Sunday, March 2, 2014

Where is God When You Get Bad News?

     I remember the phone call as if it were yesterday. Vince and I were both at work and I received a call from the dermatologist we had taken our two-year old daughter to. He had removed a mole on her upper right thigh, that had turned slightly blue and bled when I washed around it. Her pediatrician told me in December, it might need to be removed. Being a young parent, I thought he would do the removing. Now it was April, and the mole was bleeding. He sent us to the dermatologist, for what we thought was a routine procedure. Five days later the dermatologist called and said,
     “The results of your daughter’s biopsy indicate that she has Stage 4 malignant melanoma,” he said seriously.
     Adrenaline rushed through me and jolted my mind with alarm. I knew what malignant meant, but asked anyway, hoping I had not heard correctly, “What is that?”
     “It is a type of skin cancer. I sent your daughter’s mole to the UNM oncology lab, and they have confirmed Stage 4 malignant melanoma. They will give you a call when they determine what treatment plan will be used. I have removed thousands of moles and the ones that look like your daughter’s are always malignant. I knew when I removed it that it was malignant, but I wanted to wait until the results came back to call you.”
     And then, in a chastising voice he said, “Tell your husband he has a lot more to worry about than the size of her scar.”
     “What?” I asked, not understanding why the stern tone in his voice.
     “Your husband asked me if your daughter would have a large scar when I removed the mole, and you have much more to worry about than a scar.”
     I did not know what to say. Stunned and feeling like I had been reprimanded, I told him, nobody said there was a possibility that she would have cancer. What two-year-old gets skin cancer? We  tried to calm our precious daughter in his office, by making light of the procedure to remove the mole, and the stitches she was getting. Our pediatrician, who sent us to get it removed, never mentioned the possibility that it could be cancerous. We had no idea this would be the outcome.
     “UNM oncology will be calling you,” he said and hung up.
     Shocked and reeling from the phone call, I leaned on the desk with my face in my hands. Vince opened the door to the office and came in. “What is wrong?” he asked, seeing my red face and my eyes filling with tears.
     “The dermatologist said Little Sweety has malignant melanoma,” I blurted out, tears streaming down my cheeks.
     “What is that?” he asked.
     As I explained the conversation, all the blood drained from his face. Shocked, at this unimaginable news, he sat down. My heart ached and my spirit deflated. What were we supposed to do now?

What is the first thing you do when you hear bad news?   
Click to read Part 2.
Click to read Part 3 


  1. Ashamed to say I panic first, despite the fact that I KNOW that God is able, loving and in control! I am working on it. Excited to follow this series Robyn!

  2. Thanks Michele. I would like to think I have grown since that time, but I think panic and prayer would still be my response.