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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fear

~The thief comes to kill, steal and destroy~John 10:10a

That is exactly what happened at 8:57am on Friday, April 5.  In an effort to make up for some missed appointments, I scheduled a dermatology appointment for April 5.  Being a red head and having many moles covering my entire body, it is important for me to have a yearly skin exam by a dermatologist (not just a primary care physician).  I have been doing this since I was 17 years old. 

I don't know exactly what I was thinking the morning of the appointment except I was glad to cross it off my list of never ending appointments.  With as many moles as I have it should not have came as a surprise during the exam when the doctor found a "suspicious" looking mole that he wanted to remove.  What the dermatologist didn't like was the center of the mole was raised like a blood blister and he told me that was a warning sign of melanoma (skin cancer).  That news was followed shortly by the announcement that he was removing a second mole off the same arm.  It was two moles growing together as one mole.  It resembled a fish.  They have a thing against fishy looking moles.  So.off.it.came. 

The procedure took only a few minutes to remove both.  They numb the site of moles and the doctor shaves if off.  The two samples of skin tissue was deposited into separate little glass jars filled with some sort of clear liquid.  Then the medical assistant plastered a big white labeled sticker that announced it was being tested for MELANOMA.  They said they would contact me in two weeks with the results.  And they made it very clear NOT to call the office until the two weeks had passed.  Left alone to dress, the FEAR crept upon me and took over.  The only two words I could think of was "skin cancer". 

I wish I could say that I came home and didn't think of it again.  That I had great faith I would be ok and I didn't worry one bit.  Instead, I became this pool of tears, anxiety and fear.  I felt like I was going through the motions of life without really living it.  Mark had to put me back together, my mom had to put me back together, my sister had to put me back together.  In all honesty...I.WAS.A.MESS!  I jumped every time the phone rang, anticipating it would be "the news".  I googled everything about melanoma (which by the way was a REALLY bad idea).  I would look at my children and sob, because I didn't want to leave them without a mother.  Yes, my crazy mind went there. 

A week after my appointment, I was sure the letter would be in my mailbox.  But on that Friday, one week later... it didn't come.  On Saturday I was for SURE it would be in the mailbox because I wanted an answer to this before I left with my mom to Hawaii.  But...it.didn't.come.  And I was ANGRY.  It is difficult for anyone to go through the waiting to find out if you have cancer.  It is even more difficult for someone with an anxiety disorder to wait.  But, off to Hawaii I went with my mom, determined to not worry about the results no matter what they be.  I was going to enjoy myself, and Mark and I had a system of how he would report the news when it came.

Monday came and went...no news.  Tuesday evening my mom and I were walking back to the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and Mark called me.  He had checked the mail that day and there was the letter.  A thin envelope that would contain to the answers to my nearly two week wait.
He opened the letter for me and reported the news....
BENIGN nevus (or another word for moles)!!!  This was the best news!  My mom and I celebrated on the streets of Waikiki and I am sure no one looked at us funny at all. :)
FEAR gripped my heart and because of that I lost a week of my life living in fear that the phone would ring that death would be on the other side of the phone.  It is not death I am afraid of, but leaving my kids without a mother is the fear that I struggle with, and spent many hours in counseling discussing. 
~but I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly~John 10:10b
Working on choosing to live life even in difficult circumstances.
~Carissa



 

1 comment:

Mary said...

Big sigh of relief for you. I have to get yearly skin cancer checks too after I had some basal cell carcinoma removed from my face 5 years ago. Glad you were able to enjoy Hawaii despite fear!

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