Good News and Bad News

Hello all, and sorry for the disappearance. It’s been very crazy the last three weeks, and taking the time out to post here was something I had neither the time nor the energy to do. But now I am taking a breather for the day and wanted to share some good news and bad news.

The good news: The semester is winding down, though I have an enormous amount of grading left to do. I spent the last couple weeks stressing out over my prospectus defense, which was yesterday. I feared I might throw up or burst into tears in the middle of it all, but I am happy to say that the defense went surprisingly well. My committee seemed impressed with my work, and I passed with flying colors. After the defense, I celebrated with coffee and cake with my dissertation director, my mother, and a couple friends. I cannot express how happy I am that’s over with. Obviously, I still have to write the actual dissertation, but having one less hoop to jump through means a LOT to me.

The bad news: My grandfather has cancer and is going down hill. We’ve known about the cancer for almost a year now, but he had been getting treatments and was stable for a long time, so we were cautiously optimistic he would pull through. However, in the last two weeks he has deteriorated rapidly, and the cancer has spread to his liver and pancreas. We are unsure how much longer he’ll be around, and this is almost definitely his last Christmas, so my brother and I have scrounged up the time and money to go to Arizona over winter break to visit him and the rest of our family. It’ll be the first time the whole family on my dad’s side will be in the same place in YEARS, so we’re going to try to make the most of it.

I’m not sure it’s quite hit me yet that I may be losing my grandfather soon. I’ve already lost one. I’m sad, of course, but it doesn’t seem to have really sunk in yet.

I don’t know if I’ll have the opportunity to blog while I’m with family, so it may be after Christmas before you hear from me again. So: I wish you all Happy Holidays, whether those holidays include Chanukah, or Kwanzaa, or Mawlid, or Christmas, or just the simple joy of winter. I will see you all again before the end of the year.

UPDATE (Dec 11th): My grandfather died early this morning. I am heartbroken that my frantic attempts to get out to see him before he died have been for nothing. My father didn’t get to see him before he passed either, which is particularly horrible. My trip is now one for mourning.

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