I am a planner. Big time. When I get something stuck in my head that isn't happening right now, I plan everything I can about how I want it to go.
One of the problems I've been trying to plan around in my impending chemotherapy or stem cell transplant. See, I want to go to school, but out of the classes I need to take for a degree in digital design, almost all of them are in-person and whichever medical treatment I go with, my immune system will be compromised and I'm thinking that being in a college classroom would be a big mistake until I'm strong again. So I've been exploring my options and looking at the course availability over the summer and fall of this year.
The local community college has a large number of courses available in an online format. They also have a certificate in web development. While it's a subject that I know little to nothing about, I find that interesting in and of itself. I'm an analytical person and the challenge of facing a wholly new subject is pretty exciting. It would also be a good pairing with the digital design degree, allowing me to branch out into web page design. A major plus about the certificate program is that about half of the courses that I would need to complete are available online. This would mean that by combining the two programs I could take classes solely online until the end of 2009. A huge relief for my organizational mind.
So I've been online for the last few days figuring out what that schedule would look like and how it would all work out. When I was working toward my first A.S., I was taking four classes per semester and working 35 hours per week. I figure that if I'm doing all of my work from home, I should be able to manage four to five classes per semester and since they're online I'll be able to keep up with my studies from a hospital bed, especially since I'll have so much down-time on my hands.
Right now I'm waiting on word from my adviser at the college. They can't grant me any financial aid until I get my program switched from general studies, so I'm waiting for someone to switch that and then to find out what kind of aid package they can offer me. My first time through this, my parents and I made little enough money that my entire A.S. was paid for through grants from the state. Now, I have absolutely no income, so I'm hopeful that I can get grants again. I'm just anxious to know. Registration for the summer and fall semesters starts on March 9th, but tuition isn't due until April 28th, so I can just register before I have any answer and then wait for a decision. It's both nerve-wracking and exciting. I really hope that I'm able to go back. I do so little physically right now and it would be so nice to feel like I'm achieving something again. If I can start this summer and if I'm well enough by next spring to go to school in person, I'll be able to graduate in May 2011 and if I'm planning to go into business for myself I should be able to start working on that well before I actually graduate.
Also on the exciting and hopeful front, I'm going to see the new pulmonologist next Thursday to find out if I can have the transplant. I'm really amped up about it. I really hope that she agrees with me and everyone else in my life that this is the way to go. I want it so bad that I've been dreaming about it. It's going to be weird. I've been reading a book about autologous stem cell transplant and it certainly isn't going to be easy. I'm still trying to think about the not-so-bad side effects and the end result instead of focusing on the painful, life threatening side effects and complications that could arise. It's great to have so much support around me, too. So far no one has told me that it sounds like a bad idea or questioned why I would be so anxious to risk my life in this process. They all seem to understand that I would rather die trying to reclaim my life than to spend the rest of my life in the uncertain, sick, unfulfilling body.
Lots of hope this week.
BF's mom is in the hospital again, but she's doing much better than she was last week. There were a couple of days there where we didn't know what we were going to do. Her mental status had severely deteriorated; she wasn't able to help take care of herself, she didn't know when or where she was, and she wasn't recognizing people who she sees all of the time. When we went ot visit her yesterday it was like seeing a wholly different person. She's eating again and despite some mild confusion, she's nearly her old self. Of course she's still sick and we have no idea how long this will last. We're trying to figure out what the best option would be for her care. We would love to have her come home with us, as was the original plan, but things have gone downhill so very fast that neither BF or I are sure that we can give her adequate care in our home. We found another option that's pretty great though; there's a great local hospice that is so different from a nursing home and has a great philosophy of care just a few minutes away from where we're living. For now we're not making any decisions. She's going to enter a nursing facillity for a few weeks of physical therapy and at some point during that period we're going to evaluate where she stands and decide where she can get the care that she needs.
I'll check back in soon. For now, it's 4 am and I should probably sleep.