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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Scar Tissue That I Wish You Saw

[Ok, here's a bit of a rambling, ranty musing...not much rhyme or reason here I don't think...]

Scars. Some scars you never see...and some emotional scars sometimes never heal. 

Oh sure, I could show you the big ol scar on what's left of my left boob, or the one under my arm from the removal of the lymph nodes...and sometimes you DO actually see the mediport scar.

But I guess what I wish people could understand is that once you've had this stupid ass cancer...you never fully recover from it...mentally or emotionally.  Now, I'm not saying I'm all cancer, all the time.  Definitely not (anymore). But I do still have my moments.  Like any time something hurts...or doesn't feel quite right. Although I talk less and less about it with others...it's always there...in the back of my mind.  And how could it not be? The rest of my life is now filled with constant reminders.  Like, the reduced range of motion I have in my left arm now, the loss of strength in that same arm, the mild lymphedema...or having to put on a prosthesis to wear certain kinds of things...having to wear a compression garment to exercise or do other physical kinds of things, or when traveling by air....you know, stuff like that.  

But after a certain point, most people expect that "You've won the battle & beat it" and "it's all over and done with now" so "let's get all back to normal now"...  But my normal is now a different kind of normal.  Even as I approach FIVE years out.  Which, seriously, means absolutely Jack-Shit in breastcancerland. Here's a FACT: 30% of people diagnosed with bc, regardless of the stage...yes even early stage, will develop distant metastasis.  And we don't know why. Maybe this is why my mind is now the way it is about all kinds of things.

My friend said something to me recently that got me to thinking.... Having had cancer (or going through a major or traumatic or life changing event) really does show you exactly who's who in your life. Who your friends are. Who your friends aren't. Who really cares/d about you. And who doesn't and/or never did. She is absolutely right. Realizing exactly who's who can be kind of scarring...

Also, when you learn of someone getting a mets diagnosis, or passing from it...scars.  Especially when that person had a similar diagnosis...or was diagnosed about the same time as you were. Very, very scarring.  

What's the worst unseen scar for me? The fact that our life is now divided into "BC" - Before Cancer and "AD" - After Diagnosis... 

Scars.




Now, just because this post is a bit of a downer, please don't think I'm  going through life all sad or angry all the time and stuff.  Quite the contrary.   And yes, I do have bigger and bigger chunks of my day and life that bc is not even a part of.  This is just a post that's been in draft for probably a year and a half and I just wanted to put it on out there is all. And I'm still not happy with it, but really gotta get some of these "drafts" either published or just deleted.  Ya know?  

  

10 comments:

Paula said...

I do know what you are saying. I still have scars and the will never go away. Just last week I was scratching a bug bite and then it felt too big and I began to get that feeling. You know that one. What the hell is this kind of panic feeling. But it was just a bug bite. I think. LOL It is gone now. So yeah even after 25 years there is still that. I didn't tell everyone on OW but my Gyn/oncologist questioned me about my age of the breast cancer, my family history(none) and any sisters. I said yes a sister and then he wanted to know is she had breast cancer. Seems he is going to contact his breast cancer colleague and see if she thinks I need more intensive check ups since I have now had a bit of a cervical cancer scare. I want to think it's just the medical profession getting all excited about noting but who knows. I will follow what he ways of course, because UAB is the best around here and I do trust them. I think. I don't see him for 4 months so obviously it's not a huge think. Well, on to the prep for the next disaster in my life. No time for cancer business, I have a colon to patch up. LOL!

LunaTechChick said...

I also want to think it's the medical biz getting all excited about nothing too. Yes, I do know that feeling V well. I hate it. But it's a part of me now. And yes, no cancer business for you. Get that colon all fixed up. And I & all the OWs are thinkin boutcha. Love ya girl!! xx

Donna said...

Thank you for truly sharing... from the heart. It takes tremendous courage to talk about things that continue to cause pain. Emotional and mental being the worst kind ™

Cancer Curmudgeon said...

Yep, I am in the middle of that "I don't feel well, what if it's back" thing right now. I think I will always go to cancer in my mind.
And love the title of post BTW

LunaTechChick said...

Hi Donna! Thanks so much for reading & commenting here. It really does mean a lot if anything I write here helps others. xx

LunaTechChick said...

Yeah CC, figured you'd like that title. Hoping that the bc is not back with you & hope you feel much better again soon. xx

Claudia Schmidt said...

Oh wow. This sure resonates for me. I also had that post I just did in my draft file for a bit as I just wasn't sure I wanted to put it all out into the world, but then figured I needed to vent it out. I completely agree with you. Every time I have some strange little twinge or pain or oddness I think that it's come back. And, like you, MOST of the time I'm good but every now and then it sneaks up and gets the best of me. Great post! Glad I found you! xo

LunaTechChick said...

Hi Claudia! Thanks so much for checking out my blog & commenting here. I'm so glad I found your blog too. All of us bc Bloggers gotta stick together! Yeah, I sure hate "The fear", but it seems we all must learn to live with it. And the first poster, Paula, is an awesome 25 year survivor who does say it does get better...the every-single-day thing, but, alas, "The fear" remains with any ache or pain... Blogging this bc bs really is therapy for me.

Nancy's Point said...

Aahh yes, the scars. There are many and the invisible ones can be the toughest ones to handle. I totally hear you on the before and after thing. Cancer draws a pretty clear line in our lives doesn't it? And get over it... well, it's just not quite that simple. But of course, you know that all too well. I'm glad you put this one out there again. Thank you.

LunaTechChick said...

Hi Nancy!! Yes, cancer sure does leave a mile marker, so to speak...and I'm still stunned that, even people that are the closest to me, saw & lived through it with me, still say it's way past time for me to just get back to "normal". It's hurtful...creats new scars on top of old scars. Thanks so much for reading & commenting & also for your recent post that inspired me to reshare this one. xx