Wednesday, January 19, 2011

P is for Priorities

Betsy here...

I had a wake up call this past week! Last Tuesday I went to the dermotologist for the first time since I was a small child, because of three reasons - one, a tiny skin tag under my eye I was vain about, two, because of a moley-freckle thing on my leg I thought might need to be checked out, and third, we finally had insurance through my husband's new job to allow me to do all this cheaply.

The doctor agreed the mole needed to be removed though he didn't suspect anything "bad'. He zapped the skin tag from under my eye (which burned, FYI! maybe not worth it! ha!) and sent the mole for a biopsy. Said he'd let me know if anything came from it but if I never heard from him throughout the next week, to consider no news as good news. Easy enough. I went about my way.

Until Friday morning when he called me and said the biopsy results came back as melanoma. Granted, it was the earliest stages possible, and was surface level only and hadn't spread, but he needed to go back as a precaution and cut a bigger area off. I heartily agreed we couldn't be too careful.

I was a wreck all weekend. Kept thinking what if he was wrong, what if he had spread, what if it was consuming me right now...it changed my thinking. We always think "that won't happen to me" but this time it did. And in God's mercy, it was the mildest of wake up calls. I'd already committed to avoid tanning beds in the future before this incident, but oh honey, let me tell you how convinced I am of that now! I will happily embrace my pasty-whiteness from now on, I can assure you...

So today I had to go back for my incision. The 2-3 stitches turned out to be 4 under the skin and 7 on top. I'm writing this now on my laptop (Tuesday night) and the area is starting to burn and get uncomfortable. But I can't help praising God for the pain, because this was such a blessing. What if we hadn't gotten insurance and I hadn't gone to check it out? What if I'd blown off my appointment as I almost did that morning becaues of the hassle of missing work to go? What if.....

Thankfully, I don't have to wonder anymore because I know I'm securely in God's hands. Not every story turns out this well but I can assure you that every time I see the scar that will surely remain forever on my thigh, I will be grateful that this time, God used a feather to get my attention and not a 2 x 4.

Another silver lining is that I'm suddenly an example to my friends. I've had at least 5 people since last Friday tell me I have convinced them to either stop tanning or go to the dermotologist themselves to check out a suspicious spot. I hope my example can help save a life. I'm just so fortunate God is choosing to use me without making this a bigger ordeal than it was.

What are you dealing with today that has changed your priorities? What new developments, good or bad, are you handling this week that could give you a better mindset toward your life, your writing, your family, etc. ? How can you find the silver lining?

4 comments:

Merrillee said...

Betsy, thanks for sharing your story. I'm just dealing with a deadline. That's a good thing. I've had numerous suspicious bumps and lumps on my skin, but none of them has proved to be malignant. I go at least once a year to the dermatologist for a complete skin check. I'm glad you kept your appointment and that, in the end, everything came out okay.

Pat Davids said...

Betsy,
I'm so glad the news wasn't worse. I'm giving praise for good doctors and insurance.
Pat

Anita Mae Draper said...

Betsy, praise God you followed His nudge and went.

A couple years ago the doctor found something suspicious during my hubby's annual and after tests confirmed he had prostate cancer. They'd caught it so early however, that he went back to work in the oilfield 6 wks after his surgery. A year later, the doctor confirmed he was cancer-free. So many things could have resulted, but it's as if he never had the cancer.

However, he has 2 horrible moles on his back, one of which is changing colour and shape. I've repeatedly tried to get him to get a second opinion because his doctor decided it's not melanoma. I see it every night when I look at hubby's back and it's not normal. Yet, since the doctor acted so swiftly and helped him 'beat' the prostate cancer, hubby has decided the doctor knows all.

It's so frustrating!

Thank you so much for your wonderful post, Betsy.

Anita Mae.

Betsy St. Amant said...

Anita, I will be praying your husband will listen to reason and get a second opinion! It can't hurt to get checked out. I'm glad his other issues turned out okay. Thanks for the support and well wishes everyone :)