a long awaited dream...hello doctoral program

March 15, 2022

 caravan sonnet

Something that many people don't know (or is lost in the "messiness" of my health story) is that I was in the midst of obtaining an advanced degree when my health & life shattered due to Lyme. For the 1st year home I continued my studies, completing assignments, papers, and projects from my bed, doctors offices, or the hospital. Eventually this became impossible to continue due to how sick I was and the extreme treatment.

In tears (and with the sincere well wishes of the leaders of the program I was in) I made the difficult decision to withdraw from the program, in the middle of a semester in 2014. It was one more "loss" in a series of numerous "deaths" in the health journey. And it was one that I don't often talk about as it was an extremely personal painful season for this gal who loves learning.
For years I have dreamed about going back to school for my doctorate 
and the timing has just never been "right" for a variety of reasons with my health or other personal reasons. After applying to various programs this year and being accepted to a variety of different things, I was humbled to accept a place in a program that started yesterday.

10 years ago (almost to the date) I had accepted an advanced degree program position not knowing that my health would shatter 
and it would be another decade before starting...

9 years ago this week I was finally 
and correctly diagnosed with Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease and multiple other illnesses and told that I most likely had months to live and would never see my 40th birthday because some of my organs were failing...

8 years ago this week I started with the medical team that saved my life 
and began the SLOW & LONG process of healing and withdrew from my studies

6 years ago (yesterday) #nicthepicc developed a serious blood clot that would cause a huge change in treatment 
and the introduction of #courtneytheportney

4 years ago this week I went into surgery where I was told that there was a high 
and probable chance that we would find out I had Cancer (again) this time stage IV as it was impossible to tell much from the size of the mass that was showing up during scans...
And yesterday I started the doctoral program... 

To be at this stage of healing is a gift that leaves me speechless...especially when at one point I had doctors from some of the most well-known medical clinics/hospitals in the world telling me there was no hope.

I know some of you are at those places I was years ago...where the losses and "deaths" are overwhelming. I hope that sharing this part of my story is an encouragement to you. It may seem that there is no hope for these "deaths", but there is and I promise things can get better. Hold on and keep dreaming and planting your future dreams even through the tears. To each of you: may light flood your journey in new ways so the darkness disappears. You've got this!

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