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Kelly: Dodging Curve Balls

I’ve been having a couple of those weeks where everything comes at you at once. You know those kind of weeks? It’s been taking up so much space in my brain that I haven’t been able to think straight much less find time to sit down and create.

Two weeks ago I got a job offer out of the blue. I guess I can’t really say it was completely out of the blue because I did put in an application with the K-12 public school system, just not with this particular offer in mind. When I answered my cell, the voice on the other end said, “Kelly Warren…this is a voice from your past.” Suddenly, I felt like a Star Wars character. It was an old friend who was now the principal at one of the top magnet schools here in town, and he just so happened to have an immediate opening for a 7th grade English and language arts teacher. When I submitted my application, it was with the sole intention of seeking a position at my girls’ school, simplifying my life in that fashion being the only thing that would make the pay cut worth it. My old friend did a very hard sell on me by phone, we talked further in person the next day, and I asked him to let me interview with the committee just like any other candidate so I could do a little further investigation and soul searching. It really gave me pause, but ultimately after some long talks with DH and a few close advisors, I decided that even though it was a great opportunity, it was not the right opportunity for me right now.

Interestingly enough, the next day I was sitting in my college-wide Student Life Task Force meeting; we’re charged with determining what changes need to be made to our area as we move towards a four-year state college. We have two campus presidents on the committee. We were finalizing our recommendations for the college’s executive vice president when one of the campus presidents added, “And I think we need to put more teeth into the college-wide coordinator’s role, giving that position more authority.” Guess who that college-wide coordinator is? Needless to say, Dr. Russos (my college-wide supervisor) and I were very happy to hear that because we’ve been working on getting my position upgraded for two years to no avail. Now, we had a campus president wanting to formally add that recommendation to our request list. We finalized that list today, and the only recommendation that we didn’t make any changes to was my position upgrade…which would come with an $8,000 pay increase.

Now, as a little distraction, we’ve advertised a full-time English faculty position on my campus. I was a finalist for a full-time English faculty position at North Campus last summer, but that campus president ultimately decided she wanted someone with a doctorate and scrapped the search. The position still has not been filled. My campus president is open to someone without a doctorate and has encouraged me to apply. Those summers off sure are attractive…and come with a $12,000 pay cut. And I’ve applied. If I were to be offered the upgrade and the faculty position at the exact same moment, not sure exactly which way I’d go…but I’m leaning toward the faculty position.

And now the latest curve ball, totally unrelated to work. I’ve been blessed with the lovely experience of two mammograms in the last two weeks. The second one this past Friday brought me the news I didn’t want to hear. I have a suspicious cluster about the size of a dime in my right breast that requires a biopsy. I’m scheduled for 7am Thursday morning. I’m doing my best to remain positive and tell myself everything will be fine. Hopefully I’m just developing polka-dotted boobs. But I must admit this last bit of news has made me even more scattered-brained than I usually am. I could throw myself into a creative frenzy, but all I’ve really wanted to do is curl up on the couch with my babies. I’ve heard the old adage that the cemetery is full of people who didn’t have time to slow down and take a break. Maybe this is my cue.

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. First of all, I’m sorry to hear that you have to go through medical tests right now. It’s never nice to wonder what’s going on “in there.” Me and my thymus can relate. I’ll be thinking of you as you have your biopsy.

    It’s amazing how many opportunities life has thrown your way lately. I felt giddy just reading about it. So often we hear about layoffs in this depressed economy, so it was nice to read about all your choices.

    February 5, 2009
  2. Kelly – My prayers go out to you today! I had no idea you were dealing with something so serious. I will most definitely be asking God and his angels to shine down on you today…You are in my thoughts.

    February 5, 2009
  3. cathy #

    wow, kelly, sometimes the messages sent from the universe show up in the body, little knocks getting louder til the door is banged down. you are juggling a lot of oranges, in daily life, in opportunities, and in your multitasking nature.

    i think your body is telling you to take the option of slowing down, however that presents itself. curl up with the girls, and see what’s best for you, for them, for your husband.

    but mostly, my dear, be well! my thoughts and prayers are with you!

