Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hearts flowers and such. My mushy post for the year.

I gotta take a little time to brag a bit. I'm sure the only people actually reading this are my parents. (Hi mom) but thought I would express how thankful I am for my guy.

Last night he cooked a steak dinner for me. The table was set with flowers, candle, and a full home cooked meal. We ate a wonderful meal and just got to talk which unfortunately we don't get a lot of time to do as of lately. With our schedules between my nursing school and his work we Hadn't seen each other all week apart from about 20 minutes one night. He knew how stressed out this week and chose to keep our night together low key and relaxing. It was perfect.

Movies, dinner, and goofing off was just what I needed for our Valentines/ One year anniversary.
After dinner we changed into comfy clothes to watch movies the rest of night. 
I got flowers, chocolate, chap stick (so I don't steal his anymore) a Ohio State Blanket, and a beautiful necklace. He did good.

This past year has not been an easy one. Three surgeries, a summer apart, 70+ hours in the car, 13 states, meeting both families, getting into nursing school, countless car jam sessions full of dancing, sonic drink runs, and club functions. We have seen good times and difficult. But we have been made stronger by it all. I can not wait to see how this next year goes for us. As Eric graduates and I continue nursing school I know the next few years won't be easy and we more than likely won't be in the same state most of the time, but I know God has a plan for it all. I can not wait to see how our story unfolds. I am a luck girl. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Going orange.

It has been 3 years. Three years since the person who inspired this journey left this earth. Zach Kraus was the reason I decided to pursue a career in Nursing. Zach was diagnosed with ALL. After battling ALL for many years he went into remission with the help of his sister and a bone marrow transplant. This transplant caused Graft vs host disease. He  endured radiation, chemotherapy, 30 surgeries, a bone marrow transplant, a liver transplant, and constant pain. He fought his way back after numerous infections nearly took his life and continues to inspire people all over the world.

Our mothers were and still are best friends. We grew up together in play groups. Zach wasn't diagnosed until after we moved away and unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to see him after his diagnosis. That does not diminish his effect on my life. I followed closely on his care link page that was updated by his mother and at time himself. Even through his illness he put others first. He raised 11,000 dollars to buy PlayStation's and gaming systems for children to have in the hospital to play when they stayed on the oncology wing. He also used to money to help pay for a friends bone marrow treatment. He was selfless. He was and is my hero.

Zach decided on his own to end his treatment. At the age of 16 he made the decision to stop fighting. He chose to end his battle in the place where it all started at St. Christopher's. I refuse to admit cancer won this battle. Zach took his diagnosis and changed lives. He took his time in the hospital and effected every nurse that came in contact with him. He changed the life of his oncologist. He effected people who lived across the world, people whom he had never met.

Now that I am in nursing school, there is rarely a day that he doesn't cross my mind. I believe he is looking out for me while I go through this journey. Giving me the extra push when I am exhausted and have mountains of paperwork to get through.

There is an issue. Out of 10 children diagnosed with cancer, 2 will not survive past 5 years. 1 of those will pass the five year mark but die soon after. More than 95% of the survivors will suffer serious and chronic complications by the age of 45. We need more funding. We need more research. I am putting a few links for donation sites and more of Zach's story. I can guarantee it will touch your life. Wear orange today in honor of Zach and every other child who battles cancer.

Thank you Zach. Thank you for showing me what it truly means to be strong and fight. Thank you for inspiring me to make a difference and work with children and families suffering from cancer and its treatments. Thank you. We miss you.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

This semester has not been an easy one. When they tell you about nursing school people use words like- stressful, intense, exhausting, draining, and impossible. I hate how negative the world of nursing school has become. Entering into the program, I already had convinced my self that my experience would be the same. I would be miserable for two years until I finally graduated and became an RN. 

The first two weeks I let this be my mindset. I let the negative thoughts take over. In turn I was exhausted and stressed and overwhelmed most of the days. Instead of focusing on the new relationships I was forming with my new professors and classmates I focused on just getting things down and the lack of sleep I was getting. 

Today I am choosing to change. I am choosing to look at this whole experience as a positive one. I am choosing to focus on the wonderful relationships I am forming, the skills I am learning, and the chances I am getting to touch lives. I am in no way saying that there won't be stressful days, or nights, or times when it seems there are not enough hours in the day to complete it all and get sleep. But I can choose my attitude and who I set my focus on.

 Jesus Calling for today was perfect and reminded me of our Sponsor Lisa Carr who passed away after battling cancer for 7 years.  I met her my freshman year and she completely changed how that year went. Unfortunately our bible study ended after her cancer returned but she was the sponsor for Pi Theta Phi and I also looked forward to talking with her at meetings. One thing she always would encourage us to do would be to take our thoughts captive and point them towards God. We have the ability to focus on God. He will guard you and keep you in constant peace, as you focus your mind on me. Seriously how awesome is that. When we are in times our turmoil, in grief, in stress, he is there. He wants us to come to him with our trials and lean on him for our comfort and peace. I know Mrs. Lisa is singing and dancing with our Lord in heaven. Finally pain free. My heart hurts for the fact that she is no longer on this earth with us. I will miss her gentle spirit and the way she knew just what to say when we were hurting and broken. She was a little piece of heaven for every person that knew her and her presence will be immensely missed. 

