I was first diagnosed with scleroderma while on holiday at the age of seven.
We returned home immediately after French doctors diagnosed skin cancer. Later Dutch doctors correctly diagnosed morphea.
The morphea only seems to effect the left side of my body. My right leg is noticeably thinner than my left due to thinning of the tissue. Since the age of about fifteen, I have been extremely self-conscious.The only time I wear skirts or shorts is when I am on holiday and even then I try to hide it by carrying something in front of it.
I am currently waiting to have plastic surgery. They are going to do reverse liposuction; taking some fat and tissue from my left leg and then inject it into my right leg. So my fingers are crossed!
I also get severe muscle spasms in the right side of my mouth, for which I now receive botox injections to relax the muscles. I have learned to live with it, even though it does get me down sometimes.
My best mate has just gotten the all clear from having life threatening cervical cancer, so I am just glad to be alive!
Email: Withheld by request
Story posted 6-04-03
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
Cancer and Scleroderma
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