Goodbye ugly caterpillar

Life has been busy and challenging and I have missed hitting this space. There’s just a few more days of this semester and let’s just say HALLELUJAH for that!

There is this one little thing I feel like I need to share. Sometime over the summer, I noticed a red spot on my chest that seemed weird. When it didn’t just disappear, I conceded to let a professional take a look. My dermatologist is a lovely woman – probably because she never exposes herself to the sun (it’s a prerequisite for all dermatologists, obviously). She agreed that it looked a bit suspicious, and sliced off a sample for a biopsy.

When it came back as a Squamous Cell Carcinoma, we scheduled an appointment for its removal. With the suggested time slot of three weeks in the future, I was like, “You’re telling me I have skin cancer and you want me to wait that long?” And the smartie on the other end of the phone said, “Um, it’s not like you have Melanoma.” Oh, okay then. How comforting.

Who knew that receiving a diagnosis of skin cancer was no reason to panic? It is Florida, and basically anyone over the age of fifty has had a spot or two (or several), so it really is NBD around here.

When I went in for the removal (the spot was the size of a pencil eraser), I did not expect an incision that would require twelve stitches to close.

It was ugly and bruised and reminded me of a creepy caterpillar. Hey, that would have been cool for Halloween. She was kind enough to design the future scar to run in the same direction as my cleavage wrinkles, no extra charge.

All of this is not much of a surprise. I have spent years baking my body in the sun. Most of the my younger years were spent slathered in baby oil. Sometimes mixed with iodine. With reflective panels all around. I didn’t use sunscreen – how would I possibly achieve the desired bronze glow with that junk on?

How times have changed.

When having the stitches removed, I asked if I could ever enjoy beach life again. I’m pretty sure my bottom lip was trembling in fear of what she may say. This is the meaning of life for me, AS YOU KNOW. I sighed with relief when she said, “Enjoy your life, just be careful. Use sunscreen. Sit under an umbrella. Try not to bake all day. And come see me every six months.”

Whew! I don’t want to be like the Stage Four Lung Cancer patient who continues to puff on two packs a day, but man, I don’t know if I could survive without my beach time. I may as well move somewhere cloudy and depressing and, dare I say, cold. The horror!


All of life is an adjustment, isn’t it? As our bodies age, and the effects of our youthful stupidity catch up with us, we may need to make changes to keep on keeping on, right? I don’t expect this will be my only episode. I’ve spend YEARS filling up with Vitamin D and UV Rays and basking in the sunshine. But I will definitely be more careful, I promise.

And OMG, have I hit the age where it’s perfectly natural to talk about physical ailments?! I’m so sorry… I will do my best not to ruminate on such topics. Or post gross pictures.

Instead, I will be grateful for modern medicine that knows how to spot and successfully treat such things. I will be grateful that I can still hit the beach. I will be grateful that I can adapt to whatever life hands me. Thanks little caterpillar. You show me a beautiful way to live.

Thanks for reading, until next time,



One thought on “Goodbye ugly caterpillar

  1. As the the pages of my book turn, learning about grace and aging go hand in hand. Two very intimate attributes only “living life” can help us sort out. Sherri, your attitude about aging is lovely. Especially in this age of young looking faces and bodies with hearts that have not yet read or lived the chapter on Grace.
    Living every day walking in Hope and Grace.
    Love you😘


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