Saturday, October 31, 2009

Making Strides for Breast Cancer

This morning Corey, Kelli (a friend from school) and I walked in Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk put on by the American Cancer Society. Thanks to extremely generous family and friends our team (Betty Benson's Fan Club) was able to raise $610 in only 2 1/2 weeks! Wow! I am amazed by people's willingness to give for such a wonderful cause.

At the walk there were several speakers - one of which was one of the lead researchers who brought Tamoxifen to the market for the treatment of breast cancer. He told the story of how it was initially developed as a birth control pill - but, although it prevented pregnancy in rats, it didn't work in the least for humans. The drug works to block estrogen at it's receptors. So this scientist thought - This drug blocks estrogen receptors and there are breast cancers which are fed by estrogen - perhaps this can work to treat those cancers. And this mistake was turned into a "miracle drug" which has saved thousands of women's lives. What an amazing story!

It was great to see all the people who were walking and the effort they put into the walk. Several were wearing costumes (it was Halloween after all). Others made team t-shirts which said who they were walking for. Some were decked out completely in pink - from a pink shirt, skirt, and tights to neon pink wigs with big pink sunglasses.

  • A line of walkers

  • Betty Benson's Fan Club:
  • My wonderful husband who supports me in all I do:
  • Walking for my mom!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.... :)

Seriously though, I was thinking this afternoon about stuff that I love so I decided to share the list (in no particular order):

  • Coming home to a dog that is super excited to see me
  • Seeing the leaves change brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow during fall
  • Snow!
  • Getting the Pottery Barn/Crate and Barrel/Williams-Sonoma catalog in the mail
  • Getting my Cooking Light magazine in the mail
  • Taking vacations
  • Going home (CA or TX) to see family and friends
  • Beautiful afternoons full of sun and warmth
  • The feeling after finishing an exam
  • Cookies, cakes, brownies, breads...anything baked and sweet!
  • Baking sweet things ;)
  • Playing with babies or kiddos
  • Spending time with my hubby
  • Going to the movies
  • Reading a good book (been a while since I've been able to finish a book that's not school related)
  • Exploring new places
  • Hot chocolate from Starbucks
  • The feeling of satisfaction after cleaning the apartment
  • Grocery shopping (especially at Wegmans!)
  • Road trips
  • Watching Lacey do crazy stuff like attack the rug or run around like crazy
  • Watching it rain/watching a storm roll in
  • Seeing patients with cool illnesses
  • Correctly diagnosing said patient with the cool illness
  • Shopping - online and in store!
  • The beach
  • A good margarita or mojito
  • Mexican food
  • My hubby
  • My 3 beautiful nieces (with two more on the way!)
  • My wonderful family (including the in-laws!)
  • Christmastime
  • Listening to music
  • .....

And the list could go on and on, but we'll stop there for now. Hope this brought a smile to your face! What are some of your favorite things?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Help me raise money for Breast Cancer

Tonight, I decided to join the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk in honor of my mom, which will be occurring in DC on October 31. Here's my website where you can go to join my team or donate money to my fundraising efforts. Thanks in advance for your support!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My ER rotation is close to being over :( I only have 5 shifts left before I move on to Peds at a private pediatric practice about an hour away. So far I've seen TONS of cool things in the ER. It's not a large trauma center, so the only trauma we see are patients involved in small car wrecks or injured joints after football/softball/field hockey (pick your sport) games. We have seen a lot of sick patients, though. I've seen a couple people in diabetic ketoacidosis which can be very dangerous for diabetic patients dependent on insulin. It's a very complicated, but fascinating disease process. I've also seen a couple of patients with infected gallbladders (cholecystitis) - one of which I diagnosed just after interviewing her and doing her physical (for which I got a nice compliment from my preceptor). I did get to place a couple sutures in a guy's finger which was cool. Unfortunately though, I haven't had the chance to do any other procedures. Hopefully that will change in the next week! Of course there's been tons of people (kids mostly) with "flu-like illness" which we are assuming is H1N1. Luckily (knock on wood) I have not come down with any of it as of yet! And, as of today, I've been vaccinated against seasonal flu and H1N1. I've never once gotten the flu vaccine, but I decided this year, with the daily close contact with sick patients, my chances of getting it and/or passing it along were just too high. Plus, working in the ER then peds at the beginning flu season means my risk is just that much higher!

I realized the other day just how lucky I've been so far in my training. I met a girl from another PA program who is only 2 months into the program and is extremely frustrated with what's going on within her program. She also told me she was told by a patient that they did not want to see her because she was a student. I have been fortunate thus far in that I haven't been turned away by any patients. I've also had the chance to educate several patients on what PAs are and what we do - hooray!

Finally, this article was published earlier this week ranking Physician Assistants as the #2 Best Job in America! Wahoo! I cannot wait to fully join the profession upon graduation :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sometimes I drive myself crazy...

  • Like when there's kitchen full of food but I can't find anything to eat
  • Or when my feet are freezing, but they get too hot when covered up
  • When the house is dirty, but I can't motivate myself to clean it
  • When I watch horrible daytime TV instead of studying/working on school stuff
  • When I'm bored speechless, and I've got a zillion things to do at home or outside, but nothing seems enticing
  • But mostly, when something's bothering me, but I don't have the guts to say something

Guess, I've got some things to work on :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back to work

Tomorrow I start back to work treating and caring for patients to whom I'm not related :) Over the last week I was fortunate enough to go home and be with my parents while my mom had surgery. The surgery went well and she is currently recovering at home with help from my aunt and dad. Once she's healed (another 3 weeks or so), she'll find out more about radiation and things of that sort. Now that it is October we are in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it means even more to me than it ever has before. My mom was fortunate because she had regular screenings and the cancer was caught early. She also was lucky to live near a hospital with a specialized Breast Care Center and a renowned breast surgeon. I thank God for the ways things have turned out for her thus far.

I came back to the east coast Friday and have been able to unpack, clean, relax, recover from jet lag and spend some quality time with Corey before diving into the unpredictable shift work that comes with an ER rotation. Today we spent the morning driving west to an orchard to pick our own pumpkins. The drive was pleasant through some fall colors and the weather was great! We picked out 2 large pumpkins to carve and 2 "baby" pumpkins for decoration around the apartment.

  • A view of the pumpkin patch full of great pumpkins!
  • Our pumpkin "family" - the 2 big guys will be carved sometime this week

On the way home, we stopped off at a Farmer's Market and got some treats like apple butter, blackberry jam, produce and homemade dinner rolls. After all this, we made it home in time to watch Sunday afternoon football - which made Corey very happy. If only the Cowboys were able to pull off a win....oh well - still a great week overall. Looking forward to a great week full of exciting adventures in the ER!