Tuesday, February 24, 2009


This life of class, study, read, write, study, read, class, lab, write, study, oh and sleep, is brutal... and I love it!

There is a blog I'm following as are many others. It's a painful read and a reminder of why I meander down the U path again, chasing a different life.

Inside this particular blog, her son is dying of an incurable brain tumor. Medulloblastoma, a cancer of the medulla oblongota which is generally incurable. He is 4.

Pediatric oncology, my medical field choice, is not undertaken lightly. Sadly, medicine is further away from finding sure cures, and less invasive/caustic treatments for children's cancer. It would be a great day when parents who have children stricken with the disease, would know the hope that a tomorrow brings, rather than the sadness.

The death of a child permeates like nothing else in life. Beyond the sheer sadness of loss and the emptiness of open arms, is the depth of guilt of having survived unnaturally beyond the child and having been helpless to change the direction of their lives.

To Henry's parents, there are no words. Just know, I think of you often.

To Henry, Godspeed young man, Godspeed.

edited: 2/25/09 11:45 PM CDT
Little Henry passed away this morning surrounded by his family. Even in blogsphere, sadness reigns.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shout Out To My Lab Partner

My lab partner is about my son's age. She's blond, cute, funny, compassionate and wants to be a nurse. I won't embarrass her here by naming her. Maybe one day she'll find this place and giggle knowing how we used a dry container meant for solution conductivity measuring instead of a graduated cylinder to measure the proper amount of NaCl stock solution. Oops.

We still managed to get 100% on our lab grades. I laugh when I think of what we'll do today. We laugh often during labs. She measured our salt and went over by .001 (yes, really). Then she was going to dump it back into the container but tossed it into the garbage much to the chagrin of our lab TA. When asked to get some NaOH solution to measure, that landed on her hands where upon she handed me the wet test tube, I grabbed and now both of us had NaOH on our hands (much to the chagrin of our lab TA). Oh, what have I done?

The spigots for the water supply are a little... what's the word I'm looking for ... "touchy." I turned it on thinking just a little more effort to get more than a drop and instantly showered the entire lab.

Don't get me wrong. We are VERY careful in the lab, meticulously making sure we get every point, making sure we understand each step along the way and WHY it works (or doesn't), and which way we're to leave the lab (closet doors don't count).

We just have a good time getting there (much to the chagrin of our lab TA).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ode to Abby

Last night, with a mind full of confidence on a looming chemistry exam, having nailed most of the questions, being able to adequately describe how to do the math and get the right answers, I headed home. I was pretty excited - 90% without hardly trying, imagine what a 100% would feel like with some more effort!!

In the dark of the laundry room, it was a little too still for an area once filled with a happy, yappy little dachshund. I guess the good Lord decided He needed her more than me.

She'd been sick for 1.5 days, I'd called the vet to ask when would it appear to need emergency intervention. Told to remove food and water for 24 hours and see how she was. Sadly for my son and I, she didn't make it 8 hours beyond that call. The guilt is immense; my thoughts of redoing more chemistry problems tossed out the door with eyes that could barely drive her to the vet for necropsy and cremation. Her body still warm to the touch; my own guilt creeping in between every mitochondria.

The necropsy showed she died of pancreatitis and gastric hemorrhaging. She suffered. Had I had any inkling it was life threatening... more guilt. That little dog used to bat one of our great dane's nose when she'd come in with happy jubilation. That little dog used to curl up inside my lap, and try to lick my face with her now toothless mouth. Never one to complain, she was guardian of our house... we'd call her the "alarmist" our great dane the "enforcer".

Abby was a true gem. Dachshunds are sometimes known to be feisty, nippy dogs - ours loved everyone, and everyone loved her.

She is gone now and quite possibly medical school for me as I believe I failed the test. Not for one second do I believe Abby's sudden demise had anything to do with it and refuse to use that for an excuse.

Not everything is good in life - sometimes it just sucks.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Never Knowing Who Is Pushing From Behind

Sometimes, we all need a little help from our friends to do the things we want or chase our dreams. Sometimes, people do not know what they've done to propel another onto a path. This video has always warmed my heart and rather than always blather on about something, I thought I'd just post it, instead.

Here's to all of us, and all of you, who have been encouraged and supported, who have been the ones from behind never asking and sometimes, never being told, "Thank you."