eagerly desire maturity in every area of your character, but steady, gradual growth is more lasting. God will not take shortcuts in His process of making you like Christ. He see your life from eternity and will take as long as necessary to produce lasting spiritual growth in you.

Do not become impatient while God is producing Christlikeness in you. Do not seek more responsibilities than those He has given you. Obey all that you know He has asked, and He will lead you at peace that fits your present character and His purposes for you.

This as today's devotional written by Henry T. and Richard Blackaby, from the following: Experiencing God Day-by Day, the devotional and journal. I have been using this book since October 2000 with my devotions.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Car Title Problems

Back in 1999, when I was living in Houston, and working in New Caney ISD, I wanted a new car. In October, my dad picked up a car and my loan papers, and drove to TN to meet me. My parents and I exchanged cars. I paid sales tax. Within the month, I got what I needed so I could go and register my car in TX and get license plates. I didn't need to pay sales tax, so that was refunded back to me.

Spring forward three years to 2002, I bought a car, and traded in my other car. I wasn't charged sales tax. Spring forward five more years to the present. My tags expired at the end of last month. We found out what I needed to do. But, I wasn't given all of the info. My dad did e-check, and got my sales paper from the dealer and did something else there for my car. I went to the title bureau, got the memorandum title, and could only get the 30 day tags. My car was paid off this month and received my title.

I went down to the Title bureau this morning, to have my address changed on my title. (I was told I had to do that last month in order to get new license plates.) An old TX address is on my title. The only way they would do it, is if I could show proof that I had pay sales tax on my car. I can't show proof, because I didn't'. The only good thing, is that I am going to pay the sales tax from 2002 not what it is now. The 2002 sales tax is 5.75%. It is higher now. Now I have to go back with the money for the sales tax, then they will change my address, so I can go across the hall and get my license plates. Such frustration.

Here is another piece of frustrating news, I was turned down for disability, because the department is under suspension. Why tell people to apply for disability when they know it is under suspension and nobody will be okayed. I need to call them and ask them this question. I need it to help me get medicare. About 3 weeks ago, I went to apply for SS, and was turned down, because when asked if I had a 401K, I said no, but did have a 403B. I now have to close that out so I can reapply for SS. I can't have more than $2,000 in savings. They don't want you to have savings for retirement, but you aren't' supposed to rely on SS for retirement. They just don't' make sense.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


"Then David said to the Philistine, 'You come to me with a sword, a spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.'" I Samuel 17:45 (NASB)

Imagine you were a member of the Israelite army the day young David arrived to take on the Philistine giant. You would have considered David a fool to take on this menacing monster with no armor and only a slingshot for a weapon. No doubt the fight would be a short one!

David wasn't as naive as everyone thought. Nor was he blind. he could see Goliath towering over all the other soldiers. Even from a distance, he noticed his enemy's enormous weapons-his sow rd, his spear, and h is javelin. He saw how huge the giant's shield was. Yet David could see other things that the rest of the crowd missed. He could see God's strength, which was far superior to any giant or his weapons. It's interesting that even David may have underestimated how quickly God would give him victory. He took five stones with him to hurl at Goliath; God needed only one.

For you,a giant is anything you are facing that seems beyond your power to handle. It may be a tuition payment, an illness, or a broken relationship you need to mend. What giant you facing right now? Does it seem enormous? Unbeatable? Don't underestimate how powerful your God is! If you will trust him, as David did, you'll see that God is more powerful than any giant you'll ever face.

This was yesterday's devotion in The Experience. It is a devotional and journal. It is written by Henry Blackaby and Richard Blackaby. Blackaby wrote Experiencing God. I have two devotional books by Blackaby. I love them both. They are two of my favorite books. One, I have been using since October 2000. My other favorite devotional book author is Vicki Caruana. Carauna writes devotions for teachers.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nothing is Wasted

Read: Mark 2:30-44

"They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish." Mark 6:42-43

In Mark 6 we read the heart-warming story of how Jesus took the loaves, broke them, multiplied the fish, and gave everybody lots to eat with lots left over. They gathered baskets full of leftover bread so nothing would be thrown away.

