Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Frank's hands shook as he picked up the receiver. The caller ID showed the number of his dermatologist. He'd been in last week to have a mole removed. If the news were good, the office wouldn't be calling would it?

"Hello?" Even he could hear the tremble in his voice.

"Hello. Mr. Costello?"

"Yes. Speaking." He sat down at the kitchen table.

"Hi, this is Dawn from the Skin Center. Dr. Yarrow wanted me to tell you that the mole you had excised looks like melanoma. You need to have more taken out next week to be sure that we've gotten all of it, okay? And it looks like here we have two openings on Thursday, at either 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. Which one would work for your schedule?"

Dawn's voice is pleasant, Frank thought. But that's a lot to take in. Let me think. Let me think.

Frank tossed the times around in his head and then consulted his calendar. "I think the 9:30 slot would work well. Thank you."

"Okay then, Mr. Costello. We'll see you at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. Have a nice day."

Have a nice day my ass. Melanoma. Melanoma. What did he know about melanoma? Nothing, other than the fact that it was bad, right? Wasn't melanoma the bad type of skin cancer? Marissa would know. If only he'd listened to her all those times she was telling him about her research.

He put the phone back on the receiver and pulled out his computer. He keyed melanoma into the Google search box and hit return. Almost 20 million results in 0.28 seconds. An amazing feat to find so much information in so little time. But where to start? He had no clue and realized what he needed to do.

Gathering the phone in his hands once again, Frank keyed in Marissa's number. The line rang twice before she picked up.


"What do you know about skin cancer?"

"Uh, Dad. That's a great question and a loaded one. What do you need to know?"

Frank could hear the commotion of the boys in the background, and he wondered if Marissa could hear him clearly. "I have melanoma."

(To be continued...)