Biodegradable marriage.

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the sun, sunscreen, bleach cream, and Scott and I were married on July 17, 2004 by a pastor in front of one hundred witnesses.

When people say they don’t want to get married because it’s a piece of paper – they’re right. Marriage is a piece of paper.

It’s a piece of paper that can be easily misplaced when a newlywed couple moves from Manhattan, Kansas to Charleston, South Carolina. Misplaced meaning it probably got thrown in the trash. Thirteen years later, it most likely doesn’t exist because paper is biodegradable, much like a marriage. Hold on. That last sentence came out wrong. Scott and I are still married. According to our health insurance, we are not.

“Mr. Burton, we regret to inform you that Julie Burton will not be covered on your health insurance policy effective immediately. Please submit a valid marriage license stating you are married.”

Proof.

The insurance company wanted proof Scott and I are married. They also wanted proof that Emma and Kate are Scott’s dependents. Emma and Kate’s birth certificates were sufficient to prove that Scott is the father of Emma and Kate Burton. The birth certificates also lists the mother – me, Julie Burton. I share the family last name because we’re married and Scott didn’t bang his sister. 

I’ve nagged the shit out of Scott to order a new marriage license. No, I didn’t politely remind Scott. I nagged because we’re married.

A few months ago, Scott pointed out a dark discoloration on my face because we’re married. 

Scott reminded me for weeks that my face is flawed and I should get checked out by a dermatologist because we’re married. 

I lied. Scott didn’t tell me my face is flawed. But he was concerned I would get skin cancer. But, to me, he totally looked for flaws because we’re married.

I finally made an appointment with a dermatologist.

“Mrs. Burton, your insurance card isn’t working. We even called and they said you aren’t covered anymore. You’ll have to self pay and resubmit it when it’s working again.”

Mrs. Burton.

My thumbs rage-texted Scott in the waiting room.

“Julie Burton? If you follow me, I’ll take you back to the room and the doctor will be right in.”

Burton.

The doctor walked in the room.

“Hey Julie, what’s going on today?”

“I have this discoloration on my face. I’m a little concerned about it. It’s been there for months now. The intensity changes but it’s always there.

“What SPF sunscreen do you wear?”

“Oh, high. 70, maybe? I’m paranoid about that stuff. I’ve been at the pool with my kids a lot this summer.”

“Do you reapply?”

“I do to my kids. Hm, no, not to me. I kinda forget about taking care of myself when I’m with them.”

“I see. This is from the sun. Make sure you continue to wear a high SPF and reapply. That’s key, make sure you reapply. I’ll prescribe some bleach cream that should help balance out the discoloration.”

“That’d be awesome. Thank you.”

I walked out to the receptionist.

“That will be 108 dollars, Mrs. Burton.”

Mrs. Burton.

Dear health insurance company, I regret to inform you you didn’t get a wedding invite on July 17th, 2004. You missed a hell of a party. You also missed being a witness to the words, “I take you in sickness and in health as long as we never lose the marriage license because official name changes, tax returns, and bank account statements won’t be enough to prove we’re married.

Marriage is a piece of paper.

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

___________

Wait, don’t go! Find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

And don’t forget to buy my book, “But Did You Die?”

Die mole, DIE.

I don’t want to be writing about this.

I had another post ready to be published today but that will be on hold.

I really just need to take a moment to freak out here:

I’M ON MY DEATH BED.

There. My freak out. I can be a little dramatic.

Three months ago, I had a mole removed from my ankle. I wrote about my melt down here.

I got a call from the lab a week after the mole was removed. The mole was considered “atypical”. From what I understand, it’s a mole that has abnormal cells. Some would call it “pre-cancerous cells”. They could be fine but sometimes they are a warning before cancerous cells develop. The lab tech assured me I would be ok because it was taken off early. My doctor requested that I come back in 3 months to make sure the cells didn’t grow back.

That follow-up appointment was today.

So what brings you in today, Julie?

Well, I had a mole removed and I was told the doctor wanted to see if it grew back. I can’t tell because the scar is so dark.

The nurse looked at the scar on my ankle.

Oh. Yep, it grew back. I’ll get the doctor.

