I was a good student. I hated high school with a passion, but I loved learning. College was the best time of my life. Okay granted, it wasn't all about the learning that made it so great, but it was a big part of it. I was the weird kid who liked standardized tests, all through school, and going to Catholic school, we've had standardized tests every year since I can remember. Sure, I hated, absolutely hated, getting tests back. My low self-esteem and I were always convinced that we must have failed, even though that was rarely the case (let's just ignore my whole pre-cal year in high school and most of accounting in business school - thanks). For normal tests, you studied - at home, in school, with groups, alone. And even for big tests, like the SAT or some similar test, you had many a practice run beforehand. We practiced for months, studied, did the PSAT, etc etc - so could prepare as best as you did or didn't see fit.
However, I have, in the past 8 months, entered into a whole new world of tests - ones I can't study for, or practice for, or prepare for. And ones I can't do over.
In preparation for the big entrance to the world of radiation, I have another CT scan scheduled next week. CT scans, if I had perhaps a broken bone, or maybe an ovarian cyst, or even a kidney stone (which I have had and let me tell you, I know the pain is no joke) would represent a simple diagnostic tool. But when you have cancer, CT scans fucking suck. Because you don't know what is or isn't there until you take the test. Because you cannot change what the machine sees, no matter how well you prepare. Because what it sees can determine - let's be honest - whether you live or die. Because if there is something there I don't want to see - if I "fail" the test, I don't get to beg the teacher for a second chance, I don't get to explain that thedogatemyhomeworkIwassickIwasworkinglatelastnightmayIpleasetakethetestreadthebookdothepaperoveragain. Because there are no do-overs.