There's a place in the sun That she's never been
Where life is fair and time is a friend
Would she do it the same as she did back then
She looks out the window and wonders again...
Is there life out there
So much she hasn't done
Is there life beyond
Her family and her home
She's done what she should
Should she do what she dares
She doesn't want to leave
She's just wonderin
If there life out there...
I cannot remember at what age or time in my life when the idea came to me that all I wanted to do was to be a stay at home mom. It has just been part of who I am. I felt that being a stay at home mom was the most important job I could do. I felt my girls were and still are the most valuable treasure I have on this earth. I wanted to be there to work at the school, be the volunteer mom for parties, drive the kids after school and do all the things that I never had in my life. As the girls got older traditional school was not the way to go. We then decided the best thing for our family was to home school the girls. I think home learning gave me a much stronger bond with the girls than we could have had. Being with each other day in and day out is tough, but rewarding. Then I was a stay at home, home schooling mom.
Heather was struggling with what do with her life when she got cancer. The treatments gave her time off from life to think about what she really wanted to do. She wanted so much to be a nurse after treatments were finished. Specifically she wanted to be a chemo nurse, but she knew she would never be able to stick people. She wanted to give back to all the special medical people who had saved her life. Heather decided to go into Medical Coding and Billing. She was thrilled and so proud to be headed in a good direction. Her goal was to graduate with honors. Always my high goaled gal. I believe that with as hard as she worked during her first 2 weeks of school, that she would have graduated top of her class.
A million things happen when you lose a child. Everything changes. The lights, desires and goals all shift from day to day it seems sometimes. Due to life being what it is nothing in the future is certain. It had sort of been the plan for me to go to college after the kids were grown and start a career. I have had many different ideas over the years as to what I would like to do. When Heather began coding and billing I thought about doing it with her. They had told us that a mother/daughter team would do very well. I looked forward to beginning this career with Heather.
Of course this dream or goal was not to happen. I was not really looking to go back to school for a degree, but have been thinking about it recently. My thought is that life is short. I don't know that Bill or I are going to be here next year. While it would be terrible if I died, Bill would be able to make money and survive. If something happened to Bill, I would be pushed into the workforce with no experience and no degree to fall back on. Not that I dwell on this, but it is a fact that could become true. The other issue is what if something happens to Bill either mentally or physically and he can no longer work. How would we survive?
In 2007, when I lost weight for the 1st time, I thought about becoming a personal trainer. This was not to become reality as Heather had cancer and my training days were over for nearly 3 years. My goal in January was to become healthy this year. Eat right, exercise and lose weight. I have made amazing strides in this goal. I have currently lost 23 pounds and am 13 pounds from goal weight. I have begun a lifestyle change in eating and exercise that will be with me for the rest of my life. Will this save me from dying? NO!! But it does help me a bit as to how I live the life I have left.
When Heather was going through treatments she would try to exercise and eat right. This is not an easy thing to do since you feel so terrible. Chemo is not easy and it makes you feel horrible, but the in hospital high dose chemo is unbearable. On the very few days that she felt good we would take a walk around the block or a walk into Target. At the end of treatments even walking into Target from the parking lot was a huge amount of energy that Heather didn't have. When Heather finished treatments she wanted to get back to exercising. She wanted her strength back. I think this is true of all chemo patients when they are finished.
It is because of watching Heather struggle with all this, that I have decided to pursue a Bachelors degree in Health and Wellness from ASU. I want to work with cancer patients during and after their treatments to help with nutrition and fitness. My goal is to hopefully become part of MD Anderson's Cancer Center. I think that nutrition and fitness is as much a part of the treatment and recovery as the actual chemo drugs themselves. The following is a little description of what this degree is about:
The B.S. in exercise and wellness with a concentration in exercise and wellness provides student with the knowledge, skills and professional expertise to assist individuals across the lifespan in adopting physical activity and other healthy behaviors that lead to increased fitness, wellness and optimal health.
The exercise and wellness concentration prepares students in:
- Fitness and wellness behaviors to varied populations.
- The knowledge, skills, and ethics for instructing, assessing, prescribing, and promoting.
- Methods for promoting health behavior change.
- The sciences of cardiovascular and muscular fitness, nutrition, and stress management.
- Active adult planned community fitness and health promotion.
- Cardiac rehabilitation.
- Special health needs
- Country club fitness.
- Hospital based fitness centers.
- Personal trainers.
- Spa fitness.
- Sports medicine clinics.
- Strength and conditioning coach.
- Wellness centers.
- Worksite fitness and health promotion.
- Exercise science.
- Medical school.
- Physician assistant.
- Physical therapy.
I became nervous as I actually registered for Mesa Community College (MCC). They require you take placement tests for reading, English and math. I feel like I am a smart person, but when it comes to taking a test the fear of failure is there no matter the age. Plus I have been out of school for a long time. I was thrilled beyond words when I tested into honor English and out of reading. Meaning I do not have to take a reading class. I was quite proud of myself. I am reviewing math this weekend and will take the placement test on Monday for the math portion. I hope to test into the 142 math so I only have to take one math class and be finished with the required math. I begin school full time on August 22, 2011.
I will be registering in the Spring for the MAPP program (Maricopa-ASU Pathway Program). I get guaranteed admission to ASU degree program when all MAPP requirements are met. I will be eligible for the ASU Tuition Commitment which provides limits on tuition increases during enrollment in the program. I will receive an Associates degree from MCC and then a Bachelors degree from ASU. All my credits from MCC will transfer with me. I have a total of 5 years to complete this program. It is for students who want to continue on the the major universities to continue their education. But my degree is on the list so I will take it.
I know that Heather is looking down from heaven saying "Way to go Momy. I am so proud of you!"