Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I should (and usually do) know the difference between the words "benign" and "malignant". After all that Mom went through, I KNOW.

But after a day of worrying about lab results, my vocabulary skills suffered.

Earlier today, I got a rather cryptic voice message from a nurse telling me she was calling to "discuss my biopsy results." I had been outside with my dogs and missed the call by just minutes. I called her right back but had to just leave a message.

Last week I went to my dermatologist for my annual mole/freckle check. Yay me! I wish I had been wearing 70SPF daily my whole life, but as a young girl, rather than embracing my red-headed complexion, I instead tried to tan. And all it really did was create sunburns and lots of freckles. I'm really careful now of course, but the majority of skin damage is evidently done when you're a kid. If only I had known all that, I would've put the Crisco oil down, and picked up some sun screen instead.

All I can do now, is wear my sun screen as a religion (and I do- Praise Banana Boat!) and have a professional check me over and make sure everything looks non-threatening. Last week, one of my larger freckles (which others refer to as moles but the word freckle just sounds so much cuter and less harmful) looked a little suspicious. So my doctor sliced it out, and sent it off to a lab. She told me they'd call me soon and let me know if it was okay or not.

After getting the nurse's voice mail this morning, the longer I thought about it, the more panic-y I became. I even said a little prayer. I feel bad to God that I seem to only talk with him when I need favors. Altho, I also say thanks a lot. But other than that, not so much. But there I was making my bed and having my little talk with the Man upstairs.

Being the impatient patient that I am, I called the office 3 times today. My where abouts changed, so I had to offer up an alternate phone number. But honestly, I just didn't want them to forget about me and put this horrible phone call off one more day. If I had skin cancer, I wanted to start treatment right away.

Finally at the end of the day- around 5pm!- the nurse called me back. And in not that joyful of a tone told me my "mole" was benign. Since she didn't sound all that happy to deliver my news (because she probably had no idea I had been worrying about it all day) I said, "I can't remember is benign good or bad?"
"Good", she said.

I told her she should just say that. If I were her calling me I would instead say, "Great news, Kerri. You're freckle is nothing to worry about. Go have a super fun rest of the day. Oh, and keep wearing your sunscreen- Way to go!" But I would've even been okay with, "Your mole is fine."

I don't consider myself a hypochondriac, but I will admit, my mind gets a little over active at times. Soon after Mom died, I was convinced every little cramp I had was the beginning of ovarian cancer. I've had a few headaches I felt where pretty likely going to turn into aneurysms. Fortunately, most days I feel great and my mind doesn't get too carried away with self-diagnosis.

Benign. Whew. Big relief.
Oh, and immediately upon ending the phone call with the nurse, I was sure to thank God for helping me out today.
And God Bless Banana Boat!

No comments: