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49 surgeries in 48 months: Know her tryst with cancer

Tennessee: A young woman, Marisha Dotson (28) from the US never thought that she would be able to smile again. A tiny eruption on her nose that initially appeared to be an acne, led to a painstaking journey for four years, as it involved 49 facial surgeries.

Marisha Dotson

It was back in 2014 that Dotson noticed that she had a red patch on her nose. It kept growing over a couple of weeks, after which she checked up with a doctor at the Student Health Center at the University of Tennessee, where she used to study. The physician mistook it for an ordinary skin infection and prescribed certain antibiotics to her.

'Prepare yourself'… The doctor had told Marisha

After three more weeks, she visited the Dermatology Associates of Oak Ridge office, where the doctor told her to prepare herself.

Another week later, she was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. In just a span of seven weeks, the bump had assumed the size of a great tumour and was fast growing.
Pic courtesy: Facebook/Marisha Dotson
She was then 24 and referred to a doctor, who decided to conduct a surgery that lasted for 16 hours to remove the cancer. While the team of surgeons removed a layer, the next appeared, media reports said.

The nurses kept saying 'sorry' to Dotson stating that they had to 'do this'...

The surgery was over, and Marisha looked devastated. A large part of the face was missing.

Imagine how it feels to see yourself in the mirror with a distorted nose!

Now started the recovery process. As Marisha was not having any insurance during that time she had to seek help from the Turkey Creek Medical Center to get the things covered.

Pic courtesy: Facebook/Marisha Dotson
She underwent the 'Mohs' Surgery, where the surgeons removed a flap of skin from her head, and brought it down in order to repair the parts of the nose that were missing. Besides, they had to use some cartilages of her ear and shape them into a nose, placing them in the right place.

Devastated but committed to survive...

According to the doctors, the Mohs surgery had a success rate of 97%-98%. However, the cancer came back in 2015, and her face suffered terrible distortions.

Between October 2015 and September 2016, she had to undergo various surgeries to remove the cancer. It gradually spread over her face, affecting the areas under the eye and nose, around the graft tissue of the skin and the cancer eventually went through the oral cavity into the bones.

Pic courtesy: Facebook/Marisha Dotson
An oral maxillofacial surgeon had to remove to a hard palate that had developed in her teeth and upper jaw.

The pain continued as the tumours kept growing. In 2016, she faced a situation, where she had to decide whether to spend the rest of her life with these tumours spreading throughout the face, or remove everything affected by cancer. Dotson had just 20% survival chances, when she decided to go for the surgery and carry on her fight.

In September 2016, Dotson had to undergo a partial maxillectomy, where the surgeons removed everything in the nasal tissues and the remaining part of the nasal bone.

The outcome…Marisha deserves a survival

Over the next few months, Dotson was put under anesthesia over 30 times. She had 49 surgeries on her face, which included biopsies. She could not graduate at the right time, and the medical debts turned out more than one crore.

Pic courtesy: Facebook/Marisha Dotson
Well, she eventually recovered. After several changes in topographies of her face she got the wounds healed to a large extent.

Marisha feels proud of the scars as she turned out to be victorious over cancer. She had really fought hard to survive and this story of a cancer survivor should serve as an inspiration for others facing a similar circumstance.

Also read:Shocking! Woman's acne turns into deadly cancer



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