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    AkashaBlonde shared an experience

    Celebration (Finished treatment): I have been healing fine, but mentally I still worry about whether the cancer will come back. Will I be one of the metastasizing cancer patients who die within two years? Will I be riddled with scars from multiple surgeries removing my skin bit-by-bit for the rest of my life? These questions, and many more, plague me on a daily basis. I have to remind myself that I can't live like this. I need to live my life! I have so many things I want to be before I die, so many things I need to do NOW. Its like a fire was lit under me to do all the things I was born to do. But time, money, and life gets in the way, causing frustration and anxiety because of the urgent need to do these things before my time is up.

    So many people say "But you are soooooo young!" My answer to them is that cancer knows NO AGE. It is a loud wake up call that I am lucky enough to have lived through (so far) when so many others do not get the chance. I appreciate each day. I love and enjoy each person in my life and I cut out the rubble that brings me down. I have turned my frown up-side down. I am a survivor!

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    Decision Point: Mohs or Wide Excision:

    This type of cancer only metastasizes in 2 of the 21 of patients diagnosed. But what if I one of them?

    I was sent to a Surgical Dermatologist, Dr. Simineaux, who specializes in the Mohs Microsurgery. He was great, but I had to have a second opinion! I saw several doctors. Some were kind and sensitive, some were rude and disconnected from any feelings associated with cancer. I decided the first doctor was the better option, both financially and in bed-side manner.

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    Procedure or Surgery (Surgery): For me, the Mohs Microsurgery involved cutting a quarter sized circle of skin to the muscle after being numbed with local anesthesia. This quarter size opens to a half dollar size of skin due to the flexibility in the skin removed. While I was still in the office, they took the skin to a lab, located in the doctors office, to confirm that all cancer was contained in the skin removed. If they needed to cut more skin, I was available immediately. Thank God that was not necessary and they got it all in the first cut. They then had to make a straight line from the circle removed. This involved cutting triangle pieces from the left and right side of the circle so the skin could be pulled together, making a single line. After 25 staples and 8 cross-mattress stitches, the surgery was over with.

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    Oh No (Diagnosed): A few months before my 27th birthday, I had gotten a massage and she felt that a small dime sized discoloration on my left shoulder (upper back) needed to be looked at because it didnt feel right. And still I pushed it off, thinking it was a cosmetic skin condition that is a side effect from PCOS. I decided to see a Dermatologist about a random case of eczema that broke out on my arms. I am soooooo glad I did!! Since the therapist had told me about the spot on my back, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and tell the doctor about the spot. It saved my life to do so. The doctor decided to take a biopsy of the spot on my back even though he thought it was scar tissue. I knew something was wrong because I never had any trauma to that part of my body, but never expected the results that came back. I was devastated.

    It was a very rare cancer called Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans. Only 21 cases out of every five-million are this type of cancer. With these odds, I needed to play the lottery, not get cancer. In only a few hours, I went through the normal emotions (shock, fear, anger, sadness). Later, I had to be the strong one while my family and friends were devastated and treating me like I was dying "today", rather than beating the odds and living for tomorrow. I wasn't allowed to grieve or fall apart because I needed to fight. I needed to stay here. I wasn't done on this earth.

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