I am in a desperate need of advice

Good Day to All,

I am in a desperate need of advice

I found this lovely site by accident, but I am glade I stumbled on it. I have been browsing here for a quite some time, and have to say that the wealth of support/info is hard to find any where else. I am writing to all my friends, yes I say Friends, to give me advice with my situation.

Seven years ago I was diagnosed with rare cancer called acute myeloid sarcoma, after the doctors removed a mass on my spinal cord. I was scheduled to undergo three rounds of chemo, but I didn’t do well on the first one, suffered toxicity to chemo and several organ failures, and was told later that I went into a long coma. It took me a long time to recover from the ordeal. I am still in remission and Loving every moment of it.

During my treatment I insisted on taking classes against the advise of my family and doctors. I guess I was afraid, and taking classes made things seem normal to me. I have to say it wasn’t the best decision i made, but it made me happy and not think of chemotherapy.

My dilemma begins after I have recovered, or so I thought. I continued to take classes at my cc and continued to get bad grades. I left that cc, and enrolled into a private business school in hopes of starting with clean slate, but I kept getting a bad grade in one of my classes this quarter. This school does not offer science classes. If I want to take my pre requisites I have to transfer to a four year university. I am afraid to take any classes for the fall quarter because I don’t want to get a bad grade. I feel that I am loosing my dream of becoming a doctor because I can’t focus on the material in class. I tried so hard to repeat bad grades, but I don’t see any improvement. I am 27 now, and was diagnosed when I was 19. Should I go to my old cc and repeat the classes I failed, or should I stay where I am at the business school and try to transfer after I improve my GPA, which could take three more quarters. I am desperately asking for advice, any thoughts are appreciated.

Hi, Ocean. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I imagine many thoughts are going through your mind and they become overwhelming at times. I’d encourage you, as best as is possible, to sit back and try to dissect things one at a time. Here are some thoughts for you to consider…

What are your thoughts for why you’re doing poorly? Is it too taking too many courses at once? Is it a lack of fundmental knowledge? Inability to study? Inability to study effectively? Inability to retain information? etc. My personal feeling is that identifying the answer to this question will be key to turning things around.

How do you study for courses? Do you have tutors? Do you study with others? etc. Seemingly what you’ve done up to this point has been ineffective, so what changes do you think you can make so that you are able to be successful?

Have you met with academic counselors? Have they offered advice? Have you taken any assessments/profiles to see what type of learner you are or whether you may have a learning disability?

Your dream is still achievable if things are turned around–see other stories on the site regarding others with severe early academic challenges. But I think an honest assessment of what is keeping you from success and implementing changes will be required.

Best wishes!

Oceanview -

Congrats on a successful recovery!

I think that right now, the concept of repeating classes or transferring is premature. The most important thing for you to do right now is to figure out WHY you are doing poorly. It does absolutely no good to continue taking courses if you haven’t figured out what is behind your poor performance and taken steps to correct it. Is it test anxiety? Can you not recall material for quizzes and test? Do you run out of time on tests? Are you not understanding the material?

You should first sit down and try and objectively look at your academic performance. What are your weak areas? What are your strong areas? How much time do you spend studying? Do you feel like you understand the material for homework/quizzes/tests? Are there things that YOU can do to make yourself more efficient and a better learner? If possible, you may even want to ask some of your professors for feedback.

The second step may be to figure out if you have a learning disability (possibly as the result of your long coma). Does your school have a disability services office? If so, contact them and find out if you can get tested for different learning problems. They may be able to help you identify particular problems as well as help you develop strategies to overcome them.

In any case, I wouldn’t enroll in more courses unless you have figured out what is behind your poor performance and developed a strategy to do better.

MD2B2010 and Emergency thank you both for your thoughtful input. I will take your advise, and talk to a counslore. as of now i put taking classes on hold, til i figure out what’s causing my doing so poorly. I will do whaever it takes to make my dreams come true

I applaud you on SO many levels–best wishes to you!

How were your studies prior to the Chemo? Chemo is known to have adverse effects on the brain.

I was a freshman in college when diagnosed. prior to chemo, I did well in my classes with 4.0 GPA. but not any more. I think I am strugling most with the thought process so to speak, It takes me longer time to study for an exam, wich makes taking a full load of classes almost imposible for me. I did that in the past, and did poorly. I hope the councler at my school will be able to guide towards what i can do to improove my outcome in school, because iam really frustrated with my self,I feel i am pushing a wall that is not moving.

Congratulations on remission! I personally understand how cancer can change your life. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 33 and have been cancer free for 2 years now, but it is still so fresh in my mind some days. Do you think that maybe emotionally you haven’t healed from having cancer? Emotions, depression, unresolved worries, can interrupt concentration too. Just thinking out loud…Meg