Stories & Testimonials

Kristen

A Unicorn, An Octopus … and Dr. Odinet

My mom always told me I was special … unique. It seemed fitting that when a very noticeable bump began to grow in the middle of my forehead in 2014, a few friends began to joke that I looked unique – “like a unicorn.”

On September 5, 2014, my ENT performed a simple procedure to remove my “horn” growing in my hairline. Ten days later, I found out that what we thought was actually something else.

I was diagnosed with Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans (DSFP) – a rare, soft tissue cancer that develops in the deep layers of skin. This only occurs in 1 in a million diagnosed sarcomas. What was even more unique was the fact it was growing on my scalp and not on the trunk of my body where DSFP can usually be found. 

Cancer Surgery

The surgery performed to remove the tumor is called Mohs surgery. I was kept awake and locally numbed. Pieces of my skin off my scalp were cut off and examined under a microscope to chart where the cancer was growing. What the surgeon saw was that my DFSP resembled tentacles … as if an octopus was reaching over my head! It took two days of cutting down to my skull in an almost perfect circle around my head to remove it.

Wasting No Time

The very next day, I visited Dr. Odinet, who scheduled reconstructive surgery the following day. He tried to close the back, side and front of my scalp – even taking a skin graft from my buttocks to close a hole in my skin. That part didn’t work. The subcutaneous fat – the part that connects the skin to the skull – was removed in that area. Dr. Odinet decided to burr the bone to make it bleed. He then applied a “wound vac” to create tissue cells in that area. I had to wear it for 6-7 weeks, but it was worth it. The skin graft finally took!

Hair, Please!

For 5 months, I was pretty bald. It was time for a rotational hair flap. Dr. Odinet cut ear to ear, then around and pulled my scalp up to create a natural hair line. With the exception of a thumb size part, my hair is growing!

*Notice: Images Below are not before and afters, they are progressive images.

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Dr. Odinet and His Staff

My mom told me that some doctors aren’t “in it for the right reasons.”  We know that’s not the case with Dr. Odinet. He’s awesome. I have complete trust in him. He would never mess up. Even if he did, he would work every which way to fix the problem. He bent over backwards to make the experience less stressful. He asked my plans, squeezed me in, and operated on me until 9pm one night, so I wouldn’t mess up my summer school schedule.

I never felt uncomfortable with him. I love Dr. Odinet’s banter – we really dish it out to each other! That makes me feel secure with the entire experience.

And his staff – they’re awesome. They treat me like I’m a celebrity! They know me. They ask about me. They ask about my family. I really feel I’m a part of the practice and their lives.

Everyone bent over backwards to make it easy for me and for my family.

I guess the best way to say it is, Dr. Odinet is a miracle worker … a perfectionist, and I am his work of art.

– Kristen Thibodeaux

For more information on DSFP or Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans, click here to visit the American Academy of Dermatology website.

You can also read Kristen’s blog at dancingcanceraway.com.

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