I'm just going to put it out there and, in the parlance of reality shows, let America decide. (Although in this case I know there are some international votes out there, too.) I know most of you don't know me personally, but that shouldn't stop you from making a snap judgment about my life. So here goes:
I have a choice to make. I want to go back to school and I am trying to decide between two paths: Library Science and Sonographer.
Before I was diagnosed I had just started a Master's in Library and Information Science. I was doing school part-time, working full time and then, Bam! Cancer. It was going to take me about 3.5-4 years to complete my masters this way, but I don't hate my job or anything so that was fine. I had dreams of being an academic librarian - helping with research and getting to learn cool, new stuff in the process, getting on the tenure track, going to some gorgeous, old, gothic library in the middle of an ivy-covered campus for work everyday. This is, like all fantasies, an idealized version, but you get the gist. In the end, I'm a nerd -- science, books, films. You name it, I nerd in it.
Then cancer happened and I realized a few things. About 10 years ago I had gone back to school to take a whole bunch of pre-med classes in the hopes of becoming a doctor. It's a long story, but eventually I decided not to, mostly because the thought of working in the crazy, f^&%ed up American healthcare system and going $100, 000 into debt from student loans sounded too unappealing. I still don't think getting an MD is for me, but while cruising the internet one day in my chemo haze I came across the idea of being an ultrasound technician or "sonographer" as they prefer to be called. This was appealing for a few reasons. First, it was still in the patient care field that had appealed to me as a pre-med, second it was intellectually stimulating (it's a bit like solving a 3-D puzzle to get the image right) and third it pays reaaalllllly well. Which, b.c., never was that important to me but one heinous year and thousands of dollars in co-pays n' crap later (which, I have to thank my dad for paying for -- I would have been in massive debt at this point without him) is something that seems more important.
So, what to do? I have decided that either way I think I will take some time off work to be a full-time student. If I do, the Sonography program will take about 1 to 1.5 years and the Library Science about 2.5 years. So, obviously, I can start to make some money sooner with the Sonography and replace my cancer-demolished war chest sooner. Both are cheap programs through state schools. (Go publicly funded education! Woo woo!) The Library Science would offer me more diversity in career options. The Sonography would allow me to travel much like nurses can. Really, there are pros and cons for both.
So, friends and random strangers reading my blog, what should I do? I have put up a poll on the top left side of the blog. It'll be there for a week. Go ahead -- you make the call! The power is in your hands, America!
What... should... I... do?