Four Dreaded Words
“It should be fine.” These were the four words I heard in March 2015. “We’re going to remove this mole, but it should be fine.” Two weeks later a bomb dropped. It was melanoma. I will spare you the details of trauma that ensued the following weeks after the initial shock of my diagnosis, which unfortunately involved terrible bedside manner during surgery, a difficult recovery, and a summer filled with immense anxiety and fear.
Fast forward one year. I’m sitting in my (new and improved) dermatologist’s exam room, and I hear the same four dreaded words: “It should be fine.”
Those four words still immediately induce anxiety in me, but I must confess that I have more peace one year out. If the pathologist finds more skin cancer, I will know what to expect because I’ve been through it before. Also, my new dermatologist is amazing! She recognizes my sensitivity and anxiety, and she and her staff are super kind and comforting. I know I am in good hands, and that brings me so much peace.
Through this whole experience, I’ve found a lot to be grateful for. (Read more about my year of gratitude here.) I know that my story involves fear and anxiety and uncertainty. I also know that I’m not the only person who has been through a difficult season. While my story is different than yours, I’m thinking you’ve had your share of anxiety, trust, anger, fear, or bravery in whatever season you find yourself in.
I am learning and seeking to seize my season and thank God that I am never alone. Maybe you need this reminder today: You are never alone, no matter what you’re walking through.
And here’s a friendly and gentle tip: don’t tell someone “it should be fine” if you don’t know it will.
Try these comforting phrases instead:
“You will get through this.”
“You are strong.”
“I am with you and here for you.”
Love, Ali xo
P.S. The photo was taken in July 2015. (You can see the bandage on my right shin from the 5-inch scar.) Spending a few hours on the beach with my husband was so hard for me. I lathered on sunscreen and stayed under an umbrella, literally afraid of the sun. I am hopeful this summer I will have some perspective, and I won’t be as fearful.
I'm Ali. I write about my journey of living a full and healthy life with food allergies, overcoming the comparison trap, and cultivating authenticity.