It’s 9:30 in the morning on a Tuesday.
I’m knee deep in the stay at home mommy shuffle. I’m orchestrating the
symphony cacophony of laundry, unloading the dishwasher (yes son, it is your turn to do it), fielding long division questions and telling my other son that no, drawing trains is not a part of his school work today. The phone rings….
For more than 10 years I’ve waited for this call. Dreaded. But after so many high risk skin cancer conversations by every dermatologist I’ve ever seen, the odds were never in my favor. Between the blessing of genetics and the curse of the intense Florida sun, I knew it was just a matter of time. So, that morning, I sat amongst the flurry of my normal day spinning around me and listened to the nurse on the other end of the phone inform me that yes, this time the results were positive for carcinoma.
I hung up. It was only 9:33. But it felt like an eternity passed. Amidst the math work (bring down your remainder, honey), the reading lessons and the grocery list (ground beef is how much this week?), I took inventory. Surprised? No…not surprised. Scared? Manageable. Both a long time of knowing skin cancer facts and my faith help here. Thankful? Yes.
Unlike so many with so many illnesses and diseases, I’m blessed with one that is treatable. Preventable. Detectable. Routine biopsies, minor skin surgeries, what are these in light of what it could be? I live in a time, a place and have the financial means to deal with this. I can buy cute sporty swim tights and rash guards with sunblock woven in the the very fabric!! How nice to know afternoons at the beach are not off my list of family activities!
I’m not going to lie to you. Cancer, in any form, stinks! And as I stare at the bandage covering my new battle wound, I’m not excited about knowing that there could be more, lurking somewhere else on my body and not yet detected. And yes, there’s cute sporty swim tights and rash guards out there, but it kinda excludes me from the cute tankinis. And while I’ve had years to prepare myself for it, it’s still a different path than one I’d willingly choose.
But that call reminded me of all the preciousness that is in each day. The mundane days. The normal days. We all have days of great joy and days of great sorrow. But so many of our days are routine and we lose sight of what is precious in each of them. Listening to my child read to me. Slaving through laundry and dishes. Yes, even explaining long division for the 100th time. Precious. Every second I’m allowed is one I want to be thankful for.