Monday, July 19, 2010

"I Ain't Down Yet"

The title of today's entry comes from a song from the musical, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" -- words that my absolutely fabulous dissertation director Dr L brought to my attention (both she and Dr D, another fabulous professor, have articulated words and thoughts that have been so useful to me during the last two days). I think the last few days I have sort of been in a daze -- luckily, it was Jim's birthday weekend so my mind was on more important matters but I was shocked at how often my head kept going in the direction of "Oh My God, I have to do chemo." Jim and I talked a few times but now I am worried that I might be talking about it TOO much. As of right now, I have mostly only talked with Jim about it (since he knows me better than anyone) but I don't want to drive him crazy either. I think the only time this past weekend that I really forgot about it was when we went rock climbing -- I loved the physical challenge that kept my head focused on trying to get my butt up the damn wall. Maybe I can talk Jim into going next weekend, too?

But when I woke up today (a little grumpy actually as Jim can attest!), I thought that today I was going to try and have as "normal" a day as possible. So I went to the gym (18.50 miles on the bike!), cleaned the house (even the corners!), wrote out some cards I had been meaning to mail, found a library book (that I knew I had misplaced somewhere), cleaned off my desk to find stuff I need to write, and then ... started writing. The first thing I need to do is something that I promised Dr L that I would do right away -- talk about my personal take on how I think the Spring semester of fieldwork went. I managed a few paragraphs which is more than I have written in ages. It's not a lot but it's a start.

I know that I have little chance of dying from this "thing." So I am not sure what paralyzes me so much -- maybe cancer complicates the whole "I don't think I am good enough to write a dissertation" feeling that I already had by the time Spring semester finished. I know that deep down I still want to be finished by next Spring. For that to happen, I need to get out of this fog and focus. I have only about a month before the new semester starts and so here is my plan of action (and writing here makes me more determined to do what I say!):

1. Get through the re-incision lumpectomy next Monday (July 26) without, hopefully, picking up an infection;
2. Write a personal narrative of what happened during the Spring semester;
3. Make sure that my prospectus is approved ASAP at SIU;
4. Get all my syllabi ready to go for Fall semester at SWIC;
5. Buy over-the-counter meds that women on have suggested for folks going through CMF chemo (August 3);
6. Buy a cute hat just in case (though I am thinking I have a few chemo treatments if anything even happens at all);
7. Relax 100% while on outlet mall/ Zappos warehouse road trip next weekend;
8. Read some example dissertations to get more ideas for organization.

OK -- so eight simple tasks. I can do it! :D


  1. Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you! Stay positive, stay strong.