Well, the holidays are well and truly here. School finished up a week ago, and i've been enjoying my time doing absolutely nothing (the way a holiday should be spent). My last week of school wasn't entirely spent there, though. My dad, uncle, and self trecked up to the blue mountains for 4 days in the middle of nowhere - a shack in the bush. I don't want to say exactly where we went (for fear of marauding 4wd owners destroying it), but suffice to say it was far away from everywhere. Best thing about it was that if you wanted to communicate with the outside world you had to walk for 15 minutes to the top of a very large hill and point your mobile in the right direction. I read more in those 4 days than I had in a number of months, got plenty of sleep (my slepping patterns returned to normal - yay!), and a fair bit of exercise.
My first day back at school after the trek was not uneventful, however. The teachers as well as the prefect body had been busy preparing our school's own fundraising event for the Canteen cancer foundation. Although the fundraising only ran for one week, we sold out of bandanas and sausages, raising over $8000 for the foundation. Bandanas became the 'must have' fashion accessory, and soon it was impossible to venture out onto the playground without being visually assaulted by a rainbow of coloured heads.
15 or so teachers and students competed in raising the highest amount of money before the day. Whoever raised the most amount of money was able to have their heads shaven the closest. In the end, it didn't matter who raised the most - they all ended up having close shaves anyway. News of our escapades spread to the local media, and our local paper showed up to take photos of the event. Student bands played, the seniors had a football game on the oval (I think there was some illegal betting going on, too!), and everyone enjoyed themselves. It's amazing how much everyone is willing to chip in when something hits close to home.
A friend of mine who left the school last year was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. Quite a coincidence, I know, especially when it's the same subtype as me. She turned up to the event too, just to say hi to everyone. I got off school early the next day so I could go and visit her at her first chemo session. I know she's in good hands, as she's being treated by the same doctor at the same clinic that I am. Glad to say that she's coping much better than I was - they caught it early. The nurses at the clinic all thought I was a bit masochistic for coming into the clinic when I didn't need to be there (especially when I also had a chemo session the next day!).
And on my health front, I have some good news to report - I may not have to do all the chemo sessions that i'm scheduled for. It seems that i'm reacting extremely well to the treatment with my lumps and whatnot completely disappearing. After my next treatment (which is on New Years eve, can you beleive?) i'll be doing a couple more tests to see how much more treatment I need. If everything goes really well, I may only have to do another 3 rounds of chemo, and a few weeks of radiation therapy. Can't say that i'm looking forward to the tests, but if it means that I get healed up sooner, i'm all for it.
So all in all, this is most excellent news. I've been talking to my boss, and i've arranged to work from home for half of the holidays, and then at work until I go back to school. The pressure is on to get something together that they can rollout the new system soon. They had to get someone else in to finish the work that I couldn't when I was diagnosed, so they've only had a half finished setup to give to the people they are contracting for the backend. But now that i'm back they'll be looking to put it all together so they can start the rollout. Shall be interesting to see how much I can get done.