“Meetings in the sunroom indicated decline in progress. Ms. B was a breast cancer survivor, but telltale signs told us this horrible disease had returned. She sat at the far end of the table. Uncharacteristically quiet and still, she seemed like a shadow of her former self. Her skin was now a yellow-green, like a half ripened banana picked over at the grocery store. The muscles in her arms had lost most definition as they wasted away from atrophy. Her skin was thin like tissue paper and you could see the blood vessels in her neck and face. Her sandy-brown wig now sat too big on her head. As we began discussing her prognosis, Ms. B sat wordless, while forcing herself to sip the supplement I brought her.
We reviewed Ms. B’s chart, which included her drastic weight fluctuations, elevated laboratory panel, and physical appearance, and suspected the worse. My preceptor, who was the facility’s dietitian and social worker, showed Ms. B her chart. They discussed her options while insisting that she go to the hospital, just for good measure. Ms. B tried to assure us she’d be okay. I didn’t know then that I would never see her again.
I am thankful that most of my experiences with patients end in success and healing, but I never forget the ones I couldn’t help. I understand that diseases, like cancer, can be beyond our control. However, with preventative measures such as education, many other diseases and illnesses can be managed and even avoided.
By being able to share my knowledge with people it may benefit is one of the many reasons I want to join the Peace Corps. My knowledge in dietetics can be used to help others improve and even extend life experiences. Too commonly, nutrition counseling is seen as a luxury, but it shouldn’t be that way. I want to be able to change lives by aiding people to make better dietary choices. The valuable contribution of my knowledge in nutrition, health, and wellness is a way I can be of service to people who may not have access to this information.
I understand that there will be many challenges, both physical and emotional, that I have never experienced. Although it may be impossible to wholly prepare for every unforeseeable challenge, through my life experiences I have learned to always be coachable, adaptable, prepared, and keep my composure during difficult circumstances.
My excitement comes from the desire to see a foreign country in a nontraditional way, raw and unfiltered. I’m eager to venture outside my comfortable American life, and relish the idea of learning a foreign language, seeing new landscapes, and, most importantly, spending time with diverse people that I will come to love, appreciate, and cherish. I look forward to creating meaningful relationships that last beyond my years of service. I want to understand people and customs that are unlike my own while contributing to pushing the world towards peace, respect, and understanding.”
I joined the Peace Corps, ya’ll!
I started this post over 5 months ago, but have waiting for the perfect time to let everyone know. What better day than my birthday?
With the right support systems in your life, you learn to think outside the box, and it opens your eyes to a whole new World, without borders.
When you find your purpose it’s something that you can’t shake. It keeps you up at night. You visualize yourself in that place or time.
And there is peace in that.
A weird sense of peace. It’s difficult to describe, it just feels peaceful. (I know, you’re not supposed to use the same word to define a word.) My blog, my rules.
After the passing of my friends late last year, I realized even more how important it is to live with purpose and intent. Some people will think you’re crazy or what you’re doing is dangerous. For those people, I will tell you to re-read the previous three paragraphs.
The way that everything will pan out (once medical clearance, by the end of this week), I will be flying out to Namibia, Africa on April 11 of this year. I will be working as a Health Extension Volunteer in the Community Health and HIV/AIDS (CHHAP) program.
My blog will be taking a somewhat new direction as I begin this new adventure in life.
Thoughts and prayers are always encouraged during this exciting time in my life.
❤ and peace,