This morning my skin smells slightly metallic, sort of like the way a hypodermic needle smells after they’ve pushed the medicine under your skin and the nurse puts the Band-Aid on your skin, deftly, with grace and you begin to breathe again knowing it’s over.
I have to wait two hours though, before I cover the smell with lotion or anything and it is challenging not to scratch the itch I don’t know whether is truly there or if it is something my mind created in response to writing about it.
I have waited two months to start this process because I haven’t felt brave enough to do it but finally, finally, finally I decided I was bold enough to stop procrastinating and bold enough to begin.
If you’ve read me for longer than two years, you may remember my battle with melanoma and then my battle with basal cell carcinoma. At my most recent six-month-skin check, I didn’t have any noticeable cancers, but I did have something called Actinic keratosis, a skin condition which is considered pre-cancerous and rather than burn them off my doctor decided to give me a prescription for a medication that will do a sort of “slow burn” or a ten day process to eliminate them.
My instructions are to apply the medicine all over my face because I have quite a few spots and this way we will rid my skin of the ones that show and the ones that may be lurking invisibly as well.
The final shreds of my vanity didn’t want to do this because of the scaly, itchy red skin I know I will likely have for up to a month. Finally, yesterday, I decided I could live with scaly, red skin by using hats and scarves and give myself the gift of time to protect myself from worse things like another scar similar to the one on the right side of my face.
A thought just floated through my head. “There is nothing to be afraid of,” it whispered. I wanted to debate the thought. “Sure there is. I could get cancer anyway, again.”
Then I realized the subtlety, reminiscent of the quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
I can choose to look with confidence into this next unknown, not confidence that the outcome will be to my choosing or even to my remote liking, but rather that I will be able to deal with whatever comes. I am brave enough for whatever shows up next.
This, I know.
Julie Jordan Scott is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people's creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming Fall and Winter, 2014 and beyond.
Check out the links below to follow her on a bunch of different social media channels, especially if you find the idea of a Word-Love Party bus particularly enticing.
Please stay in touch: Follow me on Twitter: @JulieJordanScot
Be sure to "Like" WritingCampwithJJS on Facebook. (Thank you!)
And naturally, on Pinterest, too!
This post is a part of the ongoing series for 31 Days challenge. I will be writing 31 blog stories about bold choices and using a bold voice...I am woefully behind, again. I'm still devoted, though, and still writing!
If you would like to read all my posts from the beginning of the challenge, simply visit here, at 31 Days of Bold Stories, Voices and Choces
The question is making sure to carve out the time and to document it all in a way you'll enjoy reading about bold choices in a most authentic, real-me voice.
I'm grateful you are reading.