Monday, February 23, 2015

And then she said...

Decided to type a little bit.
I'm not shy. I used to be, not so much so now. I find teaching/learning opportunities all over the place, don't you?

I had the lovely opportunity to teach about kindness and manners today.
"Please don't point and me and yell 'Woah!', instead, could you please say 'Mrs. Alvarez, you surprised me with this hair change.'"
"Excuse me, when I say 'Good morning' and you don't say anything and just giggle to your friend as you go by, I think you're laughing at me. Instead, could you say, 'Mrs. Alvarez, I'm noticing your hair is different' or 'Good morning' please?"

"Mrs. Alvarez, what did you DO to your HAIR?!"
"1. Yes, my hair is different. 2. It is colored different. 3. It is rude to interrupt, can you see I'm running a battle here?"
- battle of the books competitions began today, always tough to see teams losing but love seeing everyone stocking up and reading more books!!

"Mrs. Alvarez."
"Is this your hair?"
"Did you color it?"
"Were you wearing a wig before this?"
(This was my favorite dialogue, straightforward, honest, and moved on with things quickly.)

One sweetie walked up to me, "You changed your hair, it looks like my grandma's hair now!" I thought to myself, you've got a cool grandma then... but also gave her a look like, seriously?!

Only one student asked, "Seriously, what is going on with your hair, can you explain to me, please?" - I handed her the book Nowhere Hair - love that picture book, so thoughtfully written- during the lunch since I was running a battle and couldn't chat, told her it was a similar situation to mine... She's a caring sweetie. Shall chat with her more soon.

Some kids gave me huge smiles.
Some gave me wide-eyed shocked looks but then smiled and said "Hi"...
Other kids came up and said they loved my new style and color.
My colleagues were beautifully supportive and kind and I appreciate them to bits.

Think it will take at least this week to muddle thru the confused looks and conversation. I do have 700 students to see eventually... I only saw around 220 today, maybe a few more... Now WHAT will happen if my hair all falls out with the last 2 rounds of chemo? I do have permission to wear hats... le sigh. Don't miss you wig, not a bit.

Why am I letting the PET scan loom over me like a storm cloud? I hate "what if?" things. I just want to have a few weeks off... got thru #24. 6 left. That's 1 Monday, 2 Tuesdays, 1 Wednesday, 1 Thursday, 1 Friday. One day at a time. I'm exhausted today. Already curled up in bed. Enjoyed work. Ok staff meeting. Appreciated a lovely friend walking me to the hospital and chatting with me for almost an hour when the clinic ran late, what is with them and Mondays? And glad when the minibus arrived just minutes after I went to wait for it... Not much appetite today. Forced myself to eat lunch. Ate a small portion for dinner. Hoping for better tomorrow... Shall see. Funny enough my appetite is weird and I just want bad food presently like macaroni and cheese-- from a box thank you--- and Ikea meatballs- greasier the better, thanks... yep. I know what it would do to my body. Nope I'm holding back, mostly. Yep, I will eat mostly unhealthy crap if that's what it takes to get food in my body. Shall see!

Thanks for journeying with me... was brave today, was slightly scared, and did I mention I adore my colleagues for their supportive conversations and then other topic discussions as well? Grateful...


  1. You are so brave. I'm grateful for it, because it helps me to be brave. Or at least I hope it will when I'm truly faced with having to be. I'm grateful for your grace, your appropriate sharing, your humor, your honesty. I'm always here rooting for you. If anyone can, you can. This i know. This i feel in the core of my being. <3 Now off to stand in tree. I have become an immovable tree. <3

    1. Thank you. Felt braver than usual this week... Didn't realize how big a thing like hair could be. Til now. xox <3 :) Hooray to solid rooted trees... x

  2. I realize that "appropriate sharing" sounded gross... it has to do with the overwhelm of petty complaining we all seem to share these days. You probably see me discussing that today... Meanwhile, you, with so much more than petty complaints, share so beautifully. Perfectly. That's what I meant by that.

    1. Appropriate sharing makes perfect sense.
      Appreciate your perspective!! xxx

  3. Hi Debbie, Hmmm. I don't think your story is a cancer journey story. I think it's the story of a human being becoming awake. Awake to your humanity, awake to the importance of authenticity. It's your journey to what is a meaningful life. Both Chekhov and Dostoevsky show us how it is suffering that makes us alive, Your students are responding to that, and hopefully by watching you, they'll begin to ask the big questions, like 'What is important to me? How do I live a meaningful life? How am I responsible for others?"

    1. Hmm. I love this reflection. Thank you.
      Beautiful thoughts... I can hope to impact students this way...