The truth about skin cancer.
Meet one of our patients, and get an inside look at her journey with skin cancer.
As a Master Hairstylist with more than 30 years of experience under her belt, Ms. Morris opened her namesake Marion Salonspa back in September 1999. Since then, her salon has been incredibly successful; over the years, it’s grown to include a team of 26 stylists. Marion’s spa is in the Hudson Valley, so she travels for an hour and a half to see us here at LMA. Passionate about her work, hard-working and on an upward swing, Marion never expected that cancer would slow her down.
Marion first noticed a small cystic pimple on her right cheek back in 2018 that just wasn’t going away. The pimple was being watched and treated by her local dermatologist. Dr. LaFrance had voiced concerns about it, and it was eventually biopsied in December 2019. The results were desmoplastic melanoma– a very rare variant that impacts two per one million. Marion underwent PET scans, CAT scans and needle biopsies of suspicious lymph nodes. Once she received confirmation that the cancer did not spread, she underwent an extensive surgical resection.
As Marion experienced this major life shift, she tried to make sense of what she was experiencing. “I read this post on social media,” she recalls. “When you replace ‘Why is this happening to me?’ with ‘What is this trying to teach me?’ everything shifts.” Marion applied this notion of teaching to her battle with cancer. Instead of keeping her treatment private, she opted to share it as a way to “educate young adults who are still going into the tanning salons, and not protecting themselves from the harmful rays of the sun,” she says.
Marion has been consulting with Dr. LaFrance during her recovery. She has been receiving recommendations on what topical products to use to help maximize healing (Statrapharma Stratamed) and minimize scar formation (Stratrapharma Strataderm).
On what worked for her, Marion says “I went back to using the Stratamed as I started having the spitting stitches. It totally soothed and sealed my incision. Thank you so much for this recommendation. I cannot wait to see you all!”
Dr. LaFrance has also developed a laser treatment plan to address scarring that will hopefully be started in the coming weeks once we reopen.
Treating post-surgical and traumatic scars with a combination of lasers and topical products has become a specialty at LaFrance Medical Aesthetics.
Just four weeks after her reconstructive survey, COVID-19 forced Marion to close her salon. Marion, who turns 60 this month, remains optimistic. Her fight with cancer taught her that it is okay not to know all the answers all the time.
“There is so much that cannot be answered at this moment,” she observes, “we just need to stay positive and think, ‘spring is here, and we will recover,’ I’m a survivor!” ….AND THAT SHE IS!
Check out Marion’s salon here.