I still remember the Dermatologist reminding me to breathe after he told me that the spot came back positive for Melanoma. A spot, mind you, that looked like a felt tip pen dot on my arm. I remember thinking, “I can’t have that. I don’t lay out or go to tanning beds.” For me, it didn’t matter. Being out in the sun a lot as a kid had caught up with me.
Since then it has been Dermatologist visits every three to four months, removals, chest x-rays and blood work annually. This has been my life since 2011. I just recently, back in March, got approval to wait 6 months for my next appointment with the firm promise that if I develop a cough, I must get right back in. Why? Because Melanoma can move fast into your lungs.
So, that day, May 23, 2011 to be exact, my life changed forever. That may sound dramatic to some people, but when you get news like that and are given the statistics even if you do everything possible to prevent it from coming back, it’s very scary.
However, I made a conscious commitment (after the shock settled) that I would not live in fear. God did not give us a spirit of fear, but instead, one of power, love and self -control. This reminder in 2 Timothy 1:7 is my go-to verse in my fight. I have the power to fight, a power that comes from Him. I have His Word to remind me to love myself and treat my body as a temple, and I have the Holy Spirit to give me guidance and wisdom on caring for myself.
My challenge to you, the reader, is to make my story and so many others, not in vain. You don’t have to get on this path, you can catch it well before it every appears. I challenge you to make your appointment for a skin check today.