Sunday, February 24, 2013

Back from the Future Bloghop

I'm double booked for Friday! I knew that there'd be no way that I'd be able to post this during the week, so I am on a blogging marathon-already posted for another blog hop tonight.

You're up before dawn on a Saturday when the doorbell rings. You haven't brewed your coffee so you wonder if you imagined the sound. Plonking the half-filled carafe in the sink, you go to the front door and cautiously swing it open. No one there. As you cast your eyes to the ground, you see a parcel addressed to you ... from you.

You scoop it up and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the extreme oddness of the situation. Carefully, you pry it open. Inside is a shoebox -- sent from ten years in the future -- and it's filled with items you have sent yourself.

What's in it?

1. A blanket that I've had since I was a newborn-it's in good condition!
2. My iPod
3. A pair of fuzzy socks (hey, you can never be to old for them)
4. 'Tuesdays with Morrie'
5. A dvd of Mean Girls- it'd be like reliving high school all over again.
6. 5 scrapbooks that I've put together over the years
7. My baby book that my mom made for me
8. Journals and letters from elementary and middle school
9. Middle school yearbooks
10. High school yearbooks
11. My troll collection 

Bloghop of Joy

I know that the Bloghop isn't until Friday, but this is the only time I have to post, so here is my entry in the bloghop! Shout out to Write Here,Write Now for hosting this blog hop!

Things that bring me Joy:
1. Books
2. The color pink
3. Hearing that my ultrasound is clear of cancer cells (I'm a survivor- you can read my story here)
4. Cats
5. Chocolate
6. Getting nice comments in the 'comments' section of my blog
7. Fridays
8. Money
9. Facebook
10. Music
11. Volunteering at the Children's hospital every summer
12. Cookies
13. My friends
14. Chinese food
15. Hanging out with Mom
16. Sleep
17. Katy Perry
18. Taylor Swift
19. Being myself

Follow me, I'm on Twitter!

I'm happy to announce that I just got a new twitter account! Please follow me at @katz_morgan 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book Blogger Love-a-Thon

Dear Morgan,
It's so hard to believe that it's been 5 months since I started blogging! I went from 1 follower to 191 followers in what seems like a blink of an eye.

I wish you wouldn't have been so worried about gaining followers! It's only been 5 months, and you're already up to almost 200 followers- why were you so worried!?

I wish you'd have also made more of an effort to join blog hops more often in your first months of blogging. They're fun, and they generate a good amount of followers.

Last but not least, I wish you'd have tried to hop around the blogosphere more! Maybe that'd helped with gaining new followers.

Oh, and P.S-make a twitter account!!!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

Q: We always talk about books that WE want. Let's turn it on its head. What books have you given other people lately?

I haven't given anyone any books lately, but I have been giving book recommendations. One of my favorite new books is "Game Changer" by Margaret Peterson Haddix (see previous post). It's a great read!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Level Up! Blogfest

My favorite game when I was younger was Hide and Seek. I used to be obsessed with it, and I used to have to beg my friends and mom to play it with me. We have a basement with a big couch in it, so I used to hide behind it, and nobody could ever find me.

I fondly remember playing " Monkey in the Middle" in 3rd grade on the playground. Basically, the game works by having three people in a line. The two outside people throw a ball to each other, and then the middle person tries to catch it. The person who threw the ball last before the "monkey" catches it becomes the new monkey.

I also used to love Candy Land, especially Queen Frostine. I still love Monopoly and the Game of Life.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Book Review: Game Changer

Game Changer As quoted from www.goodreads,com : Athletics are everything for eighth-grader KT Sutton. She’s a softball star, and she’s on track to get a college scholarship and achieve international fame. Then one day during a championship game—in the middle of an important play—she suddenly blacks out.

When she wakes up, she’s in a different world. One where school is class after class of athletic drills, and after-school sports are replaced by popular academic competitions. One where KT is despised for her talent, and where her parents are fixated on her brother’s future mathletics career rather than KT’s softball hopes.

KT is desperate to get back to reality as she knew it, but bits and pieces of disturbing memories and dreams make her wonder if something truly awful happened there. What if she’s lost something a lot more important than a softball game?

