Navigating Life's Potholes
Skin cancer scares, job loss, an ailing parent -- WebMD Community member Barbara Pardoe relies on humor to get through the hard times.
On the big road of life, there isn't any bigger pothole than worrying about
the little things. You get so little from it.
I was reminded of this recently when I noticed a little bump on my face.
That was followed by a mole on my neck that just didn't look right to my mom.
So off to the skin doctor I went for a biopsy - when they cut out part of your
skin, leaving behind little potholes on your body that are stitched back
I learned I had basal cell cancer (a type of skin cancer, less serious than
melanoma) on my face and abnormal cell growth in that suspicious mole on my
I thought, well, what's going on with me is nothing in the big scheme of
things. My father had been diagnosed the previous year with inoperable stomach
and pancreatic cancer. But must I hear all this on a Monday morning?
Then, on Wednesday, another pothole. My job was cut from the company budget.
Then back to the skin doctor for a closer look and a snip of a mole on my leg.
This time, they called and said, "The section we removed is melanoma, but
in the very early stages. Come back again so we can remove more tissue as a
It started looking like someone played golf on the back of my leg and forgot
to replace the sod. Talk about potholes!
But then my dad suddenly became the focus of everything. Instead of teasing
his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he sat silently, in pain. Three days
later he was bedridden and quiet. He died in my arms on Saturday. "Oh, I
feel so much better now" were the last words he spoke.
For the rest of the year, even though I had more dermatologist visits (and
more abnormal cells removed),I concentrated on moving forward. I'm doing fine
now, and what I got from all this is to remember to look at those potholes as
opportunities to live life to its fullest, to keep humor at the steering wheel
- and to keep on motoring down the road ahead.
Originally published in the November/December 2005 issue of WebMD the