You know that little freckle on your lower inside calf? On the part of your leg visible when you sit cross-legged on the ground? The bit you hardly ever put sunscreen on because you wear long skirts and work in an office and are really only out in the sun when you’re walking to and from public transport on your weekday commute? Yeah, let’s talk about that one.
When you go to your yearly skin cancer clinic scan (and you DO GO TO A YEARLY SCAN, RIGHT?) and you strip down to your undies and get gawped over by a specialist – make sure they look at it if they don’t catch it themselves. My Doc caught it. And it came off that very same visit. A local anaesthetic needle and a few minutes razoring off a piece of me for biopsy and come back in a week for the results.
What you probably won’t expect is a phone call the very next afternoon rescheduling your follow up to a “surgery timeslot because it’s obviously cancer”. Faaaaarrrrk. Don’t do that, Receptionists. Don’t say that.
So you excuse yourself from your open plan desk and rush to an empty meeting room to ask for more info as you madly text your go-to friend who texts back saying find out more info. Then leave your workplace. Just leave. Talk to your doctor on the commute home and be assured if it was seriously bad cancer, he’d have you back in that day to cut it out.
Spend your week staying calm. Rely on the doctor. Heal your biopsy site and journal your heart out.
Go to your surgery, driven by your go-to friend who knows to talk to keep your mind off things. Stay cool while you get needled, carved and stitched. Make small talk about the embroidery skills of the Doc you’re trusting. Limp out. Keep your leg up for a few days. Look after yourself and know that whatever the next results say, that if further action is required, KNOW that you’ll do it. Whatever it takes.
It’s better to know, ladies and gentlemen. It’s better to be checked, have some news and deal with it, than it is to have a nagging worry in the back of your mind and avoid it. Living with your head up your butt isn’t living.
It’s always better to know. Always.