Saturday, September 27, 2014

Back to Ballet

Last week I stepped into a ballet class as a student, not a teacher. This was something I haven't done for quite a few years. Until this summer I had been teaching adult classes and working on small choreography projects but recent changes at that studio have resulted in an end to that arrangement. Since this summer has been filled with difficulties in my personal life I was somewhat relieved to give up the extra responsibility.

Since I still needed a way to stay in shape I instead signed up for a class at another studio. This will push me to work harder because teachers only have to demonstrate, whereas students have to do everything full out. Even when choreographing more difficult pieces I have noticed a tendency to favour movements that I'm comfortable with, avoid ones that are more challenging and not do things full out unless I need to.

It's quite different being back to the student role at this point. I gained a lot of weight over the summer so my body isn't moving the way it should be. Still, I'm back in a familiar environment and I think it will provide a nice balance to the rest of my life.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Visiting Parents

This week I am fortunate to be able to visit with my parents. This was a visit that had to be timed very carefully because of the various factors that need to be considered with my father's chemo therapy. For a certain amount of time after he receives a dose he excretes toxins through his skin and anyone around him is at risk of receiving second-hand chemo. It isn't good for anyone to be exposed to but there was extra concern for me because even low levels of exposure can result in infertility.

The other concern is his immune system. He is starting to have signs of improvement but that is only in relative terms and every treatment cycle will cause a fresh drop in resistance. We were very careful to plan our trip for the few days between when the toxins would begin to lessen and his immune system would begin to crash. Fortunately that happened to coincide with his birthday.

Even though we picked the optimal time, precautions still need to be taken. His immune system is still very, very weak so we are wearing masks anytime we are in the same room. I am also being careful to wear gloves anytime I need to handle anything he's touched to avoid exposure to second-hand chemo. It is possible that we are being overly cautious but the risks on both sides are so great that we feel it's better safe than sorry.