He walked out and shut the door.

Say whaaaaa?! How does he just walk out the door like that?! I need consoling!

I kicked my dangling feet and pulled my hair.

Oh GAWWWDDDDD.

I listened for voices outside the door. I hopped off the table, grabbed my phone and started texting Scott:

I love you. I love the girls. I love my family. I’m dying. Nurse said my mole grew back. Now I’m throwing punches and dropping F bombs. Pour my ashes in Manhattan, Kansas. Preferably on the 50 yard line at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Gotta go. Hear voices.

I hopped back on the table and smiled at the doctor as she walked in.

Hi Julie! Let’s see…. Oh no! It grew back.

What does that mean?

We will take it off again. I’ll dig a little deeper than last time to make sure I get everything. It will get sent to the lab for more testing and they will call you in a week. I’ll have my assistant prep you and I’ll be back to take it off.

She shut the door. The nurse walked back in with his tray. My eyes focused on the needle. I felt the blood drain from my face.

Ok, here we go again. This will be the worst part. Wipe you down with alcohol first.

You have any whiskey?

He laughed. I closed my eyes.

Couple little pinches here.

I tensed up. I feel him stab the needle into my ankle bone with no fat.

Ok, do you feel this.

No.

Ok, we’re all set then.

The doctor peeked her head in.

Hey Julie, do you mind if a student watches?

As long as I don’t have to watch. I don’t care.

Here, I’ll lay you back a little further so you can’t see. Ok, I saw this patient 3 months ago. She was concerned about a mole so we removed it. The path report came back atypical. Now, as you can see, the mole has grown back. We are going to remove it today and send that off to the lab.

I felt the pressure of the knife scissoring in and out.

Get me out of here. Hurry up. Just hurry up.

Her healing will take a little bit longer because it is on the foot. Normally it takes a few weeks to heal; hers will take about a month. We will send her off with instructions to keep Vaseline and a bandaid on the incision site. And there you go. All done. The lab will call you in about a week, Julie. Rest easy, ok?

The doctor, assistant and student all walked out. I got my things and left. I looked at my phone. No reply from Scott. I called him. No answer.

He better hope our house is on fire and he lost his phone.

I arrived at our house. It was still standing. No fire.

Scott!

What happened?

Did you get my text? I tried calling too.

Oh. Oops. It was on silent.

Oh. No big deal other than I’M DYING AND THEY’RE GOING TO CHOP MY FOOT OFF IN HOPES OF STOPPING THE CANCER FROM SPREADING.

What?!

The mole. It grew back! They removed it. I will know in a week what kind of cells grew back.

What are you doing?

Getting a black sock. This foot will never see the light of day. Ever. Call me White Foot.

I go upstairs and yelled down below.

And then I’m going to write my will. Can you just throw a big party in my honor instead of a funeral? I don’t want people to be sad. I’ll make sure the Wildcats win a Championship. That will be all me. You’re welcome.

You are completely out of control. Calm down. They got whatever it is early.

I am calm!!!!!

Cool as a cucumber.
I’m cool as a cucumber.

This post brought to you by Sun Block: SPF 100.

Melanoma.

Being married to me is not easy.

Sure, I am probably fun to live with. I enjoy sports to an obsessive degree. I drink beer and whiskey. I am ready to go anywhere in 30 minutes or less. I will do anything for a laugh. I can sit here and Facebook our perfectly happy marriage for you or just get down to the truth —

I can be a real pain in the ass.

It’s true. I need someone to save me from the death grip of WebMD late at night. The laptop and I (and my scaly looking mole on my ankle) should not be left alone in bed.

Phone call to Scott:

I have cancer.

What are you talking about?

That mole on my ankle is melanoma.

You would have more symptoms.

It’s a silent killer. Remember how I showed you all my shorts from last summer that are falling off my hips? I’m losing weight. Weight loss is a sign of cancer.

Bug. You know that is because you are kicking ass at the gym.

Scott. Yeah, but I don’t do cardio. I haven’t changed my diet. I eat this damn Easter candy all day. I should probably throw it out but then I remember the next candy season is Halloween. I’m wasting away.

