Invisible Scars

I have many visible scars from various diagnostic procedures over the last 18 months. I have a scar on my ribcage from my chest drain, a scar just under my arm pit, and a scar just underneath my right breast, from my Hodgkin’s biopsy. I also have scars on my arms from cannulas, and from a bite from Jake that wouldn’t have usually scarred, but because I was going through chemo, pigmentation was altered. Then I have a scar on my throat, from the thyroid surgeries.

Those are permanent reminders of what I have been through. They won’t go away. People can see them (OK, maybe not the rib and breast one so much) and will wonder what they are. The ones that are bold enough might ask. The ones that aren’t might talk about me to others later, asking them if they know what it is.

Those scars don’t bother me. It’s funny, because maybe they should. But I don’t find myself hiding my thyroid scar, by making sure I wear a polo neck, or a scarf or a necklace, because I don’t feel like I need to. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed because of what I went through.

What I find difficult to cope with, are the emotional scars. The worry that every time I get a cough, I wonder if I have a chest mass again. The worry about whether I’d be classed as high risk for my next pregnancy meaning I can’t have the homebirth that I wanted when I was pregnant with Jake. The worry about whether I can even get pregnant again. The worry that if I relapsed, Jake might have to grow up without his Mummy.

I woke up Wednesday morning really upset. I’d had such a realistic dream in the night. I can only ever remember having a dream that real once before, and it left me feeling really shook up for a long time.

I’d relapsed, and there was nothing they could do for me. It was so realistic. Even my consultant that I see was in the dream and she was the one that had to tell me. What had actually happened, was that I hadn’t relapsed, so much as I was never in remission in the first place. The consultant had not looked at the scan properly and there was still active disease.

I know that isn’t a possibly. I saw the scan myself. The only active hotspot was my thyroid, which has now been dealt with, but to wake up with that feeling… it was horrible.

Scars don’t have to be visible to be there. Sometimes, the invisible ones are the worst.


4 responses to “Invisible Scars

  • Miss Jacq

    I’ve just read this and it made me cry A lot of what you have written is like I’ve written it about my life. Talk about striking a chord. Great post Roz. I hope you,Hubby & Jakey are all well. Big hugs XX

  • Susan Mann

    Hugs sweetie, everything is still so raw. Hopefully time will heal some of the scare visible and non visible but I’m sure the fear will always be there. Hugs x

  • marketingtomilk

    Oh darling, i really feel for you. It’s such a difficult time. I imagine things just get a little bit easier as the months pass and you are well. Hold in there.


  • fenngirl

    I know, I know, I know. The fear and uncertainty is the hardest thing about cancer survival. It ebbs and it flows and it can be exhausting when it really gets a grip. My wise GP likened this state to an oversensitive smoke alarm – it goes off even when it’s just a bit of overdone toast. Knowing you are not alone in thinking these things can really help – I thought I was going doolally at one point 🙂 Thanks for talking about it xx

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