Thursday, January 23, 2014

Out of the Closet

It's so good to be out. Now everyone knows. Everyone knows I had cancer. It's really freeing to be able to say that I have a doctor's appointment and my students understand. I even made a joke about "when I didn't have nose hair" and the kids were all "Gross Ms. Froerer! We have lunch next!" It was fun to make cancer jokes!

I really feel I've been able to bond with some of my students who get it. I certainly don't want to have students who get it, because it means they've had tragedy or worry or fear in their lives. On the other hand, whether I had cancer or not they had that worry or loss, so I can be there for them. And that's a good thing -- for both of us.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Baby's growing up

Raiden's had a hard time adjusting to daycare. He, apparently, would walk over to the corner of the room and cry when Zane left him there. Adorable and oh so sad! But today, when Zane got there to pick him up, Raiden looked at him, then walked over to the little table and sat himself down for his snack. I love you, dad, but let's eat, okay? Priorities in order? Check.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Benefits of Cancer

I was thinking today about what I have gained from cancer. Here's a partial list.

1. I have felt my community rally around me. My ward, especially, has been so supportive. They've been so kind, always asking me how I'm doing, providing me with food and love, and telling me how cute my new (in more than one sense!) hair is.

2. I've discovered how many people have had cancer, and I can relate to them. I've met student's parents, students, ward members, and random strangers who I have bonded with, even for a short time, because we share this experience.

3. I've found out I can do hard things. I mean, I always thought I could do hard things, but now I know.

4. I've gained willpower. Along with the "hard things" benefit, I've gained a certain amount of control over my body. This might be why I've been able to stop eating so much junk food lately.

I'm sure there are more, but I can only appreciate cancer so much before I can't appreciate it any more. If you know what I mean.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Church Talk

I gave a talk in church last Sunday. I'm really proud of it. I think it's the best talk I've ever given. It might be the best talk I've ever even heard, not excluding General Conference. It was on humility.

Here are my notes, in case you're interested.

I. Introduction - talk on humility
II. What is humility?
A. C.S. Lewis “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”
B. Screwtape “The Enemy wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the, fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour's talents-or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. He wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognise all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things.” - love your neighbor as yourself.
President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “Humility is all about keeping one’s balance.]”
C. Surrendering to others
1. Accepting service
2. Medical procedures - Sitting in an exam room wearing only a hospital gown while waiting for the doctor, nurse, and intern!
Being humble w/o being forced to be humble.Alma 32:16
Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble
D. Aligning your will to God’s will - C.S. Lewis Screwtape “He wants to kill their animal self-love as soon as possible; but it is His long-term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self-love-a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours. For we must never forget what is the most repellent and inexplicable trait in our Enemy; He really loves the hairless bipeds He has created and always gives back to them with His right hand what He has taken away with His left.”
Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society general president: “Our weaknesses can direct our hearts toward Heavenly Father and His will for us. This can be a hard thing! It’s painful! It’s daunting! But it’s humbling, and when we are humble enough to acknowledge our dependence on the Lord in overcoming those weaknesses, He fills our hearts with His everlasting love, turning our weaknesses into strengths. It takes humility to seek further direction in learning His will for us.”
1. Zane - inspiration to stay home and have me work December 2012
I started work January 2013
Insurance March 1, 2013
Cancer diagnosis April 3, 2013
2. Jesus
a. Not my will but thine be done. Jesus said this in the Garden. We have to be willing to do what God wants us to do, not what we want to do.
b.Jesus didn’t think he was better than others -- lepers, prostitutes, women, tax collectors, all those hated by the righteous. My favorite story in the New Testament is the one about the woman who has a bleeding disorder. She has spent all her living on doctors. This means she was probably desperately poor. She was likely divorced from her husband, because what man wants to live with a woman who is permanently unclean? If she touched anyone, they were also unclean and had to purify themselves. What a position of enforced humility! And she was humble. She did not ask Jesus for a miracle -- she did not feel confident enough in her reception or her importance. Instead, she touched the hem of his garment, the ritual fringes, which were considered holy. Through her faith, she was healed.
To me, it gets even better. Jesus knew she was healed, of course. But he asked who touched him. Again in humility, this outcast woman, who now had a chance for a normal life, confessed it had been her. She could have been punished for making him unclean. But what did Jesus do? He did not consider himself so holy that he could not hang out with such a woman. Indeed, he called her daughter and commended her for her faith.
Who are the equivalents for us? Who do we think we are better than? Do we think we are better than people who struggle with sexual sins, homosexuality, drug or alcohol addiction? Would Jesus hang out with these people? Of course he would. Humility is remembering that we are all children of God.

III. The opposite of humility - pride
A. What happens if we’re not humble? We are proud. Pride means our own importance and ego get in the way. What does it get in the way of? A good relationship with our parents, children, siblings, and spouse. With God. Pride means putting ourselves first. Judging. Psychologists say anger is a secondary emotion. What we’re really feeling is something like wounded pride -- humiliation. But anger is more comfortable than humiliation. Why would we be humiliated? Only if we have pride. Humility will prevent anger.

