Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Sunday/Monday Update

There is no real news here in South Korea lately. It's been cool and rainy this weekend, which is fine by me. I know that very, very soon the weather will turn quite hot and humid. We've had a lot of hot weather already, but not the unbearable kind we will have within the next couple of months. I'm not exactly sure when this extrememe heat and high humidity will begin, but it's soon.

Today, well tomorrow in my hometown (there is a 12 hour time difference between there and here, with Korea being 12 hours ahead), is supposedly my dad's last chemo treatment. That will be nice, and I'm sure he's thankful for that. I don't know what happens next though. The original plan was to try and shrink the lump in his esophagus and then remove it. I guess once these chemo and radiation treatments are finished (he has already finished the radiation), they will do whatever tests are necessary to check on the results and take it from there.

It's frustrating for my dad and mom, no doubt. It seems that they don't know much about what's going on. As far as I know, my dad hasn't even been given a prognosis yet. I don't know if that is something they can only decide once his treatments are finished, or what. A few months ago - well, after the chemo treatment two months ago - my dad had problems with his heart. It was beating erratically, which caused him to feel weak and dizzy. They've put him on a pill to help regulate his pulse, and it seemed to help. After the last chemo treatment, they kept him in the hospital (he was actually in the hospital before that as well - about a month in total) to try to get this new pill and his blood pressure pill regulated so that they would work together. He's since been discharged from the hospital, and has been out a couple of weeks now.

While he was in the hospital for that month, they put a heart monitor on him, but never told him any results. Finally, one of the doctors who helps the cancer doctor (the proper name escapes me at the moment) told him it was ok. They had also stuck a tube down his throat, again the name is escaping me (it's early in the morning and my brain isn't awake yet), to check his esophagus and why he wasn't keeping his food down again. They had thought that around Easter his stent had dislodged and he threw it up, but apparently it's still there. However, what is frustrating about this is that this same doctor told him that the stent was blocked, and that is why he was throwing up. However, within a week, the doctor who had performed this procedure and had put the stent in, came in to see him and said the stent wasn't blocked. Talk about being confused. But, no, it is not blocked, so I am led to believe that it's quite possible that he has been throwing up from his chemo treatments.

In other news - well, ok, there really isn't much in the way of news. I just needed something to say to show I was finished talking about my dad...anyway, I have been getting antsy to go home. The time draws near when I will actually leave, and I will be on the plane heading home in 9 more Sundays!

It's hard to explain, but the feeling I have is like my "release" is being dangled in front of me, just out of my reach. It's just out of my reach, and I feel a little frustrated - like I can't get to it. I know that it's just a matter of time before I will be packed up and heading back home to Canada, but it's so close I can almost taste it. At the same time, it still seems to be far off and this is what is causing the frustration.

I want to be home. In Canada. Back among my family and friends. Back among the familiarity and convenience of my hometown. Korea has been good; it's been an experience for sure. It's had some good things and bad things, but I'm at the point where I want to move on with the next chapter in my life (going back to university to get my bachelor of education), and I'm getting antsy. It's just a matter of waiting now.

Two months. That's all I have left of my time in Korea. There are times I can close my eyes and it feels that when I open them, I'll be home. Like I've only been dreaming. But, the reality is, I'm still in Korea. I'm just getting anxious. There will be so much to do - packing and whatnot. I'm going to attempt to pack some things and mail them home so my suitcases won't be so heavy and go over the weight restrictions. I'll be doing this soon. I just don't know when - hopefully this coming weekend.

Anyway, it's time for me to get ready for work now. I'm hoping today will go well without any problems. Have a Christ filled day!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Can't Sleep

At the moment, it is 5:26 AM. I can't sleep. I've been awake since a little after 4:30 and I don't know why. The last couple of nights haven't been too bad, sleep wise, aside from waking up several times during the night. Tonight I only woke up two or three times, the last time being around 4:30.

I was aware that I had an odd dream, but it wasn't disturbing or anything that would keep me awake. It was simply walking down a road with a couple of ladies I used to work with. Then a few more of the ladies I used to work with were there as well, and one of them had her grandson with her. He was only about two years old, very cute, and had extremely long hairy legs - which we were commenting on. Then I woke up with somewhat of a "jolt", as though I had just remembered something. I haven't been able to sleep since.

I have been quite tired during the days for sometime now - maybe since last fall. I know it was a few months after I arrived here in South Korea, but moreso since the new year. I think it has something to do with not eating properly here, and not getting enough vitamins and eating nourishing foods. I do take a vitamin every day - well, most every day. I have missed some.

It's not that I'm trying to starve myself or anything like that. It's just that I don't like a lot of the food here, for one reason or another, and my options are somewhat limited. I will admit that I've been eating a lot of fried foods (once in awhile actually getting to a Burger King or McDonalds in the city that is over an hour away), which seems to be how they serve a lot of the "western" type foods. I know that's not healthy, eating a lot of food like that. And, the result is that I'm probably low in iron and who knows what else.

I had been going to the gym with a friend for a little bit. I got sick though and couldn't go for nearly a week. Then I had a muscle problem in my neck/shoulder area. It was really tense or something, so I didn't want to hurt that area (I did go a couple of times hoping the weight machines would help stretch it out), so I didn't go. As well, it was really hot in the gym. They had a fan on, but it was in one area only. They have air conditioning but tend not to use it since it costs a lot. The window were open, but no breeze. Anyway, to make a long story short, I didn't want to pass out from heat exhaustion from working out. So, my friend and I decided not to go anymore since it gets extremely hot here in the summer and it wouldn't be good working out in conditions like that. I will say, however, that I did enjoy going and was seeing some results, even in the short amount of time I went. If I can afford it when I get back home (since I'll be going to school and probably won't be working), I might consider joining a gym there.

