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Surgery left me with scars. They snake a line from my armpit, down my arm and cause my hand to appear disfigured. All part and parcel of surgery to remove cancer from my body.

The doctors gave me the option of having a reconstructive surgery on my hand (not much they can do about the other areas) in an effort to make it look more “normal.” The thing is, it will never be normal again, and I’m ok with that.

I politely declined and here’s the reason: I earned these scars. They are my reminder of the battle I fought and won. The tangible proof of the blood, sweat and tears that went into surviving. I don’t want to forget any of it, not one single second. I wear these scars like the badge of honour they are. They demonstrate my resilience and give me a reason to be proud.

The largest scar cancer left me with is an invisible one that only other oncology patients will understand - the scar on my psyche.

The mental anguish in fearing a recurrence and wondering if you will really make it or not, the scanxiety that accompanies those regular check-ins as they search your body for the invader,

the undiagnosed PTSD that haunts every second for those first few years post treatment and appears at random times forever - I have had cancer in my stomach, colon, skin, lungs and breast all at the same time! Obviously, I’m kidding, I actually didn't, but the fear was real and while rationally I knew it wasn’t possible, it didn’t alleviate the anxiety.

That damage cannot be undone and, in my experience, only time (and a lot of it) is what heals and helps it fade.

There is good news, time does heal. Those mental scars do begin to fade and almost disappear just like the physical ones that adorn our bodies. It is a long road but life does go back to a sense of normalcy.

If you have lumpy red/purply scars, give cica care silicon gel patches. It reduced mine to a flat, white scar, a dramatic change!

What scar has impacted you the most?

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