Chelsea De Main, a woman from Hobart, was eight months pregnant when she noticed a strange bump on her nose. Initially dismissing it as a harmless pimple, she chose to ignore it for two weeks. However, when she sought advice from a pharmacist, she was urged to see a doctor, suspecting the possibility of cancer. Chelsea shared that pressing the bump revealed an odd texture, but being caught up in the chaos of the COVID lockdowns and her pregnancy, she did not prioritize it.
Initially, the first biopsy came back normal, giving Chelsea a sense of relief. However, her doctor remained unconvinced and encouraged further testing. The second biopsy confirmed her worst fears - she had squamous cell carcinoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. This devastating diagnosis came just a day before Chelsea was scheduled to give birth to her son, turning a time of celebration into one of devastation.
Overwhelmed with anxiety, Chelsea spent the 24 hours leading up to her delivery in tears, consumed by thoughts of her son and what this diagnosis would mean for him. Despite having only experienced a few sunburns in her life, Chelsea realized she had been careless about sun protection due to her tan skin and South African ancestry. She underestimated the importance of sunscreen and, as a result, had to wait five weeks before doctors could surgically remove the cancerous lump from her nose.
Following the surgery, Chelsea faced yet another challenge. The wound left her with a sizable crater on her nose, surrounded by unsightly cross stitches. Though vanity seemed trivial in comparison to defeating cancer, she confessed to feeling self-conscious, fearing that the impact on her appearance would be permanent. Fortunately, after a skin graft from behind her ear, Chelsea's nose eventually healed well.
Throughout her health journey, Chelsea found unwavering support from friends, neighbors, and her son's father. Their collective assistance, including meal trains and thoughtful gift hampers, helped her navigate the difficult times. The experience transformed her perspective on life, prompting her to let go of minor concerns and become more conscious of her health habits. Chelsea now wears sunscreen daily, even in winter and when staying indoors, and is committed to protecting her son's delicate skin as well.
Chelsea's battle with cancer serves as a powerful reminder to be vigilant about one's health and prioritize sun protection, especially in high-risk areas like Australia. Her story emphasizes the importance of regular check-ups and the role of community support in the face of adversity. Through this journey, Chelsea has emerged as a changed woman, inspiring others to value their well-being and cherish the lives of those around them.