Cancer sucks.

Right before I bought my fiancée’s engagement ring, in December of 2005, my Aunt was walking around the house, when she almost tripped over herself because her head felt funny. When she went to the hospital, the doctors found out that that funny feeling in her head was actually one of the worst types of tumors to have in your brain. She died yesterday, after a year of chemo and pain. I don’t really know what to think about her death. The odds of her surviving the cancer that she had were slim, but in a small number of patients the tumor could be destroyed using chemo; so what do you choose….certain death….or a few more years of life? Of course they chose the chemo, and part of me is struggling with whether this was the right choice or not. The chemotherapy made her extremely weak, so much so that she could hardly walk; her hair which was pretty long for an old gal was now a little longer than mine; the chemo, since the body considers it a poison, caused severe vomiting and horrible nausea; and finally, a side-effect of the chemo is that it destroyed the lining of her intestines causing severe and almost unbearable pain every time food passed through or gas. What did the treatment give her and her family? One more year of hope? Was it worth it? I can’t be sure how I would respond if my soon to be wife had the worst type of brain tumor. Would I want her to be in kind of chemo induced pain that my aunt was in, or should she just deal with the pain from the tumor? I believe that the American healthcare system focuses too much on life, and not enough on quality of life. Sure we can keep someone alive with our machines and attenuated poisons, but does that person even enjoy a second of that life? Would healthcare for all Americans be possible if we didn’t spend millions of dollars a year keeping people alive for one more year? I don’t know…I guess I have more questions than answers.

Besides that sad news, my future wife and I have both sent off our $300 deposits to secure our positions at the Meharry Medical College. Although our hearts are still with Loma Linda, I personally can’t continue to mentally dwell on that. In my mind, we are going to Meharry until the Lord brings something else up. I still have no idea what Meharry is going to do with us and our situation. Their mandatory pre-matriculation program begins around June 19th, and we get married on July 8. More than that, we will be on our honeymoon from July 9-22. School doesn’t actually start until August, but I’m not sure if they will work something out for our situation. If they do allow us to skip out on the pre-matriculation program, then things will go smoothly, but if they don’t then we will probably have to defer a year.

In excitement, my fiancée and I were looking at different apartments in the Nashville/Meharry-Vanderbilt area. I personally prefer to live in their new renovated on campus apartments for a couple reasons: 1) the rent is cheap being around $519 for a 1 bedroom and $625 for a 2 bedroom 2)We will probably be spending a significant time in anatomy lab, and it would be much easier to just walk home than to have to COMMUTE home 3)Someone living just 8 miles away from Meharry told me that it could take them around 30 minutes to get to campus, so the traffic must be pretty slow on the highway 4) I love saving gas. When we are sure that Meharry will be our school, then we will drive up to Nashville to actually check out different places.

With attending Meharry becoming more certain, day by day, I’ve been inquiring of Vanderbilt to see how I can get off of their waitlist. I honestly care more about lack of debt than prestige, so if Meharry gives me more money, I’ll be there, but I at least want to know how much money I can get from Vandy, and there is no way I can know that if I’m still on the waitlist. Meharry and Vanderbilt are 1.3 miles away, so it wouldn’t affect my fiancée if she went to Meharry. I’ll keep yall updated on that process.

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