Well, it is now 5:40 and I still don't feel the least bit tired. I'm probably up for the day, and I know that later this morning or afternoon I'll get dreadfully tired and want to sleep. But, that won't be possible until between 4:30 and 5:00 this afternoon, when I get home.

Dear Lord, please give me strength the make it through my day, and please help me not to be tired while I'm at work. Amen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Little Bit of This and That

Well, first up is that I have confirmation on my ticket home to Canada! I have a copy of the e-ticket and the receipt, and I'm booked to go home August 31! I can't wait! I hadn't heard back from the travel agent since last week, but we had a school field trip on Thursday, and there was a holiday on Friday. Also, they only deal with walk in customers on Saturdays and aren't open on Sundays. Yesterday morning I called to find out what was going on and was told the agent had sent me an email. I, however, didn't get one. The lady I talked with said that payment for the ticket was due then and I told her I didn't know that. Thankfully I was able to get the money transferred after work, and Sarah gave her credit card info - so we're all set! One good thing about this - we get reimbursed for the airfare. The company we are working for pays for our flight back home so I'll be getting the money back, hopefully sometime soon.

We thought there was going to be a problem with the district supervisor. He was telling our coteachers that we couldn't leave before midnight on the 31st because our contract runs out that day. I promptly told my coteacher that that's not possible since our flight leaves at noon and the flights for that time are pretty well booked now. The only other solution would be to leave earlier in the week before the 31st (which is on a Sunday). I am starting school the first week of September, so waiting later is not an option for me. After explaining about having to pay a higher fare (if we went later) or leaving before the 31st, the supervisor finally agreed to let us leave on this flight.

We will fly from Incheon (the international airport in Seoul) to Tokyo to switch flights, then from Tokyo to Toronto, and finally from Toronto to home! I'm excited - I want to go now...

For the past ten days my shoulder/neck have been bothering me. It started out as a kink or something in my shoulder, just below my neck and seemed to progress worse for the next while. For a few days I could run my hand over my shoulder area and feel a bump where the muscle was tensed. That's gone, but the ache/pain still remained. It was difficult to get to sleep at night because no matter what way I would lay, I had some pain/aching.

Yesterday I had my coteacher take me to an accupuncturist to see if that would help. I had taken muscle relaxers, Advil, used heat and massaged the area and that would only help for short amounts of time. I figured nine days was long enough and the accupuncture was worth a shot. I had some for my lower back when I first got here last year so I knew what to expect.

My coteacher had talked to the doctor and said that if I didn't feel better after this session I might need another one or two, and if that didn't work then they might send me for an x-ray in case there is something else wrong. When I finished the session yesterday, my neck and shoulder seemed stiff but didn't hurt much at all. The doctor was in the elevator when I got in and she asked me how I was, so I told her. She said to come in again on Wednesday (which will now be tomorrow) before 6:00 because she's finished work then. So, I will go there again after work, and hopefully it will help.

I managed to sleep pretty good last night and only had minimal aching/pain when I went to bed - nothing that would make it difficult to get to sleep. Today, however, I have had some pain quite a bit and it seems like it might be muscle spasms. that's the only thing I can think it feels like. I'm going to make sure to let the doctor know tomorrow about this. Not sure if I should be taking anything (like a muscle relaxer or some Advil) so I don't want to, just in case. I just hope I'll be able to get to sleep tonight.

In other news, my dad has started his third round of chemo yesterday. He was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus in March and has undergone his radiation treatment and some chemo. He has one more round of chemo after this one, and that will come in July.

After the last two treatments of chemo, his heart seemed to beat irregularly...like his pulse wasn't regulated or something. He's been in the hospital since his last chemo treatment, so it must be a month now. They are trying to adjust the medications he is on to get a balance between the heart pill they've been giving him, and his blood pressure medication. Also, he hasn't been keeping food down again and they did an endoscopy last week and discovered the stent in his esophagus is blocked. Not sure if they are going to remove it and put a new one in or if they will just try to unblock this one, or what. I guess all we can do is wait and see.

Anyway, I'd appreciate if you'd keep my dad (and mom) in your prayers.

Well, off to surf the net and try to catch up on blog reading. God bless!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Happy June 2nd!

Wow, it's already June. Hard to believe! I don't know where the time is going. I suppose being busy with work helps the time go. But then maybe I'm just getting old and find that the time doesn't seem to drag as much as it used to when I was young.

Right now, my friend Sarah and I are looking into booking our flights back home to Canada. We are supposedly leaving the 31st, but our co-teachers are trying to see if the office of education will let us go the last week since we probably won't be working.

Our flights are supposed to be paid for us (the company we are working through, or rather our schools...who might get reimbursed by the company we work for, but the exact particulars I'm not entirely sure of), but we have to pay for it first and then get reimbursed...at least that is the way it is seeming. That is the way it was when we came over, too.

I also have to check into how this will take place. A lot of travel companies over here give you a bank account (theirs) to deposit your money in for your airfare...if that's the case with this flight, then I'm ok. If I need a credit card, then I'm a little stuck...my credit card only has a limit of $500, and the flight is definitely more than that! So, I will need to do that. Not sure what I'll do if I can't transfer the money...but I will pray about this, and trust the Lord to work in the situation to get me home in time for school!

This week will be short at work. On Thursday the school has a field trip so there are no classes, though I'll be going on the trip with them too. On Friday there is a national holiday so there are no classes. I also have this Saturday off, so I'll have a nice three day weekend! I can't wait! I don't have any plans, but that's ok. Sometimes all you need is just time off to relax and do nothing. I am hoping, however, that I'll be wise and get some work on my writing done.

Well, off to check flights and whatnot to go home at the end of August.