As you may recall from last month, I hate taking tests. In fact, about the only way I take a test is if someone makes me. In school, the teachers made me take tests. After graduation, employers made me take tests to get jobs (Series 7, Series 24, etc…). Finally, in my late 40s, I figured I was finished with tests for life. As most of my life proclamations have turned out, this one too, proved to be false.
The first time I took the Series 7 exam, I didn’t find out how I had done until about a week later. When I had to retake the test about 20 years later, I found out with the click of a mouse how I had done. There’s something to be said for immediate feedback. At least I didn’t have to go on a Schlitz binge waiting for the results, like the last time.
For my most recent test situation, I had to wait 10 days for the results. Much like slow water torture, no matter what I did I still had to wait, and wait and wait. As I was waiting in the office to get my results, I heard the guy who was to give me my results talking in the hallway. He made a joke to one of his employees about the salad dressing she was using. Surely, only good news could follow a laugh about salad dressing. Right?
As the doctor entered the room he was still chuckling to himself about his salad humor. He firmly shook my hand, looked at my chart and said, “Well Bill, we found one biopsy sample with cancer.” He spit all this out before I could make an even wittier comment (than his) about salad dressing. I soon forgot all the humor in my Wishbone Vinaigrette joke.
The good news is, because of its early detection my cancer hasn’t spread. As my doctor so aptly put it, “Don’t worry, this isn’t going to kill you.” The past few weeks have been like going back to school for me. In my three-week crash course I’ve learned about all the things that are going to happen to me soon… but won’t kill me. The biggest conclusion I’ve reached is that I might have to revive the old Schlitz binge, once again.