I started feeling helpless after my first failed exam in med school. I couldn’t sleep for 2 weeks straight upon entering the next course, . Thoughts of committing suicide came back. Surrounded by my peers who entered medical school straight after high school, I felt inferior. You see, I repeated my A-levels just to enter medical school.
Not surprisingly, I failed the next course which meant that I had to take an additional year compared to my peers. I sought help from my school’s clinical psychologist and was referred to CAPS. However, the feelings of desperation kept coming back.
Later that year, I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid carcinoma while doing my last course for first year. It was difficult telling my parents , they didn’t believe me and were in denial. I was crushed and just wanted to end it all. Constantly wondering: what is my purpose? Why do I have to be such a burden?
I failed my last course and applied for special consideration. I felt ashamed applying for special consideration for my mental health issues. Cancer seemed a better ‘excuse’.
I had a total thyroidectomy and radiation at the start of this year. Coming back to Sydney, I struggled telling my friends why my voice changed and that I had cancer. I was afraid of being judged and pitied. I still continue with my consultations at CAPS and that provided me with the tools to help with feeling low.
Now I still worry about my cancer spreading everyday, but at least I am living my dream being in medical school. Hopefully, I end up being a good doctor at the end!