A US woman has shown the reality of skin cancer through an incredible photo diary capturing her changing face as she recovers from surgery.
In August 2016 Bethany Gambardella-Greenway learned a mole that had appeared on her forehead during her last pregnancy was actually a melanoma that needed to be removed.
What followed was two intense surgeries and months of recovery, which she documented with a series of more than 350 photos and accompanying posts on Facebook from her home in Brushy Creek, Texas.
Listen: Before Emma Betts passed away, she wanted to alert the world about the dangers of sun exposure and skin cancer.
“Skin cancer is ugly. F**k the sun, f**k my delicate skin. F**k sunscreen,” she writes in the introduction.
“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.”
During surgery, a muscle in Bethany’s forehead along with the skin containing her left eyebrow was removed, leaving a visible indentation along with a missing eyebrow.
The mum-of-two shared that her self-esteem first took a hit when she found a compression bandage designed to help the skin graft adhere to her head – which she dubbed “Sponge Bob Square Pants” scared a child.
"In this super awesome... Nickelodeon state I scared the crap out of the neighbour kid. 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."
Giving updates on how her wound was healing, Bethany also shared her struggles to cope as a recovery cancer patient and a parent to two girls.
"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 next to an image of her swollen face.