Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blurred Lines? No Blurred EYES!

I postponed my MCAT.  Again.  "FAIL" resounds in my head ... well it did, albeit, very briefly.

Going into mid-November, I was feeling great - answering questions in my on-line, live Kaplan course with about 95% accuracy (I marked my wrong answers and tallied them up every night).  The online section tests were scoring, on average 98% (primarily, I got 100% on all of them but a few threw me for a loop).

Then, Thanksgiving hit... and some other wild personal things and before I knew it:

1.  I had not taken the full length of Kaplan's yet

2.  Work was piling up for year-end close of the acquisition (I led the $300M acquisition integration for a
$1B company)

3.  Christmas hit... with going home, seeing Dad, not studying while there and really... I knew.

The NEW MCAT is different.  Less physics, more biochem (win!)

And the holidays won't be in the middle... my client won't be purchasing another company (or not that I know of right now) and did I mention???


Give me some amino acids please along with Fe mid hemo and myo and why alligators can stay under water for long periods of time, why Trypsin and the Chymo reaction is so important, and still full understanding of why Loops of Henle in camels allows them to go without water for long periods of time.

I'm okay with all of this.  I WILL be a doctor.  I will be.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Last Christmas?

My dad couldn't catch his breath, slumped over the walker that my mother was using instead... he had to sit, hold his head; smiling at my son and I, trying to hide the fear.

I hate this.

I hate watching this man whom I've adored my entire life slip away in front of me.  I hate watching him suffer and shake.  I hate watching him lose his balance and if I were not there to steady him, he would have fallen.  I hate that he is ... dying.  I hate it.

Christmas.  The season of peace and hope... and yet in my own world, with my dad, there is none.  He is struggling.  For life.  To be 50 again and able to meander to Florida and put his feet in the Gulf. I don't know that he is able to fly... and surely, he can't be in a car for the drive.

Trying to find a reason to celebrate today and instead finding solace in the MCAT prep until I see him again this afternoon... where I steady myself for what could be, the last Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


First time I heard this song, I was driving to work and almost pulled over... eyes watered up, tears streaming down my face, chest heaving in pain ...

Then I came home and pulled up the video.  More tears, bigger throat lump.

My dad.

I talk about him often on here.  As his health withers and his mental ability to remember or think slips, I'm so thankful that he IS my dad.

Growing up my mother was a tyrant.  She still is.  I moved 1500 miles away to get away from her and her alone.

The beatings I took on a daily basis with ping pong paddles, spatulas, metal serrated spoons coupled with harsh words that I was worthless, spoiled, nasty...

I was 5 and it did not stop until I was 17.

But my dad, who was gone Monday through Friday, always came home and obviously, was oblivious to what she did to me.  He still is.

In his own way, he made me unbreakable.  He cheered my successes, took me to ice cream when I was grounded (every week, replete with being beaten), he stood up for me when my life was a shambles.  I was 5... and he never stopped.

He still hasn't stopped.  As I watch his life slip away, I can only look up and say a quiet thank you to whatever power is above for having him in my life.

And today as I wonder if I can actually be ready for the MCAT on the 15th, I quietly hear my dad saying, "GO PJ, you can do this!!!"

Yes, Dad, I will keep trying.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


We fly in Tuesday night and leave late Christmas day.

Two days in Minnesota.

Last year, we spent 10 days there in early to mid-December as we waited for my dad to pass.  It was gut wrenching to be sure for the first few days... cardiac ICU at Mayo, however, apparently was going to give me the best present ever...

My dad lived.

And still does.

We are not telling him.  Please don't tell him either :D

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Small things, really.


Support... gentle nudging.

Because sometimes, I just don't know ;)

Small things.  Emails from professors who know the stories - all of them - and encourage you.

But I do know.  I just have to keep putting one foot, one pencil, one mark on the page and continue plugging along.

T - 6