Monthly Archives: February 2012

Seven Stitches In My Left Leg.

I have seven stitches in the back of my left calf.

The plastic surgeon cut out a piece of my skin yesterday morning in her office.  About the size of a nickle right down to the fat. She had the pathology report from the dermatologist.

Melanoma in Situ .

So the best of the worst.

I saw the piece of skin in the specimen jar. I wanted to see what I look like. The piece of Pamela floating, waiting to be frozen and dissected.

Waiting to hear if the cancer is contained, if it has margins.

The plastic surgeon stitched me up, pulling the skin back together.  But I will never be the same.  The thread to close the wound will not make me whole.

There will always be a white line. A reminder that I break and I bleed, the scar will remind me that I will not live forever. And I will look to the mark on the back of leg as a reminder that I am not in control of my life.

I will seek comfort in knowing that God is in control, that I am loved by the one who made me. Who knit me together in my mother’s womb.


Cancer Cells don’t respect authority

Today is Monday. I had a mole cut off of the back of my leg last Wednesday. This morning the nurse called from the Dermatologist’s office. She had  the pathology report from the mole they removed last Wednesday. The report that was suppose to take two weeks.  The report that took only four days.

I asked her to wait to tell me while I went and got a piece of paper and a pencil.

I knew I wanted to pay attention.

Mole number one was fine, mole number two was fine. Mole number three was not fine.


She wouldn’t even say the “c” word.

But it looked like it was still in the skin. So not to worry she said. I need to see a plastic surgeon and get more cut out of my leg.

I go tomorrow morning to a plastic surgeon.

I feel like I have a rouge ninja in my body.

An invader. A cell who doesn’t respect authority. Off on its own, dividing making random cells that do not belong.

The sin of Adam and Eve right down to the very molecules of my body.

My Fathers Voice

Timber found some VHS tapes today in the basement that were taken during our wedding in 1990. The tapes are hours long — the rehersal dinner, the wedding, the reception.  We played them on her little TV we bought at the thrift store for $8.00.

Timber never met my father. My father died in March of 1998. Timber was born four years later. Of course, she never met him, he died before she born. But it never really occured to me that she never heard his voice.

Okay, I do have common sense. If he is dead, he is also not talking.

He did not pass away, or go on to his reward. He died, he is dead. And along that tangent, if you put your dog to sleep. He is also dead. He is not sleeping.

She had seen photographs of him. She knew what he looked like.  But it was a two dimensional grandfather.  I had memories of him that I could not share.  But when we watched the videos she could hear his voice. She could  see a three dimensional grandfather.

We could hear his voice.  That is what I miss. Hearing his voice. I left home when I was 20, and would call him every Sunday afternoon. The Sunday after he died, I picked up the phone to call him, and then remembered

he was dead. The habit of calling 306-382-7933, was  more vivid than the memory of his open silent mouth in the quiet hospital room.

Sometimes I want to dial my old telephone number and ask for Bill. I like to think  all old phone numbers are sent on to heaven, and my dad would answer. A twilight zone of phone numbers.


A little bit of Joy.

I have been thinking about writing this post for several days? weeks? and keep waiting to work on it. I didn’t write it because I did not have the new bottle of soap. I couldn’t write about it until I photographed it. Waiting, waiting, until I could do it perfectly.

I  took photographs of just the bottle of Joy dish detergent,then realized the bottle of Joy needed to be in the midst of the mess on my kitchen counter — that the photograph did not need to be perfect. I did not have to completely clean my kitchen to take a picture. I could actually take a photograph of a mess and be honest. Yes, Pamela has dirty dishes.   I did not want to be on my death bed, wishing I had photographed the bottle of Joy and written about it.

The bottle of Joy that I keep by my sink to wash my dishes is there because of a promise I made to my friend Joy in Minnesota. If her name was Dawn , I would have a bottle of Dawn dish detergent by my sink. If her name was Palmolive, I would have a bottle of Palmolive dish soap by my sink.  But then we wouldn’t have a story, because there are no bible verses to encourage me that read, “The Palmolive of  the Lord is my strength.”

Joy has a son Andrew who has the best hugs, and the sweetest smile.  He sometimes  does not listen to his mother, and like all children, was not born sinless. I promised to pray for Joy, and for Andrew. I promised to pray everytime I washed my dishes, and to help me remember, I would buy a bottle of Joy dish detergent and use it when I do. The label on my bottle had been washed off, so it was time for a new bottle, because a promise is a promise, and if I don’t see the word” joy”, I don’t remember to pray.

Having the bottle of Joy dish detergent by my sink makes me think of the word joy, and what it means. Often I don’t feel any joy as I wash the dishes. I think negative thoughts, ” I don’t want to do this. What a waste of my time. Am I the maid?” — and more along that vein.  But I have been working on being different, and have been reading about controlling my mind and my thoughts.

So the simple little bottle of Joy dish detergent, reminds me that “The Joy of the Lord is my strength.”

The bottle is $1.12 at Walmart.

Buy a bottle, pray for Joy and Andrew, and be reminded of how much God loves you when you wash your dishes. When I wash my dishes,  I have the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.