"He's just going into this whole medical spiel and going into all of my options of what I needed to do next," Rothschild said. "It was horrible. When you're 20 years old and your doctor says the C-word to you and starts talking about surgery and survival rates, it's terrifying."
Rothschild immediately knew who to blame for her illness. "The first thing that popped into my head was, you did this to yourself," she said. "I used to go to the tanning booths. It was very obvious my behavior was what had caused me to have the cancer diagnosis."
Within a month, Rothschild underwent surgery. "They cut a huge chunk of skin out around where the mole was located," she said. The doctors also removed seven lymph nodes from her left armpit and one from her right armpit, to see if the cancer had spread.
"They all came back clear, luckily," she said of the removed lymph nodes. "There was no cancer inside the body, which was great." Because of that, she did not have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
And since then? Rothschild said she's been vigilant.
"Now I've had [cancer], I have a greater risk of getting it again," she said. She sees a doctor every six months to be checked for moles. "Anything that looks suspicious to them, or ones that I want off, they take off," she noted.
So far, she estimates, she's had more than 30 moles removed. "I have scars all over my body," she said.
The first years after her cancer diagnosis were particularly tough. "I worked in a theme park, and I had to be outside in the summer months," she said. "I would get freckling on my shoulders and just freak out. I'd have to run up to the office and put sunblock on."
Now she's reconciled herself with the sun.
"I live my life," she said. "I would say I'm cautious. I have my SPF lotion I put on every
All rights reserved