I have been neck deep in school lately. Pharmacology II is already kicking my butt. It’s possible to fail the first two tests and still pull it out, isn’t it? Thankfully the answer is yes, otherwise I’d be a puddle of tears on the floor right now. I need an 80 to pass. That’s my new goal. Forget about A’s and high B’s, just an 80 to pass. All this is to say that I haven’t forgotten about the blog, I’ve just been spending every waking moment studying and worrying.
I just found out yesterday that cancer has been running rampant through my family recently and it’s scaring the hell out of me. Not only for those I love, but for myself as well. OK, so two people is not rampant, but it’s still a lot to learn about all at once. Neither is a preventable cancer, one for which you can lower your risk, but it still makes me want to get as healthy as possible as quickly as possible.
I had been working out occasionally before now. I had gotten some personal training sessions with a friend and we are averaging once a week at this point – some due to weather and some due to scheduling. I recently decided that I was going to start karate with the kids once the personal training ran out. Well, I’ve decided to start it earlier than that since we are not terribly regular with personal training. I’m headed there tonight for my first regular class. I will be doing karate 2 days and working out at the gym 2 days. That’s quite a lot of activity for one who has been sitting on the couch, gaining weight for the past year and a half. It seems much more necessary now than it did before. Like I said, the cancers weren’t preventable at all, but I still want to reduce any risk factors I have for any kind of cancer. That means finally losing the weight for good among other things. It makes me glad I have already given up meat and makes me want to quit fooling around with dairy and go fully vegan.
The big question for me becomes, how on Earth am I going to do this? I need to stay in nursing school and focus on that – difficult on the best of days -, I am worried about my family and they are scattered across the country so it’s not like I can just run over and check on them, and I need to get myself healthier so that I can be of use to them while all of this is going on. I was actually grateful for being in nursing school because I was able to decipher the initial report for the family member whose tumor was just found. While they are a few thousand miles away and I can’t be there, I could at least tell them what exactly was found and help them prepare themselves for the oncologist’s report. Having a doctor’s report in front of you and not understanding what it says is really scary. I was able to make it a little less so and I am very grateful for that. I need to pass school so that I may do that for other people as well – that’s actually a big part of being a nurse, explaining doctor speak. But the school just got so much harder to focus on.
This is becoming my new motto. I will hang in there and I will do everything that needs to get done. It’s just what you do when faced with troubles, right? You get through them as best you can and do what needs to be done. My family feels the same way. It’s how I was raised. You can feel free to freak out after the troubles are over, but while it’s going on you put your head down and barrel through it. I will pass my class. I will keep in very close touch with my family – all of them- because we are all going through this together, and I will get in shape and get healthier because it needs to be done.
Here’s the tricky part though:
This is part and parcel of hanging in there. If at all possible I need to keep smiling and being cheerful. No one is served by me moping and crying and all the rest. It won’t help my family and it won’t help me. It would, in fact, hurt my chances of doing what needs to get done. If I’m gloomy and dwelling on the awful, how likely is it that I’m going to want to study or go work out? Not very. I need to do those things. I need to be positive for my family and be a small source of joy to those who need it. Not to mention the fact that my kids don’t need to know how worried and upset I am. They’re too little to need that kind of stress unless it’s necessary. And, if we are going through this, we need to remember that other people may be going through rough times as well. You never know when a cheerful word or even just a goofy smile may help someone. My family is lucky in that we are all close. We have each other to lean on in tough times. Not everyone has that. Sometimes a kind word really is all it takes to make someone’s day better.
So, I guess the moral of the story is, try to stay nice during rough times even as you put your head down and push your way through them. Freak out once it’s over. I have to admit to freaking out a little now, but a little is OK, I’ll leave the big meltdown for later.