I think about that story when I watch a Christian go through tough times yet hang on to God's grade. Maybe you're such a person. Day-to-day heartache is your routine, and problems seem to have a permanent place in God's plan for your. What god is doing with you is like what he did with the barley loaves and fish. Jesus broke the bread. And out of the broken loaves of bread, he multiplied the blessing so thousands would be nourished. Yes, it hurts to be broken. But sometimes that's part of God's plan, especially if he wants you feed others. Out of your brokenness, the blessing can be bestowed on more people than you ever dreamed possible-and your can be certain nothing will be wasted. God will gather up and use all the hurt; not a bit of it will be discarded our cast aside.

Joni Eareckson Tada

Path to Prayer
Bread of Life, Lord of all, I pray that you take the hurt and the brokenness of my life and multiply it as you multiplied the loaves and fish. My suffering will be easier for me to bear if I know that you have used me to feed others and heal them. Thank you for blessing me and blessing others through me.

The above is today's devotional from the following book: 365 Days of Hope Encouragement for those facing loss, pain, and disappointment The authors of this book are as follows: Joni Eareckson Tada, Dave & Jan Dravecky.

My Decision

Saw a Melanoma Doctor up at Cleveland Hospitals this afternoon. He agrees that I should do the recommended treatment. So, I am. I am going to have more surgery. I will be having the lymph node disection. I should hopefully find out next week when. Mom and I are going to go a certain pharmacy tomorrow, so I can be measured for a pressurized stocking. I will have to wear this stocking for the rest of my life. I will have problems with swelling for the rest of my life.

I also want to have a port implanted into me as well. I am going to call Dr. Patel's office tomorrow, to ask about a general surgeon to see about him putting into me. I would prefer it to be done the same time, the lymph node disection is going on, so that I won't have to heal from two separate surgeries.

Once the lymph nodes are taken out, then they will be tested for cancer. If they come back positive, then I would be at Stage 3b, instead of Stage 3a. I might even have to do radiation or something like that before doing immunotherapy.

Another thing found either on the scans or from pathology were granulomas. That has something to do with Sarcoid. I will have to see a pulmonary doctor next year about that. If I have Sarcoid, that would explain the cough I have had since I was a kid. The immunotherapy can cause havic on the sarcoid, and if that would become worse, then the immunotherapy would be stopped.

As of right now, I have a 30% chance of a new case of melanoma within the next three years. If there is cancer in my other lymph nodes, then that percentage goes up.

I was told that there was at least two pockets of microscopic cancer in the lymph node that was taken out in June. My melanoma was ulcerated, because it was bleeding off and on since January of this year. Dr. Burns removed 3.25 mm of the melanoma tumor in May. Another 1.2 mm was removed back in June.

I am also going to have to start seeing a dermatologist, and will be seeing this person for the rest of my life.

How do I feel about this? I can't really say. I have been feeling a little detached from this all. I'm glad the decision has been made. I appreciate how this doctor really explained things to us. I am praying that God will use all that I am going through to feed somebody else.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Another Job Interview

I was supposed to have a job interview this morning, but it has been postponed to Monday morning, because they had no electricity from yesterday's storms. (I had posted my resume online with something dealing with the state of OH sometime this summer.) This job opening is for a math tutoring position. I think that would be pretty flexible, for doing treatments and stuff. I will find out more info on Monday. This job is in Sterling, OH. Sterling is located in Wayne County, out on Rt 3.

I didn't get the job in Elyria, OH. I so okay with not getting that one. That wouldv'e been way too much.

I will post more about the job on Monday.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Getting a Second Opinion

My onc, suggested I get in touch with four other places to help in my research on clinical trials. I left messages last Friday. One place called me back on Friday. The others called me back yesterday.

I have scheduled an appointment for next week, on the 15th. I am going up to University Hospitals in Cleveland. My goal from this is to get some help in making my decision in what treatment to choose. I do have a few clinical trials printed up.

These doctors have better understanding in all of the treatments, and know what might be best for someone of my age, with my stage, and where exactly the melanoma was. He might even have at idea of which clinical trial might be good for me or not.

I am still not sure how this will effect in me trying to work this fall. I interviewed for a teaching position up in Elyria, this morning. This school is over 80 miles round trip. I didn't tell the principal about having melanoma. I didn't want the cancer to be the reason I don't get. If I am offered the job, then I will tell her, and then it might be recinded. Who knows. I could be wrong in not telling her up front. I don't know.

Every day, I ask the Lord for wisdom in this, and to show me what he wants me to do.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Daunting Task

I spent a lot of time on the computer yesterday. I was looking at the following website: I was looking at different trials. This is a daunting task I have before me, searching for the treatment that is right for me. I called and left messages for somebody at Cleveland Clinic, University Hosptials, Ohio State University Medical Center, and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Somebody from OSU called me back. He sent me an email of four different trials. There is one trial going on at OSU that is also at Akron General Medical Center. General is close to me. One requirement for that trial is to have a lymph node disection.

