In my effort to be as disciplined as possible with health issues, I saw a Dermatologist for the first time today. I've had a couple of questionable marks show up in the last 6 months and wanted to get them checked out. As is par for the course lately, I was scared to death. It seems like the possibility of cancer is just around every turn for me and sometimes (like today), I don't handle it so well.
I was very edgy this morning and consequently was not very patient with the kids. The parking lot at the hospital is FOREVER being worked on and they use more cones on 5 floors of the garage than the entire state of Florida uses on I95. On my way to the MD's office, I pass by the Women's Clinic where I have my mammograms....ur, well....where they found my cancer. It's a bittersweet feeling when I see that place. I'm certainly glad they were "on their toes" that day and called me back when things looked suspicious. But, then again, just seeing the office makes me nauseous.
Once in the exam room with the doctor, it all went pretty fast. He scanned my entire body with a nurse following him and taking notes. He spouted off a bunch of Latin words for the various skin stuff he saw. Then he looked very closely at the two areas I was concerned about. He didn't really elaborate on what he thought, but he did remove them and sent them off to a Pathologist. I have to wait 3 WEEKS for the results! I have to call a special 800 number and give them my SSN in order to receive my results. The last thing he said to me was...."see you next year"....I'm taking that as good news.
When I first found out I had breast cancer, I didn't think that there was anything in the world that was worse than staring mortality in the face! Ultimately, things have gone really well for me so far and while there are no guarantees for anyone, I have an excellent chance of beating this disease. As I contemplated this on the way home, I was struck by the realization that there really are worse things in life than cancer. Two specific things come to mind....
Loosing a child. In my life, I've had at least 7 miscarriages (that I know about). These are hard to go through. Pregnancy is never the same again once you've had one. But, I realize that God had a purpose for creating those souls and loaning them to me, if even for a brief moment. I am comforted to know that my babies are interceding for me and our family right now at the Throne of God! In addition, a very wonderful blogging mom lost her autistic son in a tragic accident this week. The things of this world just do not make sense to me sometimes...seriously! My prayers are with Mary Ellen and her family during this time.
Loosing a friend. Right now, a very dear and special friend is suffering through the latter stages of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease). This process began back in February, after a bout with the flu. It started off as some balance problems and has progressively gotten worse. She was finally diagnosed in June (apparently, there is no way to diagnose it....it's more about ruling other things out). As of today, she is in a wheelchair...unable to move, unable to speak and will probably not be breathing on her own for much longer. This happened all in a matter of 6 months. She just turned 55.
Yes, there are worse things than cancer! Today, let us all hold our children, our parents and our spouses a little tighter. Make that phone call to the friend you haven't talked to in awhile. Let the dishes sit, let the laundry go undone. Let's spend some time on our knees thanking God for today, for this hour, for this moment.