About 6 weeks ago I wrote out a week by week to-do list for Ian and I so that we could spread out the work of all of the big and little details that would need to be taken care of before our move to Africa TOMORROW.
This was a good thing to do, I am easily distracted but current crises, and important things get pushed to the background. We were doing pretty well on the to-do list, or at least I was telling myself that until I realized that I was reading the dates wrong and was actually a week behind on all of the tasks. A few moments of panic set in, but then I remember that I have amazing & wonderful and incredibly gracious friends and family to help with this transition.
My kids are used to being with Ian, myself or family almost 6 days out of every week. In the last 9 out of 10 days, they’ve “visited” friends and family for extended play dates and nap time. While this has given us the opportunity to get so much done, it has taken an obvious toll on the kids who are much more cranky and upset than usual. My good friends and mother have reminded me to give them grace during this time. I think I’m doin pretty well on that.
Anyhow, as if preparing to move to a 3rd world country wasn’t enough, Ian’s dear grandmother (she’s 94 and until fairly recently had a lot of fire and spit to her) has taken a turn for the worse and was put on hospice this weekend. We’ve become accustomed to seeing her tired and weak….but in this last week you can see the shift that comes in a person whose body is in the last stretch and is ready to go home. It is hard to think that we will not see her again, that she will most definitely pass here shortly. She is a wise woman and leader of this family that we will miss dearly.
I don’t know about some of you, but I believe in spiritual warfare and that when you are about to embark on a faith journey that is going to have some amazing outcomes…that you are tested. I kind of felt like we’d been there, done that in this last year and that we were finally on the home stretch here. Then, on Monday, I got a call back from the dermatologist with the results of my biopsy on a new mole that had popped up. I knew it wasn’t good news when they didn’t leave a message and when the nurse handed the phone to the doctor when I called to check back.
My diagnosis was melanoma in situ. Wow, malignant cancer was SO NOT the news I was expecting to hear 3 DAYS before leaving for Africa. So, yesterday morning I went in to have it removed.
I guess you can look at this 2 ways. The “poor me” I have cancer, why did this happen way
the “Thank God” I went to the dermatologist (thanks Erin for continuously bugging me until I made the appointment) way of thinking. In Situ, means in place, in the top layer of skin, or Stage 0 Cancer. Mine was just starting to go into the Dermis layer of skin, so I had a pretty good chunk taken out of the back of my leg. Another silver lining: Sitting on an airplane seat for 20 hours sure does provide “pressure” to that wound site…and is a good excuse for some Vicodin. Did I say that??? And, a prescription for 4 tubes of prescription antibiotic cream sure does come in handy when moving to Africa!
Here is some information about Melanoma In Situ: http://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-cancer/melanoma-in-situ.aspx
Did you know that:
Q. What is melanoma?
A. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells. Melanomas may appear on the skin suddenly without warning, but also can develop on an existing mole. The overall incidence of melanoma continues to rise.
Q. Is melanoma a serious disease?
A. More than 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths are from melanoma.1 Advanced melanoma spreads to internal organs and may result in death. One American dies from melanoma almost every hour (every 62 minutes).1 Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.2 If detected in the early stages before it reaches the lymph nodes, melanoma has a 99 percent five-year survival rate.
And thank God:
Q. Can melanoma be cured?
A. When detected in its earliest stages, melanoma is highly curable. The average five-year survival rate for individuals whose melanoma is localized and has not spread beyond the outer layers of the skin is 99 percent.