    February 5, 2009
  4. cathy #

    oh, and i really hope this is a small knock!

    February 5, 2009
  5. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers Kelly.


    February 5, 2009
  6. Kelly, we love you. Holding thumbs, and breath.

    February 5, 2009
  7. Liz #

    Waiting for tests! I hate that! You’re telling yourself not to worry and just relax, but you can’t help but envisioning your failed chemo rounds and then planning your funeral. But then, you know what happens? After all that, the Dr. will say “Just dense tissue.” or “Benign cyst.” And then you jump right back into life, full force, and forget all about wanting to slow down & figure out what is important to you.

    You’re going to be just fine, Kelly. No matter what. We are all here for you. And when the Dr. says it’s nothing, just don’t forget that at your fearful hour you told yourself what you needed to do. Slow down. Take it one step at a time.

    I love that old Irish adage:

    In life, there are only two things to worry about: either you are healthy or sick.
    If you’re healthy, there is nothing to worry about.
    If you are sick there are two things to worry about: either you will get well or you will die.
    If you get well, there is nothing to worry about.
    If you die, there are only two things to worry about: either you will go to heaven, or you will not.
    If you go to heaven, there’s nothing to worry about.
    If you don’t… well, you’ll be too busy catching up with old friends to worry about anything.

    So – see? There’s never anything to worry about. right? 🙂

    February 5, 2009
  8. thanks for all the prayers, guys. my boobs are currently wrapped up so tightly in my lovely ace bandage tube top that i can barely breathe, but at least i’m home. we may have the results late tomorrow, but more likely monday. love that old irish adage, liz. 🙂 in the meantime, i think i’m just going to be lazy for a couple days!

    February 5, 2009
  9. Kristine #

    Oh, Kelly. I am thinking of you and praying that everything turns out clear. And no matter what happens, we are always here for you.

    February 5, 2009
  10. well ladies, i finally have some news. not as bad as it could be, but not an all clear unfortunately. my doc said the cluster is very unusual, not anything he’s seen before and pre-cancerous. he’s referring me to a surgeon on monday for further review before we decide to move forward with further surgery. his thinking is that if we go ahead and surgically remove all the suspicious area, it would be less likely to further develop, but he wants to get one more opinion on that. dr. s has been my obgyn forever and was close friends with my mom, so i’m thankful for that. he takes extra special care with me. please continue to keep me in your prayers!

    February 10, 2009
  11. Cathy #

    yikes, well, it is good to know, and good that your dr is supportive and familiar and wants to do everything possible!

    prayers and thoughts still!

    February 10, 2009
  12. My thoughts are with you, Kelly. While it may not be the news you (or we) wanted to hear, early intervention is so important. I’m glad to hear that you are getting the best care possible and that your doctor is covering all his bases.

    February 10, 2009
  13. Kristine #

    Kelly, I am certainly thinking of you. I agree that it’s good to know what the situation is, at last. Now you and your doctor can focus on treatment.

    February 10, 2009
  14. Please keep us posted, Kelly. Sounds like whatever is going on is totally treatable and can be resolved — we’ll focus on that.

    February 10, 2009
  15. thanks all. i definitely know i’m in good hands and have great support! i’ll keep you posted.

    February 10, 2009
  16. Jen #

    Catching up on things here, Kelly — just wanted to thank you for sharing (and for sharing your update) and also to let you know I will definitely be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

    February 11, 2009
  17. hi all. got a little good news this morning! the surgeon felt that the radiologist erred just a little too much on the side of caution (he said that’s fairly common!) when recommending further surgery. he does not feel i need further surgery at this time. yeah! we’ll take another look and re-evaluate in 6 months. thanks for all your prayers!

    February 16, 2009
  18. Kristine #

    Wonderful news!

    February 16, 2009
  19. cathy #

    that’s great to hear. big sigh of relief!

    February 17, 2009

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