Shutup. You’re not wasting away. You’re all muscle now and you look badass. Your metabolism is probably out the roof. If you had cancer, you wouldn’t be gaining muscle. You’re smart. You know this. If you’re that worried make an appointment with a dermatologist.

I’m not as smart as the doctors on WebMD. Do you know any dermatologists?

Yes, I have a few dermatologists as clients but not in the area.

Do you know any good wig makers?

Goodbye. I’m going to bed.

I made an appointment with a dermatologist. I made the appointment thinking Scott would be in town to go with me. I needed him to hold my hand when I got admitted to the hospital. Nope. Scott had a surprise meeting pop up out of town. I was left alone at home with a packet of papers the dermatologist’s office asked me to fill out.

Mole on my ankle
What’s the reason for today’s appointment? Mole on my ankle. It’s freaking me out. I want to know if I’m dying. 😦

Text message between Scott and me:

Me: Getting ready to take Kate to school then off to my cancer diagnosis.

Scott: OMG. You will be fine.

Me: I got 2nd opinions. I texted mom and sisters. Asked if they thought it looked cancery. Jessica told me to go to doctor. Jenna told me I’m fine. My mom didn’t respond. Prob b/c she thinks it’s cancery and didn’t want to admit her daughter has cancer.

Scott: U R OUT OF CONTROL.

Me: This is karma. Every single bad thing I have done in my life has come to this moment.

Scott: Knock it off. Call me when you get out.

I arrived at the doctor’s office and handed them my papers. The nurse brought me back to the room.

So you have a mole on your ankle?

Yes. Right here. It used to look normal but then it got all scaly.

Ok, I see. I’ll have the doctor come take a look.

I stared at her face trying to find a hint in her reaction to my mole. She wrote a note in my chart. I looked back down at my mole. I noticed my feet were covered in grey dirt.

Oh! Wait! I’m not a dirty person. I was grouting in our basement last night and it didn’t wash off….and oh, I need to shave my toe hair. I’m sorry. I don’t know why I said that.

The nurse laughed and walked out of the room. Oh my gosh. She thinks I’m crazy. The doctor walked in.

Hi Julie. Can I take a look at your mole? So you think it’s changed?

Yes. It’s changed.

Ok, we’ll just take it off. No problem.

Wait. Is it cancer?

We will send it to the lab and you will get results in about a week.

Well, like, what do you think from just looking at it?

I don’t like to say just from looking but it may be an atypical mole. If so, you will just have yearly mole checks. Not a big deal. You don’t need to lose sleep over it. We will know for sure after the lab results. I’ll have my nurse come in and prep you.

The nurse walked in. All I saw was a needle on her little tray. I felt the blood drain from my face. She wipeed off my ankle with alcohol.

Ok. This is the worst part. Promise.

She stabed the needle into my ankle bone with no fat. Tears filled the corners of my closed eyes. I saw a white light. Am I dying?

Oooo. Sorry. This is a sensitive area. Do you feel this poke?

No. I don’t feel anything now.

The doctor walked in and grabed a baby knife.

Have you ever had a mole removed?

No.

Ok, it will only take a few seconds. I’m just going to shave it off. No stitches or anything.

Oh. Ok. I swear I wear SPF year round. And my goal is to stay as white as possible in the summer. And I love hats. And tanning beds are the devil. And I’m half Mexican. And I was really nerdy as a teenager and read books all summer in my room. I hate the sun.

The doctor stifled a laugh. Damnit, she thinks I’m crazy. Stop impressing her. Stop talking.

I’m going to make a note in your chart to call you no matter what the results are. All done. Remember, don’t lose sleep over it. Ok?

Damnit! She definitely thinks I’m crazy. They’re making notes left and right!

Text message between Scott and me:

Me: They took it off. Effing needle to my ankle bone.

Cancer
Cancer.

Scott: Wow. That’s a tiny incision site.

Me: Cancer is cancer.

Scott: OMG. Stop playing around.

So I’m Scott’s personal pain in the ass. It’s true. I can be a little overdramatic. Scott is the calm one. Rescuing me from Crazyville is not easy.