Today is a very personal post - and I can’t really say I’m very comfortable with that. Mainly because it’s not filled with pretty pictures of couples or babies or dogs, or any pictures at all. Because honestly the only photos I have of what I’m about to talk about just aren’t something I want to share & you don’t really want to see them. But I think this is important. Really important.
I’ve been thinking about this post for almost a year. You see, a year ago today I had skin cancer removed off my forehead at my hairline.
A few months before that I found out that what I thought was a cyst was really a rare type of skin cancer.....
DFSP (DermatoFibroSarcoma Protuberans). Never heard of it? Yep, me neither. Turns out it’s a very rare kind of skin cancer that approximately 7 in a million people get. (That’s 7, not 7 million). No known cause, just random.
About a year before my diagnosis (so 11.2010) I found what looked like a small cyst on my forehead at my hairline. I went to the doctor and had it checked out, they agreed it was a cyst, measured it and told me to come back if it got bigger. Well, several months passed and David & I noticed it looked bigger.
So, went back to the doctor who said let’s remove it. It’s on your forehead, we don’t want a cyst growing there (not cute). So, in October 2011 he removed it. He knew it wasn’t a cyst at that point, but thought it was something else that was benign and I didn’t think anything about it. A week and a half later I went back to get my two stitches out and he gives me the diagnosis.
I had a wedding the next day to photograph, and a day after that we left for Australia for 10 days. A lot going on and wrapping my brain around what I was told was not easy. The week after we got back I had it removed in one day with a Mohs procedure. It was a LONG day, but 9 hours & 17 stitches later they got it all. It is extremely unlikely that it will come back, like less than 1%. No further treatment needed. I was (I am) lucky.
I don’t want to make it sound worse than it was, it was bad & it was scary, but it was easily treatable. I never felt bad besides the discomfort of the surgery and stitches. I didn’t have to have any other kind of treatment.
So, the point. Let’s get to that shall we?
The point is this. Some of you reading this have something weird on your skin that you’ve never had checked out. I know this because as I talked to people about what was happening with me a large number of them mentioned just that. Of course I encouraged all of them to get those things checked out. But I hoped by writing this post I could maybe reach even more people.
Get that weird thing checked out, it’s probably nothing. But if it’s not, the sooner you find out the better.
Thanks for reading all this. I promise pretty photos in the next post :)