The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content within the patient forum is user-generated and has not been reviewed by medical professionals. Other sections of the Melanoma Research Foundation website include information that has been reviewed by medical professionals as appropriate. All medical decisions should be made in consultation with your doctor or other qualified medical professional.

Scars

  • Post
    CLPrice31
    Participant

      After two fairly invasive surgeries since January of 2011, I have had a love/hate relationship with my new body. There's no hiding these battle wounds. A part of me knows that I should be proud of my scars, they show that I am a fighter. Another part of me just wants to be a 24 year old girl who hasn't experienced a true life crisis…

      Back in April when I was really suffering from some self esteem issues, a fellow melanoma warrior sent me this great quote that I thought others might appreciate reading:

      After two fairly invasive surgeries since January of 2011, I have had a love/hate relationship with my new body. There's no hiding these battle wounds. A part of me knows that I should be proud of my scars, they show that I am a fighter. Another part of me just wants to be a 24 year old girl who hasn't experienced a true life crisis…

      Back in April when I was really suffering from some self esteem issues, a fellow melanoma warrior sent me this great quote that I thought others might appreciate reading:

      "On the girl's brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived." -from Little Bee by Chris Cleave

      Now, even when people make comments about my scars, I remind myself of this quote. A scar does not form on a dead body. My body forms scars. I am surviving. That makes accepting my new body a whole lot easier…

      I hope this will help someone else accept their battle wounds, too.

    Viewing 13 reply threads
    • Replies
        CAdesiree
        Participant

          thank you for sharing that.  it was beautiful.  i will probably be using it myself.  i was at a party on the 4th… everyone asked about my scar.  i had just seen them all mid may for a different party- and there was no scar then… so it stuck out like a sore thumb.  i ended up leaving the party early bc i felt so uncomfortable.  if i answered honestly what the scar was from i was a downer to the party.  and i dont lie… so i left.  thanks again for sharing that.

            CLPrice31
            Participant

              I understand. Sometimes I debate biting my tongue, but then again, no one will learn unless we educate them. I know it was TOUGH at first though…Best wishes to you!

              Lisa13
              Participant

                Thanks for sharing this. I have not wanted to go swimming with my daughter this summer due to my fairly fresh scars. I had 10 cms removed off my back and 19 lymph nodes removed from my groin. My back looks like I had a great white shark take a bite out of me, but you're right, they're healing and I'm alive and fighting this battle.  We are all survivors and we all must do what we can to win this battle – scars and all. It sucks that we have to go through this fight, but it all makes us stronger because of it.

                Never give up! 

                Lisa – Stage 4

                Lisa13
                Participant

                  Thanks for sharing this. I have not wanted to go swimming with my daughter this summer due to my fairly fresh scars. I had 10 cms removed off my back and 19 lymph nodes removed from my groin. My back looks like I had a great white shark take a bite out of me, but you're right, they're healing and I'm alive and fighting this battle.  We are all survivors and we all must do what we can to win this battle – scars and all. It sucks that we have to go through this fight, but it all makes us stronger because of it.

                  Never give up! 

                  Lisa – Stage 4

                  CLPrice31
                  Participant

                    I understand. Sometimes I debate biting my tongue, but then again, no one will learn unless we educate them. I know it was TOUGH at first though…Best wishes to you!

                  CAdesiree
                  Participant

                    thank you for sharing that.  it was beautiful.  i will probably be using it myself.  i was at a party on the 4th… everyone asked about my scar.  i had just seen them all mid may for a different party- and there was no scar then… so it stuck out like a sore thumb.  i ended up leaving the party early bc i felt so uncomfortable.  if i answered honestly what the scar was from i was a downer to the party.  and i dont lie… so i left.  thanks again for sharing that.

                    Carmon in NM
                    Participant

                      Thank you…I love that! I have a huge craniotomy scar and a scar on my upper left arm that looks like one of my horses took a great big bite out of me. In fact, I confess that I've told a few people that is what happened. πŸ˜‰

                      The first couple of years I hid my scars but now I wear them proudly and tell people that melanoma is NOT 'just skin cancer'. My husband has done a lot in helping me to feel I am beautiful, scars and all.

                      If I could give you back the innocence of being 24 again, I would in a heartbeat Yet at the same time, here I am at 58 and I wish so much that I could have learned what this disease has taught me when I was younger.

                      You strike me as someone who will take this experience and turn it into something that is full of beauty, love and truth. Bless you!

                      Carmon in NM
                      Participant

                        Thank you…I love that! I have a huge craniotomy scar and a scar on my upper left arm that looks like one of my horses took a great big bite out of me. In fact, I confess that I've told a few people that is what happened. πŸ˜‰

                        The first couple of years I hid my scars but now I wear them proudly and tell people that melanoma is NOT 'just skin cancer'. My husband has done a lot in helping me to feel I am beautiful, scars and all.

