Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sunshine and Chocolate...

(Two things that are not necessarily good in excess.)

Sunshine on my shoulders felt good back when I was a teenager who occasionally slathered herself in baby oil and iodine in search of a deeper tan. I was already tan enough. My grandparents on my mother’s side used to tease me about my olive skin making me look like a little brown bug in the summertime.
Recently I have been indulging in a little anti-oxidant therapy, also known to the ordinary layman as chocolate therapy. It may be too little too late, but a little chocolate never hurt anyone, right? (Unless we count the time I ate my entire chocolate Easter bunny on the way to my grandparents’ house Easter morning. I think I was told I could only eat the ears.) They did a biopsy to be sent away to a lab while I went home and tried to think of other things as I waited for the week to pass. Turns out, one of the spots was a pimple-like thing. The other, well, it was a simple basal cell carcinoma, the kind of cancer you’d want to have, if you just had to have a type of cancer.

I made a collage and had a little talk with Jesus (as Anne Lamott might say), well, several talks, actually, and I wrote a little bit about the initial shock of it all. I thought of the incredible privilege in being able to cry out to Jesus. I reminded myself to remember to anchor deep and lean on God.

I believe the collages and the journaling are powerful forms of prayer. I think that while I am occupied with arranging images on the page, or in simply reporting what has been happening, the Spirit enters in and all the other voices of my fears and turmoil are shushed, and I am very grateful.

I go on the 1st of August to have the spot excised (don’t you just love medical euphemisms?) People say they will burn it out. I am not sure how he will do it, but the doctor (who I think just turned fourteen, that is how you know you are getting old, by the way, the doctors all look like children) will remove the offending spot and will somehow stitch everything back together. I have not had stitches since the third grade, when I ran smack-dab into Lou Ellen Lyons on the sidewalk at school.

There are worse things that could have happened.


  1. Hi Annie...saw a comment you left on spookyrach's blog and check you out. I love your writing and your joy and your spirit! I'll be back to read more; meanwhile, be blessed...

  2. Annie, you wrote this so well!
    You remember her full name, the girl you ran into - wow.
    I like what you say about prayer and collage and journalling. I agree.
    Good thing you caught this spot early. I hope the 14 year old does a great job! :o)

  3. I love the post and all the photos.....and yes, anchoring deep.....I think that's a wonderful reminder of the port in the storm.......
    Hmmmm.....14 huh........mine Dr is about 16, o.k. maybe 17.....tops. Where did all the wise gray haired Dr's go, that did everything and even came to the house?

  4. my sweet friend annie - you still have one of the most powerful blogs i have ever visited.

    and you know how much i adore your journals (in fact, i believe it to be time for a new one, hmmm??)

    peace to you, sister.

  5. Beth I am glad you stopped by. Thanks!

    Thank you Captainwow. Now that you mention it, I am not sure that is her name! I did run into her again (figuratively this time!) not long after I was married. She had married a friend of my husband's. I have not seen her since.

    Ayekah, I think all the wise gray haired doctors retired and moved to Arizona!

    Penni Thank you so much. I miss you coming around here.

    Believe it or not, I thought it might be time for a new journal and I started one, but have not worked on it for a while now.

  6. Cat and I have two doctors--one from Mexico and the other from India. Both of them are half our age, but at least when we talk to them they actually listen (or pretend to convincingly). Hope the excision proceeds flawlessly.

  7. David It's always good to feel like your doctor is listening! I am sure the excising will go well, I'm just thinking the doc will be greedy, that once he does this one, he will look around and find more pieces of me that he wants to take!

  8. All I can say is that I will pray. Wish I could be there to hold your hand.

  9. Oh, annie! I'm hoping that all goes well and the doctor will be satisfied with just that one little piece!

    My mother-in-law finally changed doctors. Her doctor had been a friend of Jackson's in high school and used to come eat up her spagehtti and sprawl on her couch. She just couldn't handle being in the same room with him while in a paper gown! ha ha!

  10. When the initial shock of such news wears off, we find Him there, strong as ever, faithful to the core. I limp around here anymore like Walter Brennan, can't seem to keep that extra ten pounds off for any length of time, and yet eat like a rabbit in an attempt to watch my cholesterol. Day by day, ma'am, and I know you'll do well with this one.....

  11. Thanks Princess.

    Me too Rach! Though I do have an abundance of skin, I don't want to give him anymore than I have too!...And I understand why your M-I-L would change docs.

    Amen, Jim, amen. Day by day. I guess I am getting to the age where I should be thinking about things like cholesterol. It's hard when you live in the South, we tend to deep fry everything.

  12. Hi, Annie! I popped in from Jules' place. Wanted to meet you "in person" so to speak. :)

    I'm so glad you caught the spot early. Mine was the dreaded "M" word, melenoma. They cut it out and so far everything is still good. That's been way over 5 yrs.

  13. Hi Pilot Mom! Thanks for popping in.

    I am glad for you that everything is still good after over 5 years.

  14. Annie - I will be praying for you. I thought of Anne Lamott's chapter about getting her moles checked out as I read this. You have been such an encouragement to me as I journey. Thank you for that. Journalling, making collages, it's just good to do something that helps to deal with the stress and the emotions of it all. Well, and chocolate helps too, of course! :)

  15. Annie, I have you permanately etched into my prayer list now! For a while, my cousin was our Dr. I never needed to see him as a patient, but it was weird when I had to take my kids there...when we were kids, we used to fight over checkers, and now he's percribing medicine for my children. It was bizarre.

  16. Thanks so much Hope. I should find that chapter about Anne Lamott getting her moles checked out and read it (I love her writing!). I imagine that will be the next step after getting this spot removed, the dreaded complete and total inspection of all the moles!

    Thank you Patti. Prayers are alwasy appreciated! I can inagine how bizarre it would be to have a cousin as a doctor.

  17. Annie, I've got you on my prayer list, too! Don't you worry about a thing. My friend is a medical tech and she said "piece of cake."

    Let's just say the big "Thank you, Jesus" they found it early. Being pale skinned and having had a grandfather with several little "spots" like you've now experienced, I'm always on the watch for anything suspicious.

    You let us know if we can do anything besides pray. We love you, girl!


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