Wear a Hat

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

One of my best friends for the last 30 years had a large melanoma removed from her scalp during the pandemic lockdown. Of course it had taken longer than it should have for her to get an appointment with a dermatologist due to the pandemic. And by the time she got a dermatology appointment, the dermatologist said, “You don’t need a dermatologist. You need a surgeon.” And then it took longer than it should have to get the surgery appointment because so much non-Covid health care was being postponed due to the pandemic emergency.

They said they got it all, with clean margins, praise God. But now she had a large open wound that was not healing. They told her she’d need a skin graft, but the wound hasn’t healed enough to allow for a skin graft. So for many months her days have been filled with wound care, dressings, trying to rest and eat a diet that will promote wound healing, and of course juggling dressings and head coverings that often cover her ears so that she can’t wear a face mask that hooks over her ears, etc. Her wound care specialist says it may still be months before she will be able to get a skin graft. And even after she gets the graft, she’ll never have hair on her head again. The graft will come from skin on her legs and won’t have enough hair follicles to grow hair on her head.

Of course I have been praying with her and for her almost every day.

But the only thing she has ever asked is to tell everyone everywhere to wear a hat.

Her doctors all agree that this was caused by sun exposure. Not any one memorable event or sunburn, and not even a high risk occupation like being an agricultural worker out in the fields every day. Just years of being an active person and avid gardener who loved the outdoors and never wore a hat.

She has an amazing attitude and her spirits are good, despite all these tribulations. “But,” she says in a characteristic understatement, “it would have been easier to just wear a hat when I was younger.”

So this, along with my constant prayers that God see fit to surround her with His strength, love, patience, and healing, is dedicated to my longtime BFF, Pat E:

Wear a hat. This means you, not just other people.

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