Today, I started my fourth year of my undergraduate degree at Laurier!
It’s insane to think that I’m beginning my final year of school because I feel like I was just in my first year! It’s crazy how time flies. I am excited to get back to school and get into a routine again but it’s hard to not be anxious about going back to school after what my life has been like for the past few months.
Even though I never stopped school from my moment of diagnosis to now (I took 2 classes this summer and completely finished my Winter 2015 term), going back for a full 12 week semester is scary. I feel anxious about so many different things. I’m anxious about my fatigue and energy levels and stress levels and my low immune system. I’m anxious about doing treatment three times a week and how that’s going to impact my school work and assignments and readings. Anyone who has gone to college or university knows what a germ pool school campuses become and with having such a low immune system, it stresses me out! Some of these things that I’m anxious about may seem silly to others, but these are the things that cancer patients have to worry about.
I read this article about returning to school after a cancer diagnosis and one of the points that really stood out to me was to “ease into it,” and to resist pushing yourself into a full semester of classes. I’m not supposed to have any added stress in my life (you know, besides the whole cancer thing) and this article made the point that putting pressure on yourself when it comes to course loads and classes could induce stress so I’m really trying to be kind to myself. For me, that means taking a reduced course load, and not taking 5 classes this term, like I usually do.
School will always be there. Now is the time I need to focus on myself and get myself healthy.
My longtime friend Beth is the features editor for Laurier’s school newspaper, The Cord. A few weeks ago, she asked if I would be interested in being interviewed for her feature on what it’s like to be a student while being diagnosed with a serious illness and what it’s like to be in school while trying to get healthy. The article is in this week’s issue of The Cord and I’m really happy with how it turned out (thanks to Beth!) and glad that one of my friends was able to write it because it made for a positive experience.