1. "It’s always the worst job you have. Having a bad job for a summer or whatever, that’s a story that you get to tell. But being in the wrong career and knowing it? And having to muster up the courage as an adult to make that change? That’s the worst."
    — 

    John Hodgman, 11 Questions (via eighteenninetynine)

    I love John Hodgman. Last year, shortly after I started treatment for colorectal cancer, he was retweeting young people’s stories about serious illness taking them by surprise as a means of supporting national healthcare in the United States. One of those tweets was mine and through that action I was connected with some amazingly supportive people in a time when I felt profoundly alone. Thank you John Hodgman.

     

  2. Anonymous said: I am so looking forward to you being a great comedian one day! I can't wait to see what you'll accomplish. I love you and I'm thinking of you and I know you can do this.

    I love you too anon. I’m thinking two more months and I’m back in Toronto, so there will be some stages to hustle on.

    Probably time to start writing again.

     

  3. Anonymous said: Also your blog is inspiring, part of what I'm studying at the moment is patient embarrassment associated with certain health conditions and you are honestly such a leader to be blogging about a type of cancer that should be talked about a lot more!

    Thank you! Nothing will humble you more than a serious bowel condition. IBD, cancer, whatever- it’s a constant nightmare. From my experience, I think bowel cancer patients have a harder time discussing their problems because it’s all so new. Before my tumor I had a great GI tract. Super regular with like, maybe 2 memorably embarrassing moments in 23 years. Suddenly everyday is “shameful”. A relative asks you why you’re wincing- do you tell them it’s because radiation therapy has burnt away most of the skin tissue between your bum cheeks? You encounter a line of people for a washroom- do you announce that the tumor on your rectal muscles makes it near impossible to hold anything? It sucks.

    At some point you just have to decide to not care. Sure, it’ll start as an act but in time it’ll feel real.

     

  4. Anonymous said: I saw your medical school post - Im a UK medical student and it's far simpler to take medicine here. If you're an arts student, you do a pre-med course for one year, and then do 5 years medicine like everyone else :) it may be worth looking into! :)

    Thank you. That’s an interesting option, I’d have to consider the financial implications though. International fees are $$$ and I have a feeling getting out of country health insurance is going to be nightmarish for sometime. I need to fully understand my Canadian options first. Each school seems to follow different academic guidelines. Some care about my entire academic career- which kind of sucks. When I was younger I had two years in a different program where I was very unwell mentally and basically didn’t care about my grades. After taking some time off to figure out what I needed to be healthy, I began again at a new school under a new program. I currently have the 3.7 GPA I need for med school. But combined with the old grades- well…

    I may try and petition away my old grades. It’ll be a bureaucratic nightmare and I don’t really know where to start. The mental health system in Ontario sucks and a lot of that time period I was on wait-lists for doctors and not actually seeing doctors. So getting evidence to support the situation might be a mess. It would be a massive weight off of my chest though. I am sick of that period of time following me around.

     

  5. Anonymous said: I am so proud of you for your ambition to go to med school. I think it's a brilliant idea and I wish you all the luck in the world. But luck's not really too important - I know you can do it!

    Thank you. It’s still just a baby thought, it has some growing to do before I know how serious I am about it. I’ve also started looking into Master of Social Work programs. More than anything I want to be involved in patient care and advocacy. Being an oncological social worker might be more suited to my skill set. I don’t know. I need to sit with some councilors and consider my options. Cancer really throws your life into a tornado- survival means I get to rebuild. I just need to discover how.

     

  6. Bleh

    I have to take like 8 or 9 pills when I wake up and some of them are super rough on the stomach. Half an hour after I took them this morning I was heaving into my toilet. I didn’t see any full pills, but my gi tract is always in a hustle. Here’s hoping I got at least a little of what I need.

     
  7. Pillhead.

     
  8. I love inheriting clothing.

     

  9. I sleep when my bowels sleep.

    So not last night. Or this morning.

     

  10. Anonymous said: Not really a question but an FYI - my best friend from high school did half of a journalism degree and then all of a linguistics degree before going to med school. She really likes it. McMaster has some very lax requirements for their medical program (I don't even think they need a biology course).

    You’re the best anon. I found <a href=”http://www.ouac.on.ca/docs/omsas/rc_omsas_e.pdf”>the ontario requirements</a> and feel a little more like this could be a possibility. How did she find the MCATs? That’s my biggest lump in the throat factor at this moment.

     

  11. Jpouch problems.

    I have yet to find the sweet spot between incontinence and being immensely constipated. But someday Imodium, we’re gonna figure this out.

     

  12. "In the course of our lives, most of us will urgently need care, sometimes when we least expect it. Currently, we must seek it in a system that excels at stripping our medical shepherds of their humanity, leaving them shells of the doctors (and people) they want to be, and us alone in the sterile rooms they manage. What makes our predicament so puzzling, and what may offer hope, is that nearly all of us want a different outcome. I used to think that change was necessary for the patient’s sake. Now I see that it’s necessary for the doctor’s sake, too."
    — Doctors Tell All—and It’s Bad - Meghan O’Rourke - The Atlantic (via hartmd)

    Read this. I have been feeling this for awhile, and this is another part of it, but it is going to be up to us to fight and determine what it means to be and practice as a 21st century physician.

    (via md-admissions)

    Cast me as the patient with bleeding vaginal chemo ulcers afraid to ask for pain medicine because I’m afraid of looking like a drug addict.

    (via aspiringdoctors)

     

  13. The biggest way cancer changed me is I am now a person that preorders Taylor Swift albums.

     
  14. Have a blood bag, but make it fashion.

     
  15. itslarsyouguys:

    YOU’RE a baby

    I’M a baby

    WE CAN BE BABIES TOGETHER

    This is now a puppy gif blog,

    (Source: dongwoon, via farrahtales)