In August 2016, Bethany Gambardella-Greenway discovered that a mole on her forehead was in fact a very aggressive desmoplastic melanoma. And the mum-of-two has been documenting her treatment on social media ever since.
Her “melanoma photo diary” on Facebook features more than 350 photos, detailing the ups and downs of her experience after two intense and invasive surgeries to remove the cancer.
“Skin cancer is ugly,” she writes. “F*ck the sun, f*ck my delicate skin. F*ck sunscreen.”
“Yes you heard me, sunscreen works yah, it does more or less, but is it 100% no. I don't blame my faith in sunscreen for my cancer. This is what it is, I cannot be angry at genetics, the sun, and my body's reaction to it. Things happen and this is what is happening to me now.”
Bethany has been inspiringly honest, and darkly funny, about her healing process.
“In this super awesome saw meets Nickelodeon state I scared the cr*p out of the neighbour kid,” she wrote about her imposing post-surgery compression bandage. “After seeing the look on her face I decided I seeing anyone outside my close inner circle would not be a good idea for my already waning mental health.”
She’s also shared her struggle to cope with the disease while raising her two daughters.
"It's frustrating to be injured and parenting. Your cope cup is already at 80% full and the smallest sh*t that wouldn't even bug you before is now a giant ridiculous f**king evil challenge that totally ruins your day," she wrote.
"Don't get me wrong they are good kids. I just have less patience to deal with the ridiculous process of shifting gears. I am also realising how much I did and how much time that took up plus how much energy it takes to do."
Bethany has started a GoFundMe page while awaiting another round of surgery to fill the indentation in her forehead with fat and restore her eyebrow.
“My hope is that this money will cover the cost of treatment and returning my face back to as close to normal as possible.”
This article first published on Women's Health.