Baz Luhrmann was right: “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.”
For me, it was Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
My girlfriend and I had confirmed where we’d meet after my last class, which started in half an hour. I put my phone down and continued working on my piece for the yoga clinic.
The phone rang. The last few years, I get the results call often, due to my overly sensitive skin and genetic predisposition.
I hung up. I froze for a second, and then it all came rushing in. I called her immediately. I wanted my mommy. I was scared.
“Mom, the biopsy came back as melanoma this time, but don’t worry it’s the kind that’s at the surface, they’ll get it all.” I burst into to tears.
It doesn’t matter how minor a cancer is: when someone tells you, you’ve got some form of cancer, it’s terrifying. I still need a good 50 plus years to overly-protect my daughters and smother them with love.
I knew this was coming. Even though it felt like a surprise, it’s not. It was a matter of when, not if. I have this problem, where my skin sprouts severe dysplastic nevi (borderline melanoma) like weeds.
Some women go get their hair did every 8 weeks; I go to the dermatologist.
There’s always something to biopsy, and then I get the results. I’ve always flown under the tumor radar, but I still have to go back in and the doc has to clear the margins (excise it), and suture me up. If he doesn’t, the nevi turn into melanomas.
Well, this time, one turned and I’m sure there are others that have, too, but I can’t worry about that right this second. The sun hasn’t even come up yet. I’ll wait until then.
I haven’t written about this before because it’s been more of a nuisance, why mention it. But, I’m using this as an opportunity to remind all of you to look yourself over. Maybe skip the stylist next time, and go to your dermatologist instead.
My doctor says melanoma isn’t a cancer anyone has to die from, as long as they are vigilant with preventative care, screening and treatment.
If I stay on top of these mother fuckers, they’ll leave me with scars, but they will not be the reason my heart stops beating.
Please check yourself over today, and as Baz says:
“Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists…”