The Facebook Posts – Mel’s Cancer Diaries

I decided to earn my Master’s degree so I can advance in my career and in the fall semester of 2015 I registered for classes. My University decided that my credit for accounting and statistics were too out-of-date to transfer. With a heavy sigh, I registered for basic accounting. I work at a community college so I took the accounting class with one of our professors. Plus, I thought the added benefit of knowing the instructor would help me tackle my most hated classroom subject – mathematics.

I have made a career out of avoiding math. Hell, I could teach a class on how to grow up to be a middle-aged woman with a decent career and never have to deal with numbers. I sweat just thinking about fractions. I’m the person who trusts the cashier is counting my change back to me correctly. I never ask questions.

I made sure to sit next to the smartest girl in the class. I hoped some of her mojo would rub off on me. In fact, she was such a good student that at the end of the semester the professor got her a job as an accounting assistant at the college. (For some reason he didn’t offer that job to me.)

Mid- semester was when I found out about the cancer. This was a huge detriment to my studies. The amount of work in a basic accounting class is about 25 hours a week OUTSIDE of classroom time which was four hours a week. Not to mention I work full-time, teach a class on the side, and raise two teenage daughters. Somehow I had to cope with breast cancer AND pass a class that was really hard for me. At night after dinner I would study. Then I’d cry. Then I’d study some more. I’m not going to paint a rosy picture. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to make myself do. Yes, I had options. I could have dropped the class and taken it again after things settled down a bit. But, I was already half way through and I was bent on completing what I started. I scheduled my mastectomy after the semester was over. My goal was to focus on that class giving me room to focus on a surgery and healing right after.

I did OK on the mid-term and final exam. It was the workbook project that about killed me. No matter how many erasers and mechanical pencils I went through, I couldn’t get it to balance. Two O’clock in the morning before it was due I gave up. I threw in the towel and prayed for a passing grade.

I got a C.

I’ve never been so glad to get a C in my life! Typically, I earn A’s in my classes and let’s face it, I’ll never be an accountant. Ahhhh, the sweet smell of success!




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