Happy Birthday Month!

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Writer’s Note – I’ve been on hiatus for about three weeks.  Why?  I don’t know.  I’ve just been busy, or lazy, with other things.  This post, along with a couple of others, was written (but not published) at an earlier date.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Today I celebrated my birthday the way it ought to be celebrated – by spending time with my family.  I took the day off from work, and went to the fifth grade transition program at my former elementary school.  It was great seeing all my old teaching comrades, along with my former fourth graders who are now moving on to middle school (hence the term “transition” and not “graduation).  Although I don’t keep in-touch with many of the teachers, it never surprises me how easy it is to “come home,” even for a short visit.

I miss many aspects of teaching, and the transition program was one of those “things” that was both exhausting (endless hours of practice) and fulfilling (seeing the students’ faces beam as they walked across the stage to be recognized).  Alas, my teaching days are over, and I don’t think I’ll ever have the mental or physical stamina to give it another go.

Happy, happy day!

When I got back to the house, Emily was the first one to greet me.  She had just arrived home from college that morning!  She had an up-and-down spring semester, so I’m glad she was home to spend the summer with us, and, hopefully, recharge her emotional batteries.  In addition, my sister-in-law, Alisa, took the day off – along with Vicki – so we had cake and presents then went to see Godzilla.  (It was a pretty good movie.)

All-in-all, it was a great day!  It reminded me that what is truly important are the people around you and sharing these special times with them.

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So why is the title Happy Birthday Month?  I used to tease Vicki that the entire month of May was “My Birthday Month.” Therefore, she – and everyone else – had to be nice to me for an entire thirty-one-day period.  Additional celebratory days included Cinco de Mayo and Memorial Day.  The whole month was one  big birthday party – FOR ME!  Anyway, I outgrew that silliness (I think) and have whittled the celebration back down to one day – May 20th.

– – –

The latest on my melanoma…Continuing to sound like a broken record, but there’s nothing new to report at this time.  My health situation has not changed – although I’m getting fatter and lazier by the day.  The initial summer heat and humidity have put the clamps on my outdoor activities.  It will take time – like it did last summer – to get used to the heat, again.  On June 18th, I have a full PET scan to ensure that the cancer has (a) not moved to other parts of my body and (b) the remaining tumors in my right lung have not gotten any larger.  It’s always a time of tremendous stress because there are so many unknowns, and, frankly, I don’t want any new problems cropping up.  We’ll get the results back the following day, June 19th, so I’ll communicate that to anyone who is still interested.  I know I will likely never be “cured,” but I’d like some reassurances that this “beast” inside of me has gone away, once and for all.

Once again, the journey continues……