Like many others here, I am faced with new challenges and tons of questions. I am a 44 year old nursing student who is supposed to start the LPN program this fall, then LPN to RN next spring. In December I was dx'd with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.
My diagnosis has, of course, rocked my world. My hematologist has informed me that at this time I am not immune compromised at all. However, in the future I will be. He encouraged me to continue on my career path. CLL can be a really indolent disease, some people not needing treatment for up to 10 years.
I would appreciate advice. Is a new nurse required to work in a hospital setting prior to moving into other areas of nursing? People with CLL are at high risk of respiratory infections. My oncologist believes that these are mostly opportunistic once the immune system is compromised, but I have read conflicting thoughts on this.
I know, ultimately, the decision is mine. And I am left sitting here, wondering if the last 2 years of pre-req's have been for nothing. If I am going to owe student loans and have nothing to show for it...If leukemia is going to keep me from doing what I love.
I have been a CNA, have worked in LTC and in Home Health in that capacity. I LOVE patient interaction. I truly feel a passion for nursing and health care. I want to do this. But I don't want to be stupid about it and put myself at unnecessary risk.
Thank you so much