The Squamous Monster

Hello! I am new here and excited to be apart of a family that understands. I will make my story short as I could go on and on about it.
I have a very aggressive form of Squamous Cell that basically ate away at my lip and several other parts of my body. The first one I had was when I was 27 and it was a golf ball size in my calf. I didn’t have a reoccurrence until October of 2015. A small pimple like bump appeared on my lip. I picked it, nothing came out, until two days later. It looked like a miniature cauliflower blooming. Having worked in surgery as a surgical technologist and spending most of my time with ENT and plastics I knew what it was.

Treatment and results

Unfortunately, I had just moved to our new hometown, Huntington Beach. I called several derms to get in ASAP but because it wasn’t Melanoma they pushed me back months to get in. I booked the one with the closest date and prayed. I knew how aggressive it can be and hoped for the best. It grew a 1/2 inch within two weeks. I walked into the office where I had the apt and showed them what I was dealing with. The PA working that day happened to have a father who passed from Melanoma and he did not take my situation lightly. They fit me in that day!!!! November 9th I had the biopsy and my surgery was on December 7th. Half of my upper right lip was taken along with half of my cheek. 5 frozen sections and almost 6 hours of surgery! I now am left with nerve pain, drooling, speech issues, tooth decay and forever emotional damage.

Aggressive squamous cell

My mom had the same type of Squamous Cell on her face and it attacked the nerve that goes behind the eye and into the brain. Squamous!! She survived thank goodness but her case is another situation where they didn’t take her serious because she didn’t have melanoma. I since then have had to have more times than I can count biopsies and freezes. I am seeing an Oncologist to find a preventative solution and also to make sure it hasn’t reached a deeper level of my body than can’t be detected by the human eye. I have all of my pictures (some graphic) on my skin cx Social Media pages. Please feel free to follow Burnt.Freckle on Instagram or Facebook.

World, take skin checks seriously!

I am not minimizing Melanoma at all!!!! I think it is time the world, the medical communities and social media take all of skin cancers serious! So that way skin checks will be just as important as breast exams, annual gyn checks, annual dentist apt’s…skin cancer is the leading cancer!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The SkinCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (4)
  • RonniGordon
    2 months ago

    Wow, that’s quite the story. How awful that it had to reach that stage. When I needed to see a dermatologist, I called the one close to home, who I had seen for many years, and they said it would take a few months to get in. I said I had just finished chemotherapy for leukemia and I needed my skin looked at. They basically said, too bad. Kind of a similar story to yours. So I went all the way to Boston, a couple of hours from me, to a practice connected to my cancer center, and they knew how important it was. Now that’s where I always go because I know they will get me in when I need it. I’ve heard this before about dermatology practices. I don’t know why they’re so busy. Maybe it’s because they are doing a lot of cosmetics while brushing off more potentially serious things. I think you’ll find some good support here.

  • Molly
    3 months ago

    I agee, so much attention is given to other types that we don’t even think about skin cancer and live in total ignorance. Both my parents, my father in-law, uncle in-law and a very close friend all died from cancer> My sister in-law ( my friend, who married my husband’s twin brother) is a brest cancer surviver. So I thought I know everything that there is to know about cancer.. Alas not so, as I had thought that skin cancer gave you the warning signs of looking ugly and nasty (the ones I had seen), so it was with shock that what I thought was an insect bit turned out no to be so. Already in less than six weeks I have had cryotherpy on seven suspects and surgery on two, the latter I am still awaiting results of. However I am buoyed by the fact that it was caught on time , with little damage resulting to date. It was only by chance, that I had said bit checked, otherwise I most certainly would have been in big trouble down the line, without a doubt. I would be fully in support of having posters etc etc put up in schools etc to show young people the different typesof sking cancers. Some people may object and say it may scare them, better that than to die in ignorance. Good luck to all fighting cancer, a nasty evil, but at least we are getting the chance to hit back.

  • Nina M moderator
    2 months ago

    Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts, @Molly! I am sorry your family has been so touched by cancers. Unfortunately, this seems to be rather common to hear nowadays. Skin cancer is often the forgotten one, as in some cases it can be less life threatening than others. But that’s not always true, and I’m glad yours was detected early enough to treat quickly and hopefully entirely! I hope you’ll let us know what the results reveal. Scott has written quite a bit about the issues of childhood education: https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/sunscreen-schools/ and https://skincancer.net/life-with-skin-cancer/protecting-children-new-recommendations/. I also wanted to encourage you that you can always submit a story like this one by going to “Stories”. Thank you for your support to others in the fight! – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

  • Nina M moderator
    6 months ago

    @koryfeltz, I am so so glad you’ve shared your story here!! What a frightening situation. Your side effects sound really difficult, and then to still have to question whether they got it all! I’m so sorry your mother went through a horrible squamous cell as well – do they believe it could be related somehow? It’s stories like these that will hopefully make people realize all skin cancers must be taken seriously as “real cancer”!!! – Nina, SkinCancer.net Team

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