Saturday, April 29, 2006

I volunteered to be notetaker for a deaf man in my Strategies class and I brought my notes to the Disability Resource Center to fill out paperwork. They asked for volunteers to take notes to accommodate the student and in return you get paid $10 and hour, $40 a class you are already taking notes for anyway. I was very disturbed by the whole experience. First of all, they thought my notes maybe too messy. They asked for a notetaker mid-class and I had no idea I was being judged. Secondly, I looked into what services were available to me-lung/kidney transplant girl and I discovered that I could get a tuition waiver for classes I had to withdraw from. When I inquired at the reception desk about the process, this kid didn't know the half of it and kept telling me to go to the website and about how I had to register first, so on, so forth. So what's the point of the office if everything is web-based? Clearly, the office is designed for undergraduate students- asking that you register 3 months before arrival on campus- uh hello, it will be three months practically until I graduate. Northeastern does not have a medical withdrawal policy and has this option, but in my struggle to get the tuition situation cleared up, wouldn't someone have suggested this? Instead, they took $3000 out of my loan to pay for classes I was enrolled to be taking but couldn't because I was in the midst of surgery! BAHUMBUG!
I am working at mini storage, as I do every Saturday and while my mom usually stops down to bring me lunch and chat with me at my solitary post, Kevin and Heather filled in today. While I am quite attached to Kevin, I am even more attached to little Heather, who ran up to me with arms open to pick her up. My mom and I are teaching her to blow kisses. Kevin brought me a sub and Mt. Dew- such a lifesaver. He is watching Puppa and A-scootie, as Heather calls Scooter, while I am working because 9 hours is a long time to go without a pee/poop break for anyone, even a dog. I am prepping kevin to meet the Rushforths and my dad tomorrow, perhaps if my dad isn't golfing. I brought Heather to play with big baby Jude on Friday. Juse loved her. He is 6months old and is bigger than Heather. Jude is a very happy baby, giggling and smiling and Anne keeps him so stimulated that even I was tired. Jude kept trying to touch Heather, was cooing at her and was following her around in his wheely walker thing. She hitched a ride on the back- she's no fool. Jude just really can't steer. I have a picture I will upload later.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

First let me note that my divorce is final- the 90 days have passed and that chapter of my life is over. A new chapter is starting and despite those who caution me about taking things too quickly, I want to say that I am keeping that in the front of my mind as things progress- progress nicely.With Mandy home this weekend, and the girls around, not to mention the Rushforth seal of dis/approval, we will certainly get a new perspective. I am thinking of taking Heather to see my nephew Jude tomorrow at Anne's and bringing Kevin to meet the Balboni side.

I am dogsitting Scooter and Carrie isn't really talking to me, just to my mother, but I guess she is still having me watch the pooch out of necessity. I will bring him home when I am at school but he likes rides in the car and playing Heather and Detroit Joe Puppa.

I started the next six week session at Northeastern and although I was trying to hussle to get it done, last session killed me and I missed more classes than I wanted due to exhaustion. So I dropped to two and dropped my masters project online this summer. There's no reason I can't graduate in the Fall. I was going to find a part-time job, but as the evaluation period begins for the pancreas transplant, more and more time will be spent dealing with medical issues. Perhaps I will see if there are any lecturer positions at the local campuses.

In other news, I have been invited to speak for the Massachusetts Respiratory Therapists in September- a paid gig. Whohoo! That's what I would love to do. My first assignment in my Strategic Leadership class is to write an autobiography. Maybe this will kickstart progrressing with my book.
more later....

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Well, Carrie is really pissed now. While it is okay for her to post about her "surgery" on her blog and disclose the details of my relationship on her blog- apparently, it is not okay for me to write on my blog. Double standard? Reality-based thinking? She is mad as hell. If you would like to read more about how pissed she is, visit:
Anyway, I editted my post and asked her to do the same with hers.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Well, another 9 credits down. Next week I start another three classes: Human Resources Management in Nonprofit Organizations, Strategic Leadership and Program Evaluation and Assessment. I am hoping that I get my financial aid cleared up or I may have to reconsider summer classes, which stinks because I should be done at the end of the summer should everything go right. Needless to say, however, I love school and did well this semester.

Easter didn't go as planned, but it was good just the same. Little Heather ended up in the emergency room while I was at Aunt Deb's for dinner with an awful stomach bug. She was admitted for dehydration and Kevin was with her every second- he really is a great dad. My mom and I brought him Easter dinner at the Jordan. Every time I went back to visit, Heather had more bunny rabbits- you know what they say about rabbits. My mom and Anne both got her gifts and Heather loved them. She was released Sunday night and I watched her most of the rest of the week. She was back to normal.

