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March 28, 2019

My life was saved three and a half years ago from my generous friend donating her kidney to me. Yet, I still struggle with chronic pain from skin cancer procedures and surgeries.
In light of my challenges, I cherish every good day and am so thankful to be here.

Updates (43)

April 23, 2019

Getting ready to see my Surgical Dermatologist @ NYU Langone for treatment of my catastrophic skin cancer covering all sun-exposed areas of my skin. Over the 20+ years of battling catastrophic squamous cell skin cancer (SCC), I’ve endured unimaginable pain and immobility due to the extent of the lesions removed. My skin cancer began after 16 years of immunosuppressant medications. In the early days of transplanttion, the doses used are now known to have been dangerously too high. I was just 15 years old and was treated with high dose steroids, monoclonal antibodies, and other immunosuppressants at terribly elevated doses.
The early 1980’s was early in the field of transplantation. There was no wait list for a specific organ. My only hope was a parent. I also had a brother and sister but they were 13 and 16 years old.
This was very early in pediatric transplantation and I’ve been dealing with the consequences including my severe, invasive SCC, bone marrow failure, multiple episodes of sepsis
For reasons not understood, many of my aggressive skin cancers are located on my lower extremities, ankles, and feet which add to my pain and ability to wear shoes and get around.
Many of us know what a blister feels on the foot, but the size and depth of my skin cancer are often between the diameter of a golf ball and an apple- exceptionally large when located on the foot or ankle. Currently, I have two large open post-Moh’s surgery site located on the top of my foot (dorsal) and the front (anterior) of my lower leg, above my ankle.
These cannot be closed primarily due to the size but instead, are covered with a type of skin graft.
Post Moh’s surgery sites that are too large to close and are often covered with a sterile, porcine skin graft (acellular pig skin). This is used as a sterile dressing to allow protection of the deep, open, raw surgical site an allow healing to begin. These often take 5-8 months to heal.
Wish me luck today at my visit where I have four new lesions I need Dr. Carucci to evaluate. He will likely biopsy a few lesions located on my back, shoulder, legs, feet and toe. Dr. Carucci may attempt to treat a few areas with liquid nitrogen as a first step and biopsy the lesion if it recurs at my next visit. Unfortunately, I endure painful skin treatments and/or Moh’s surgeries every three weeks and my skin cancer is still not under control.
Link to NYU Langone Surgical Procedures for Basal & Squamous Cell Skin Cancers:

May 7, 2016

Thank you to all those who have supported Betsy over the past year! Your prayers, good wishes and donations have allowed her to recover from her 4th transplant and continue to gain her strength.
I would ask that for a special prayer intention today as she is having gall bladder surgery today which we hope will resolve the pain she has been experiencing from gall stones.
Thank you again for all your support!
Courtney Brennan

Photo Galleries (2)

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May 7, 2019

Love you Bets!! Xoox

Joanne Waldron

April 5, 2019

In my prayers. God bless.

Carol Byrne

April 9, 2019

Wishing you all the best Betsy!! Liz Irving xox

Elizabeth Irving

April 9, 2019

Happy Birthday Betsy!

Sandra Kenny