What examples of humility have helped you feel the love of the Lord?

How does humility in daily living bring you closer to the Lord?
Humility brings you closer to those you deal with every day and to the Lord.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hairy Tales

I know I need a hair cut. It needs some shaping and my neck needs to be shaved. But in some ways, I feel like I did when I was growing out my hair when I was 6. I don't want to cut even a millimeter off of my growing hair! Also, it's a pain to get around to getting a hair cut.

The other thing about my hair right now? They say it takes a few months for you to get your "real" hair back. When my hair started coming back, it was a little lighter and thinner, as well as being super soft. I noticed today that I have roots! My real hair is coming in under the lighter, softer, less "Molly" hair. It looks amusing. I am amused. And delighted that the real thing is back!

P.S. Happy Birthday Benn!
P.P.S. We miss you Rob.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sluffing School

I sluffed school today (yes, that IS the way you spell it). Well, technically I had two doctor's appointments in Salt Lake, but it felt like I was sluffing! I refused to take any time off of school for cancer. I mean, I took two weeks for my mastectomy and one period for my first chemo and one period for another chemo session, but that's it. Screw you cancer! You won't interfere in my life!

But now, I don't have cancer anymore. So that means I can take time off! I needed an appointment with my fabulous surgeon to discuss my second mastectomy that I'm getting because I feel like it. He sees patients in clinic from 8:15 to 11:45 on Thursdays. Okay, I said, I guess I'll see him between 8:15 and 11:45 on Thursday! And while I was at it, I saw my fabulous oncologist and had lunch with my fabulous mom and fabulous social worker/friend. To do all this, I was forced (forced, I tell you!) to take the whole day off. Hooray! Too bad it was snowing all day so I was worried about driving, but it was a wonderful mental health day. I do hate missing school, though, and I'll have to miss a whole week for my other mastectomy. Oh well. I guess that's why they give you the sick days!

Incidentally, I found out there were a fair number of teachers who didn't know I had cancer and was wearing a wig. I feel a little depressed. Am I not important enough to be gossiped about?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New News That's Really Old

At church on Sunday, I heard a storyline I didn't really like. There is a woman in the ward who had breast cancer nine years ago. She was young when she was diagnosed (although not as young as me!). She had a lumpectomy, chemo, radiation. Well, yesterday she went in for a double mastectomy because she has cancer AGAIN.

This is not what I want to hear. I went to talk to her and tell her I was sorry, but of course I'm crying and she's comforting me. Telling ME that I give HER inspiration with my "strength." As I'm crying. I sure don't feel strong. I want her cancer to be an ever-diminishing memory. That storyline gives me comfort and hope. This one? Not so much. I don't like it at all.

So, Oh Powerful Ones, let's pray tonight for my ward member, that she may recover from surgery and be permanently cancer free. I know your prayers work, because I've felt them. Thank you.

P.S. I doesn't look like I'm going to be a track coach after all. I'm surprised at how disappointed I am. Maybe next year!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A new project?

A few weeks ago, my principal sent out an email asking for a track coach. I don't know much about track, and I just ignored the email, hoping it would go away. Then on Friday he sent out another email, saying our math tutor would be the track coach, but she needs some help. After talking with Zane, I sent the email today: I volunteer! I don't know for sure that I'm the only volunteer, but I'm suspicious I might be, so I'm pretty sure the job will be mine.

Okay, I know track involves running, hopefully faster than those jerks from the other junior highs. There may be some jumping involved as well, and maybe some throwing things? I don't know if it includes "field" or if it's just "track." I don't know the best and fastest way to run. I do know some things about sports and motivation and Just Do It. But that's it. So, any suggestions on how to be the assistant track coach?

Thursday, January 2, 2014


No wig today! I did put sparkles in my hair, but it was my real hair. Here's how it went:

One person asked if we had a sub, and kept a confused look on his face for a couple of seconds after I turned around.

About twenty people asked me if I cut my hair. One girl said, "Please tell me you did not cut your hair! Tell me it's just pulled back!" She's not the most tactful of souls, but she is a sweet girl. I told them no, this was my real hair, I just was not wearing my wig. Many people stopped there, but one boy said he refused to believe it, and could I bring my wig. Several others asked WHY I had worn a wig. Because I didn't have any hair, I replied. Most stopped THERE, but others needed to ask why I didn't have hair. Chemotherapy, I replied. Oh. That stopped them all!

I also thanked each class for the gifts left on my porch, including the Real Salt Lake shirt I was wearing. I love long-sleeved t-shirts almost more than any other article of clothing, but it felt too casual for school. I'm glad I wore it, but it's more a hangout type shirt. Also, I feel either chic or butch with my short hair, and the t-shirt made me lean toward butch. At least I had sparkles in my hair.

I also saw my radiation oncologist today for a follow-up. I ran into one older lady in the parking lot. Today was her last day, so we chatted for a minute about our mutual cancers and how awesome it was to be done. Oh, and it is awesome to be done!