PREVIVOR: A person who is not diagnosed with cancer, but has survived the predisposition, or higher risk, of cancer due to a genetic mutation and/or strong family history. After being armed with this information, a previvor can make informed choices prior to a cancer diagnosis.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nursing School

I know I've mentioned before that  I was in nursing school, but I made that statement when I was in Gen Ed. This semester started my clinical courses. So let me rephrase me statement.

"I'm in nursing school hell"


Yes I know this is what I want to do with my life. This is my passion. But....oh boy. This will be the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I figured I'd touch on it from time to time because a) blogging helped me to keep my sanity while going through the PBM so maybe it'll work now. and  b) the reasoning behind me being in nursing hell in the first place is due to my colorful medical history.

Most people would run away if they had my genetic problem anytime someone suggested being a nurse. Or anything in the medical profession.  I even had a doctor ask me, "Are you sure? Don't you spend enough time in hospitals and doctor's offices?"

Well, in the words of Ricky Ricardo, I'll 'splain.

When I was in ICU for my brain tumor, I saw just what a difference a good nurse can make. And what a difference a BAD nurse can make. I even had nurses and doctors tell me what a great nurse I would make because of my experience as a patient. I, (along with some prodding from God- I wanted to be a lawyer) decided to bite the bullet in 2010 *after struggling for 7 years with the decision* and go to nursing school.

Here I sit, 3 years later, at my lowest point self esteem wise and my highest point weight wise (that I've been in awhile- I eat when I'm stressed!). This class has been my hardest I've ever taken. It messes with your very SOUL. (And anyone who thinks I'm melodramatic, I can put you in touch with some of my classmates and they'll confirm it). I'm tired, my back is knotted up from stress, I've literally been studying ALL DAY LONG and I'm not confident in my ability to pass this test tomorrow.

I've been working full time since I started school, much to everyone's surprise. Half a semester into clinicals and I see why everyone is shocked. I cannot work 37.5 hours a week and go to school. And study. And go to the lab to practice skills. I've been frantically applying for part time jobs, and am waiting to hear back about an interview I had at a local hospital for a part time position! (Fingers, toes, eyes crossed and prayers please!!)

In a few weeks, I'll enter the hospital for the first time and have a patient to take care of. God help us both.

I could go on and on about the horrors of nursing school, but I have to go study (surprise, surprise). I'll try to update from time to time. if anything to keep a record of how crazy I feel right now!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Letting go....

The final stage. Finally letting go of everything I've been through and moving forward with life. No regrets.

I always had just assumed that this would happen naturally and never really paid much attention to it.'s a little more complicated than that :)

I'm finally to the point where I could completely stop if I wanted to, but I am going to get tattoos in April. Just to complete my new foobs. But (Lord willing) I won't be going through surgery on them again. They're not perfect, but neither were my natural ones. But they are something..they're mine. I no longer get a little jolt of surprise when I look in the mirror when I'm undressing. I just see my breasts. (Yes I said breasts not foobs.) They're a part of me, they're a reminder of how amazingly awesome and brave I am. I may not be a lot of things, but  I am a fighter!

Last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday which marked the beginning of Lent. I decided (rather boldly) to give up Facebook, which had quite honestly started taking over my life. I didn't even realize it until Wednesday, when I found myself idly opening the app on my phone without thinking about it. So, needless to say the first few days were hard..but I got through them! I'm using Facebook on Sundays, but until Easter that's it for me!

In teaching my 5th graders, I always use the comparison between Lent and spring time. They are both time that new life is formed, from what used to be. For example, my kids put butterflies in a cocoon as a project with their Lenten resolutions on the back. They'll color a part of the butterfly each week until it's completely colored come Easter.

I always think of what the priest told one day during his homily. He said sometimes you have to go through trouble in order to become the beautiful creature God wants you to be. I think that's what is happening to me. I went through a period with my PBM and complications, changing churches and misunderstanding/strife in the extended family. I was hurt and disappointed and I'm sure I did some things to hurt and disappoint as well. So right now..I'm saying I'm letting go.

One thing that's really bothered me is people who want to bash the Catholic church without even knowing what goes on in there. People that I've known almost my whole life, say things that belittle the Catholic church..and they're not even correct. And that hurts. It hurts because there's obviously no respect for what I choose to believe and how I practice my faith. We're all Christians. I'm just on a different place in my spiritual journey now.

I was talking with friends after Mass about it today. About how absolutely furious it made me. And how much it hurt. I'm not a dumb person by any means..I'm capable of making my own decision. But that's quite obviously not respected. It was pointed out to me that there are always ignorant people out there, who'd rather stay ignorant than to actually educate themselves. Sadly, it's true. I can offer all of the insight into my church, offer articles, books, etc. But these people would rather just hold on to their ignorant, incorrect perception.

For once and for all I've had to decide that, that is not my problem. I'm letting it go. Not everyone will agree with where I choose to attend church now, and that's ok. I need to remember that not everyone stays in your life forever, and some people you just need to be thankful for what role that they did play and cherish the time you had together.

I'm letting go.

Also, something happened on Facebook that I honestly can't even remember how/when it started. And every family member involved will tell you something different. I'm tired of being angry. I'm tired of trying to convince people my side of the story. I tried reaching out to some of them over Christmas, by sending a card..and received nothing in return. I also saw some of them out and about one day..and they turned and walked away. Does it hurt? yes...but there's nothing I can do about it now. I've done my part.

I'm letting go.

I'm not going to make everyone happy. Not everyone is going to like me. I would never personally be mean or hateful to someone, but it's ok if not everyone likes me. I'm me...and I don't know what else to be!

I'm letting go.