Chrissie Bader
So, it wasn't quite Pivotal Moment #3 but it was definitely a standout moment. Life isn't different forever based on that one phone call but I will, no doubt, remember the phone call the rest of my life. Let's rewind to the night before the call.

I went to bed very, very late as I tend to do because I'm a night owl. While showering before bed I began testing out different scenarios in my mind. How would I react if the results were this? Or that? What would change? What would never been the same again? It began as a preparation exercise and ended in total panic. The thought of leaving my children alone. The thought of our upcoming beach trip having totally different undertones due to it being one of our last as a family. So many awful thoughts flying at me at once. I began to pray. I crawled into bed and looked up scriptures in my Bible app on my phone and fell asleep reciting The Word.

Since our bedroom has been temporarily relocated due to last month's flooding, I don't have a night stand and currently sleep with my phone under my pillow. I don't recommend that, actually, because all notifications go straight into your ear and scare you awake. Anyway, 9am is early for me and that's when the phone started ringing. Typically, I'm extremely annoyed by a phone call. Nowadays, I prefer an email or a text but NEVER, ever call me. But it was an Atlanta number and my heart jumped into my throat.

I answered and, sure enough, it was the dermatologist's office. I can't remember if my palms started sweating or if I lost all sensation in my body in anticipation. I was terrified and anxious about what the next few moments would bring into my life. She asked me if I had time to speak and I answered yes.

"Mrs. B, the pathology came back for the mole on your left thigh as moderately dysplastic which means that the cells cells are changing. Since we already removed the mole we typically just monitor the site and do full body scans every 3 months." Okay, breathe, breathe. I had expected some dysplasia so I'm not shocked; relieved actually that they'll be checking me more frequently.

Then her tone changed. I'm not 100% sure that I didn't imagine it but I'm quite positive that there was a shift in her tone for this part, "The pathology on the mole on your right thigh, however, returned severely dysplastic which is one step before melanoma. It's good you came in when you did. The doctor would like to do a complete excision of this area." My head was spinning and my heart was pounding so I can't even remember if I made her verify "not melanoma" or if I made it up. But I held to the part that severely dysplastic is before melanoma.

So, I caught it in time???!!! My heart was trying to celebrate while my brain was reminding me I still had to have more removed. And another pathology report to wait on. AND I'm now at a higher risk of developing melanoma at any other point in my life. Which means my kids are too. I couldn't celebrate.

I ran to the kitchen to my calendar so I could schedule the excision procedure while I was on the phone with the doctor's office. The first date she gave me was the date we were due to leave for our final beach vacation of this year. I asked her if it could wait an additional 2 weeks and she obliged. So, my excision is scheduled for September 26.

I went back to the bedroom to tell Mike, who had been waiting patiently since my phone rang, the news. He was much more enthusiastic than I was. I, who had been ok the whole time, burst into suffocating tears after I finally got the words out. All of the buildup of fear and uncertainty had weighed on me and all came crashing down at that moment. I wasn't dying. I wasn't going to die soon. My life didn't even have to change a whole lot for now. I need to be cautious, yes. But I can still pursue my dreams full speed ahead. God's promises to me still stood!! I was just overcome with so much emotion.

So, I'm in the waiting again. Waiting for my excision appointment. Waiting for my biopsy sites to heal. That has been hard. Those biopsy sites have hurt, itched, not healed quickly, and generally been awful. It has been HARD. I just needed to say that again.

But I'm ok. In fact, I'm better. I see things differently. I realize that life is shorter than I even thought before. I was still living with the idealistic views of an adult in her 20s when the world is your oyster and you have all this time ahead of you. Now I know that it can vanish and end before you're ready. I have prayed more, been grateful more, tried to be angry less, and tried to be a better mom.

That brings me to today, in the van with the younger two kiddos. Caleb asked me about Heaven. So we had a discussion about it. We talked about what the Bible says about it and what others have said we could expect about it. The conversation came around to when we each die and go to Heaven. I told them that when I die I will be watching over them and waiting for them so we would all be together again someday. Kiki said, "If you died, I would be so sad." Caleb said, "When you die I will want to die immediately so I can keep being with you." Oh. My. Heart! I just can't even. I love those kids so much it hurts me physically. Little did my sweet 7 year old know he described losing a parent perfectly. Even for those of us that are 36 (37 in a week). I imagine the same exact reaction when 'nightmaring' losing one of my parents. I would want to die immediately to be with them. Jesus come get us all!

Anyway, it's better news that I had imagined it might be. Still in a waiting pattern for awhile longer.

Peace out!



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