I go to Vanguard Skin Specialist yearly for a skin check as I’ve had a basal cell carcinoma years ago. For many years my check-ups have been clear. I thought maybe I will just cancel the appointment this year.  Then Mac, who never goes to the doctor, was told by the dermatologist he needed to get a skin checkup. Surprise, surprise, Mac said, “I think I will go.”  So, I decided to go with him and make my appointment too.

Emily found a suspicious place in my scalp, a place I would never see hidden in my hair! The biopsy was sent to the lab. I’m usually the ultimate optimist and told Mac, “It’s going to be nothing.” 

A week later I got the call saying its basal cell carcinoma and I need to schedule surgery to have it removed. After Dr. Chung removes the cancer, I wait in chair for 45 minutes for the lab to look under a microscope to make sure all the margins are clear.

I’m reading a book and enjoying resting in the chair to hear the verdict. Dr. Chung comes back in and says, “I’m sorry, we have to cut more to get the margins clear.”  So here we go again. This time for another 45-minute wait, I’m not relaxing reading a book.  Instead I’m praying and taking deep breaths.

Dr. Chung comes in again and says, “Good news, we got it all!” I’m taken to another room for the MOHS surgeon, Dr. Archibald to sew me back up. I ask if Mac could come in to be with me.

Mac is sitting in a chair across from me.  I see a troubled look on his face even though he is smiling at me trying to comfort me. He was worried how I would react when I would see myself in the mirror after the doctor shaved part of my hair off to stitch me back up. He didn’t tell me until we were in the car that the hole on the side of my head looks like about 2 inches in diameter.

I was so thankful as it could’ve been worse if I had not gone in for my annual check-up thinking I could self-diagnose. Today may hair is growing back.  The scar has healed and looks amazingly good.

This lesson reminded me of being in recovery. Sometimes we think we can do life alone and self-diagnose while living in denial. We absolutely need mentors, a sponsor and accountability partners as a part of our recovery teams. They help challenge us and support us.

Your recovery team will walk by your side on your life journey. People who will tell you the truth even if it hurts when it’s uncomfortable. People who will listen to your heart. People who will celebrate with you in your victories!

Lessons learned: 

Go to annual check-ups.

Dig in God’s Word daily to know God better.

Check-in with your recovery team weekly to know yourself better.

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.”  Proverbs 1:5 NIV

Some of my local Celebrate Recovery team – forever sisters!