I don't understand everything I read. I don't understand everything I read on the MPIP website I look at everyday. How do I know if a trial is good for me or not? The majority of them are for people with mestatic melanoma. That I don't have. There are 225 clinical trials listed on the above website. Jsut thinking about this, is making me down this afternoon. I did print up some yesterday, but I just don't know. I would rather stay here, but I am willing to travel up to 3 hours away at the most. If I do travel, I would probably have to stay there for awhile. Is that a good thing?

Lord, which treatment do you want to do? Who do I talk to, to help me? I am basically on my own in this search. I do know, that once I have a few options, then I want to go and talk to my oncologist about them. Do I choose one with the possibility of taking many different kinds of drugs? What about the vaccine trial. Could I find one, where they pay for the drugs? Lord, where am I going to find the money to pay for this? What about the side effects? Complications? There are so many questions to ask. I know there are questions, that I haven't even thought of. Lord, please provide me with some help. I don't want to become too overwhelm. I know I need to make a decision soon. The sooner I start the treatment the better. I need some help, Lord. Thank you for listening Lord.

Friday, August 03, 2007

PET Scan Results

Good News! Good News! Good News! Good News! Good News! Father, thank you for the good news. According James 1:5, I am asking for wisdom in what to do next.

Can you tell how happy I am? The PET Scan came back negative. The Melanoma hasn't spread! God is good. Even if the melanoma had spread, God would still be good.

I have lost some weight this past week. I went a whole week without any Pepsi. That is right, I didn't drink any pop. I will have some today. Last week, the scale at Dr. Patel's office said 297 lbs, this week it said 272 lbs. I came home and used my parent's scale and that one said 295.8 lbs. My parents is a digital one. We all know what the doctor's office is one like. Which one do I believe? My mom said she has noticed how my stomach hasn't gotten flatter, that is due to doing situps in the morning. I have digressed.

What is the recommended treatment for someone at stage 3a of melanoma? It is first lymph node disection. That is having more lymph nodes taken out. The side effects to that is not pretty. Lymphodema, swelling, wounds not healing very fast. Wearing a pressurized stocking to help with the swelling. I really don't want to have the surgery. The next step is immunotherapy. This treatment lasts one year. The first month is IV M-F for four weeks, then the next 12 months, an injection three times a week, done at home. The first month, would be either at the hospital or the doctor's office. There are side effects, flu-like symptoms, fever, feeling achy all over, depression or that gets worse. Those are the major side effects. Everybody is effect differently.

I will do some type of treatment. With being 36, it is better to fight it, because if it comes back and spreads, then it is it incurable. There is a chance of recurrences in the first 1-2 years. Dr. Patel did tell me to do some research on clinical trials and see if I qualify. He gave me a website and told me which three areas to call and see what they have. I have to let him know what I am going to do.

If I decide to do the immunotherapy, and because of my veins being very deep and hard to get to, a port would be surgically implanted for the IV part of the treatment. I have asked if that could be done at the same time as the lymph node disection, so I would only have to have one surgery, instead of two. The hole on my right leg has to continue to heal, basically completely close up before the treatment can be started. Treatment probably will not start until sometime in September.

I pray that the Lord will show me what to do. What is best for me. I am praying for wisdom.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Good News

I had an appointment this morning with the surgeon (actually, the resident). I do not have to wear any more dressings on my right leg over the hole,unless I want to. He said, that it looks good and is healing nicely. He also said, to keep up with I have been doing. I will wear a dressing at night, since it is still draining, I don't want to get anything onto my sheets. Mom still has to wash the hole at night and again in the morning, and I had to buy some lotion to put on there as well.

The resident was ready to schedule my surgery for the removal of more lymph nodes in my groin area. I told me that the cancer doctor wasn't quite sure yet if that is going to happen or not. I will find out more on Friday. Went to PT today and will go back again next Wednesday morning.

Went and got 30 day tags for my car. Time to say bye-bye to my TX license plates. In a month, I will go back to OH plates. If I want to change my driver's license from TX to OH, I have to take the written test. I am not planning on doing that anytime soon. My driver's license doesn't expire for 4 more years. I will wait and see what happens in the next year.