An explanation...

Why Foob? I had a double mastectomy, and at the time, the plastic surgeon put "expanders" under the muscles in my chest. Every 2-3 weeks, they were filled with more saline, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery. They were very full and hard. Uncomfortable. One time, one of my sons gave me a hug and then said "Your foobs are hard!" Hee, hee, hee! My kids have this endearing habit of combining words. So, "Foobs" are fake boobs. Which I will still have, even after the reconstruction.

Foob Babe - that would be me!
"The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." ~Mignon McLaughlin


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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cancer Scars

I’ve got to get something off of my chest – not trying to be funny there. I’m angry. I was looking in the mirror after I got out of the shower the other day. I got angry just looking at all the scars. I’m so tired of the scars. They are ugly. You know, I’ve got lots of scars. There are the scars you can see and the ones you can’t see. Cancer leaves the ugliest scars.
There are the scars on my chest:
I’ve got one that is about 2 inches long where the surgeon took out some lymph nodes. There is the scar where I had my two biopsies. That one is no longer there because it was cut off when I had a double mastectomy. But, I still see it. There are my mastectomy scars – just horizontal lines where something else used to be. I’ve got two small scars from the drains that were left in after my last surgery. And then there are the upcoming scars – from my reconstructive surgery and the one I’ll have when they take out my IV port. I can already see them.
The other scars cancer has left:
The scars on my face – commonly called wrinkles – I have so many new wrinkles that you’d think I’d aged 10 years. These make me particularly angry – I’ve been blessed with my mother’s beautiful skin and now it’s ruined. There are tiny brown spots all over my face and hands as well, reminding me, every time I see myself, that I’ve had cancer.
Sometimes I feel like there is a scar where my mind used to be. I’ve never had a great memory, but this is ridiculous. Believe me, “chemo brain” is real.
The scar that is my bald head. I know that the hair will grow back at some point, but the scar that shaving it off caused will remain in my mind.
The chemo has affected my eyesight – I can feel those “scars” getting bigger by the day.
If I had a dime for every time I’ve been poked with a needle, I’d be rich. Those needle scars are too small to see, but they are there.
And what about the scar that I have from being thrown into early menopause from the chemo – I feel that scar every time I have a hot flash.
There’s even a scar from when I had to stop working. I used to work at a job I love, with people I love. It’s a long scar – 8 months long, and getting longer by the day. Even though I know I’ll get to go back to work, the scar that is ‘lack of work’ is there.
The other night I turned to Rick and said: “Sometimes when I look at myself and see that my chest is gone, I think, “What the HELL??!!! What was I thinking, allowing that to happen? Sometimes I wish I could go back and make a different decision.” And Rick just says, “I know… I know.” And he does. He knows what I’ve been through. He’s been there to help me make every hard decision and to get through every horrible side effect. And I have to say thanks to Rick, for being there to walk me through the scars and help me through the anger.

1 comment:

  1. All comments:

    Kim said...

    I am so glad you led me to your blog! I have only known you as a missionary mom and had no idea you were going through all of this! You are amazing! I am so sorry for all that you have had to and continue to go through! I have only read this one entry. When I have more time I will have to read more! I'm sure that you have touched many people and will continue to touch many with your determination and will to fight the cancer, the chemo, the scars and everything else that goes with it! Good luck to you! And thanks again for leading me to your blog! When I feel like life has me down so far I can't get back up, I will remember you and put one foot in front of the other! You inspire me!