In other news, Carrie is upset with me. I told her that I can't live with her anymore and that I would probably end up moving in with Kevin in a couple of months. I spend most of my time there, he has a yard for Detroit, plenty of space for junk and it is a house. He would charge me the same that I am paying now. We discussed that it was soon, yes, but when it is right it is right. I have to make sure he meets the rest of the family so they don't think I am moving in with a stranger or repeating mistakes. I want to keep everything above boards. I have talked to Carrie that I am not stopping being her friend but that I have to go my own way and she feels ditched. I can't help her out of her misery when she is uncomfortable and depressed because she is overweight. She could get support from her Aunt who lives in Westborough but she doesn't want to tell her of her plans for surgery. I can't take responsibility for that one. I told her that I thought she was out of control before, now it is worse. She continues to be in a bad space with the cycle of depression and eating. The only suggestion I made that she heard was that she should get into therapy again. She took this as an insult although she is a therapist herself. But I also suggested going to the gym, easting better, stopping fast food, going out, walking the dog, etc. but, apparently all those suggestions fell on deaf ears. I understand that her feelings are hurt, but she is not considering my point that I can't live in a mess anymore, accompanied by misery and negativity. I don't know whatelse to say or do. AND NOW, SOME QUOTES:
for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin- real life. but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. at last it dawned on me that these were obstacles in my life. this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. happiness is the way, so treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. happiness os a journey, no a destination.-souza


RISK more than others think is safe, CARE more than others think is wise,DREAM more than others think is practical, EXPECT more than others think is possible.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

On Saturday night, we ate a combination pre-Easter/group Birthday dinner at my aunts Deb and Merle's house. Rob and Jennifer were visiting from New York City. My deaf aunt Diane was present and Johanna's new boyfriend Jacob was there too. My grandfather rolled in. We had a cake from The Cake Lady, who makes the best cakes in town.

WOW! What a great week! First it was dinner for my 7th lung anniversary on Monday, April 10th. My mom, Kevin, Heather and I went to Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse. Unfortunately, my steak was yucky and in all the pictures we took, at least one of us looked like a goof ball. School has been keeping me busy. This is the last week for this session. Next week another 3 courses for six weeks and then two more and my masters prokect and I'm done. I may slow it down and scale it back depending on the circumstances that arise.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Wow! I can't believe how "slack" (thanks Shippy) I have been with my blogging lately. What can I say? I have been busy living life, and my friends, Life is Good.
First, I have become the organ donation advocate extraordinare! I have done three college fairs in as many weeks- all in Newton. It's been a great experience and is definitely fulfilling work. I have been asked to return to tell my story to classes at these colleges and be involved in other potenital projects, like blood drives and speaking at events, such as a conference for respiratory therapists. April is Organ Donation Awareness month and is also my anniversary of my lung transplant (on Monday). So I have been compelled into action to promote this very personal cause. Next Tuesday at Northeastern, my group will present on the Ethical Considerations related to Donation: including the black market, incentives for donation, financial aspects and international foci. Cathy, Deb, Linda, Zowie and Heather have joined me in spreading the word and have, I'm sure. learned a lot along the way. While many group experiences I've had have been less than ideal- this group really took assignments seriously and shared the burden of work- Allelujah- for once! For my leadership class, I have taken it upon myself to test the awareness levels of college-students to see if the "Get Carded" project is on target for the audience. Get Carded started at UCF in 1997 and in 1999, I was the keynote speaker for the awareness event. Get Carded is still at UCF and is also an annual event at the other State Universities in Florida (UF, FLorida State, USF, etc.) I have used the college fairs to collect data. Likely, this will be morphed into my Master's thesis. I am still planning on graduating at the end of the summer, should all go as planned.

I have been a little under the weather. The stomach is always a challenge- between the CF malabsorption and diabetes there is a fine line for balance. There rarely seems to be a happy medium. The doctors are still pushing the pancreas transplant and I have several appointments to be worked up for registration. The surgery itself is like a kidney transplant, they don't take out the old organ: instead, they leave it in, add a new one and switch the connections. So in the end I would have three kidneys and two pancreases...and a partridge in a pear tree.

And then there is Kevin...and Heather too, of course. I saved the best for last. I can't believe the supportive interest I have gotten post-post. To update, they're both great, Kevin and his added bonus. I have such much respect and admiration for the responsibilities he's accepted- not just in being a single dad, which is plenty, but let's not forget that I've got quite the baggage myself. But that being said, I think that we have been real with each other. Clearly, my life isn't going to be all glamour and there may even be a slew of bad and worse days, but that being said, he knows that there will probably be more good days than bad and when there are bad days, they make you value the good days even more. He has a great air about him. He's not concerned or intimidated by my lifestyle and there's not a comparison like I'm/he's not good enough. There's just a fair partnership and a shared sense of what is right in the world. I have gotten a lot of advice from both my mother and my stepmother about the "second time around," especially when kids are involved and instead, of pretending that I know everything, I have actually been listening intently, recognizing that this (relationship with child-as-bonus) is new territory for me.
I still have yet to get a picture, but they're coming to the Galletti's for Easter, so photos will follow. Since neither of my older stepbrothers have children, my mom has take to a grandmother role and said I am not allowed to break up with them because she's attached to Heather. I don't think we have to worry about that.
Carrie says she is happy for me, but she is pretty unhappy with life right now. I know what that is like. I know what it is like to be stuck. I have tried to include her as much as possible so that she doesn't feel ditched, but I think there is more going on than just me being involved with someone. Sometimes things are out of your own control.
In other news, Kelli Belfatto is moving back to Orlando- congratulations. Shippy had a birthday this week and Bokas, I hope that your Alabama Food Poisioning has resolved. Congrats to Bonnie on her pregnancy! And to Jenn Cross in Barcelona for the successful delivery of her online news mag. (I need to link you- send the link!) I can't post pictures from this computer, but I have some baby updates on the way. More sooner than later, I promise!