Things That Throw You For a Loop

Nov15

A few months ago, a weird dark brown spot showed up on my forehead. It was probably about half a centimetre wide and round. After being urged by people who care about me to go and have it checked out, a doctor did a biopsy and the spot was removed for testing. A couple weeks later, the doctor called me back to his office and let me know that it was malignant melanoma.

It’s not a huge deal. Lots of people have melanoma, and there’s no expected impact on life expectancy or anything like that. I’m young for it, though – I’m just 25. And I’ve always been really careful with sun exposure. I’ve never been in a tanning bed, always use at least SPF 30 and I am not a significant consumer of holidays in the sun. I guess that doesn’t matter.

This morning, at 8 am, I had to have another minor surgery. In order to ensure that the melanoma was entirely removed, they had to take from my forehead an additional 5 mm on each side of the original spot. There will be a scar about an inch long and it will take a year to heal. Apparently, it will look its worst in about two months. Luckily, it’s not too far away from my hairline, so most of you will probably never see it. I’ll be rocking side-swept bangs for the rest of my life.

I’m sharing this because, first of all, it’s been sort of scary and it makes me feel better to talk about it. But more importantly, I’m sharing because I think there’s a good lesson here. No matter how much great stuff you have in your life, anything can happen because we’re humans, not robots. What happened to me isn’t serious, but it could have been. It could be anything, any time. So it’s important to be grateful every day for your life and the people in it. It’s also important to try and make the most out of every day that we have. If you’re not taking risks and trying to move the needle and aspiring for major impact (whatever “imapct” means for you), maybe you should start. I have been, for a while now, but I think it’s time to turn up the volume. Want to join me?

Until next time,

Franken-Heather