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The Intersection of Worry and Calm

I have two risk factors for melanoma and other skin cancers; I am fair and I got many sunburns as a kid. As a result, I get regular skin checks.

During a recent exam, my dermatologist asked about a particular spot on my arm. I thought it was a bug bite from a recent hike. She asked, “How long have you had that?” About a week,” I replied. “It just popped up.” She said she didn’t like the look of it and wanted to do a shave biopsy. She said, “It may not be anything, but I get nervous over things that just pop up.”

Well, if she wanted to be nervous about it, that was her problem. In the meantime, I realized that I didn’t want to go down the panic road. It would take a week or more to get the results. It didn’t make any sense to worry over something that could turn out to be nothing. Besides, worry would not change the outcome, and it would feel awful. So, I took the calm road.

The biopsy was negative for cancer. She didn’t tell me what it was, other than not cancer. I’m thinking it was a bug bite. I am so happy that I didn’t take the worry road over this. What a waste that would have been over a perfectly lovely summer week.

What do you do when you are at the intersection of calm and worry? If you take the worry route, perhaps it is time to take the road less traveled. Or as Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

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