A whole semester has passed since my last update, and I have lots of wonderful news to share.
Cathy went in to MD Anderson two weeks ago for her first check-up since she finished her radiation treatment on December 30th. Nothing showed up in the tests, and she has been classified as “potentially cured.” Unfortunately, there’s no way to know for sure that you’re cured until five years pass and you can look back and say, “If I weren’t cured, something would have shown up by now.” However, we are happy and optimistic, and we have a lot to look forward to.
Cathy has been accepted into UT Nursing School, which was her first choice. It’s right here in the medical center, a 20-minute walk from where we live, and it is one of the best nursing schools in the city, so she couldn’t have found a better situation. She is still finishing up her pre-nursing coursework, which includes the obvious necessities of Dance Appreciation, Texas Government, and Philosophy. (You wouldn’t want a nurse giving you an IV if she didn’t have a solid grounding in the ideas of Plato, Martha Graham, and Rick Perry; I mean, good grief, what if she believed that your pain was only a figment of her imagination?)
In January, it was announced that HISD would be laying off a significant number of teachers. I had been thinking about going back to graduate school for some time, and I thought I might as well apply. Initially, I wasn’t even planning on applying until next year–I wasn’t sure I was ready–but one of my professors at Rice persuaded me to go ahead and apply. So I did, and I was accepted. I will start in August as a PhD candidate in the Applied Physics Program at Rice. My one year back at HSPVA was quite good, and I am thankful for the experience, but I am excited about this new path. The graduation ceremony was last night, and I have turned in all my grades and keys, so I am truly free now. It feels good.
We got up at 3:30 this morning and I drove Cathy to the airport. She is going to China for her brother’s wedding. I’m going to join her in a little over a week. She’ll be there for a month, and I’ll just be there for a week. The early-morning trip to the airport was an appropriate book-end to the semester, because on the very first day of school in January, we got up at 3:00 to see Cathy’s parents off as they returned to China. I didn’t go all the way to the airport then, but I didn’t go back to sleep either. I finished up some last-minute preparations, vomited from stress, and went back to school and continued teaching. The winter break was so busy–daily radiation treatments, visiting in-laws, getting evicted from our apartment, etc–that I never really got to rest or prepare for the spring semester. As a result, I felt behind and overwhelmed all spring. Hence the lack of updates.
Speaking of our apartment woes of last December, I found out a few weeks ago that the man who evicted us has been convicted of his wife’s murder. She was killed in December of 2008, and he wasn’t indicted until January of 2010. He was out on bail for a year, during which he bought our apartment complex at an auction and evicted half of us after making our lives extremely unpleasant for over a month. I alternated between praying for his redemption and his destruction. It seems that destruction won out, as a result of his own actions. I can’t deny feeling somewhat satisfied after what he put us through.
Anyway, things are going well. Please drop us a line. Now that school is out, I’ll be less likely to leave messages unanswered. Thank you all again for following our story and supporting us.
Dear Olen & Cathy, I just stumbled upon all of this. So sorry that we fell out of touch with all of you. I am thrilled to hear all your wonderful news. Hope to meet your wife soon. Much love from The Keegans.
Thank you. It’s great to hear from you. I’m now sort of in touch with Doug on Facebook.