Personal Opnion: This book is great. I'm halfway done with it, and can't stop reading! Might even put it on my favorite books list...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

Q: Write a letter to your favorite character. Rant, rave or gush…just pretend like they are real and you just want to let them know a "few things". - Activity courtesy of author, Kelly Walker

Dear Anna Fitzgerald (My Sister's Keeper),
I wanted to let you know a few things.

First, I empathize  with you for not wanting to give Kate a kidney, yet at the same time, I don't understand how you could be so selfish. Your sister is dying, and you need to help her! You do love Kate, right?

As someone who has three surgeries in two months, I completely undertsand your point of view. After all, who wants to be constantly poked by needles and cut open all the time?! I also empathize with you because these procedures are not for your benifit, but for Kate's. Your mom has been especially mean to you, because she is putting your sister's health ahead of your own. You want her attention, but all of it is being given to Kate, and you're upset by that.

However, you also need to understand that what you're doing is incredibly selfish. If you love Kate, why can't you help her?

Morgan Katz

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vampire Bite Blog Hop

Reasons why I hate Twilight
1. So gosh darn long!!!
2. Small Print makes it very hard to read
3. Each book gets longer by about 100 pages every book

Vampire Survival Tips
1. Be nice- treat people the way you want to be treated!
2. DO NOT PROVOKE A VAMPIRE!!!! This will only make them want to suck your blood that much more
3. Avoid vampires at all costs

Why do I love Vampires? They are amazing creatures and they're really interesting!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

Q: Happy Mardi Gras! If they were throwing the HOTTEST books off of a Mardi Gras float -- what would you do to have them throw to you…?

Hmm... that's a tough question! I'd take the dorky way out and hold up a giant sign that said, " World's Biggest Reader" so that they'd throw to me. It'd be a really overdone sign, with an elaborate design and huge, neon-colored letters.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A bad end to a good relationship

So, in order to pursue my mission of giving back to my community, I have decided to participate in an all school seminar day and teach a class on skin cancer. I've asked a club sponsor, and she was more than happy to do it.

That's when it all started. I knew that it was just a matter of time before something bad happened.  As the weeks passed, the relationship between me and my sponsor (yes, I know that's not correct grammar, thank you!) has gotten more and more tense. Now it has ended in a huge fight. I have made the decision to end the relationship.

The point to this story is that student-teacher relationships are very fragile. I never realized this, but the relationships that we have with people can often be gone in an instant.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Overcoming Adversity Blogfest

