My skin cancer journey ~1 year later
Well hello there! I know I promised regular posts on my healing journey from my facial skin cancer episode last year, but let’s face it sometimes life just takes you on an altogether different journey. For example, I got married last June and then immediately embarked on a trip of a lifetime honeymoon! With just 16 weeks to prepare for this amazing adventure, I had a lot of work to do. Needless to say after the second blog post following the surgery my world got a little crazy. Time simply slipped away from me. But today I am back to give you all a bit of a peek into the past year of healing as well as to show the end result. As I mentioned before, surgical procedures such as these can take up to an entire year to fully heal. Our bodies are amazing self-regulating creatures, but sometimes a little help is appreciated. With each weak immediately following my surgery my incision made progress by leaps and bounds largely because of all the treatments and modalities I used regularly to speed it up.
Even my dermatologist was pleasantly surprised (shocked) at the accelerated healing process at just my 8 week follow up visit. At this point I was so excited at the smooth texture of my skin as well as smoothing out of the incision line. Who knew I would’ve had such a major scar left in the middle of my face from such a small area of skin cancer removed from the corner of my left nostril? It ran from the inner corner of my left eye down past left nostril but at this point the bruising and initial stages of closure were fully complete. I still continued to experience reddening of the area with physical exertion and heat exposure which made me super conscious of my appearance at times though.
After my surgical follow up I continued with my home treatments which included acupuncture treatments, using herbal formulas topically and internally, essential oil applications, dermarolling, cold laser treatments, facial massage and cupping. I also maintained healthy nutrition and resumed regular exercise once cleared by my physician. All of which played an integral part in my healing process. The acupuncture treatments were not limited to just area specific points on my face, but also included constitutional and empirical body points that continued to boost energy and cellular healing. Cold laser treatments consisted of twice weekly 6 minute sessions with an infrared terraquant laser that continued to reduce chronic swelling. Facial cupping continued daily with a silicone cupping technique immediately following each shower using a variety of essential oils in a carrier oil such as helichrysum, geranium, lavender, lemon and rose. For those of you unfamiliar with the benefits of essential oils or where they come from, these oils are extracted directly from bark, flower, fruit, leaves, nut, resin or root of a plant or tree and just one drop can provide amazing health benefits.
As each month ticked on I remained vigilant in my treatments both at home and with other practitioners. I continued receiving regular massage therapy to my face that helped to decrease swelling and scar tissue. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (or MLD) was utilized to reduce local and systemic swelling, and myofascial release for scar tissue and adhesion breakdown. Dermarolling was performed using a specific hand held device with a tiny cylindrical drum studded with microneedles that rolls over the skin and around the incision area. These dermarollers are such a great addition to any beauty routine at home and are hugely beneficial at reducing imperfections by rebuilding collagen fibers beneath the skin. Regular use can also eliminate (or at very least reduce) acne scars, signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin as well as reduce stretch marks and cellulite. Pretty great tool! We have been using (and selling) this tool happily in our clinic for years and I am grateful to have had it as part of my arsenal during this process.
The following pics can take you through the rest of my year:
Day 24 post op and I can almost fully smile. Still a lot of puckering of the skin around the incision with adhesions, but again, very proud of my progress here.
This was a common occurrence at home: facial acupuncture picture. Even if I didn’t take the time to get a full acupuncture treatment, I still used tiny facial needles along the scar line for 30 minutes several times each week
4 months post op!
Our wedding day was beautiful in all ways imaginable and stress free. Picture perfect, you might say.
Happy New Year! And, oh yeah, month 10 post op.
One year anniversary and all better! There has been tremendous progress over this past year, but I’ll admit the perfectionist in me still feels there is more work to be done on the bottom of the incision line where there is a bit of tucking, or pulling. Either way I am super pleased that my scar is now virtually undetectable to most. And most importantly, I am healthy. For that I am grateful each and every day.
That’s it for now. I wish you continued health, wealth and happiness. Please feel free to share this post to the masses as well as to those individuals you may know currently going through the process of healing from any kind of skin cancer. If you are local to my area (Jacksonville, Florida) please feel free to reach out with any questions. I would be more than happy to help guide you through your journey and provide treatments to help you recover quicker.
My very best, always.