A while back, I noticed a spot on my right calf. It initially looked like a large freckle but had started showing signs of change. It was growing in size, the edges had become more ragged and round, and the color was not as even throughout. For months I kept telling myself that I should make an appointment with a dermatologist, but as with many other things in life, out-of-sight, out-of-mind. I’d notice it at night or in the shower, but I just kept putting off making that call.
I’d convinced myself that it was just a mole because I was too busy with work or I just didn’t want to pay a high copay with my insurance plan.
I finally decided to quit playing with fate and made an appointment. Upon inspection, my dermatologist felt it was most likely a harmless spot and thus nothing to worry about. But as a precaution, he shaved it off and sent it for a biopsy. He told me he’d call me in a week with the results.
A week later I received a call from a number I didn’t recognize. It was my dermatologist’s office with my test results. When they told me that my harmless spot was actually melanoma, it felt like a rock had suddenly formed in the pit of my stomach, and my brain went into overdrive. I struggled to hear the rest of what the person was saying, but I managed to tune in enough to hear her say they wanted me back in as soon as possible for a Mohs1 procedure to remove the cancer and test it for further risk. I made an appointment for the next morning and called my family with the news. They were all as shocked as I was. Hearing the word “melanoma” is extremely scary.
Why Do We Worry?
I started researching the terms “melanoma,” “skin cancer,” “Mohs procedure,” “cancer staging,” and so forth. I researched myself into a tizzy of worry until I had to take a step back and remember the words of the Bible that say, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matt. 6:27, NIV).2 I knew I had a God that was bigger than my cancer.
I arrived for my surgical procedure early the next morning. They numbed me up, cut out the cancer and some of the surrounding skin, and sent it to their lab for careful inspection. After a nervous couple of hours wait, I was called back in and told they had gotten all the cancer and had left good, clear margins. I would need checkups a couple times a year, but I was otherwise healthy. I was so happy to share the good news with my friends and family, and we all praised God.
1 Peter 5:7 says to cast “all your care upon Him, because He cares for you” (NKJV).3 Thankfully this melanoma was just a small cancer scare; but my God was there, and He guided the surgeon’s hands to remove it from my body.
God knows our needs, even when we can’t see beyond our immediate fears. He knows our concerns and anxieties, and He wants nothing more than to be there for us and to take care of all that worries us if only we will lay everything at His feet.
1 “Mohs surgery is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer. During Mohs surgery, thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains. Mohs surgery is also known as Mohs micrographic surgery” (https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mohs-surgery/about/pac-20385222).
2 Bible texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright ã 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
3 Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright ã 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.