Saturday, March 13, 2010
I never really had a scar until I had my lumpectomy. Before that I only had one tiny scar on my knee. Got that from our dog Tiger, a german shepard mix, who decided, when I was in junior high or high school, to chase something and he dragged me down the the ground. Barely noticeable to me.
Now including I have 3 scars, one on my knee, one from my lumpectomy and a scar from the infusion port.
It took me a while to get used to seeing the big lumpectomy scar. I am glad my breast was able to be saved, and I can never wear a shirt and show off my cleavage (well I guess I could but that scar would turn heads more than my cleavage ever would.)
When I first got home from surgery I remember looking at my scar, hating it, glad that the cancer was gone, but hating the fact that I had a constant reminder of surgery, of cancer, of the fact that life was going to be different from here on out. It took me a long time to get used to that scar.
I had everything happen to me pretty quickly, diagnosis to surgery to chemo was less than two months, Sept 18th-diagnosis, Oct 9-Surgery, November 12 chemo. Somewhere between lumpectomy surgery and chemo I had surgery for to put the port in. I was glad that I had that put in because chemo chews up your veins, but I hated seeing that fucking thing every day. It looked like a little bottlecap underneath my skin. I couldn't anything that I really loved to do (hockey, skiing etc) because you could get seriously injured if you hit that thing. Even when I was exercising I would move a certain way and that would hurt. I totally recommend getting a port, but I was so fucking grateful when it was removed.
My surgeon wanted to know if I wanted to keep it. Some people do as a reminder. No way. Thanks for the memories doc, but throw that god damn thing away. I have enough memories of all the shit I went through.
My lumpectomy scar is perfect for that.
Some of where the cancer was cut out is numb and will never get feeling back. Some of the feeling has come back. That is normal, my surgeon says. Like I said, glad I got to keep my breast. I remember thinking waayy back when I first met my surgeon he asked if I wanted a full mastectomy on my right breast.
Holy shit,I thought, it was difficult enough to think about, that I have cancer, that I have to have surgery, wondering how the fuck am I going to pay for all this, now you are asking me if I want you to lop off a part of my body. Hell no. (Although I am pretty sure at the time I didn't say that but in the back of my mind that is what I was thinking)
I remember thinking after seeing that scar, that Doug would never think that I would ever be attractive again. Obviously that is and never was the case, but in my mind, during chemo, that god damn napalm they give you, caused my hair loss and my weight loss (when I thought I looked like a space alien) the times when I couldn't eat, when I was so fucking fatigued from cancer and then I couldn't sleep, when I forgot about those things for a moment, there would always be that scar.
Having that scar took a long time for me to get used to.
I know some people equate their scars to a badge of honor.
The scar is now just a part of me.
Mel is the producer/co~host of The Vic McCarty Show. Listen live Monday~Friday 10am-noon eastern time on wmktthetalkstation.com
Check out my podcast The Cancer Warrior on Empoweradio.com available on demand and also available on itunes.