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.