Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Day of Less-Than-Wonderful News

A few weeks ago I mentioned that my brother-in-law, who is on debilitating Interferon treatments to treat melanoma, called me and begged me to see a dermatologist to "just be checked." He knew that, as a redhead who grew up in California, I was at increased risk of skin cancer and he implored me to take care of any potential issue before I'd be dealing with the nightmare he's living through.

So I went to be checked and the doctor suggested that I have three moles removed. As she was removing the moles, she mentioned that they'd be biopsied and that I should get the results from her nurse via a phone call in about ten days. Then she added that she makes some of the calls, but that I "don't want to get one of those calls."

Yesterday while I was at work, my cell phone rang.

"Carol, this is Dr. Voss."

For some reason, I was completely calm and answered, "But you're not supposed to call me..."

She started off with, "Don't worry" (which of course got me worried), adding that the cells on two of the three moles she removed were "aplastic," one moderately and one mildly. That means that one has a moderate amount of plastic in it and the other has just a little plastic.

OK, not really. That means that the cells in those moles aren't normal. However, they also aren't cancerous. Instead, they're somewhere in between, and had I not taken any action, chances are good that those cells would have become cancerous over time.

So on Friday, the 13th (me, superstitious? nah!), just when the craters she caused the first time are beginning to heal nicely and just when they'll probably stop itching like crazy, Dr. Voss will go back in and essentially blow those little craters to smithereens, leaving great big gaping moon-sized craters on my back. But you know what? That's OK. I'm fine with that. I'd rather be pocked to hell than dead, and was never going to wear a bikini again anyway, so what difference do a few caters make when creating them might have well saved my life?!

Me? Dramatic? Yeah, kinda.

And in some other sad news (and this bothers me much more right now), Kat received a letter from the University of Washington's admissions office yesterday. Although she was placed on the waiting list in April, the school "will not be able to offer admission to her at this time." Not to her or to anyone on the entire wait list! Not one person on that list was admitted!

The hardest part of all this is that her twin brother (who is, in so many ways, her closest friend) did get in, even though she had a slightly higher GPA (both were above 3.8) and more extra-curricular activities. His test scores were a bit higher, and both of them wrote great essays. I believe that what it came down to was a gender issue: more women than men applied and the school strives for a balanced class, so of course proportionately more men were admitted.

Kat is crushed and I don't know what I can do for her. Unlike Elisabeth, who becomes more vocal and more communicative in situations like this, Kat tends to become very quiet and distance herself more -- and I need to respect that. In fact, I asked her how she'd like me to approach this; does she want me to talk about it and give advice and suggestions, or does she want me not to talk about it unless she brings it up? Ever the diplomat, she asked that I "just don't dwell on it."

Fair enough.

She needs time now to look at other options -- of which there are many. The hardest thing now is the constant "college chatter" at school, where most kids are headed to a four-year university and where the "where are you going next year?" question is incessant. One of her options is that she re-apply right away, in August, for Winter quarter admission. Because Aleks has already joined a fraternity and is already spending a good amount of time at UW (and will begin taking classes this summer, even), Kat has the opportunity to immerse herself a bit into the UW culture, even as she applies again. The down side to that, of course, is that if she doesn't get admitted again, it'd be even more devastating.

I have full and complete faith in Kat. She has a great head on her shoulders, and no matter what she decides to do in the coming months, I have full confidence that it'll be the right move for her, and that eventually she will get a college degree -- probably at UW, but maybe not.

And either is OK because this amazing and beautiful and smart kid adult really can do and be anything she wants!

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3 comments:

Ann(ie) said...

I come from a family of HUSKIES!!! I grew up going to all of the bowl games b/c both my parents had season tickets. What a FUN school and YAY for your kiddos. That rocks. I'm sorry for your girl, though. That sucks!! I have no doubt she worked her booty off for those grades! My brother had the same issue there. HE had incredible grades and didn't get in either and later in his life when they accepted them he took pride in saying, 'nah, no thanks....I'm off to NYC to go to Columbia.' hehe. in your face UW. Maybe she'll find a more exciting school for her.

AND I'm so glad that you're all over the mole sitch. I am having a suspect one looked at in June. This was a good story for me to read so I don't blow off the appt.

Happy Weekend!!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Carol, thank goodness your Dr. got to those moles in time!

I hope the winter quarter thing works for Kat. Can she take classes there while she waits for admission? Audit things at least? Maybe that's a way to get noticed.

Snooker said...

OK Carol, that cinched it... I'm sending my Sweetheart to "Dr. Skin" (direct translation of his name) on Monday.

All the best to you and your new craters. But as you say, better to have craters and be healthy.

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