Have you ever taken time to count up the scars on your body?
I don’t have that many really. I have one by my right eye from when I ran into the stairs when I was a kid and gashed my face nearly taking out my eye. I’ve always been a bit of a klutz. I have one or two chicken pox scars. I have one from a tiff one of my older sisters and I got into once.
And then there are my cancer scars.
I have the “usual run-of-the-mill” breast cancer scars, I suppose. I have the two four to five inch mastectomy incision scars on my chest. Then there are the two smaller ones under each arm from the lymph node stuff. There are several tiny ones from my oophorectomy and hysterectomy. It’s amazing how unnoticeable those are. And then there is my chemo port scar. And the drain scars. And my recent knee surgery scars (yes, I count those as part of my cancer scars).
I don’t think too much about my cancer scars these days, though of course I see them every day when I shower or get dressed. They are always there like “silent loud speakers”.
Some women say they see their cancer scars as badges of honor. They “wear” them proudly. Their scars represent how much they’ve been through, how hard they’ve “fought”. I guess I feel like that too, to some extent. But then again, I’m not so sure. My scars are just there. I don’t feel honored by them. I’m certainly not proud of them and I don’t let others see them. Heck, even dear hubby hardly ever sees them because yes, I am more self-conscious now.
I have a strange relationship with my scars.
Sometimes I see them. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes they bother me. Sometime they don’t. I’d much rather they weren’t there. It doesn’t matter anyway. They’re not going anywhere. They are here to stay.
There have been numerous women who’ve had breast cancer surgeries proudly posing topless, or even in the nude for whatever cause or reason they are moved by to do so for. They claim to be making a statement of one kind or another. Some are showing tattoos they’ve had. Posing for such pictures takes guts. Showing your scarred body publicly cannot be easy. Kudos to them. I applaud them. I do. They certainly are inspiring to many, including me.
But guess what?
I am even more inspired by the women (and men) who share about their inner scars; the ones they can’t see, the ones no one sees.
When you think about it, those inner and invisible scars we all have are the ones that often hurt the most. I have deep inner cancer scars that I have yet to share a whole lot about. In some ways these are the ones that feel most personal, cause the most pain and are hardest to talk about.
These are the scars that take longest to heal, and perhaps never completely do.
Whether you are talking about cancer, or other things that happen to us in life, this is true.
For instance, think about those comments made to you when you were young that really stung. Maybe you were bullied, or ridiculed for one reason or the other. Or, heaven forbid, maybe you suffered from abuse of some kind. Any physical scars you received probably healed much more quickly and much more fully than the ones that were seared into your memory forever.
We all have scars of one kind or another.
Some are easily seen and shared about.
And some are not.
Cancer or no cancer, what kind of physical scars do you have?
Do you have scars no one sees or even knows about?
Note: I chose not to use an image of physical scars anywhere in this post because I feel physical scars do garner discussion. Too often unseen scars do not.