Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 9/24/2009 [Archive]

Martha's Big Adventure - The Mole Patrol

Martha's Big Adventure -- The Mole Patrol

By Martha Randolph Carr

This week I went whistling past the graveyard and not a moment too soon. I had this mole on my left knee that looked a little hinky. Monday it was removed by the wonderful, Dr. Andrew Lazar at Northwestern, here in Chicago. Tuesday afternoon I found out I have melanoma, the just early-enough version.

There are two kinds of diagnoses for melanoma. The first one is that it has been caught in time and some flesh and a few lymph nodes are removed till they find clean edges. The second one is that you have a year left to live. Currently, there is no mainstream chemotherapy or radiation for advanced melanoma.

I was probably months away from diagnosis number two. Most of the time, our defects as human beings still offer us a wide margin for error, laziness or general confusion. However, sometimes in the smallest of moments everything hangs in the balance. Melanoma is one of those times.

I have a family history with the disease, which gives me an increased risk and was also aware that for my mother it was on the back of her arm where someone else spotted the mole. That means one thing to all you readers.

Go get checked, all over, and do it now, not even a month from now. I hope they find nothing and you wasted a co-pay but for the few that get the still bad but manageable news, thank me later and go hug your family first.

The wonderful Dr. Lazar has made it possible for me to hug Louie for a few more decades. He earned his new moniker for more than just a good bedside manner, which he has in spades. Currently, I'm without medical insurance and don't qualify for Medicaid in Illinois, which limits coverage to parents with young children or people with disabilities. That's it.

Every other dermatologist I called refused to let me in their office without the entire money for visit and biopsy up front. No payment plans available, no exceptions even though I explained my family history. I'm willing to pay but didn't have the sizeable amount I was told it would take to just find out if it was cancer, which it is.

Dr. Andrew Lazar, who is the incoming Vice President for the American Academy of Dermatology, not only said, get right in here, but added, we'll figure out the rest together. He was as good as his word and helped me out with the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, which reviews applicants based on financial need but doesn't make anyone wait to get medical attention.

If I had waited until I had enough money to see any of the other doctors, whom I'm assuming took the Hippocratic Oath, I'd have fallen into diagnosis number two. I was standing that close to the edge.

It scared my son, Louie enough that he bought me dinner, a first. Half-priced mushroom ravioli has never tasted so good.

However, he has said that once the scare is past we're going back to status quo. Thank goodness for grown children who can put everything into perspective and still get a good laugh out of you.

But it's really saying something about the state of health care in America when it's come down to a simple treatment on one hand and death on the other and your wallet will be the deciding factor.

As intelligent as we all are it boggles the mind that we are having so much trouble figuring out how to provide affordable, decent health care to the most number of our citizens.

So now, surgery in another week with Dr. Jeffrey Wayne, also at Northwestern and then Dr. Lazar and I will become close friends for the rest of my very-long-life. I have never been so happy as to say, More Adventures to Follow.

Martha Randolph Carr is the author of the novel, The Sitting Sisters. Martha can be found on Twitter at MarthaRandolph or email at Martha@caglecartoons.com or visit www.martharandolphcarr.com.

© 2009 Martha Randolph Carr. Martha's column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info call Sales at (805) 969-2829 or email Sales@cagle.com.

Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo.

Download Martha Randolph Carr's color photo - Download Martha Randolph Carr's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Martha Randolph Carr's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

 Con  Obama Healthcare Lemmings
By: Daryl Cagle
Slate.com
September 15, 2009

 Con  Obama Healthcare Lemmings Color
By: Daryl Cagle
Slate.com
September 16, 2009

 Con  Are You a Racist
By: Nate Beeler

September 17, 2009

 Con  Are You a Racist COLOR
By: Nate Beeler

September 17, 2009

Baucus Plan
By: Mike Keefe
The Denver Post
September 18, 2009

 Con  Senator Max Baucus
By: Taylor Jones

September 18, 2009

healthcare reform COLOR
By: David Fitzsimmons

September 20, 2009

healthcare reform
By: David Fitzsimmons

September 20, 2009

Pre-existing Condition
By: Jeff Parker
Florida Today
September 17, 2009

Pre-existing Condition COLOR
By: Jeff Parker
Florida Today
September 17, 2009

 Con  Obama Spongeboob
By: Brian Fairrington
The Arizona Republic
September 23, 2009

 Con  Obama Spongeboob
By: Brian Fairrington
The Arizona Republic
September 23, 2009

 Con  Predictable move COLOR
By: Eric Allie

September 16, 2009

 Con  predictable move
By: Eric Allie

September 16, 2009
 

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829 sales@cagle.com
Billing Information: (805) 969-2829billing@cagle.com
Technical Support: support@cagle.com

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. [Privacy Policy]