kittykat505's Journey with Skin Cancer - Non-Melanoma

Survivor: Skin Cancer - Non-Melanoma

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 6 years ago, Female, Age: 21

  1. 1
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I had a bump on my scalp. The doctor took a biopsy because it was red. The bump had been there for 5 years and was missed by three pediatricians. The biopsy showed a rare type of skin cancer.

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  2. 2
    about 5 years ago
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    Decided to go to Northwestern Memorial Hospital

    Decision Point

    This was the best choice. We used nationally recognized surgeons and plastic surgeons. We used a dermatological surgeon, a plastic surgeon, and a surgical oncologist. I had to have an MRI before the decision was made. They wanted to see how big the tumor was.

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  3. 3
    about 5 years ago
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    Depression/Anxiety

    Side Effects

    I was really depressed and nervous about the cancer and the impending surgeries. My grades started to drop due to the surgeries, but luckily my friends, parents, and teachers were really supportive. I got through this because of them!

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  4. 4
    about 5 years ago
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    My mind/Sense of Humor

    Loss

    I was going insane mentally in the days leading up to the surgeries. I ended up having three total. I was so scared, nervous, and upset. I cried a lot, and my mind was running 100 mph all the time.

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  5. 5
    about 5 years ago
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    Mohs surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I first had mohs surgery to remove the cancer. It was scary- hate needles! But luckily the surgeon was amazing, and I took a day off from school to recover. The bad part was not being able to shower for 24 hours after, as well as the pain. I took painkillers for that!

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    about 5 years ago
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    Reconstructive surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a second surgery to close up the defect from the mohs surgery. The mohs surgery had left gigantic hole in my scalp, and I couldn't just leave it as it was! The doctors were originally going to shave my head so they'd have room to operate, but on the day of surgery they decided to do a skin graft instead. It's under my scalp, and you cannot tell it's there. The surgery went really well, and I wasn't even naseous after. I even had lunch right after I woke up. I added the skin graft as its own procedure.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  7. 7
    about 5 years ago
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    Skin graft

    Procedure or Surgery

    The skin graft was the best choice for me, but it still itches and stings. So hard to brush hair that's over it!

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  8. 8
    about 5 years ago
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    Other

    Decision Point

    We went to the surgeon a few days later for a checkup, and they discovered a benign lump on another area of my scalp. I had another surgery.

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  9. 9
    about 5 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Look @ last decision point to learn more.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  10. 10
    about 5 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    I just had my six month checkup with an ultrasound, and I'm in remission!

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