It begins … again

You know that old cliche, “Sometimes life just throws you curveballs”? Well I’d say the last year has been one big series of ’em. Actually, they were more like spitballs.

At this time last year I was working in Durham, North Carolina, intent on being admitted to Duke University’s Accelerated BSN program. After discovering my vocation as a nurse in an extremely roundabout way, I was ready to get started. And I got in to Duke. All set. PDA purchased. Check. Summer reading done. Check. Future classmates met. Check. Roommate found. Check.

Then my dad got cancer. Lung cancer, to be exact, despite the fact that he had never smoked a day in his life. Because he had none of the risk factors, it was extremely advanced by the time they caught it. Mets all over his body. It wasn’t looking good. I thought originally that I could make it through Duke and then find a nursing job closer to my hometown in southern CA. But halfway through his chemo regimen, it was clear to all of us that time was short. Duke allowed me to defer and I moved home to be with my father and my family.

Dad lived another two months after that. I got to be there for our last family vacation, and I got to help take care of him when he became really sick. His home health nurse taught me all about patient-controlled analgesia and IV nutrition. I learned the hard way what it means to have a terminal disease. Of course, Dad’s job was the hardest of all.

My father was the world’s biggest family man, the world’s best father, a soul beloved by so many. Watching him die was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But I am glad I was here. And someday, I’ll be a better nurse for it.

So here I am, starting the process anew. I still have a spot waiting for me at Duke but I’m also applying to programs here on the West Coast. If there’s anything positive I learned over the last year, it’s the importance of being near people who love you.

I was surprised and delighted by the number of blogs out there by nurses and wannabe nurses. My favorites are linked to the right. So I figured why not add to the fray and give folks an inside glimpse at the life of a student nurse-to-be, a student nurse, and someday soon, a full-fledged RN? It’s been a long time coming but I have no regrets. Welcome to my journey…

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