Friday, June 23, 2017

The "M" Word

I haven't blogged since the middle of January. The past 6 months have been a whirlwind for me after hearing the "M" word again.

The "M" word for me is Melanoma.

Four years ago (July 2013), I was diagnosed with melanoma through a mole on my neck. I had surgery to make sure the melanoma was contained in the mole and had not gone into the lymph nodes. Everything was fine at that time.

Fast forward to the middle of January 2017. A lump appeared on my neck. I wasn't sick. I waited to see if it would go away - NOPE. I called my doctor. Next came a CT scan and then a biopsy. My melanoma was in my lymph node. Off to my oncologist for a PET scan and MRIs. I was scheduled for surgery to remove lymph nodes from the left side of my neck. We knew one lymph node was infected with melanoma. After surgery, we found out that 2 lymph nodes were positive for melanoma. The second one was microscopic and had not shown on the PET scan. 

Next came physical therapy twice a week to get my neck moving again and discussion about treatment as I was now considered to have Stage III Melanoma. Lucky me (I say lucky because my oncologist calls the standard treatment for Melanoma "evil". The clinical trial drug isn't as evil.), I qualified for a clinical trial and that was the road I took over the standard treatment and radiation.  I had a 50/50 chance of receiving the trial drug. 

I am receiving the trial drug, Keytruda. I started receiving treatment on May 18 (my 26th wedding anniversary). I go for treatments every 3 weeks for a year. So far I have not experienced too many side effects - just a bit of fatigue every now and then. I am hopeful that will continue but we'll see.

Some things have been on the back burner such as blogging. I am still spending some time creating resources, but they certainly take longer than prior to surgery and treatment. The hubby and I are continuing to go camping and create as normal a life as we can have through the midst of appointments and treatments.

I don't let the "M" word get me down. It's just part of my life now. Praying and reading God's word gets me through. I know there are others that have it worse than I do. My go-to verse Joshua 1:9.

Here's a selfie from today. Be sure to check your moles once a month and wear sunscreen. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bundling Your Products

After making several products, you can bundle these smaller products together. Products can be grouped together in a bundle in a few different ways.

Grade Level Bundle - a selection of products from your store that fit a specific grade level such as 2nd grade or 6th grade.

 Subject Specific Bundle - a selection of products from your store that are all the same subject such as Reading or Social Studies

 Skill Specific Bundle - a selection of products from your store that are all the same skill such as fractions or part of speech

 Product Line Bundle - a selection of products from your store that are all the same type of product such as Bingo games or Reader's Theater

 Seasonal or Holiday Bundle - a selection of products from your store that are all the same season/holiday such as Winter or Valentine's Day

Once you decide how you want to bundle your products, it's time to put them together and upload. To put them together, I find the best way is to put the resources in a folder and ZIP the folder. I do make a new cover for the bundle and create a preview that shows a few things in the bundle.

To zip (or compress) your folder on a Mac, put your resources in the folder and right click. Choose "Compress" and it will zip the folder. You can also just highlight the resources you want to put together and compress them that way. It will put them in a folder. You will need to rename the folder as it calls the zip "Archive".

To zip (or compress) your folder on a PC, put your resources in the folder and right click. Choose "Send To" and then "Compressed (zipped) Folder".

Once you've uploaded your new bundle, the description will need things added to it. Be sure to hyperlink between the bundle (link to individual resources) and the individual products (link to bundle). This will help alleviate confusion on the buyer's part. To hyperlink, add the following and insert your links and text: <a href=YOUR LINK HERE>YOUR TEXT HERE</a>. If you want to make it bold as well, add: <strong> to the front and </strong> to the end of your text.

Another thing to add to your description is the file type that your individual products are in. Are they PDFs, Powerpoints, or another type of file? Make this clear in your description (towards the top if possible) so buyers know.

Pricing bundles can be tricky. Most people do somewhere between 20-30% off the total price. I have a range of 20-40% off based on total price. It's up to you but be consistent in how you price.

One last word on Bundles. You can make Growing Bundles. This is where you start the bundle with a couple of products and add to it as time goes on. Usually, the price starts low and is raised over time. If you are doing a Growing Bundle and provide a timeline for additions to the bundle, be sure you meet those deadlines! It is bad business to give a timeline and not meet it. Buyers tend to get frustrated with that.