Tag Archives: stress

Highs and Lows

20 Mar

I’m getting sick, which SUCKS!! Especially since I have a test Friday and a cruise coming up! I talked to my professors for this test block, though, and I’m getting a few accommodations for this exam, so the stress level is a little lower.

Also, as per my psychologist…I’m not allowed to stay alone anymore. I have to check in with her every night and tell her who I’m staying with, so we’ll see how that goes. -__-

On a lighter note, I aced the physiology miniboard!!! 7 points higher than the national average! That means I get enough bonus points to raise my OS1 grade a whole letter grade!!! I’m pretty sure God took that miniboard for me. I didn’t study for it. I was already mentally prepared to retake it this summer.

Spring Break Cruise with My Bestie!

20 Mar

So…as I’ve been under tons of stress recently, I decided to go on the Spring Break trip with my class, and my doctors actually approved for me to go!! I really didn’t think they were going to go for it, but they did, ha!

My class is going on a 4-day cruise to the Bahamas…I’m a little nervous about the whole cruising thing, as I get nauseous enough on dry land, but you know what? Screw it…I’m all stockpiled up on Zofran and Emend and whatever other stuff I need (including those oh so important ones like Duragesic and Fentora), and I’m gonna have a blast :). What else was awesome was that my mom suggested that I invite my bestie, who lives in another state and teaches Kindergarten. Since this cruise is in the middle of the week, I figured she (having a real job) wouldn’t be able to go. I caller her anyways, and that’s her Spring Break, too!! What are the odds?!?  So, we’re going together! AHHH!!! I can’t contain my excitement, and neither can she!

This is exactly the kind of excitement that the both of us needed, and it WILL be epic! Now, all I have to do is stay just healthy enough to not ruin the plans, and I’ll tell you all about it when I get back. Yay!

Big Steps

15 Mar

I talked to my mom yesterday, and she asked me if I remembered to call this guy to give him advice about getting into medical school. She asked me to do this a little while back right in the middle of exam week when I was doing regular and make-up exams. I told her that I forgot to call him, because I honestly just forgot. Then she got all mad at me and started saying all these awful things about me. I started crying because I had called her to tell her about the GI bleed and about me being depressed and seeing the psychiatrist. Obviously, I couldn’t do that now, so I just told her I’d talk to her later. That really upset me…a lot. So then today I called her to try again, and I did. I told her about both. She and I talked for about 2 hours, and she said if I were her patient and said all that, she’d put me on Zoloft, so she’s actually taking my complaints seriously this time. She usually gives me the “anyone in your situation” or “it’s the winter/lack of sun” or “medical school stress” speech. She told me she agrees with me going ahead and seeing the psychiatrist. So, that’s definitely a huge step. I’m also home from the hospital now, which is another step, and I plan to participate in Relay for Life tomorrow if I can.

Just…No

5 Mar

I can’t talk to anybody without bursting into tears…like I can’t say any words to anyone or have anyone say anything to me without just crying. It seems like all the crappy things just happen at once. My dad’s been really sick, my friend got in a car accident, I didn’t get the research position I applied for, and I haven’t been feeling well, to name a few.

Good things happened, too. I mean I had friends from back home visit me, and I did well on my histology/cell biology miniboard. I got 5 points above the national average, somehow…it was really heavy on cell bio. Light on the histo. I mostly just watched cell bio videos and didn’t study much histo. I got lucky that way. Most people studied the histo because it was explained to us that it would be mostly histo…I just never got around to it.

In spite of these good things happening, I just can’t seem to make myself feel happy. There’s more stuff my mom’s not telling me about my dad. She doesn’t want to stress me out, but I’m stressing out just thinking about what it could be and why she can’t just tell me. I just don’t feel like being around people that much. Mostly because I can’t make myself stop crying, and it’s really awkward. It’s just like…Hi, how are you? Or…How was your weekend? Something really simple, and then I just start crying. I feel like I have nothing to say to anyone. I literally just have nothing to talk about. Nothing interesting, at least. The only thing I can think about is how sad I feel and how crappy I feel all the time. I don’t wanna talk about that and no one wants to hear about that. So I’ve just been sitting around sulking and crying.

One of my professors pretty much dedicated her life to cancer research because her mom died of cancer. I talked to her and she gave me her cell number and told me to call or text her whenever, but like…I don’t really see myself doing that. She also said she was going to check in on me frequently. She said to connect with more people in the class, but like…HOW?!?!?! I try. Doesn’t work. Back to crying and panic attack city. This Ativan is crap.

