The Urge to Believe is Strong
When things go your way, the urge to thank God is strong. I was raised a Baptist, and even while I spent my time in the back row of Sunday School with the kids wearing Metallica T-shirts, I’m sure something indelible seeped in.
This morning, completely by chance, I noticed a large blemish at the base of my mom’s throat. It looks ugly. It looks like melanoma, which she’s had before.
At first she blew me off and wanted to scoff and argue, but when I made her take a look at it in the mirror, she was shocked by how fast it had grown and was immediately onboard with a trip to the doctor. She doesn’t know which doctor, but any doctor will do.
She had been “watching it for awhile” which is mom-speak for ignoring it.
The problem with carrying for elderly parents (one of many) is that you can’t overpower them like you can a kid. You can’t forcibly strip them down and check them out from head to toe.
If your parent is still sufficiently compos mentis to live alone, feed themselves, and mostly get by without setting the house on fire, you’re pretty much at the mercy of their severely impaired judgment when it comes to their bodies.
My mom says the growth has been there a “few weeks” which could mean anything from days to months. But Dr. Google says that yes, melanoma can spring up out of nowhere and rapidly progress.
I try to be diligent about my annual skin cancer screenings (no, I don’t mention all the summers I laid out trying to burn away my acne), but melanoma is fast and you still need to be vigilant.
Our dermatologist is nationally recognized (and has skin like Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger, probably for the same reason) and even though her clinic has four locations, they couldn’t get mom in until October 16th.
I thought and thought, scrolled and obsessed, and called back later in the afternoon.
“I need something sooner.”
“We can see her tomorrow morning at 9:45. Dr. Whoeverheis had a cancellation.”
And that’s when it’s almost impossible not to thank…