I went to my dermatologist this morning for my biopsy results and found out that I do have basal cell skin cancer on my lip.
Not that Basil.
"It's the best skin cancer to have, if you're going to have skin cancer," says my dermatologist. Okee doke. I asked "is this a freaking out sort of thing? Would you tell me if it was?" I was assured - no reason to freak out. And then I did the unthinkable.
I didn't freak out.
I didn't hide in the bathroom.
It was a little over ten years ago that my doctor told me I had the beginning stages of cervical cancer. And... I did freak out. I cried. I was devastated. I was ill. I cried before and after each and every appointment before the procedure, each follow-up, and it took years before I didn't freak out before every gyne-oncologist appointment. It was exhausting.
Today? I said, ok. I called Derek on my way home and he said, "Oh my GOD, I am so sorry, honey, oh my God." Even after I explained it wasn't invasive in the way melanoma is, he was very sad for me. It was in that moment I realized how much I have changed.
I knew A.) I didn't have a choice about skin cancer. B.) I can't do a single thing about any diagnosis. C.) I COULD choose how I react. And I had the choice to be sad and devastated, to needlessly worry, or just keep on going and be positive.
And I owe that 100% to Andrea, Jon Blais and to triathlon - all of the stories of perseverance. People who show that TRULY devastating diagnoses - much more serious than basal cell skin cancer - don't have to control how you feel. They might control your body, they might limit your physical options - but your soul is yours.
And no one can touch that.
My soul wants to be happy. It wants to be positive. It wants to appreciate each delicate moment of life. It's not fantasy land - it's a choice to keep my chin up.
No bathroom hiding. I'll save that for when the kids are having a meltdown. ;-)