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...
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?