10 years ago, I received a melanoma diagnosis while I was pregnant.
It was painful, terrifying, anxiety-inducing, and (temporarily) a joy thief.
But 10 years ago, I had an opportunity to find new corners of my faith I had never explored.
It was beautiful, healing, peace-producing, and joy-giving.
10 years later I am still melanoma free but received a call that a mole I was concerned about came back atypical enough that it warrants an additional surgery to take more tissue. Because of my history and this newest discovery, I’ll be back to skin checks every 3 months.
10 years later I feel back.
Back to where I don’t want to be.
What I Don’t Want
I do not want the feelings of panic and anxiety to steal from this sweet and precious season I am walking in. Some days I wake up and feel “on earth as it is in heaven.” The nearness of the Lord is so special and my opportunity to see Him at work is transformative. He has invited me into all He is doing in and through New Hope Girls — I feel more aware of his goodness and greatness than I ever have.
I know with certainty the joy comes in the morning but I haven’t woken up quite yet. I’ll be okay — it isn’t cancer. But for me, it is a reminder of where I have been and that the journey I am on doesn’t have a finish line. It is a marathon of skin checks, SPF 50, limited time in the sun, hats, vigilance with my skin, and close-knit relationships with my dermatologist.
I also know it may be hard for people to understand the big emotions around a call that had a punchline of: It’s not melanoma. The poor nurse who delivered the news wasn’t sure what to do with my meltdown. She must have reminded me a dozen times that the pathology was NOT melanoma. I get it. If you have never received the news you were praying against you don’t know all that is triggered by a challenging pathology report.
For me, when I knew she wasn’t delivering a clean pathology report I instantly time traveled to where I was 10 years ago. Sitting at work, happy, pregnant, feeling Harper kick and squirm in my belly. I remember knowing it was bad when the dermatologist himself was on the phone. My world started tunneling as I clutched my belly and prayed I would be well and well enough to see Harper go to kindergarten. I can recall not knowing how I would find the words to tell Adam what we were up against. And yesterday, the news took me back there, vividly.
This recent pathology forced me to revisit a time that feels traumatic and reconsider if I am serious when I say that I will cling to my faith – no matter what this world may offer. Yes, I will. Simultaneously, I am being made aware of just how deeply I need my daily bread from the Lord. Not food but the sustaining daily bread that comes from the consistent choice to pursue intimacy with Him with confidence He will provide.
There is Another in This Battle
With resolve I am going to take a slow deep breath, put on praise and worship songs, and gather myself. I will remember that there is another in the fire with me – always. That there are two of us in this battle – and we are flanked on all sides by my friends and family. The same God who helped me find new corners of my faith 10 years ago will help me identify new nooks and crannies for His goodness to come and stay. I welcome the beauty, healing, peace and joy that can only be found in Him, through a love relationship with His Son, Jesus.