One of the recurring themes in these blog posts is time management, and another is that life goes on while you’re in school. A very large number of my classmates have experienced at least one significant life event while in school, and yet, they still kept going. They dealt with the stress, both good and bad, and kept going. We’ve had babies born. Children adopted. Several people got married. A number of us lost parents and other family members. There were lots of job changes. As for me, I was diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma, or skin cancer.

The melanoma started as a mole on my neck that looked different from the other freckles, and a biopsy showed it to be cancerous. A simple surgery was all that was needed to take care of it. As I faced treatment, someone asked me if surgery would somehow delay my graduation. I looked at them a bit funny. We were very near the end of the sixth term, otherwise known as Super Term. I only had a few more assignments to do to conquer the Duke MBA. I could count the number of assignments on one hand. Honestly, it is the confidence that I’ve gained while in the program that helped me face this tough situation. I caught it super early, and I know that if I can deal with 4 kids, a full-time job, an aging father, two Girl Scout troops, and an MBA program, I can also handle one more thing. What are a few doctors’ appointments, in the grand scheme of things?

I’ve learned a lot about juggling, dealing with stress — tremendous stress — and getting on with life. The Weekend Executive program has strengthened my resolve in facing tough situations — and for that I’m grateful.

Oh, and one more thing, a public service announcement — wear sunscreen. Become a successful Fuqua scholar, but please don’t follow me down this particular path, okay?