Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fullfillment of a dream..........................

So, anyone who's been reading my blog long enough may recall my mentioning a certain cancer center and my STRONG desire to do research there one day. And that was a little more than TEN years ago. Well yesterday, my classroom was changed to a location AT this cancer center. And what can I say, from the moment I turned onto the street to park my car, the tears started flowing (as they are now as I'm trying to write this post).

Now I've mentioned on more than one occasion how much of a cry baby I can be about things that tug at my heart strings. And while I was looking for the parking garage at this amazing facility, I saw a Black family, mother, daughter, and father leaving the hospital, the Dad, being pushed in a wheelchair by his daughter. So what's so emotional about that? He looked exactly like my father and was leaving the cancer clinic. And all I could think about is how blessed he is to have his family there as he was being discharged from the hospital and of my own past, pushing my Dad in a wheelchair following his cancer surgery. The very next overwhelming feeling I had was about how this, right here, right now, was EXACTLY where I was supposed to be, but more importantly, WHEN I was supposed to be here.

Then I really did get my ugly cry on, LOL!!!

I can't put into words that feeling you have when every obstacle you've had now makes sense, every path you've taken (however long it was) now makes sense, but there's NO doubt in my mind that everything, both good and bad, was what I needed to happen to get me HERE. And where exactly is HERE?

HERE is the mindset that says NOTHING and NO ONE will deter me from my God ordained path, pun intended. My classroom didn't end up next to the pathology department by accident. I didn't see those Residents napping next to where I sat to have coffee before class by accident. And seeing a Black family leaving the cancer center hospital, end up in the crosswalk in front of my car was no accident either.

The fact that these facilities are beautiful, world class, and state of the art with the leading cancer folks in the world is kinda moot. The fact that my path to med school just got that much more focused and clear is what really counts!

I'll end this post with this Katy Perry song which says what I'm feeling better than I can:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


As the title indicates (in a very mispelled kinda way), I've been furloughed by the company I work for. And it's strange because I forgot we had a gov't contract until the moment they were telling us we were furloughed. Umm.

At any rate, working 75+ hours since mid August has REALLY taken a toll, so I'm going to be one of few people in the US who has been furloughed who's actually going to ENJOY this time off. And in my case, I'm not really going to be off per se', I'll still be working, albeit part-time and unpaid (for now) in Bioinformatics, and increasing my tutoring hours (THANK GOD for a well paying second gig!!) And the arrangement that I was sooooooo very blessed to put in place after they gave us the news yesterday will require that I essentially work "non paid" for the next 2-3 weeks while the company does some "financial restructuring". Then, I'll come back to work full-time as a PERMANENT employee and a HIGHER income (I think my official title is going to be Biologist, though I'm trying to come up with something a little more snazzy, LOL). The biggest catch of all is that I'll get back pay at a rate of 1.5 times my intern salary ~ 2 pay periods from now for the time I work "unpaid". So, mid November is going to be kinda nice!:) Assuming all this pans out of course, there's always a risk that things won't happen the way the company prez says, and if that's the case, I'll happily increase my client load and take the next graduate assistantship that comes in my school inbox.

In other words, I shall have a TALL glass of lemonade with plenty of natural brown sugar, with this load of lemons!! :)

So for whatever reason, this was the first song that came to my mind as I was leaving work yesterday, "Path201x got fur, low, low, low, low, low, low, low, lowed", ROTFLMBO!!'

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Where I'm going to..........................

One of the real difficulties with where I am professionally in my life right now is the obvious that I'm not in medical school yet and desperately want to be. But another difficult reality I had until last evening was that I wasn't able to specifically articulate what I wanted to be doing with my professional life within the next 10 years, or of how what I'm doing now would fit into my future. That was, until I read the following paper last evening, "Personalized Oncology Through Integrative High-Throughput Sequencing: A Pilot Study". And here's the link:

This paper suggests formation and use of a Sequencing Tumor Board which is essentially a team of professionals with training in oncology, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, pathology, social and behavioral sciences, and ethics that interpret and make clinical recommendations based on sequencing data. And the SUPER great news for me is that EVERYTHING I'm doing right now and a LOT of what I've done in the past, including my MD goals of becoming a Pathologist, would fit in perfectly with such a professional goal.

Now, I understand perfectly well that careers often take paths different from what we imagine, but I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when I realized that the circuitous path I've taken in my professional career could come together quite usefully and in an extremely academically engaging way, by my participation on a Sequencing Tumor Board. At least for those years I'm working for "da man", my ultimate goal STILL, is to work for myself.

And speaking of building my business, I thought that once I finish medical school, I would expand my offerings to include test prep for the USMLE. That's a LONG way off from now I know, but a business owner/future Pathologist has gotta keep those ideas and goals FLOWING, LOL!!!

So I'll leave my readers with this 1970's gem with the hope that we ALL on some level, KNOW where we're going to!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Feeling crab-ulous!

Most of the time when people ask me how I'm feeling, I usually respond with an enthusiastic FABULOUS!! But with temps STILL in the 90's, allergies flaring up that I didn't even know I had, I'm feeling pretty crappy these days. Add an asthma attack/a switch to more powerful meds to control it, and I'm feeling kinda low. But I KNOW without eqiovocation that I'm blessed just the same!!

Recently, I've received quite a few Bioinformatics job inquiries most of which have been in Maryland and that makes me feel great! But when I think about the cost of living/what you get for your buck in Maryland, the rudeness of the people who live there, and the state income tax, I grab myself a cool glass of cherry lemonade, "sat my a$$ down" somewhere and count my blessings, as the ol' folks used to say. I've really got a great life here in hot a$$ Texas!

The one thing that pains me more than ANYTHING these days is how much I want to become a Doctor and I use the word pains because so much of what I'm doing now requires medical knowledge, oncology and pathology informatics skills, to be exact. And I know it's all VERY good preparation for my future, I just wish my future in med school would just get here already!

PS- Shout out to my girl Iris and the medical student sitting 2 rows behind me (URGH) for keeing me focused!

PSS- PLEASE excuse the typos all of which I hope have been corrected, I can't see worth a darn, posting on an iPad, ROTFL!!!