Saturday, August 18, 2012

Feelin' Good

I have been feeling pretty good so far after my second chemo.

A little heartburn, a little mouth soreness, but really NOTHING like it was before. After my first chemo by this time I was calling the nurses begging for something to help with my mouth. Barely able to talk or eat. 

So overall I see this as a fantastic improvement!

Unfortunately I went from having a very "chic" crew cut, ala Natalie Portman:


To a more Yul Brynner look:

Le sigh.

I got a few patches still left on top of my head, but I am pretty bald. It still surprises me when I look in the mirror, so I am trying not to do that as often. Luckily my eyebrows and eyelashes are still hanging on. I hope, hope, hope (!) they don't go away. It will get frustrating drawing them on each day, and I think the no eyebrow/eyelash look really screams cancer!

On Wednesday I went back to school for our teacher institute day. Thursday I saw a few kids in the hall, but didn't have any music classes. Friday I had my first full day and talked to each of my classes about what was different about me this year.

Here is my outfit/wig from Thursday:

I fooled most of the kids into thinking it was hair, and even some of the staff!

On Friday we have purple and gold day and I wanted to try to wear a scarf for the day at school to see how it would do, so here I am in all my purple and gold glory:

The purple scarf was actually a pashmina so I was able to wear it kind of 
in a ponytail which was fun.

I had sent home a letter to the parents of my kids on Thursday so most of them had already talked about it at home. The kids took everything really well, of course. Children are resilient and confident in happy endings. They know that the bad guy always loses and that the good guys always win.

Most of them didn't even bat an eye when I talked about how I have lost my hair and how I would need to miss school every other week to get treatment for the cancer. Only two classes asked to see me without my scarf, and though they did have some shocked looks, a lot of the boys liked comparing their summer crew cuts with my new "doo"!

We talked about how my head gets cold, so I will always wear some sort of scarf, or hat, or wig. We also talked about my new "Sanitation Station" where I have Germ-x and encourage kids to use it when they come into my classroom each day. I had a few kids sneeze today in music and they immediately got up and used the hand sanitizer! YAY! Here's hoping I don't get sick!

I have had parents stop in to see me and email me, saying really nice things. I have to say it is so nice working in a small community. Especially when you are going through something difficult and you need a pat on the back or a helping hand. I am so very grateful for the job I have and the school I work in. It has helped a lot to keep my mind off things as well. School keeps me very busy and then when I get home I am usually passed out on the couch by the time Dan gets home from work. Though tonight (Friday) I was able to stay up late (10:00!) for a bonfire with friends and had a lovely evening hanging out and feeling pretty good.

It was so perfectly cool out! Perfect for a fire!

This weekend is the first weekend Dan and I have both had off since our wedding anniversary in April! APRIL! Crazy! Now that I am no longer working at the Orpheum I have my weekends free again, and for once Dan doesn't have any gigs this weekend! Woo hoo!

So if I continue to feel good we will hit up the farmer's market on Saturday morning, come up to school to install my new instrument cabinet that Dan and Will built me (YAY!) and have a nice lazy weekend together!

If you can't tell I am very excited about that!


  1. The wig looks really good! I'm glad the first few days went well, and that you're feeling better this time around. Aren't kids crazy with the way they process things? Both cute first-day-of-school outfits, too, by the way! :)

  2. Julia, great first day outfits, love them! You are amazing and so inspiring the kids are so lucky to have you...wanted to share a little something special with you. So, Peyton has been attending the morning prayer session outside the school for most of last year and the first 2 days this year. After day one this year, Gary Maxwell (youth leader) sent me a message about how Peyton has still not prayed out loud or shared any prayers with the group. I explained that we try to encourage her, but as you know she gets extremely nervous in group settings (her recorder debute:-)) Well, on Friday around 9 I received a text from Gary stating that "she did it, she thanked God for her family and prayed for Mrs. Hartman!" Just wanted you to know that you have touched her life and that you are on her heart! Much love from the Huls family, hang in there girl!

  3. Natalie has looks, they soon pass, Yul B. had style. Great writing, and a great story from one of your LARGE admirers.

  4. Hi Julia, I'm Julia! I found your blog on Pinterest. I was just diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma this last week. I'm 27 years old, and I'm a speech therapist at an elementary school. I'm so glad to hear how well your kids are taking this, and you've given me some good ideas for how to approach my upcoming "changes" with them. I adore my job, and after the long summer, I just really want to get back to working with my kids.

    Love the scarf too, I need to look into getting some I guess! I wish you ALL the best, keep it up!

  5. You seemed real good Friday when we talked!!! I don't know why I should be surprised as you and that positive attitude!! Keep it up!!!