UW Women's Center
Naomi True, Re-Entry Student
I was introduced to the Women’s Center about a year ago, to locate scholarships that would help with my school costs as I worked towards my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at the University of Washington. In February, 2010, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, breast cancer. My first thoughts were about finishing my BSN and taking care of my daughter. I had been in school for 5 years, since the birth of my daughter, and as a single mother I was horrified at the thought of not being able to finish. Through the whole process, however, Nancy and all the staff were so supportive reaching out with words of comfort and wisdom.
I finished my last quarter of nursing school while undergoing chemotherapy. Looking back, I can hardly remember how I woke up at 5:30 in the morning and took the bus down to Harborview to complete my 12-hour a day shifts. I graduated in June and walked across the stage with my cap, gown, and wig, because my hair had all fallen out. Shortly after graduation I went through surgery, a bilateral mastectomy and partial reconstruction. I decided to continue on to a Master’s of Nursing in Community Health at UW, but, two and a half months later, I began classes only to discover that I had to have emergency surgery the next day for an infection. After three days in the hospital, I went home and started the second week of classes with renewed determination.
I am currently enrolled in classes for my master’s. I am scheduled to begin radiation treatments in a couple of weeks and then, hopefully, will be able to rest from all the treatments for now.While it sometimes feels as if the sky has fallen down around me and I am not sure which direction to go, I am still stepping forward, one foot in front of the other. I am so grateful for the doctors, faculty, classmates and places like the Women’s Center, that continue to help me through this. With so many positive loving thoughts, I am certain I will get through this and enjoy a bright future without fear or doubt.