It’s been a fast-paced couple of weeks. Almost too fast and surreal feeling. Two weeks and three days ago you went to an appointment that you had put off and got news (although at the time you didn’t realize it, or you protected yourself from it), not great news but not the worst news either. In fact, it was news you could live with and move on from. However, you expected the news, didn’t you? Remember how you stopped wearing sleeveless shirts? Remember how you stared at the mark on your arm in the mirror? Remember how you had conversations with yourself for countless hours over the last few months? And you just went on a trip to Hawaii with your mom but made sure you had sleeves to cover your arm every single day. Hello! It was your mom!!! You could have voiced your fear to her. But you didn’t. Instead, you did what you do best – protect yourself from the unknown. You didn’t even share your fear with your husband until you had made up your mind to look for a dermatologist. Even then you laughed it off and played it down. Because you really didn’t want to know. Isn’t ignorance bliss?
Despite your procrastination I have to say I am proud of you. You did it. Faced a fear. You got an appointment found out that mark was a basal cell skin cancer. It was common, treatable and shouldn’t cause further issues. As you sit here typing with the stitches in your arm, you should be proud of yourself for realizing that you had to take care of you. Was the appointment uncomfortable? Yes. It was manageable wasn’t it? Yes. Did you feel afraid and anxious leading up to it? Yes, but I got over that. Were you scared to tell your friends and family the outcome? Yes, super afraid in fact I didn’t even tell myself it was a cancer until four days after the first appointment. I know you always view yourself as strong and independent – why when you needed support was it so hard to lean on others? I felt I would ruin a part of their day by dropping heavy news even though once treated I would be 100% okay. How did it turn out? It felt good to get it out and get their support.
So why did you wait so long to make the appointment? Now I don’t know. I know in the beginning I felt scared and uncomfortable. Going to any doctor’s appointment where you know you are going to be vulnerable downright sucks. I hate going. However, I am so glad I went. The anxiety and fear of the unknown are gone. My gut isn’t telling me anything else and I don’t have an inner voice questioning what that mark is any longer. I’m on the mend now, and my delay almost feels silly. Sure, I’m in pain, but pain means I’m healing. It could have been much worse if I had continued to ignore it.
Thank you for taking care of yourself.
It is so important to put yourself first. While it takes strength, thick skin and courage to get yourself into an appointment, especially when you’re thinking the worst – it can be done. As a Girl on the Rise isn’t that how you enter a work day or business meeting? Also, give yourself a minute to recuperate from whatever it is going on in your life. This week I was dead set on getting back into the office on Tuesday and that didn’t happen. In fact, I did not make it back until yesterday. I felt like I was letting the team down and I was dropping the ball. The pressure came from within (#workpasionista tendencies). Thankfully my husband was able to talk some sense into me and convinced me to stay home. He stayed with me which I am so thankful for. While I couldn’t really do anything, we had two awesome days that I’ll hold onto forever.
We’re all going to have to face our fears, be vulnerable and outright uncomfortable. I urge you to step into it and own it because, in the end, you can confront whatever it is. I know I was extremely lucky. And I can’t understand the journeys that I have seen friends and family go through – however, I want to thank them for being courageous and educating the rest of us. It was because of them that I finally worked up the courage to go.