Posts tagged #scars

Burn Baby Burn

For Surgery number 7 or is it 8 who the hell knows I had no desire to go for the stiletto look.  Cancer can have $1 Old Navy flip flops that I gave to Meg after. Screw this bulshit. I went in with a full blow migraine, yes migraine into a quick operation on Tuesday June 16th . Doc asked if I wanted to try local anesthesia and not get knocked out, I asked him if he was "fucking crazy", please put me to sleep . The scars need to be cut out and I do not want to remember a thing. After the quickie in the OR if only it was a joy ride, I was literally rushed over to radiation, yes that day! The nurses were a little perplexed and frankly freaked to send me off but they went with it. 


Rads is weird, no really it is. The staff was amazing over the top to say the least. The idea is to kill all the tissue and any cells that are hanging out to zap the hell out of them before they have to grow.  Now please keep in mind that while I just came from OR I still have a migraine, am starving yet nausea  and now am waiting to be radiated so I was in no mood to joke. And guess who was with me?? TOM-the joke master extraordinaire. . Not a great day but Tom and I used it as a date night, hell there were no kids so why not. His humor got me through this crazy day. So they make the mold, set you up, then line it up and then they run like they are being chased out of the room-like literally run out of the room.  Which cracked me up because they are leaving me there half naked, breast half cut and they run. Radiation takes 2 minutes for me and I thought big deal that was easy! So I go back the next day with my BFF MC (I swear they all tried to get a free lunch out of me). Was in there for 2 minutes and left, this time sore and exhausted. Then my girlfriend Lisa took me, I was so tired and so sore starting to burn. Realizing this was not an easy ride, why didn't someone tell me?? Then Jess took me the next day I could barely move my arm, cording starting, burn in full effect, completely whipped out. And then I realized this is no freaking joke!

There it is and let me express that is nothing compared to what I have seen. NOTHING compared  to others but this is my story and in the words of Seporah "it is all about you". I have been using Lindz Cooling pads in the fridge they really help cool the burn.  My fab doc gave me some of that silvadene cream which is great.  A breastie sent me some amazing cream by Ava it smells delicious I wanna eat it and really seems to be calming my skin. As for the soreness and the ache, I will say it for the 100th time if you do not have a Comfort Pillow, get one! It not only is super awesome for those damn lymph nodes that come out it helps relieve some of the pain from cording and radiation so your arm does not rest on your side. 


I am off of treatment for a few weeks to heal and see what happens. Path came back clear so this is the right course for me. Next will be my abdominal  scar. Do you know how far that bastard goes?? Almost from butt cheek to butt cheek! No joke. I am worried about that- the healing and the radiation. We as a society treat rads as the "easy treatment". Who the hell decided that? We go every day and have radiation into us?? This is the definition of radiation per google -the emission of energy as electromagnetic waves or as moving subatomic particles, especially high-energy particles that cause ionization. Does that sound good? NO it does not. So why do we not treat patients like they are not in treatment? I have heard doctors say it is no more than a bad sunburn. UMMM really??? Here is a fact sunburns increase your change of skin cancer you douchebags. Stop treating us like we are stupid and that we do not understand what you are doing to our bodies this is not a joke to us and we need to stop taking it lightly. 

After radiation treatment you must, lotion up, hydrate, and rest. let your body heal after being burned and having electromagnetic waves flow through it. This is not a walk through the park people you go every day, bring a friend and have a milk shake after. However do not wear your tiara it could set the machine off and that would not be good for anyone. 


Take a good look

A friend recently posted asking when was the last time you took a good look at your scars. I thought about that question all week. I look at them daily. Mostly to figure out how I can make sense of them, how to accept them. I stare and wonder if looking is the way push through the pain of how they look. I know all the posts about scars make us stronger, they are the story, or my favorite "a scar just means you were stronger than what tried to hurt you". But honestly those words are mute when you stand naked.

I can start with the mastectomy ones that remind me of cancer. The fear that cancer brought in my life and left me with a mark to show it had been there. I can move on to the scar that was left by a lump I found a few months after that my doctor removed in her office "just to be safe" another reminder that cancer was lurking and could be back. Or the burn mark that I got from cooking because I have no feeling in my chest any more which resulted in 2nd degree burn humorous in a warped way until I undress and look at the wound it left. My worse are the drain marks-painful from the keloids, extreme pain but the reminder of the awful drains is almost worse. The DIEP left the most pronounced scaring ever. Deep, bright, thick, painful marks across my breasts and belly leaving me looking like a rag doll. The images make them almost look good so in a way they help more then the mirror.

 Alive but sew together to stay that way.

Someone once said to me "You are married why do you care about the scars". I think about that comment when my husband and I on the rare occasion are intimate and I wear a tank top because I am embarrassed of the scars not wanting him to touch them. Or when I go to change at the YMCA and run into a private area so no one sees what a mess I am. Or worse when I have to stand in front of a mirror naked and wonder how I got in that body. Scars are hard to look at think about when you are in line at the store and you see someone burned or scared you have to look away because you want to star but that would be rude. That is how I feel 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Add the eructating pain that keeps me up because of my keloids and you have an entire other element. Do not tell me this is purely cosmetic this is so much more than that.  

Downer post for sure but as I go in for phase 2 which I know will addresses some of the scaring I can't help but focus on them which results in pain. And as they say "pain is meant to be felt". Breast cancer results in the amputation of our breasts by no means is an easy thing to deal with. Processing it, accepting it and pushing through takes years. It is easy to walk around covered up you may even forget for a moment but with my scars I can not. I feel them through clothes, they are bothered by certain tops that rub against them, hell I can't even wear certain underwear because of the my stomach. So yes the cleavage looks great, but the size is too big and the scars are too deep. You can have the cleavage.

I didn't ask for this road I am just navigating my way down it through the bumps. I am figuring out which shoes to wear and how to walk because trust me when I say this changed my confidence level. Adjusting to the new takes time.   I just hope I have enough shoes to get me through this because it requires a lot of attitude!

Posted on September 11, 2014 .