Saturday, 10 August 2013

Shannon's Skin Cancer

Earlier this week Shannon had her left nostril cut away to remove skin cancer. In order to rebuild the nostril she then had an operation to attach a huge lump of skin from her forehead to the side of her nose. They also took cartilage from her ear which has left a sizeable hole. But as well as having this horrible thing attached to her face – which obscures her vision and looks horrendous – she’s also got stitches running from her brow to her hairline. She looks as though she’s either had a bad car accident or been attacked with a meat cleaver. She’ll be disfigured like this for at least a month, followed by many more months of healing.

I feel very sorry for her. It’s a terrible thing.

So far though she’s been absolutely brilliant. A few wobbly moments but generally hanging on – despite being in quite a bit of pain and discomfort. To be honest, I don’t think it’s quite sunk in.

As well as knowing that she can’t go out looking like that – she can’t cover her face up – there are the practicalities of handling Maggie by making sure she doesn’t grab her face. Of course, we can’t just tell Maggie not to do this as she wouldn’t understand. But even if she did understand she can’t control her movements. A quick whack from her flailing hands would be enough to undo the whole thing.

Naturally, the overall feeling is that this is just another thing to add to the pile of misery. Because it’s not enough that she has a disabled child to care for.

But I imagine she’ll do what she always does: get on with it. And be as strong and as determined as she always is. Or, rather, always appears to be.


  1. I had no idea. I assumed from shannon' s typically selfless post that this was a simple adenoid procedure. I am sending you all the love and positive vibes I can muster. You are right... Shit seems to happen in .... Shitloads to the most beautiful of people. And I wont dole out that rubbish about it happens to people who cope. Crap things happen and then you learn to cope. Shannon will do this because she is fab. As for Maggie, promise me that you will scream and shout for more support. I get direct payments for Tom so that I can pay other s to help him. Its the only way I can survive. keep in touch. If there is anytthg at all that would help just say. You are always welcome here. Love Helen xxxxxx

  2. The only upside is that the end result WILL be Shannon's nose looking like is should, horrible horrible beyond words to experience what she has to experience but the result WILL be worth it. I have to say it's very worrying in terms of the risk posed by dear Maggie's waving arms, that an accident here could set Shannon's recovery back considerably. We can only hope for a bit of luck in this regard, god knows you could do with some. Obviously come down here if it helps, you and Maggie if that will give Shannon a break, or whatever combo of family members. Four weeks to go hopefully until the flap is gone and the biggest risk over. So crap but I am hoping for the best possible result with everything crossed. Come and visit. Matthew xxx

  3. I'm sorry - I had no idea this was going on. I've been so caught up in my own crap. Hope you are doing much better Shannon. Love the birthday photos. You two look so happy!