Sunday, August 9, 2009

Not Yet

It's not that I'm afraid of dying, it's just that I'm afraid of dying now. I want to raise my children. I want them to know me.

When I was seventeen, I went to a dermatologist who, upon looking at my back exclaimed, "You are cancer waiting to happen." Ever since then, I have been careful about checking my skin. I know the ABCDE's of skin cancer and my husband check the ones I can't see well. I try to protect my skin, but know that most of the damage has already been done (I pretty much get a sunburn just by putting on a swimming suit). Add to my fair, freckly skin the family history of skin cancer from both my maternal and paternal lines and you can see why I am nervous about my dermal layer.

Yesterday I read an article about skin cancer that introduced a few facts that I'd never heard before. There are quiet skin cancers--not a mole turning blue and shaped like a hippo, but a spot that just feels a bit different, a pimple that won't go away or comes back in the same place repeatedly, or a bruise under a nail can all be cancer. Bob Marley had skin cancer under his big toenail that he thought was a bruise from playing soccer. Left untreated, it eventually traveled to his brain and ultimately killed him.

I am naturally an optimist, but this thing has got me a touch freaked. I can imagine the tentacles of the cancer working their way into my spine. I'll feel fine for a few more years then I'll be diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer and be gone within months.

Or I could die in a car accident next week.

Or I could live to be 98.

I think I should go to bed.


  1. Wow, thanks for freaking me out. I I noticed a bruise under my big toenail this very morning. And now I'm afraid I'M GOING TO DIE OF CANCER!!!!!!

    But now I also know it's important to get it checked out maybe sooner than I would have (so thanks). :)

  2. This made me think of,
    "Baaaaaaaaaarbra... time to come hoooo-ooome"
    "But I'm not reeeaaa-dy"
    I love 'My Turn on Earth', and I hope you live to be 98, but it's true; we can never know when our turn will be over. At least you are aware that cancer is a risk factor and you can keep close tabs on it.