It’s called living


It’s called living

February 24, 2012 Stories 0

It’s called living

Yet another roller coaster has pulled up to give me a whirl around. I had noticed a small white spot on my lip. It was as white as if someone had painted it on there. It had been on my lip for months. I had tried to peel it off without reward. Thanks to my lipstick lessons, I was noticing it everyday. I don’t visit my doctor too often, but I had added a note on my wonderful iPhone.

The week started with a day off and doctors appointment, which is never a good way to start a week. Whatever else I had to talk to the doctor about faded incomparably when he looked at my lip. “Oh dear” I heard him say. “Oh God!” I heard myself say.  Next the doctor asks, “How long has that been there?” … hmm … “A few months now.” I answer. I was in to see a skin specialist by Friday that week. Remarkable I know.

My doctor told me that any white growth on a lip is often skin cancer. I commenced a history of cancer 15 months ago with a pimple on my eyebrow.

The skin specialist, a lovely man, sat down in front of me and pulled a face by twisting up his lips and said, “Do this.” I looked at him and said, “I don’t think I can pull a face like that.”  Then he pulled my lip down to see the spot better. He tried to pick it off as well. I thought ‘Aha! I was on the right track with that then!’ His suggestion was to use a scalpel and cut it out … now. Only a small needle in the lip to numb the area and off it comes. “Okay.” I say.  “Let’s do it.”

Oh my God! That doctor should be a car salesman. The mentioned small needle in the lip was not small. It was huge and very, very painful. The nurse suggested he was a bit mean. A bit mean? Had I been able to speak, he would have had one hell of a blasting.  My lip was swelling. Yeah, he knew what he was doing. I couldn’t speak. Memories of my ex-husband with all his jokes about sewing my lips together come flooding back and I worry, had he used his settlement money to pay this doctor to do this to me?

So I close my eyes and enhance my calm. I am silently chanting to myself, ‘Enhance your calm Mary. Enhance your calm. Enhance your bloody calm … Do it! Do it NOW!’ Suddenly, I feel so much better. Nothing like a bit of internal yelling at yourself to pull it all together.

The white spot was removed from my lip. It then got stuck on the doctor’s finger and the nurse helped to get “it” into a test tube. Next the doctor tells me he is not going to stitch the lip but, as they do bleed … a lot, he will cauterize it. I was staring at what very much looked like a soldering iron heading straight for my lip. My internal voice demanded, “Shut your eyes Mary!” I could not block my nose though and that has to be the worst smell ever. The smell of burning flesh.

Right, all done. I was allowed to go and confront the bill for all the pleasure and pain. Being alone, as I am, I had to drive myself home, make dinner and clean up – Oh no, I no longer have to do those last 2 things. I either eat out or don’t eat and hire cleaners these days. Oh good I am better off. I only had to drive home. Yep I could do that. You see, people think I don’t have anyone to look after me, but it turns out I look after myself really well. I got home and went to bed. I read a book while my lip was numb with the expectation that by the time the lip’s feeling returns to normal, I’ll be asleep and there isn’t much that wakes me up.

I could have felt sorry for myself, but why bother? My life is what it is and it is called living. There is no point wishing it was any other way and, as I know, it can all change tomorrow. Who knows what is just around that next corner.

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2012


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