Charisse's Story

Charisse, DFSP Survivor

Charisse was 45 when she was diagnosed with dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans at the abdomen in 2013. She had surgery to remove the tumor.

Before I was diagnosed, I was working part-time and attending college full-time. As the mother of two daughters, every day of my life was busy, and I was also planning a wedding for the summer of 2013. My weekends were pretty full with school work, but when I was able to squeeze in some fun, I would go out to dinner or to the movies with my daughters and my fiancé.

Diagnosis and Treatment

I was diagnosed with dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans on February 22, 2013. I had several CAT scans so that my cancer specialist could find out how large the tumor was before he removed it. Surgery was on April 11, 2013, two days after my 45th birthday. The specialist had to cut deeper into my abdomen to remove the tumor because it was larger than he expected.


I have had two setbacks, and they were both due to fluid build-up in the abdomen where I had my surgery. I am dealing with these setbacks one day at a time. They have been a challenge with planing a wedding, because I needed to have another JP drain put in to drain more fluid that has built up in my abdomen. I thank God that I have made it through the surgery. It just seems like I have a long road ahead me as far as recovering from all of this.

As of my last appointment in October 2013 with the plastic surgeon, the doctor states that my abdomen is healing perfectly and there aren't any signs of fluid build up. The only issue I have now is that I have no feeling in my abdominal area where the stitch is. My cancer specialist did explain to me at one of my appointments that the feeling may come back or it may stay numb because he had to cut so deep due to the tumor being so large. He had to cut through some nerves to remove the tumor. At this point it doesn't matter to me if the feeling comes back, I am just grateful that the tumor has been removed and I can now move forward with my life. My stitch is soar at times, and I assume that it will take another month or so before the soreness disappears. I am feeling blessed to be able to share my story with others.

Thoughts and Hints for New Patients

Continue to have faith and make sure to take things easy after surgery - it will help prevent setbacks.

Charisse's wedding

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