Today I have officially stopped working. I am too tired, and too stressed to continue. Yes, I am still inspirational in the classroom itself, but teaching, sadly, is not all that teachers do. It is much like an iceberg in the sense that the classroom part of it is really only 10 per cent of the job. We also have to plan and assess, mark books and deal with difficult children. I cannot, do not have the emotional and physical reserves to deal with the hidden part of the job at the moment. I was in tears four times today, none of those times in lessons, more at realising that I am not doing the job the way I want to do it. My marking is weeks behind as when I come home, I can't do anything else but rest. I honestly struggle to fix myself supper some days and there are days, namely every Friday, when I can barely get myself out of the car.
I have, though, done more than everyone expected at school. I have shown that having cancer is not necessarily a licence to just give up the job and take an extended holiday. I have tried, tried to deal with this horrid illness by working, but my body, my stamina and my emotions have let me down. Whilst part of me is extremely relieved, half is frustrated and irritated that the job I love is beyond me but twinkling at me just out of my grasp at the moment. That is the key - at the moment. I too believed that going in every day was teaching the kids a lesson about perseverance, that cancer didn't mean that one's life had to stop, but I believe now that I am teaching them another lesson. The lesson is that there is no shame in realising that you cannot cope, that there is no shame in stopping before it becomes a calamity, and no shame in realising that when something like this happens to you, the priority is taking care of yourself, and your children.
That is what I am doing.... and there is ample time, when I return, to teach the kids the value of not giving up, of returning as a cancer survivor, and that people can live, can survive and vanquish this horrid illness..
On with the war...