Almost everyone has been there before, where at some point in college, everything seems to fall apart and it seems to be over.
But for Myrna Jones, she had the scare of her life that actually could have ended everything.
Jones came to Missouri Western on Thursday, Feb. 12 to share her story to encourage others to finish school.
“I feel it is important for people to know that what I went through was a lot of challenges and bumps in the road and that everyone goes through bumps in the road,” Jones said. “But if you want something bad enough, you can get there and you just have to overcome everything to get there.”
Before going to college, Jones felt trapped at her job because of the many hours she had to work as a supervisor at the Community Blood Center.
She also had three kids to take care of at that time, so college seemed out of reach for her.
In 2006, Jones was diagnosed with Pulmonary Embolism, which are blood clots in the lungs. One year later, she was diagnosed again and at that point, she learned just how unhappy she really was.
At this time, she and her husband divorced and she made decisions that would help her future.
So she left her job, got a different one with flexible hours and went to National American University in Kansas City.
In 2011, she graduated with as an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and started to get the feel for what kind of job she wanted.
She started working at the prison in St. Joseph, where she met an officer who worked there, and they got married in 2012.
Later, she decided that she wanted to go into an eight month nursing program to better her career.
When Jones was about to graduate, she noticed a lump in her breast.
She went to the doctor’s a week later after it wouldn’t go away and it was later confirmed: she had cancer.
So they told her that she needed surgery and had to go through radiation and all of the other tests.
“I had so many thoughts and emotions go through my head,” Jones said. “My first thought was this can’t be happening to me. Surely, they’ve made a mistake. But after you’ve had your ‘poor me’ moment, you start to get past it and move on from there.”
Melanie Youtsey, who works at Western in the non-traditional and commuter services, is one of Jones’s sisters and was there for her during the entire process.
“When my sister was first diagnosed, my first thought was not another one,” Youtsey said. “My husband’s family had just lost two people from two different forms of cancer. Our cousin had just been battling breast cancer and of course, the worst-case scenarios always go through your head. But I also thought ‘she’s strong, she’s a fighter, she can beat it.’ And I am extremely proud that she finished her schooling after all she went through.”
Amanda Summers, Jones’s daughter, was also there for her.
“I was already a nurse working on the cancer floor when she was diagnosed,” Summers said. “I knew what treatments she had and what she had to go through. But I was so proud when she graduated. I always knew she could do it.”
Jones had two months to graduate and go through all of the treatments. She had to put the program on hold to deal with her diagnosis.
“The worst part of the treatment process was the radiation,” Jones said. “My skin did not react very well and was always irritated when I went through it.”
Everything worked out for her and she went back to school and finished her program.
Her trials were truly conquered and she has gone through so much. Just remember, that if it seems impossible, it isn’t. Anyone can go through anything.