My web site is devoted to medical and treatment information about this rare cancer. My blog is devoted to sharing what has been the more difficult part of the journey for me, the emotional and spiritual road I've traveled as a rare cancer survivor.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Brave New World!

Well, wish me luck!  In a few days I take my first final exam in 17 years!  I am in a graduate program at Loyola University in Chicago.  I last graduated from college with my second degree in 1993.  I am in a graduate Oncology Certificate program (learning about cancer genomics right now).  I will continue working on that degree and in January will also start working on a Master's Degree as a Clinical Nurse Specialist.  The really good part of that, though, is that I can now look to a future beyond a few years, set goals for a future, plan on being around for awhile-  things I couldn't do for a long time after my cancer diagnosis.  After my diagnosis and poor outcome predictions, I never planned my life beyond my next CT scan for may years. I couldn't invest in my future.  For a long time, I couldn't even say the words "next year".  I lived only one day at a time....and  in reality that is a very difficult way to live.  I don't know if others with a cancer diagnosis share those feeling?  Maybe it was just me?   I feel very blessed to be over that hump, though.  I still know none of us are promised tomorrow, but I am willing to take a chance on tomorrow regardless. 

I also hired someone to upgrade the website for my non-profit, the Appendix Cancer Connection,.. So if you look at in now, it's under construction.  I built that website with very little knowledge of website design (I purchased used software from Ebay  and took an 8 hour beginner class in creating  websites through a local high school adult ed class in 2005). I wanted to be able to do more with the site and to make nicer and more user-friendly with more features, but that was beyond me.   They are also creating a Facebook page etc. for the organization and helping me with a lot of other things.  So, hopefully the site will be fully functional before too long!  I'm also hoping to soon develop educational brochures about many of the issues some of us deal with after surgery: TPN, ostomies, PEG tubes etc. that will be available by mail or online.  I want to also create brochures about appendix cancer that could be sent to doctor's offices, as I think most are unfamiliar with the disease and it's treatment.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Carolyn,
I hope your exam went well!!!

LaurenEmery

Tambre Leighn said...

Congrats on your Brave New World and good luck with your exam. I'm a graduate of LMU, Los Angeles which is what caught my eye in your post. It is challenging to plan for an uncertain future...yet as you so beautifully point out, none of us can be certain of what is to come. When my late husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin's it was difficult for both of us to plan ahead but eventually we realized we had to both go on with living. We took a chance and planned for a Europe trip and an incredible Christmas vacation up the coast of California. Now I am grateful to have those memories. All the best as you continue your journey!