Feb 01, 2013
I had some classmates today have a “serious talk” with me. They talked about how they can tell I’m not happy, how my grades are suffering, and that they think I should take time off from school. Now I know they did this in my best interest, or they wouldn’t have taken the time out of their day to say anything at all. They even send me notes, recordings of lectures, and other study materials. They sit down with me to go over things I don’t understand. So this isn’t me being angry with them. However, what they fail to completely understand is that this type and stage of cancer is something that I will probably be on medication for…for the rest of my life. This is something I’m going to have to deal with, and it’s probably not going to get magically cured by next school year or the one after, and then I come back to school and everything’s alright. It being metastatic means basically that I’m going to have to learn to work through it/with it/around it and deal with things with that in mind. Taking time off from school would only mean that I forget what I’ve learned, come back and have to repeat the year, and I will still be on a plethora of medications. If I quit, I would just sit at home being depressed about my life for um…forever. I don’t see that as a solution. Not at all. Plus, I’m definitely not a sit at home kind of girl. Not usually, at least.
So my choice is either I quit (which if you knew me…that is NOT an option), or I just find ways to work with my body so it’s happy(ish) and I still get my work done. That may mean finding new study techniques, since my memory is heading south. But this is what I worked so hard for, and I’m here…right now…and I’m not willing to let that go! I mean…I know I’m stubborn, but that’s partly how I got into medical school in the first place. The application process pretty much calls for it. Medical school has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. The first time I said that I wanted to be a doctor, I was 3 years old. No joke!
So once I explained all of this to them, they decided that if I’m going to stay, I have to do it right. I have to get grades that I’m satisfied with. They’re going to help me do that, and they’ve suggested resources for me that I was actually unaware of. We get to pick our next dissection groups, so they’re going to be my group members. They’ll be more understanding if I can’t make it to lab, and they’ll be willing to catch me up on the material. They’re really good at gross anatomy anyways. One of them is in my community health group, and they’re going to make sure that if I can’t make it to that, that it’s not reflected in my peer evaluations. They’re also going to work with me when it’s more convenient for me (as in when I’m not totally drugged up) as opposed to the schedule that they set before, which was pretty inconvenient for me. Once I get through first year, I have the option of decelerating and doing second year’s material over the course of two years, and that sounds like the best option right now. Less to worry about at once. Less stress. Less time commitment. Second year is a lot more intense anyways, so it seems like a good idea to do the decelerated version. That’s as far in advance as I even want to think right now, because of how quickly things change, but as of right now…that’s the plan.