On November 15th, 2010, I finally became a Doctor.
..And what a journey it has been. This time last year I sat through the qualification ceremony of my class, and resolved that I would return to medical school and qualify. It has been long and it has been difficult. It has also been punctuated by 20 rounds of chemotherapy, and 9 CT scans. It has involved at times losing my life to study, and at other times losing my sanity to stress. Questions have been made, and with certainty, answered. I have finally run the gauntlet to its completion and survived to tell the tale.
For me, Medicine is more than a vocation, it is an intellectual challenge, it is a passion, but above all, it is the chance to serve humanity when they are at their most weak, their most frail, and their most mortal. The privilege to input into people’s lives during these moments cannot be understated, and with it comes responsibility, respect, and reverence for the human condition.
It was by the Grace of God that I was admitted into medical school, so it is not insignificant that it is by the Grace of God that I get to finish it. Credit lies with God, with Hannah, and with family and friends as I have embarked and endured the journey over the last 6 years.
Having cancer has made the journey more challenging, that goes without saying.
…but also, having cancer has made the journey more rewarding.
It should not be forgotten that it is in light of our suffering, our brokeness, and our trials and tribulations that our accomplishments, our joy and our celebrations become all the more colourful. Life is a vivid theatre of ups and downs, each up is only as monumental as the down that precedes it. It is in light of cancer that I can celebrate this achievement with so much more vigour.
It is in the light of my suffering that my joy shines.
Enjoy the photos of the evening.
This is a little late in the posting, and also late at night, so it will be brief.
Chemo round 20 has come and gone, not to dissimilar to other rounds. I am more or less in a regular routine with it now.
Perhaps, what is probably more significant is the fact that I get a break now for 4 weeks as Hannah and I are about to hit the South Island for 2 weeks. The break from chemo, and from Auckland will both be appreciated greatly. We have both been hanging out for this for sometime, and are just both tired from the business of life. It will be nice to refresh ourselves in some of the best parts of New Zealand.
Posting may be slower over the next few weeks, but there are some significant life events that will get coverage in due course, namely: Finishing medical school, Qualifying as a Doctor, Turning 30, and Starting a job at ADHB at the end of the month.
I will keep you all posted…
Tonight was my classes qualifying ceremony. Hannah and I were able to secure tickets courtesy of some behind the scenes wrangling. It was a bittersweet experience, to say the least.
It seems so long ago, yet also hardly yesterday that our class started out on day 1 of medschool. The anticipation of a new adventure; a timetable of lectures, laboratories, and workshops; dissecting a human body for the first time; and a world where the opportunities were endless and the future seemed limitless. All of a sudden, it all culminated in this evening.
Licensed medical practitioners….
Everyone but me….
I was SO happy to see everyone walk up the stage, it has been a monumental journey to get to this place. But at the same time I was battling my own emotions of loss.
Knowing that it could have been me up there;
Knowing that it should have been me up there;
… and feeling so completely screwed over by the last year of my life. Medicine was my dream. Medicine still IS my dream, my calling, what I still believe God wants me to do. I found it incredibly hard to sit through the ceremony and keep my eyes dry. There were a number of times where tears welled up and I had to blink them away, pretending I’m tougher than that.
Something about this ceremony really reinforced what has been taken away from me this year, not just health, not just parts of my life, but my future, my dreams, my hopes. It sorta all hit home.
But, as God as my witness, I WILL be standing up there next year with the class behind me. It will be by God’s grace alone that I might be able to fulfill this small part of the dream He has given me.
I look forward to that more than anything.
The class tonight put together a giant card for me with their signatures on it, this meant a lot to me. I was also given the class of 09 graduation tie (seen in the photo above). I’m going to wear it in the hospital next year… because in my mind, they will always be my class.
Congratulation everyone. We finally got there!