Surreal to be posting in this forum but I recently got diagnosed with a low grade Squamous Cell carcinoma on my lower lip. The worst part is the doctor really did not discuss much with me and instead referred me to a plastic surgeon (appointment is on 10 May, approx 2 months from originally seeing the dermatologist) and told me that the report said simply "early stage, low grade SCC, appears non invasive and options are wait and see or surgery. He pushed me for surgery (no brainer, I did not object).
The worst part is the waiting. Being my worst enemy and googling it, I have since discovered that this is a potentially life threatening type of cancer and the chance of spread is real.
Have struggled mentally since this diagnosis and not knowing what is going to happen from here, whether it has grown, spread etc. the other side of my lip has been really sore lately and despite being given the all clear on a skin check and dental exam, it's impossible not to freak out and be completely paranoid.
I turn 40 in August and have a 15 month old daughter. My wife has been super supportive but she doesn't really know what to say a lot of the time. I worry for them more than anything.
I realise that this is probably a really minor diagnosis but it still feels really scary nonetheless and I have struggled immensely since this diagnosis.
I totally understand what you are going through. I felt the same when I first heard my diagnosis 2 months ago. But I quickly leant how to gain the control of my life back and things are working well and now I am in a position to share my experience even.
First of all, try to think positive. Especially according to your description, yours is early stage and low grade. If you take the right measures now it is not going to spread! There is surgery, there are new treatments like targeted drugs and immunotherapy that are highly successful. I have relatives who had surgery and chemo on breast cancer and is living and healthy for many years. If you find waiting is hard, you can ask your GP to refer your to several surgeons and see which one can see you quicker.
I tried not to Google too much, only to understand the basics, because if you go on researching too much, you will find so many things that might scare you to death. When people are scared, their immune system will be weak or depressed and then their bodies will not have the ability to naturally kill the cancer cells. Normal people all have cancer cells, but usually their immune cells can kill them, only when stress or unhealthy lifestyle happens, some cells mutate and do not die as usual but uncontrollably grow instead. So now is the time you look at your diet, your mood, your lifestyle (if you are exercising and sleeping enough) and see how to make the change for the better rather than being scared which will only make things worse.
I was also comparing myself to those people who lost their lives in accidents, bush fires or even the recent floods. We are so lucky already to be alive and there is still treatment and so much hope! Cherish what you have and live each day to the fullest, that's the best we should do!
I also tried to live my life the normal way (but eating more healthy) rather than making dramatic changes, it made me feel there was not really a big life changer and made me peaceful.
Above is my own experience, I hope it will help you. I also understand each person is different, so what works for me might not work for you, but I do hope my tips can at least help a bit.
Hi Njia82, there are several tips I want to add:
For nutritious recipes , you can go to CANutrition.com.au or search for some dietitians' websites. Looking for these healthy living resources will keep your mind away from thinking about the negatives as well.
I think my message to take away is -- actively focus on healthy living and do not think about the negatives. There is SO MUCH support and help out there, if you just open your eyes and heart to look for them.
Send my best wishes to you,
DO NOT BE ARAID!
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