Sunday, April 10, 2016

Oh yes, I have a blog?!

When a podcast stops casting it is called pod fading. Is it called blog fading when a blogger stops blogging? I've been quite remiss in keeping you all up to date on my life and projects. A rapid recap of life since March of 2014.
We enjoyed Powhatan a lot!
We got the twins!!! Well, my brother and his wife actually got them, they were born in April, as hoped. Thank you, everyone who helped with the Bunnies for Baby project, they were able to bring them home right away.
I continued teaching middle school special needs and added 6th grade self-contained science to my class load.
We attended West Virginia Fiber Festival and Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival in the Fall of 2014.
Family visited up to Northern NY, where my ancestral family is. Family visited down to Virginia, where the two daughters of the family live.
My sister announced her pregnancy in late fall of 2014 and had her first child in June of 2015. She and her husband named him Eric, a significant name in our family.
We attended Powhatan in the Spring of 2015.
I continued teaching middle school special needs.
Later in the Spring, a routine checkup noticed a couple small lumps in my thyroid, which required ultrasounds, biopsies, and second opinions. The word "cancer" is pretty flipping' scary when you live life where everything happens to "someone else" and you turn out to be the "someone else." Turns out, I got off VERY easy, no need for chemo or radiation.
In September of 2015, I underwent a thyroidectomy (first surgery in my life under a general anesthesia). I survived, took off two weeks from school, and then, you guessed it, continued teaching middle school special needs. My students were well behaved during my absence, so I showed them the pictures taken just after the surgery, as promised. Middle schoolers like icky things like that. My scar and a follow up treatment turned out to very useful when teaching about radioactive isotopes, and how a normal nonradioactive element can be changed for medical use. I have pictures from the Geiger counter showing normal readings and then the spikes when the probe was passed over my throat area.
The adoption of my twin nephews was finalized for my brother and his wife mid Fall 2015. They are officially Zehrs now.
Despite my having very limited energy, we attended West Virginia Fiber Festival and Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival that Fall. My husband was ever vigilant and kept me from wearing myself down to a husk (I was not allowed to take any leveling medication during this time, so my body was burning the last vestiges of the triiodothyronine produced while I still had a thyroid).
In January of 2016, I resigned from being the Lead Special Ed teacher at my school and returned to the humble life of a regular Special Education teacher/case manager. The relief from that stress has helped with my post-surgical recovery. And even though the medication levels haven't been completely corrected yet, I am making progress toward a happy end of normal energy and not needing to depend on massive doses of B12 and a nap to survive a school day.
In a month or so, I'll have follow up blood work to be sure I continue to be cancer free (highly likely, since the actual thyroid was removed and the cancer hadn't escaped from it at all).
The scar has pretty well faded and it doesn't bother or pull much at all anymore. If people ask, I usually make a wisecrack out about a screwed up chin lift, and then explain the real reason for the scar. It doesn't bother me to educate people about it. I mean, until May of 2015, I had never even thought about the possibility of having thyroid cancer, and now I'd rather people know about it and get checked "just in case." If it hadn't been for my regular checkup, I still wouldn't know...

So here we are in April and Powhatan 2016 is later this month. Last year I diligently made my spindles and used up my entire supply of 3" whorls, without realizing it. Imagine my panic when I began setting up for marathon spindle making (my favorite type, the creativity permeates everything and my husband makes sure he's the one to cook, because even the food gets experimented with...) only to go to my supply cabinet and find the 3-incher shelf bare. But Orders have been placed along with parts for more woodworked spindles.
Plans are underway for changes to the website, formatting changes, updates, and easier access to purchase spindles and spinning supplies are in the works.

By the way, apologies for this long post, but now that everyone is caught up, I should be able to write more often, in shorter format.
On to the spindles!!

No comments: