Last week my doctor convinced herself
that I had melanoma.
So she cut some tissue out of my skin
and stitched me up in a few places, panic flashing across her face.
(I was worried. Do I get to admit that?)
(Am I safe in parentheses?) 

I waited two days for test results.
And on Friday, she called.
Caught early, pre-stage 1.
I’ll see a surgeon for more tissue excision
after I get home from Colorado in a few weeks.

It’s overwhelming, this carousel
of panicky doctors, always saying
There is something wrong with everything!
At night, I try not to wonder what it will be next.

There was no sun yesterday, so I was allowed out of my cave.
I don’t need much these days.
I don’t have much these days.
 And yesterday it was fine—
Just a crappy waterproof camera, a blistering hangover, my sister
and this dangerous, unruly sea,
Nature’s brutal reminder that there is no use in fretting
about what we cannot control.
(I needed that.)


  1. Love this, Kel. Glad they caught it.

  2. This must be getting old. I'm glad they caught it early. You'll do fine but it must be scary. Hang in there.

  3. parenthesis make everything safe, they are like a hug for your words, and I too am glad you found it early. have fun next week, and with your strength, you will face everything thrown at you the way you have always, with humor, dignity, and strength!

  4. Oh, Kelly. Sometimes you break me wide open. xo