I’ve always been such a good kid.
Don’t believe me ask my parents.
I mean, they probably don’t understand just how good I was growing up.
I never snuck out.
Never went to any parties.
Got as good of grades as I could.
Even in college and growing up since then.
I’ve never smoked or done anything illegal.
I hardly drink alcohol.
I call my parents at least once a day.
The one thing I do is have the mouth of sailor but whatever….
You could say I was “one of those good kids” or “sheltered” but honestly it was my choice.
Try telling that to my college boyfriend.
But it was.
I honestly wanted to be that good kid.
I wanted to make my parents proud.
I wanted to follow the rules.
That’s what made me happy.
That’s what makes this so hard.
I always thought bad things happened to bad people, and the other way around.
I’ve lost people in my life that have made me question that theory but for the most part it’s been true.
That’s why this is so confusing to me.
That’s why none of this makes sense.
This last month I went to my doctors to get these bumps checked out.
I’ve had one on my lower abdomen for a few years now, but I noticed two years ago that I was slowly getting more.
I finally told Jason I would get them looked at.
I’ve had them for so long I just got use to them.
Figuring nothing bad would happen to me.
I never even told my parents about them because I didn’t think they were a big deal.
The first doctor I saw told me he thought they were “keloids” which are a type of scaring, but he referred me to the dermatology department just to be sure.
I got a call to schedule an appointment that next week.
Going in with no real expectations I just assumed she would confirm the keloids and it’d be over.
You could imagine my sudden rush of emotions when she told me she needed to do a biopsy.
My heart sunk.
But I just had to keep telling myself that it was going to be ok.
That it was just a precaution.
I found out that I wasn’t going to find out the results of the biopsy for one to two weeks.
I remember joking with Jason that I could google “skin cancer” so many times in two weeks.
I was at home on my lunch break a week later when I got a call from my dermatologist. She told me the one thing I honestly didn’t think she would.
I had skin cancer.
She informed me that I have Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans, or DFSP. Which is a very rare form of skin cancer.
It’s a soft tissue sarcoma that develops in soft layers in the skin. There are roughly 1000 cases a year.
My heart sunk.
It’s slow growing, DFSP, so I’m not in a situation where we’re rushing to get them removed or anything.
But don’t worry I’m getting them removed next month.
And the surgery I’m having has a 98 percent effective rate of getting rid of everything.
With DFSP however, there’s a chance it can come back, but we won’t think about that.
But it’s still scary.
Cancer is still cancer.
It’s still awful.
You never want to hear that word.
I’ve never considered anyone close to me having cancer, let alone myself.
And then it actually happens, and you have no idea where to even start.
There were definitely moments where I thought to myself, that I must have done something wrong somewhere in life.
That has to be why this is happening.
You see the thing with DFSP is, no one really knows why or how it starts.
There are a few theories floating around but no one knows for sure.
And for someone who needs to know anything and everything, not having a definite answer is annoying to say the least.
I’ve juggled between different emotions.
Being mad, that this cancer chose me.
Sad, and thinking about the worse case scenario.
Positive, remembering everything I’ve done since I found that first bump a few years ago.
And content, knowing that as much as I want to, I cannot control this.
It’s not happening to me, but it’s something that’s happened and I now have to overcome it.
Thinking that this is something I have to do by myself scares me most of all.
I have the worlds best support system.
My family, husband, and forty something kids that I coach.
They’re all cheering for me.
But this is something that I have to go through.
I went to the doctors the other day and it was surreal walking to the room.
I left my husband and went behind these doors, by myself.
I passed all of these signs with the name of the surgery I’m getting.
Special seats to wait in before the surgery.
It all seemed so surreal.
You see, especially with a twin, I haven’t had to go through much in my life without someone by my side.
My mom, dad, sister, husband, friends, I haven’t done much alone.
And that’s scary.
But this is mine.
This is that thing, that I have to do by myself.
I obviously will continue to have my amazing support system by my side.
But this is all me.
And I can’t control much of anything.
But I can control my attitude.
I can control the fact that this won’t stop me from living my life like I do on a regular basis.
That I can go about as normal as I want.
But that I won’t let things scare me anymore.
Things that hold me back.
Like driving on the highway.
I drove on highway 22 between Dallas and Salem the other day.
If you know me at all, you’ll understand what kind of triumph that is.
I remember thinking that I could take the easy back road like I’ve done before, but then I remember asking myself why.
Why take the safe route.
Why not do something that scares you, regardless of the size.
Why not just take a deep breath and tackle it.
So I did.
I faced a fear of mine.
Because I feel like I see things differently now.
I feel like I have this new little perspective.
That I can’t hold myself back, because of these imaginary fears.
These “worse case scenarios” that I imagine aren’t something that I should be wasting my time on.
I should be living a little more.
Finding things I love and investing so much of myself into them.
This cancer isn’t holding me back from anything and won’t hurt me.
If anything it’ll make me better.
Writing has been such an outlet for me.
I’ve been trying to think of a way to tell this story and writing about it definitely seemed like the best way.
I’ll definitely be updating everyone as the time goes.
But for now, I leave you with this.
Be nice to people.
Do great things.
And don’t let stupid fears hold you back.