School Plans

31 Jan

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.

How Daddy’s Doing

15 Jan

So my dad had his first radiation yesterday and his first chemo today. He also had radiation today, as he does every M-F for 7 weeks. He has another chemo session tomorrow, as he’s getting the cisplatin in half doses 2 days in a row each time instead of the full dose for just 1 day each time. It takes about 5 hours, because he gets hydration before and after. He’ll have a total of 3 of those chemo cycles during the course of his treatment, and hopefully that combined with the radiation will do the trick. He’s doing ok, you know, not feeling it yet. Hope it stays that way as long as possible, but we know how these things go. His PET scan came back pretty much like we expected it. They missed a bunch of stuff behind the tonsillar fossa during his original surgery…cuz he was never scoped properly, and really should have had a plain old biopsy instead of a tonsillectomy at that point, but what’s done is done. He had a teeny tiny bit of microscopic lymph node activity. not enough to call them positive, but enough to use chemo and radiation, not just radiation. You know, just in case. Make sure we kill it dead! So…he went in and they asked if he was wearing this patch he was supposed to get in the mail to prevent nausea. He hadn’t gotten it. He was supposed to start wearing it yesterday, because prevention means start before the nausea hits, duh! WELL…they never ordered it for him! -__- So, they gave him something else, charged him for it, ordered the patch, charged him for that ($75), and then charged him up front for the chemo infusion a good $313! It’s gonna be $313 every time he goes in. They’re not gonna bill him like they bill me. Now THAT can cause nausea, I’m sure. Like what if he didn’t have $313? Would he not get treatment? “Sorry, sir, no cancer treatment for you!” Or would they just bill him then? Just seems like a stress he doesn’t need.

Anyways…I had a dream about him last night. He was at this theme park, because he wanted to do something fun before he started chemo. There was a race car driving ride, but you really had to drive it. The track was on an elevated platform. He got so good at it that he became a tiny bit of a celebrity within the theme park, and people came to watch him drive. When I came to watch, he drove around the track a few times, and it was really awesome, but when he finished, the people operating the ride couldn’t get the car to turn off, so sparks started flying, and his car flew off of the platform and landed upside down. That’s when I woke up…freaked me out!

But yeah, that’s how he’s doing. He’s alright. Just concerned because they said some medicine of his might make it hard for him to sleep, and then they were like, but get lots of rest! Hopefully that nausea medicine that may make him sleepy will cancel out the medicine that keeps him up, and he’ll go to bed at his usual time haha…wishful thinking.

Keep Calm and Enjoy 2013

7 Jan

I’ve been thinking about my own mortality a lot recently. Not to be dark and gloomy or anything, but I’m a little scared. I’m sitting here, core body temperature nearly high enough to boil water (kind of an exaggeration), and I realize…I have a serious illness that could kill me. I could die. I could be dead soon. These thoughts start repeating over and over in my head in a variety of different grammatical constructs, but I’ll spare you the superfluousness. Now, this is not the first time I’ve realized this or had these thoughts, but after so many tests, procedures, surgeries, and treatments, those thoughts can fade into the background and randomly resurface on nights like these.

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I have been really stressed out and depressed lately, but thinking back…in my short 22 years of life, the vast majority of them were wonderful and amazing. The ones that weren’t so much so (2012, if we’re naming names) had their amazing parts, as well. I’ve had a very blessed life up to this point. Last year, I graduated college and was accepted into medical school. That’s huge! That’s been my dream for as long as I can consciously remember (NOT an exaggeration).

I talked to my mom today, and she reminded me that a lot of people get depressed this time of year. She’s right. She suggested some things that I do, and her suggestions are always very good. I should take them, but will I? I’m not sure. It depends on how motivated I feel towards doing anything at all.

I talked to a friend of mine, and she pointed out that no one knows how long they have. That seems so obvious now, but it’s something I never really thought about, I guess. I mean, unless you have some kind of life shaking event happen to you or someone close to you, most people tend to take it for granted that tomorrow they’ll wake up and jump right into the daily grind. Anything could happen to anyone at any time, I just get slapped in the face with reminders of my own mortality more frequently, that’s all.

Life is really short. I’ve been really angry and upset about what’s going on in my life right now, and I still am, but right now…in this moment…I can actually have some perspective and focus on all the things that have gone right. There are so many more of those that it just doesn’t seem fair to discount any year as a loss, really. Even though 2013 has not gotten off to a good start by any means, I’m still here to experience it, and that’s half the battle, I guess. I’ll see where this crazy life of mine takes me next.