Darcy, 21, shares her story about being diagnosed with skin cancer.
Darcy was diagnosed with skin cancer in February 2020 aged 21. A suspect mole was initially dismissed by her GP, but she knew something wasn’t right…
“I had no idea about the signs, and I didn’t see it coming…”
My mum noticed that a mole on my collarbone was getting larger and darker and she encouraged me to go to the doctors.
I was initially turned away by my GP who thought that the changes were nothing to worry about. Because I knew that something wasn’t right, I decided to go back again. The mole was cut out and tested. I was called into the hospital and told that I had skin cancer.
It was scary as I had no idea about the signs and I didn’t see it coming, so I went to the appointment by myself. Luckily, the Teenage Cancer Trust Lead Nurse was there which was a relief as he immediately gave me support. They couldn’t really pinpoint how I’d got it. I’m glad they didn’t try to say that it was my lifestyle that may have caused it.
“It wasn’t the kind of thing I wanted to tell them over the phone…”
Coronavirus changed my experience because we went into lockdown before I could tell a lot of my friends about the cancer. It wasn’t the kind of thing I wanted to tell them over the phone.
The Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator Lorraine invited me to join a Facebook group which allowed me to chat with other young people in a similar situation. One girl on the group was also diagnosed with skin cancer around the same time. We spoke quite a lot about our treatment, and I found that really helpful.
“Doctors were worried that the cancer might have spread… luckily the lump wasn’t cancerous…”
While I was in lockdown, I found a lump under my ear and the doctors were worried that the cancer might have spread. They arranged a PET scan. My family and I shielded while waiting for the result of the scan to be on the safe side. Luckily the lump wasn’t cancerous, but they are keeping an eye on me still.
“We connected through our scars, and I found that really empowering.”
When I was told that I had the opportunity to speak to HRH Princess Eugenie and HRH Princess Beatrice over a Zoom call, I was excited as I am a fan. I knew that Princess Eugenie wore a wedding dress which showed off her scar. On the call I said: ‘I saw pictures of you in your wedding dress and the scar, and it inspired me that you were so open about it and wanted to have it on show.’
She said: ‘Woo – I love hearing that, Darcy. I have a big old scar down my back and I’m proud to show it off.’ Even though her scar wasn’t from cancer, we connected through our scars, and I found that really empowering.
I would encourage anyone with any worries to go back to their GP if they aren’t getting better. I had no idea about the signs and symptoms of cancer, so I would also encourage young people to familiarise themselves with them as it may save their life.”
Hidden Strength thanks Teenage Cancer Trust and especially Darcy for sharing her inspiring story. We wish her a happy and healthy future. ❤️
If this story has affected you, or you wish to find out more about the amazing work of Teenage Cancer Trust, please click here.