I decided to become a nurse because my grandmother, mother, three aunts, and a cousin were all nurses. When I was 16, my grandmother went to the hospital for a cholecystectomy that revealed she had cancer with no known primary. I took care of her every evening for two months in the hospital until she died. The nurses on the hospital floor were so used to having me around, they offered me a job as their unit clerk. After a few years, I went to college and was accepted into an associate degree program. I received my first Associate's Degree in nursing in 1980. Twenty years later, I received my Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Three weeks after my 50th birthday, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. After my colon resection, while I awaited the pathology reports, I had time to think about my life and my career as a nurse. After deep reflection, I decided I had made the right choice, and if I had the chance to go back in time, I would not change my career. I decided I should go to graduate school and help train the next generation of nurses. I am presently in the graduate nurse program at the University of Missouri, where I expect to graduate in 2008 with a Master's in Nursing Education. Nursing is a large part of my identity, and I am very proud to be a nurse. Looking back on my life, I am what I was meant to be.