Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

January 14, 2014

Cherish each day

You don’t know what it may bring

By Deanna Kirk
Corsicana Daily Sun

— This past Monday dawned clear and bright.

I had no clue what kind of day it was going to turn out to be. All I knew for sure starting out was A) it was cold as who-da-thunk-it and B) I had jury duty.

I arrived early at the courthouse, where it seemed half the county turned out in their bundled-up best. I milled about, talking to several, trying to help folks determine if they were supposed to be in the County Court at Law (where I was headed) or to the District Court (where Judge Lagomarsino presides).

A lady came by at one point (she looked familiar, I just can’t call her name) and said in my ear, “They just turned the water off. I’d suggest you use the restroom quick.”

Nobody has to tell me twice! I was already worried about how I’d make it through the entire day with limited restroom breaks.

Not too long later, we were informed that a large water line was broken, and we were moving our court to the public library. What tha? Half of the prospective jurors in the building either made the trek on foot, or did as I did and used the vehicle to get to the library. That was when I saw the rivers of water running through our streets ... it was unlike anything I’ve seen before. A huge water line under the street by Waddell Abstract had ruptured. Lagomarsino’s jury was dismissed until the next day, but we went on as scheduled, and I must say I’m glad. The Nancy Roberts Civic Room has never looked quite like that to my knowledge, but the court folk made the best of a bad situation and for that I was grateful.

The poor library folk looked like they didn’t know what hit them, however!

I went on to work after not be chosen for the jury, and it wasn’t until after 5 p.m. that I got a call that changed the tone of the day.

Mr. Kirk and I, along with his daughter, had gone to our local friendly dermatologist (Dr. John Biltz) on New Year’s Eve. Since my dad died from melanoma, and I am his offspring, I have once yearly checks of my skin all over. Mr. Kirk had not ever had a dermatology exam, to my knowledge, and I’d pestered him about it for several years.

That day they did one biopsy on a mole I didn’t like on my foot, and did two on him: one on his finger where he has a peculiar rash, and one on his back of a mole the size of a pen dot. I prayed about our pathology results but didn’t really think much more about it, unless I was changing the bandage or whatever.

That evening at work I got the call about our results. I was stunned to learn his back biopsy was indeed melanoma. Naturally, my mind began racing, and thankfully, Shannon (Biltz’s nurse) was sensitive to that, and repeated several times, “Deanna, this is not like your Daddy.”

Mercifully, thankfully, by the grace of God, the melanoma was caught in its earliest stages. As a precautionary measure, they removed a somewhat large area around the site, which will take a little time to heal, but beyond that his doctor will just watch him closely for the next few years.

My reason for sharing is this: please, people, if you have never had your skin checked thoroughly by a dermatologist, do so. Now. Do not delay. If we had procrastinated just one or two more months, the outcome might have been very different.

My dear sweet Daddy was not so blessed. I believe (if my dates are right) he was diagnosed with melanoma in April of 2007, and several surgeries and radiation later, departed this life for Heaven in June 2009. It is not something to take lightly.