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I’m not gonna lie – things have been hard for me lately.  But then something comes along that’s just pure gift, and life is good for a little while.  The swing dance Saturday night was like that for me.  I got a call that afternoon from Curly asking me if I would teach the free beginner lesson that night.  I wanted to, but I had a birthday dinner for one of my little brothers (I even called mom and asked if I could leave early.  Mom: “Your brother made pie.”)  It was a thrill just to be asked.  At the dance there were a lot of great leads from Cleveland and Columbus, which was awesome.  Plus, I danced with Levin, and this time he smiled the whole dance!  That was such a personal triumph.  My most fun dance, however, was with Visao.  As we started, he said, “Let’s get funky!” and we did.  I gotta say, it’s such an ego boost when you hit a break with something special, and the guy you’re dancing with says, “Ooooooh!  Nice!”  And then Micah talked smack about Balboa, and Mighty Mite decided to pin her down and draw Balboa tattoos on her arms.  So I helped.  I think that was the most fun I’ve had since I fed the calves and got my butt licked.  I think I was smiling for a good twenty-four hours.

Practice session Sunday was good, even if not the same kind of fun.  I’ve been working hard at Charleston (the Swing Goddess noticed how much I really stink at it and decreed that I should do so).  We’re breaking my basic back to, well, basics and working on my balance.  It’s really good to start to feel like I’m making some progress, even as it’s humbling to know exactly how bad I’ve been.  And some of this stuff will take a while.  I realized that when I walk I tend to roll my feet on the outside, possibly the cause/effect of weak ankles, and part of why balance is such a problem for me.  So today as I walk back and forth down the hall to the copy room I’m practicing walking while rolling my foot through the stronger, inside part of the foot, and the big toe.  I’m learning how to walk and move and stand in a whole new way.  Little by little…

My roommate is doing better this week.  She’s been having problems with fluid building up in her abdomen since her liver doesn’t work.  This presses on her lungs and stomach, making it hard to breathe and eat.  On Friday she went into the hospital and got some of the fluid drawn off.  It made a dramatic difference.  She ate an actual normal dinner Friday, and had energy this weekend.  She’ll go again tomorrow to get it drawn off again.  We want her to be as strong as possible for her third dose of chemo on Thursday.  Next week they’re going to do scans to find out if the tumor is shrinking, so this is pretty important.  One interesting thing – one of the chemo side effects makes my roommate very, very sensitive to cold.  With the weather like it is, we’ve been keeping the thermostat cranked up pretty far.  My room is a finished attic, and heat rises.  Last night, the night that was so cold they closed the schools, I had to turn the fan on to be cool enough to get to sleep!  But heck, if I have to sweat a little so that my roommate is warm, that’s just fine.

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