From now on I hope to make my posts more encouraging. More focused on the positives of Nursing school and not the negatives. I want to keep the focus on God and how he sustains me thorough this process of completing my degree. 

- Kelsie 

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Start.

The time has finally arrived. That's right, I am officially a Nursing Student. I completed my first week full of orientation, 150 page syllabi's, new teachers, and already a few tears. That's right I have already become overwhelmed and a bit stressed but all is well. 

On Tuesday we had a transition ceremony. This ceremony focused on the start of this new journey we were about to jump into. They spoke of the relationships that would be formed with our professors and other Nursing classmates. How during the next 2 years we would grow. We would become stressed, overwhelmed, and at times lost in a sea of paperwork and nursing diagnosis'. But it would all be worth it.  We made our way to the front of the room and our professors stood as we lit the candles given to us. To signify the lights we would be. The lights in a world that is sometimes filled with darkness. A light to our patients. 

Going out into the world with a Christian mindset. To do no harm to our patients. To take the time to pay attention to each patients needs or fears. There will be times when they need a hand to hold or someone to laugh with. I can not wait for these days. To serve HIS kingdom everyday. 

Tuesday I being my first rotation of clinical. Chronic then Psychology. Next year I will begin with Acute and OB. I am so excited to start this adventure. One that leads to that RN next to my name and hopefully a job in hospital. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pre insanity

I love these first few weeks of school.  Why? Because I still have a social life. My mind is not yet completely consumed by stress and anxiety over classes, projects, and tests. 

This past weekend I got to enjoy two events plus a leisurely day of football and studying. 

Friday night consisted of a football paint war 
Who wouldn't want to spend 3 hours throwing paint on each other while playing football. It was a great night. Even though it took me an hour in the shower to get all the paint out of my hair. 

Saturday consisted of college football and the white county fair. You can not go to Harding/ live in searcy without attending this event at least once. We went with Eric's sister and her husband. We spent the evening consuming gross amounts of fried food, playing typical fair games, and ended up winning 3 gold fish. 
Soon though the papers will pile up, clinicals with start, and my mind will slowly start slipping away. For now I'm enjoying these nights. Hopefully they won't completely disappear here in a few weeks. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I love my school

I can't say this enough, I love my school. Now it hasn't always been true. I absolutely hated this place my freshman year. I surprised a lot of people by coming back as a sophomore, but I did. I am so thankful I stuck it out. 

I have met some of the most wonderful people here. People who would drop everything to help me. People who challenge me to live for Christ. People who encourage me to stay positive and always do my best. People who are intentional with their relationships. 

A lot of these people came from my club. Pi theta phi. Yeah I knew it's a weird Greek name, but welcome to harding. We do things a little differently here. These women have been the biggest blessing in my life. They have been my safe place to go when it feels the world is caving in. My shoulders to cry on in bad times rand friends to rejoice with in good times. This week marks the start of the pledging process for our new members. I can not wait to see what wonderful girls we get to join us this year.  Here's a picture of my roommate from last year and I at our first open house. We pledged together last year and she is just wonderful. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The 5th semester

Junior year has begun. I feel like the last 2 years have absolutely flown by. How can I be halfway (well 2 years and a semester) away from graduating. That much closer to the dreaded NCLEX. But also that much closer to my goal, my dream, becoming a nurse. This summer and past semester were both challenging ones. Full of hard conversations, tears, and finding myself. I look back on who I was when I first started this process. I have grown from an awkward insecure freshman to a more confident and independent person. I have made friends with some of the most amazing people. People who challenge and uplift me. People I hope to maintain friendships with the rest of my life.

But enough about my personal life

School has begun. Papers, tests, and projects have already been assigned. My First validation of the semester is out of the way and I am already feel more confident in this class than I did last semester. Repeating a class is never fun. And at times its embarrassing. But its not as uncommon as your might think. Science classes are HARD! Figuring out how you study and manage your time is a task in its self. Unfortunately I had to fail a class (or two) to figure it out. In the past two years I have learned that I have to say no. This is not something I am very good at. I love being involved with things. I love helping people and being there when someones in need. Which is all very good but at times I have to say no. I have to put my school work first, put my self first, and buckle down. I love what I am learning about. I love learning how the God made the human body to work and how we can use science to fix it. I can not wait till I actually get to put all this studying and late nights to use. But until then, Ill keep studying, I'll keep validating and stressing, I'll keep changing old peoples diapers and giving bed baths. One day it will all be worth it. When I have that RN next to my name.