Thursday, February 25, 2010

Drink, Dammit!

My sister called me unexpectedly last week. We rarely speak, and it was with trepidation and a roll of my eyes that I answered my mobile. It turns out she rather magnanimously called to tell me about a new dermatologist she was going to see. The two of us have been on the hunt for a decent skin doctor for years, and a referral from a friend had her excited. Her appointment was that afternoon, and after a surprisingly upbeat conversation promised to call me with the verdict.

I honestly did not expect to hear back from her as she tends not to follow up with anything that has to do with me. Imagine my surprise when, several hours later, she called with the results. She loved the doctor and gave a detailed litany of her skin issues. The conversation came to a screeching halt when she said the dermatologist took one look at a spot on her breast and declared it to be melanoma.

Apparently, I made the mistake of asking if the doctor had taken it off immediately. Her tone began to frost over as she explained she was going to look into her schedule and get back to the doctor about it. I swear I tried not to get that big sister screech to my voice, but I told her melanoma ain't no joke, and that it needed to come off. Like yesterday. She slammed the door on the subject with the justification that she had to talk to her husband, that she would have to take several days off of work. She would get to it when she had the time.

Listen, crazy bitch. You won't have a job to go back to if this cancer kills you. You have a nine month old son. Yes, keeping to your job schedule is important, but this isn't a sinus infection. It is melanoma. Do I need to spell it out for you?

It has been a week now since the phone call. She still has not told my parents, and as much as the pleaser part of my personality wants to get my parents on her ass about this I haven't mentioned it, either. She is 34 years old. What she will not do for herself I cannot do a damned thing about. Horses and water, right? More like horse's ass.


SSG said...

hey, a melanoma can be benign or malignant. only the malignant melanoma is cancerous. A melanoma is just another name for a dark mole, I thought, but I could be wrong. Hope it is just benign and you don't have to worry, but if not, I hope she sees sense and gets it removed ASAP.

Not Afraid To Use It said...

@SSG: I probably should have clarified more in my post--we are the mole family. Like, Austin Powers moley moley kind of family. :) For him to have pointed to one in particular and declared it melanoma is the equivalent of walking into a frat party during Rush Week and pointing at the guy with alcohol poisoning and saying he's the drunk one. I know I have lost count of how many atypical/precancerous moles have been removed from my body over the years, and a great many of our family members have had skin cancer removed. And while I totally agree with you that it is possible it is benign, with our family history it is quite likely for there to be abnormal cells.

Titanium said...

Oh god. I wish I had something to add. Something good, something reassuring.

All I've got is this: you're right to be deeply, comprehensively concerned. For YOUR sake and for the sake of her baby, I hope she finds her way to water soon and starts drinking in huge, garbled gulps.

I'll be thinking of you- this is hard. So hard.

Kat said...

That's wild. Do you think she was just resisting because it was you? I mean...the big sister telling her what to do thing? I'd tell your parents if I were you. I know you can't lead a horse's ass to water, but how shitty would it be if she died and you hadn't. I lost a friend to skin cancer last year. That 'aint no joke.

suzicate said...

Scary stuff...I hope your sister wisens up and takes care of it pronto!

SSG said...

ok, see what you mean. yep, definitely hope she gets it removed if you have family history. why wouldn't she?

A Free Man said...

Powerless over people, places and things. You've done what you can for her at this point, she's got to do the rest. You're right, she shouldn't fuck about with it, but you're also right in that you can't make her drink.