Following a rather fitful night's sleep, I awoke a bit after 4:00 Tuesday morning and tossed around until, finally, my 5:20 alarm went off. NPR and Steve Inskeep at that hour = back to reality...back to work. Hallelujah! I rolled out of bed feeling like an 80 year old woman...a vast improvement from the 90 and 100 year old I'd been imitating the past 3 days.
That was how my week began and, in fact, was the one paragraph I managed to get written following my first day back to school after that nightmarish chemo weekend. Yes, Tuesday came and I was back in the art teacher saddle again.
Let me say right up front, it would have been much more difficult if not for the great people I work with. Not that they had to do much for me...I did manage to teach my 6 classes that day, but just knowing they were next door, across the hall or an intercom call away, made me feel safe and secure and cared for, which makes such a difference. I am so blessed to have such caring co-workers, several of whom stuck their head in my class now and then to make sure I was okay and still upright. So, this 80 year old woman managed to teach 6 classes that day, and, oddly, by the end of the day, felt more like a 70 year old woman. Things were looking good!
The week continued in the same manner. Of course, I was totally exhausted by 3:00 and nodding off early each evening, but so was every other teacher in Springdale. That first full week is a killer, no matter your physical condition.
Interestingly, by the end of the day yesterday (Friday) that 70 year old woman had actually knocked quite a few more years off and was almost feeling back to normal. I think it was a combination of time away from chemo, great support from friends, and soaking up the energy that comes from my wonderful students. They may be the best medicine of all.