Scattergun Scribblings

You have cancer”. When I heard that on November 15,2011, I was devastated, terrified,  and shocked. 
   It all started on October 4th, 2011. I went to the dermatologist due to dandruff, and I also wanted to show her a weird bump on my scalp. It’d been there for five years (at least), and three pediatricians had identified it has a cyst, and there’d never been any cause for concern. However, I thought I might as well show the doctor. I was there, and I wanted it to be looked at. 
  When the doctor looked at it, she was concerned because it was red. “I’ll give you two choices”, she said. “ We can either take it off, or I can see you back in a few months to look at it again”. I thought for a second. I knew that if I were to get it taken off, it’d be really painful. On the other hand, I didn’t want to wait. What if it was something bad? In the end, I decided to get it taken off. 
We made the appointment for November 14th, 2011. During that entire month, all I could do was wait and hope for the best. I have to admit that I was freaked out about the whole thing. I hate needles, and I knew that there’d be at least one going into my head, if not more. I only thought about that one aspect, not about the results. I automatically assumed that the results would show that the bump was just a harmless cyst. But I’d soon be proven wrong!
   Before I knew it, November 14th came. My stomach felt like there were butterflies in it.  Unfortunately, that anxiety didn’t get resolved right away. We had to wait an hour for the doctor to come. All I wanted to do was get the procedure over with and go home so that I could study for my science test. My mom asked me, “ Do you want me to see if she has another appointment open?”. I said no. All I wanted to do was get it over with!
   It seemed as though hours passed before the doctor came in. When she finally did, I was terrified but relieved. This meant that the procedure was that much closer to being over! The biopsy was awful. Absolutely awful.I had to get shots of local anesthetic, which was the worst part. The doctor was terrible at giving injections. It was the worst pain I’d ever been in. However, after about fifteen minutes, it was over. I can honestly say that those 15 minutes were the worst part of this entire ordeal. 
   The next day, around 6:00, we got the phone call. My heart was racing- I had a feeling we’d get bad news. Why else would he have stayed on the phone for a half hour? Unfortunately, my suspicion of it being horrible news turned out to be correct. My dad said, “ It’s cancer. You’re going to have to have it removed again”. I started bawling uncontrollably. 
  There was, however, a good part to this story. I have been keeping in touch with my middle school english teacher for several years now. We’ve grown to have a special connection over the past few years. I finally made the decision to tell her about this whole surgery thing. I was reluctant to at first, but it ended up being the best decision I’d ever made. Part of the benefit having a friendship like this is that you have someone to go to for support. I sent the initial email telling her about it. I got a response the next day, and I was scared to open it at first. I guess I was worried about how she’d react. It isn’t everyday that someone tells you that they’re going to have surgery! However, when I did end up opening it, she did not overreact. She ended up helping me through this whole experience. I would have been worse off if I didn’t tell. You really don’t know until you try!
  Anyway, more on that later. Getting back to me, the next few weeks were spent going to doctor after doctor. I suddenly realized that there was a very good chance that I’d 1. have to have multiple surgeries and 2. that there was a very good chance that I’d be put to sleep for at least one. I was terrified at the thought of being put to sleep. I’d never done it before, and my mom has had several bad reactions to it. 
   A few weeks later, I found out that I’d have to have an MRI of my brain to see how big the tumor was. The dermatologist wasn’t sure if she’d be comfortable doing the surgery because she thought that the tumor might be bigger than she thought. 
  The day before the MRI, I was an emotional wreck. I had never had this type of test before, and from what I’d heard from other people, it’s not pleasant!! 
The day before the test, I went and saw my former teacher that I mentioned before. It turned out that that was the best thing. I told her about the MRI, and she said that,” I’ll be thinking of you all day tomorrow!”. That made me feel better. 
  So, the MRI was horrible. It took nearly two hours, and it was so loud that it sounded like a saw was going in my ear. I also had to have an injection of contrast, which is a dye to help the MRI pictures be easier to look at. That was the worst part. I was screaming the entire time. I should mention here that I was NOT embarrassed that I was screaming like a complete idiot. 
  Eventually, we decided to go to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for the surgery. They have doctors who specialize in this sort of thing. My main surgeon was really nice. He knew what he was doing, but he also had an awesome bedside manner. I should mention here that right before the surgery, I was tearing up. My plastic surgeon (more about him later) just stood there looking at me, but my main surgeon was patting me on the shoulder, trying to make me feel better, which it did. That just goes to show how much difference a small gesture can make! I’ll get back to that day in a bit. 
   I also had to have an initial surgery to remove the cancer itself. It hurt a lot, but I had a nice Dr. doing it. In total, the surgery took about 5 hours. I was awake for it, and the local anesthesia didn’t even hurt. I got used to it pretty quick. I was relieved when it was over, though. Being awake for a procedure is not fun!
   For the next surgery, I would be asleep, and the doctors would close up the huge wound from the last surgery. Originally, the surgeons said that they were going to shave half my head for the surgery. However, after I broke down in tears at this news, they did a skin graft instead. It was very painful. Anyway, the plastic surgeon was pretty insensitive. He didn’t have a very good bedside manner. Oh well...
  The day of surgery was very overwhelming. We did a lot of waiting that day, and the worst part was the i.v line. However, everyone was really nice. I remember going into the operating room, but that’s it.  I wasn’t at all nauseous when I woke up, and I felt like a princess, with everyone there waiting on me!
  The recovery has been awful. Initially, I missed five days of school, and couldn’t wash my hair for five days. It’s been 11 months now, and the skin graft still itches- a normal part of healing. I have ultrasounds every six months, and so far I’m cancer free! 
  I have learned a ton about friendship in these past several months. Some of my friends were not supportive, while others were. I was hesitant to tell people at first, as I was not sure how they’d react. But the one main lesson I’ve learned through all this is that, “ You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. In other words, if you don’t reach out for help, you’ll never get it. When you’re a teenage cancer patient, you need all the help you can get!
  After this experience, I am doing everything I can to give back. I volunteer at Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital every summer, and I am going to participate in American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life this summer. I know that even the smallest things make a big difference.