Sunday, February 21, 2010


At the end of the week, I was feeling overwhelmed at work - I received a lot of requests for things to do, which kept getting in the way of the things I planned for myself to do.

Among them was an invitation to participate in a panel review for NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship. The only thing is that I'd have to leave on March 1 for a three-day meeting and read 30+ proposals before then. Then, there's the travel fatigue, long working days (8amk to 5pm) with dinner afterwards. It's intense work. I'd get compensated but I'm not sure that it's worth the tax on my health. Plus, I'd have to cancel a couple of appointments. It's a chance for good net-working. Maybe I'll offer to help out . . . if I can do it by teleconference and may do a limited number? I don't know.

Also, I'd sent an abstract in for the State of the Arctic conference - a lot of papers on climate change and they're working on including human dimensions aspects - which is Miami in mid-March. I hadn't planned on going because I had limited travel funds and I thought I'd save that for Norway in September. But another opportunity for travel funds has come up, so maybe now I can go to it. The other day, I looked at the schedule and a lot of big names in Arctic research (both hard and social sciences) are presenting. Again, it's an intense few days of meetings, but good networking. But again, it would be long days and a long day traveling before and after - so fatigue is a factor. I'd also be gone for about 4 days. The good thing is that I don't have anything scheduled that week in terms of appointments.

As I said earlier, I was feeling quite overwhelmed on Friday - not quite knowing how I might get everything done. How did I cope? By relaxing on Friday night, taking Eddie and his classmate and mom to Lincoln City for the day yesterday (absolutely beautiful!), then a hike with Cat, Kai, their dogs, and Eddie this morning, and running errands with mom this afternoon (checked out the new Trader Joe's in town, grocery shopping, then the never-ending hunt for pants that are long enough for Spagedward, but which also fit him around the waist).

So, it's been a good weekend, lots of fresh air and sunshine that cleared the brain. I (almost) forgot about all that's expected of me at work and now that I look at it again, it's not that bad - it's doable. I'm still debating my two dilemmas. Hmmm, what to do? What to do?

I was feeling a little blue last week, after the Herceptin treatment, because of how fatigued I felt for a couple of days and also because of the swollen lymph nodes under my left arm. Both have limited my activities and made me wonder about how it will affect my future activities, so I was sad that I have to face those limitations. I tried to look at it from another perspective: most of my life, I've been really really active (I have a "yang" personality according to Chinese medicine), always on the go. So, maybe it's my time to slow down and my treatments are helping me (ahem, forcing me) to rest. Then, by Friday, I was feeling more or less normal and this week-end, I felt relatively normal. So, I think if I just plan to have a couple of days where I take it easy after the treatments, and remember that I can have a relatively normal life afterwards, it'll be easier next time.

I will note that by Friday, when I had energy, I was hungry all day. I ate a lot. That happened to me after the last Herceptin treatment - after the fatigue faded, I was all of a sudden really hungry all the time. I think my body, after it's knocked down a bit by the drug, is trying to replenish my stores. The trick, next time, is to try to replenish it with something other than sweets! But that's what I was craving - carbs, carbs, and more carbs.

Well, have a great evening! Happy Monday tomorrow.

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