Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Email Beats Phone Call

An email beats a call from the doctor, hands-down any day of the week. When I woke up and saw the email from the Dermatology Center I opened it like a kid on Christmas morning.

It said... I was free! 

Well, It didn't actually say that, but what it did say was, "Good news Tamara! Your biopsy showed NO signs of melanoma. No further treatment is needed at this time. We will see you in August for your check up. Have a great day!"

A great day!


Sweet, sweet freedom. 

Free to go to yoga.

Free to plant dahlias on my porch.

Free to go pick up Summer and help move her boxes home.

Free to go to May's graduation. 

Free to plan May's wedding.

Free to hold my new baby nephew and smell the top of his head. 

Free to go to my brother's wedding in Oregon.

Free to go to the beach...

of course with a wee bit more rules, but no mind that...

I am free of cancer.
Some people say that you should live one day at a time, but in Melanoma world you kinda live 3 months at a time...
and I'm gonna live the hell out of the next 3 months!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Today is day 12 that I've been waiting for the phone to ring. I am not afraid. For I know that no matter what my doctor says, I am whole and I am healed and I will live forever. But most importantly I know that, whatever happens, God is good all the time. I know this in my bones.

But still, this has been a super rough 12 days. When she did the biopsy I barely flinched. My doctor is pregnant with a baby girl and I was busy cooing. As she removed the mole, I was preoccupied talking about baby names and how hard it is to be pregnant through the August heat. She and I have become good friends over this last difficult year.

It wasn't til later that night when the bandaid fell off that I gave the site a second thought. It was angry. Dark purple around the edges and black in the middle. I gasped and Jon came into the bathroom, examined the site, and with big eyes, put one hand over his mouth and shook his head. We've been here before.

And that's the real problem. I know the toll this takes on my family. It throws off our family rhythm,  it's exhausting for everyone, and it's expensive. Plus, I don't love surgery, and after the first few days when the happy pain pills wear off, I get cabin fever and I get whiny. I get tired of asking for a drink of water, I get tired of needing help to get dressed and I will always be tired of needing help to get to the bathroom. I'm the mom, and these things put me in opposite-land.

Also, I simply don't have time for surgery right now. It's almost summertime, and I have wonderful plans. May graduates college this Saturday and we have much planning to do for her wedding. Summer is coming home from studying in the mountains for the semester. I haven't seen her since February! Her and I have months of coffee and tea time to make up for. And my baby sister and her husband are coming to stay with us in two weeks, from very far across the pond, and bringing my new nephew who I have only seen in pictures and not yet smelled the top of his sweet baby head. Plus, Jazi loves to go to Laguna now with her friends, of course drenched in sunscreen, but I love driving them all there, we roll down the windows and blast Aurora on the stereo. It makes me feel like one of the girls. And in June we are traveling to Oregon to see my brother finally wed his lovely lady of 20 years. And my other sister and nieces and nephews are flying out from Tennessee and we have several beach days planned.
I have purchased a very wide brimmed hat and a sun-protection shawl and painted my toes bright watermelon pink, so as you can see, I simply have no time for melanoma.

I hope God gets my memo about this. Maybe the fall would work better for me, I could probably squeeze it in after my birthday in September but before Thanksgiving, or maybe even after Christmas but before the new year, like last year's surgery. That is better timing for me.

But I'd really like this summer to be cancer free. Free is such a great word. Free to splash in the waves, free to spread my toes in the warm sand, free to eat tuna sandwiches with sweet pickles while I watch the kids make sandcastles. You can take the melanoma out of the girl, but you can't take the beach out of the girl.

I promise to where my hat.

I promise to where my shawl.

I promise to wear my sunscreen.

I promise.

So now can the phone please ring?