Humans of UCSF

“I am a cancer mom. Once a cancer mom, always a cancer mom. I'm also a registered nurse and have worked in the emergency department (including a pediatric trauma center) and intensive care for over 15 years.

“For me, 2016 has been a year of success accompanied by huge changes. This is my first time living in a new city with new people, opportunities, and responsibilities.

“I am a fairly non-traditional pharmacy student. I started pursuing an entirely different field, my husband and son are back in Southern California, I am older.

“I grew up all over the world, but I’ve somehow always lived in the Bay Area on and off. My first exposure to nursing was at a high school career fair; I then decided to shadow different nursing professions.

“I've never made a penny being a doctor, so that makes it not a job. My sense of a doctor is that one is a presence caring for health. So I'm never not a doctor. People call me from all over the world who are hurting, and I care for them.

“Finishing my summer dental research project feels so good! While I am the editor-in-chief for the dental research newsletter and have years of research experience under my belt, I still don’t feel like a confident researcher.

“It's crazy to think this place has been my home for the past four years. So much learning and growth, as well as patient care, have been achieved in these cubicles. I saw my very last patient at UCSF Dental Clinic this past Thursday.

“In 2008, I nearly failed out of UC Berkeley. At the time, I was a heavy drug user, having lots of anonymous condomless sex with other guys, and isolating myself from the people who loved me.

“I’m beginning to learn how to look at the big picture. I’ve always been so focused on the details of everything; anything from planning every last car ride to making sure the prep on my tooth looks as perfect as possible.

“Having school from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on most days and constantly studying after class, it’s easy to lose yourself and forget what makes you happy.