As a coming of age event for anyone born and raised in south Florida, at the age of 42, I have been diagnosed with my first melanoma. I had expected the needle biopsy results to be negative, as usual. It took over a month for me to receive the call. Then they told me over the phone that the biopsy was positive for melanoma. That left me a solid two weeks to panic, fret, worry, and, finally, accept the diagnosis.

I didn’t post anything about it on facebook or my blog because there was no need to freak out the whole family and my loved ones until I had talked to the doctor. Well, today I got to see the doctor. The biopsy results are that it is a superficial, contained melanoma, caught very early. The center of the site is melanoma. It can all be excised.

The site is actually inside my Chinese dragon Taoist tattoo. My tattoo will have a missing piece, the dragon’s head and tail connected by sutures, his body removed.

But, you might be thinking, you go on vacation to Franklin, North Carolina, in just a week. Well, this is where the story turns funny (thank God for that). The doctor decided with us that we would do the surgery tomorrow morning, when they happened to be able to fit me in. The stitches need to be removed in two weeks. So my mom will remove them. Seriously. We’ll be practicing some local Appalachian medicine.

My belly swirls with the warm comfort that all is well. We are truly blessed. Amen.

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