Saturday, October 27, 2012

Study and beyond...

Yesterday I did one and a half of my final assessments for my dual certificate (Business and Business Administration). The other half will be done on Monday and then I will be finished. It will be roughly 5 weeks before the actual end of the course.  I wasn't sure if I would be able to remember anything long enough to do assessments. Turns out I can :)

Yesterday’s assessments had me a bit wound up... ok a LOT wound up. I was so stressed about the second one i was sick in the morning. I wasn't really too worried about the first one, however I made a mistake right at the beginning of the first one and had to go back and start again once I figured out what I had done (and it was a silly thing). I was so stressed out that as soon as I realised I had messed it up I burst into tears and continued to cry all the way through the assessment. I felt a bit stupid about the whole thing really. The second assessment I really didn't want to do, at the same time I wanted it done so it would be over...

So I came home and flopped on the lounge and watched BSG til Kim came home from work. We had a big (teary) conversation about the whole thing. He helped me to realise that I was terrified of failing and letting other people down (I kind of knew that but had shoved it so far down I hadn't thought about it much consciously). He also helped me to see that really I have done incredibly well and I should be proud on myself. I started this dual cert at 17 months post op to see if I could study. I will be finished at a squeak past 20 months. ... 17 and 20 months after I had a hole bored in my skull and a hole put the right frontal lobe right through to the middle of my brain. That really is pretty significant.

The frontal lobe of the brain is considered to be the centre of personality and emotional functioning. There is considerable overlap in the functions of the right and left frontal lobes of the brain. Both lobes are involved in motor behaviour, problem solving, memory, judgment, decision making, sexual behaviour, social behaviour, emotional behaviour and impulse control. Other functions that the frontal lobes control are the functioning of sequencing events, which is the ability to plan a series of movements needed to perform a multi-step task, like making a sandwich. 

Taking all that into account, It no wonder the "automatic" skills I had before surgery have been so challenging. I cannot sew, knit and for a period cook without detailed instructions which I would have to double and triple check as I went along. It also explains why I still have trouble tracking the order of events or gauging how long ago something was (days weeks months years). When you look at that, and the fact that I had a brain bleed which not only messed with my memory and some physical function, but changes the chemistry of your brain, I have done amazingly well!!

As Mark Twain said “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

So … where to go from here? At the beginning of the year (12 months post op) I sent mail off the TAFE enquiring about their Adult Tertiary Preparation course. I had missed the entry date so was not able to pick that one up for this year; I planned to start in next year. I am going to do it next year. Why? I want to go university in 2014. I want to study Biomedical Science (with Neuro science). At the end of that I want to research brain tumours, why they occur, how to test for them, prevent them and so much more. I want to be a part of finding an end to people having to live with and die from brain tumours. I may fail, I may not reach my goals, and at least I will have tried. I put everything into what I do and give 150%. If I am going to do this I will be doing it to the absolute best of my ability.

 So my secret goal/dream is out. No more hiding it under the covers hoping no one will find out what I was aiming for. Obviously brain tumours are something that I feel very passionately about. I've had one, lived with it, seem the impact it had on my family and my friends. I have friends who have or have had brain tumours. Some have survived and are doing well, others have lost the fight. It’s time for me to do my part.

I will continue to pursue my creative outlets as well. The main ones are Photography and music. I may never be the world’s greatest anything, but I will sure as eggs do the best I can.