***I should warn you this is an absolute “mom” story that the grandparents will want to hear about, treat but feel free to skip it if you’re more interested in our ministry related blogs 🙂 ***

I have to start off by saying how incredibly proud I am of my Maggie. If you’ve ever been to the doctor with Maggie, prescription especially on shot days, you would be witness to the strongest little girl in the world. Seriously, she has had to be held down by three to four people for simple shots in the past. When she was really little she had to get stitches and she broke out of the little “papoose” straps that were supposed to hold her down. When it comes to needles, she’s got Incredible Hulk style muscles!

Within this last year a mole appeared on her face, right cheek to be exact. It started as just a small dot, grew to be a flat greyish/brown mole. We were keeping an eye on it and over a very short time the thing started to grow arms. A little growth appeared that looked like a skin tag coming out of it that was branching into two. Besides just being really weird looking, her hair and other things were constantly snagging on it causing it to bleed. She’d come home frustrated because adults would think she had food on her face and try to pull it off. A couple of pastors, in their oh so blunt Latino ways, joked that she had an ear coming out of her cheek. So it was no surprise when Maggie came to me asking to have it taken off. I was actually already on that thought process more out of concern of how quickly it had grown over actual cosmetic issues, but I was glad we were on the same page.

So with the help of some friends we found a great doctor to go see to get this mole checked out. Beforehand we talked about what might happen, that they could give her a shot to numb her cheek or maybe knock her out to do it. She was all for being knocked out, but we really had no idea what the options might be.

Maggie and I arrived in his office, and I have to say, he was an amazing doctor! He’s actually a well known plastic surgeon, which made me feel very comfortable having him work on my daughter’s face. It’s one thing if it was on her arm or back or somewhere else, but this is right on her cheek. He quickly switched from Spanish to English so that Maggie would feel most comfortable and talked about what he was going to do. After checking it out he decided it would be best to have it biopsied so we know exactly what it is, although he didn’t feel it was anything dangerous but rather the result of a virus. He told Maggie he’d give her a little poke, like a bee sting, and then use a laser to take care of it. As soon as he walked out of the office to get things ready she got nervous and started to cry. We prayed and talked about what would happen and she regained control – yay for Maggie number one!

When they took us to the surgical room the nurse came in with the needles and set everything out. Maggie very nervously looked at the needle and looked like she was going to shrink into the bed. But then, amazingly, she said, “That’s it? I can handle this! It’s just a poke and then it will be numb like at the dentist.” Yay for Maggie number two (remember this girl is known for full panics the moment a needle enters the room!)

The doctor came in and she laid back, obviously nervous, but keeping a very strong face on. When the doctor put in the needle she said, “Ow” and I thought “Good, that wasn’t so bad,” but I didn’t realize until that point how long the doctor had to keep the needle in for the medication to take effect. It felt like a long time – although it was probably just a minute or two. Huge tears began falling from her eyes and I stood there holding her hand as the doctor talked about Muhammad Ali “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” Although she had tears, she never fought or even moved – yay for Maggie number three!

Then he began to cut the mole out. As a mom, I have to say this was really hard to stand by “strongly” for her and watch them cut my little girl’s face. He spent the whole time explaining how it was just outer layers of skin and within six months her scar would be completely gone. Then it was time for the laser. Maggie thought the laser seemed pretty cool, but when he started using it her tears began to fall again. I asked her later if she could feel it or why she was crying and she said, “I could hear the zapping and smell fire.” Again, looking at her as I can see him burning her cheek was one of those moments where it felt like I should be taking this guy down but then reminding myself that this is what she needs to heal.

It ended quickly and Maggie came home with a nice little bandage on her cheek that will stay for three weeks. She says she can’t wait to see her face without it, that she can’t remember not having the mole. After this year of many struggles with Maggie adjusting to Colombia, I have to say I give God so much praise for giving her the strength to get through this procedure. I cannot even begin to explain the strength and steadiness I saw in her today that has never been there before and how proud I am of her for getting through it with just a few tears. My God and my daughter have amazed me today and to both I am so grateful! Thanks to those of you who have been praying as we knew this day was coming. We got through it victoriously!
~Tona