Although I don’t believe in a god per se, I do believe in some form of fate. Throughout our bicycle journey (http://goingeast.ca/blog) we often felt that something was looking out for us. When I started my PhD, I reflected on fate here.
I think that fate played a role in helping me be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Fate directed me towards the PhD program, where I ended up working with the Department of Family Medicine (DFM). Without this, I never would have found myself working in medical education. The last three years working with DFM has meant that I have developed a much deeper understanding for how medical education works, how some aspects of medical research work (e.g. I know what implementation research is), and how medicine is practiced in an academic setting (even the difference between a community and academic setting). These all have proven to be very valuable, as I learn to navigate the American health care system. I also now have friends who are physicians, and they have been a great support.
The PhD program also helped me discover myself as a blogger. It helped me create a wide reaching social network (really several networks) – which I am very grateful for. When I first heard that I had cancer, I had people that I could reach out to – friends who put me in touch with other friends – all helping to form a network of support. It is at these times of crisis that we discover the true power of being part of networked communities.
Thank-you everyone for your supporting words. When we were on our bike trip, we learned to ask for what we needed – it was not an easy thing, as it isn’t normal in our culture. I wrote about hospitality and permitting others to help us on our journey. To that end, a small help that you could provide on my journey would be to send a postcard, at some point over the next year (not all at once please) – something random at some random time. A postcard with a smily face, a poem, or a joke. Getting a small thing in the mail will put a smile on my face. I’m not sure I want to post our address here – so email/facetime/twitter me and I’ll provide it. Thanks.