Ready for a Fight: The CPA Exam in Perspective

12 Mar 2013


Kricket is a Moderator on the Forum and NINJA CPA Blogger.

As I’m writing this, it’s Thursday night, the night before potential score release. For the first time in years, I’m not stressing about my score.

I have no intention of stalking NASBA’s website. Sandra, an Another71 alumnus, is going to handle the stalking for me this round. It feels good to not worry about score release for a change.

I’ve always been honest and up front about the challenges I’ve faced throughout my time as a CPA candidate. For me, the most important thing about those three letters isn’t the money or job offers that they bring, it’s the fact that people know they can trust you.

In order to be fully trusted, I feel like I need to be completely honest about everything. So I’ve never lied about a failing score or tried to blame my failures on anyone other than myself.

I’ll admit this exam has taken me to a very dark, angry place. I really don’t like that place. The years of testing have taken a toll on my health and have changed me in ways I never dreamed possible. I’ve always been a positive person, seeing the glass half full, but getting hit by the #73 train twice felt like my heart got ripped out.

I became angry, bitter and mean. I don’t like that version of me. So I disappeared for a while. Little did I know that the exam wasn’t the only reason I didn’t feel or act like me.

Last October, the doctor discovered what she called a “mass” in my thyroid. I call it a “thing”. Now, having a nodule or cyst in your thyroid is very common and medication shrinks them. Usually, they aren’t anything to worry about.

I found out the day before I took FAR in February that the medication hasn’t shrunk the “thing”. In fact, it has grown and now it has some friends. The ultrasound indicated potential thyroid cancer cells. She also did some blood work to test for a certain genetic marker that is an indication of a certain type of thyroid cancer.

Of course, she found that I have this genetic marker. So Tuesday, I’m taking a different kind of test. Tuesday is the day they biopsy the “thing” and I find out what kind of thyroid cancer I have.

The best-case scenario is that it is the genetic form because it is the easiest to cure. This is the only test I’m really worried about passing right now. FAR seems a million miles away right now. The thought of someone sticking a needle in my throat is a lot scarier than REG and BEC combined.

All of this has helped me put the CPA exam in perspective. I’ve been killing myself to pass a test and I’ve let life pass me by.

I’ve stressed myself out to the point of having to run out of the testing room during a REG exam to throw up, driven my blood pressure up to stroke levels, and given myself ulcers that have caused permanent damage to my esophagus. I’ll never be able to eat like a normal person again.

Has it been worth it? I can’t answer that question because my crystal ball is broken. At this time, I don’t know if I’m finished with this fight and I don’t know if I am facing, not the fight of my life, but the fight for my life. But I intend to fight like hell, no matter what I’m fighting!

I came into this world 2 ½ months early and had to fight to survive. I was born allergic to milk, so I had to fight just to eat. But I survived that and I’ll survive this exam and I’ll survive whatever the doctors tell me Tuesday.

I can say that not stressing about score release, having friends who are willing to check my score for me, and knowing that people are rooting for me, have helped to bring me out of that dark place. My sarcastic, sense of humor is back and I’m slowly becoming me again, and I like that.

I know that it’s because of the friends I’ve made on this website that I’m coming back into the light. Thank you all for helping me to be me again.

For everyone that passed this round, congratulations! For those who didn’t, then listen to me very carefully. We can do this. This is just another fight in a series of battles to become who we want to be.

I’ve said before that I just wanted my life back. I want to change that statement. I don’t want my life back. I want the life I’ve worked for, sacrificed for, and earned. That life is a better life and I’m going to have it. I want us all to have it!

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