Basal Cell Carcinoma (Yes, it’s a big word. Yes, it’s caner.And yes, I’ve got it…)

Got a call from my dermatologist today. It was good news and bad news, I suppose.

The bad news is that I have a skin cancer. It’s a basal cell carcinoma. From everything I read, this is mostly good news, if you consider anything about cancer to be good news. Although I won’t really jump for joy until the thing is removed, the tests are done, and it’s shown that it’s really nothing more than one small spot…

I’ve been more cautious about being in the sun these past few years, since my father had a melanoma removed. That’s the skin cancer word you DON’T want to hear. Basically, if they catch that one early enough, you’re perfectly fine. If they don’t you’ll probably die. Nothing like clear choices in life.
They caught my father’s early, and he’s absolutely fine. But it was a terrifying thing to read about melanoma online, and so I’ve been cautious since then.

Several months back, I noticed a spot on my cheek, just about a half inch from my ear. Frankly, I thought it was a zit, and didn’t think about it much more. Sure enough, it seemed to heal up and go away for a time. Just a zit, right?!

Then, about two weeks ago, two things happened. First, it came back and I cut it shaving. Second, my good friend Rick’s father had a pretty serious skin cancer surgery, involving grafts to his face. (Rick, some of you will remember, is a part of my band) Both these things drove me to make an appointment with the dermatologist.

So now, in retrospect, I’m glad I made the appointment, but now I’ a little nervous that perhaps I waited longer than I should have to make the appointment. My doctor did call it a “little” spot when he looked at it…so maybe it really is.

Like I said, I won’t be really relieved until the surgery’s over (next Tuesday) and the tests come back and show that there’s nothing more. Don’t want to make too much of a big deal about this. I would be really freaked out if it’d been a melanoma. And they still may find it more than I hope it is.

So, between now and pathological certainty (pun intended) I’ll covet your prayers and happy thoughts, and I’ll keep you posted….

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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