The first of these tests was the BRCA genetic test for hereditary breast cancer. I “passed” that one earlier in the week with a negative result. That means do prophylactic double mastectomy, which I wasn’t even letting myself consider as a real possibility due to the mental distress it would have caused if I thought about it too hard, and luckily, I no longer have to.
Despite blogging out my case for declining radiation for my DCIS in my last post, my doctor isn’t letting me off the hook that easily. I guess that’s fair, since standard procedure would be to ship me off to radiation immediate after the negative BRCA test. Since I’m resisting that standard procedure, he suggested a second test, Oncotype DX Breast DCIS Score, be run to help hone in on my personal change of recurrence. If it’s low, I’m off the hook, but if it’s high, I’ll have to rethink my position.
|Christmas break looked kind of like this...|
|...but mostly looked like this.|
I have finally met my match with this test, though. I have been relatively successful in my general knowledge-cramming over Christmas break, but there are still many practices questions where I have to give my full level of concentration and analytical thought to figure them out, and sometimes I still don’t. My original test was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on a Wednesday in Harrisburg, because that is the closest testing center. I chose that center because it was the closest and they only had 8:00 a.m. time slots. I did not know how serious the process was, and that I would be stuck in a room with no food, drink, bathroom breaks, or any of personal effects for 3.5 hours straight. Trying to do that when I’ve been up since 5:00 to get ready and make the drive sounds excruciating. There was no way I was going to be the “best self” I would need to be succeed under those circumstances.
Despite not wanting to pay the cancellation fee nor pay for another month of practice test subscription, I finally caved and moved the test back to January 31 at a slightly further-away test center. I did this to get a 1:00 slot on a Tuesday, so Frank can go with me as he has no Tuesday classes this semester. Even though it’s a longer drive, I think every hour driven before 8:00 a.m. counts double, so it will still be much more convenient. The later date will give me a bit more time to study and more importantly, the afternoon slot will allow me to go into the test properly rested, fed, and hydrated (but not too hydrated because no bathroom breaks). Given all of that, I’m feeling more confident about my chances of passing the exam, but sadly, BABOKing will likely take away some of my time and energy from training in January.
Finally, there is the TSE, which has somehow slipped several paragraph down in the tests that I will face in 2017. The registration opened on January, so after months of trying to recruit team members with little avail, Frank and I finally got to see the pricing for this year’s team category. With a starting price of $529 per person for teams of 2-4 people, it was a lot more than the $350-400 range I was expecting in January.
Given that completing the TSE is something that I’ve been planning/scheming/dreaming for nearly three years, the price alone wouldn’t have been enough to deter me. Last year’s race format collapsed the previous seven-day race into five-day “all meat, no filler” version on Monday-Friday. To me, last year’s race format was perfect: They combined the three most “meh” stages in one pretty good one, and the Monday-Friday format still gave people the weekends before and after for travel, acclimation, and recovery.
I know that travel isn’t a consideration in my TSE plans, but much like the CBAP exam, to be my “best self” that is necessary to my survival of such a undertaking, being well-rested and calm going into the race and have time to decompress (not take my pajamas off for two days) after will be. That is why I’ve been decidedly less stoked about the race since announced the change to a Thursday-Monday schedule so “people don’t have to take as many days off of work”. Sure the actual race covers fewer business days, but who realistically puts in a full day at work, does a five-day stage race, and then goes back into a full day of work immediately following, even if their distance from the race allows it? The new schedule would require me to take just as many vacation days and get less rest out of it.
They are bringing back the three-day version in 2017, which is more likely the reason for the wonky schedule change, to shove the three-day race into the three day weekend. The means that the Tussey, Enduro, and Cooper’s Gap stages are shoved together in the last three days of the five-day race. Those are the stages that I actually care about, so I made the decision that the extra money and stress to do the Bald Eagle and R.B. Winter stages weren’t worth it, at least for this already “testy” year. I may feel a little regret at not doing the “whole thing” as I had planned, but I’m also feeling kind of inspired to put in the best three days of Tussey/Enduro/Cooper’s Gap that I can. That’s still not an easy race by any means.
So with that very long explanation of the tests that I will be facing this winter, I will leave you until next week. I need to be studying, and well, studying.
|While I've been on-point in the gym lately, Laser Cat time on Sunday and studying on Tuesday seemed to have bumped my riding. Definitely planning on putting in the first hour of 2017 in on the rollers tonight.|