Saturday, September 25, 2010


Last week was the seventh week of the school year. It amazes me that much time has gone by already -- much of it was a blur. But it was a turning-the-corner week. Even though I don't know why, I won't question it.

I think even though I didn't admit it to myself that the thyroid cancer panel was making me nervous. I had no need to be, Thursday evening was just a very good event. The three doctors spoke knowledgeably, the sizable audience asked great questions, and they all went so late that I didn't have to speak much at all. I said a few words at the end about the group and the work we do, inviting everyone to come for help and support. It was off-the-cuff and quick, but it seemed to fit, and everyone was pleased. Especially me, and not just because it was over.

At school, I'm finally relaxing enough to slow down, and we're trying new things to help improve retention. I am not proud; I make mistakes -- and one big mistake I made was thinking that, in taking their notes, that the students would be getting a fair ways up the learning curve with their content material. Not so, at least not at the pace we were going. Test scores were pretty discouraging, but class averages are still C or above, so it's not a complete disaster.

Still, I'm getting a better handle on discipline and relaxing into the material more. I know the kids a lot better now and am beginning to better understand what they need (as opposed to what I think they need) to actually learn. So we'll keep trying new things, and we'll see how it goes.

As for the post title -- it's a near-mythical state, when work is effortless and everything just ... flows. I hit it nearly every day this week. It's awesome, especially when the majority of the class is there with you. Then the bell rings...

Yeah. I'm still working on time management, but I bought a timer and that's really helping a lot.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Living with Thyroid Cancer

So, in addition to teaching full time now (!), volunteering in my church's religious ed dept, and co-facilitating a monthly thyroid cancer support meeting, I'm on tap later this month to get the patient's perspective on living with thyroid cancer as part of a panel discussion. (whew!) Here are the details, from the official flyer produced by The Cancer Center at Chandler Regional Medical Center:

“Living with Thyroid Cancer”

A Community Event

The Cancer Center at Chandler Regional Medical Center is pleased to host “Living with Thyroid Cancer”, a community educational event where the latest medical information regarding thyroid cancer will be shared by leading experts in the field. We are fortunate to have gathered physicians in the field of thyroid cancer to speak and share information about the latest medical treatment and management of thyroid cancer. In addition, a thyroid cancer survivor will share her experience living with this lesser known, complex disease.

When: September 23, 2010 6-8 pm

Where: The Cancer Center Lobby at Chandler Regional Medical Center
1875 W Frye Rd
Chandler, AZ 85224
(SE corner of Dobson and Frye Rd)

Target Audience: Anyone interested in learning more about thyroid cancer including current patients, survivors, family members and friends.

Cost of event: FREE

RSVP: Please call ResourceLink at 877-728-5414 or email to register (required).

Audience will be provided the opportunity to ask their topic related questions of the physicians during this event. Light refreshments will be served.


Me again. We'll have an endocrinologist, a radiation oncologist, and a head and neck surgeon (and me) speaking and available for questions. I'm already collecting my thoughts and building up the outline of what I'm going to talk about: adjusting to post-thyroidectomy life with a "new normal", tinkering with medications, some common side effects, like salivary gland issues and voice problems... I get 15 minutes, which seems simultaneously infinite and way too short.