                        If I could give you back the innocence of being 24 again, I would in a heartbeat Yet at the same time, here I am at 58 and I wish so much that I could have learned what this disease has taught me when I was younger.

                        You strike me as someone who will take this experience and turn it into something that is full of beauty, love and truth. Bless you!

                          CLPrice31
                          Participant

                            You know, Carol, I don't really want the innocence back…I feel grateful for the reality check I received. Although I wish it had been a little less dramatic, now I won't take things for granted. Thank you for your wonderful comment. It made me smile as soon as I read it. PS–I had been off the forum for a while. I am SO glad to see as of April you are NED!!! Congratulations! Here is to MANY years of a NED life!

                            CLPrice31
                            Participant

                              Carmon! Not Carol! I apologize. It's past my bedtime! πŸ˜‰

                               

                              Carol, your comments always mean a lot to me. I love your attitude & what you do for the melanoma community. Thank you!

                              CLPrice31
                              Participant

                                Carmon! Not Carol! I apologize. It's past my bedtime! πŸ˜‰

                                 

                                Carol, your comments always mean a lot to me. I love your attitude & what you do for the melanoma community. Thank you!

                                CLPrice31
                                Participant

                                  You know, Carol, I don't really want the innocence back…I feel grateful for the reality check I received. Although I wish it had been a little less dramatic, now I won't take things for granted. Thank you for your wonderful comment. It made me smile as soon as I read it. PS–I had been off the forum for a while. I am SO glad to see as of April you are NED!!! Congratulations! Here is to MANY years of a NED life!

                                Carol Taylor
                                Participant

                                  My scars are hidden by my compression sleeve. People know what scars are…many don't know what a compression garment is or why a person would possibly wear one. Adults often stare. Children will ask. When adults do ask, they often assume I've been burned…and they want to hear about my burn. When they learn my story involves melanoma, they usually don't know what to do with me.

                                  But, they don't know me. I love it. I see my glove & sleeve as my best friends for life (I know what that lymphedema looked like and felt like), and call them my Mark of Grace. It's my open door to tell my story and tell them to keep a check on their own skin and moles.

                                  I encourage you to use comments as your open door too and educate people. Give your scars a worthy purpose…at least that helps me. It helps if I can find a use that will help others.

                                  Your scars are out in the open where they can be seen and dealt with. Those are the easiest of lifes' scars.

                                  You're beautiful. Scars heal and fade. Beauty lasts forever and grows deeper.

                                  Grace and peace,

                                  Carol

                                  Carol Taylor
                                  Participant

                                    My scars are hidden by my compression sleeve. People know what scars are…many don't know what a compression garment is or why a person would possibly wear one. Adults often stare. Children will ask. When adults do ask, they often assume I've been burned…and they want to hear about my burn. When they learn my story involves melanoma, they usually don't know what to do with me.

                                    But, they don't know me. I love it. I see my glove & sleeve as my best friends for life (I know what that lymphedema looked like and felt like), and call them my Mark of Grace. It's my open door to tell my story and tell them to keep a check on their own skin and moles.

                                    I encourage you to use comments as your open door too and educate people. Give your scars a worthy purpose…at least that helps me. It helps if I can find a use that will help others.

                                    Your scars are out in the open where they can be seen and dealt with. Those are the easiest of lifes' scars.

                                    You're beautiful. Scars heal and fade. Beauty lasts forever and grows deeper.

                                    Grace and peace,

                                    Carol

                                    Rebecca and Bob
                                    Participant

                                      I'm glad you brought up scars. My husband has a huge scar on his back then on his side and on his stomach. This was from the original mel on his back, then VATS and Intestinal surgery. Our kids are now 5 and 7, and these scars happened 2/3 years ago so when they ask he tells them it was from a bear and then laughs. The scars do bother him, he hates wearing a rashguard to swim, but your right being alive is worth the scars. πŸ™‚

                                      Rebecca

                                      Rebecca and Bob
                                      Participant

                                        I'm glad you brought up scars. My husband has a huge scar on his back then on his side and on his stomach. This was from the original mel on his back, then VATS and Intestinal surgery. Our kids are now 5 and 7, and these scars happened 2/3 years ago so when they ask he tells them it was from a bear and then laughs. The scars do bother him, he hates wearing a rashguard to swim, but your right being alive is worth the scars. πŸ™‚

                                        Rebecca

                                          CLPrice31
                                          Participant

                                            I love that your husband tells the kids that it is from a bear! I would tell my niece the same thing if she asked. When they are older, you can explain why sun safety is so important! smiley

                                            CLPrice31
                                            Participant

                                              I love that your husband tells the kids that it is from a bear! I would tell my niece the same thing if she asked. When they are older, you can explain why sun safety is so important! smiley

                                            CLPrice31
                                            Participant

                                              Thank you all for sharing your stories with me! My first experience with someone asking about one of my neck scars left me sobbing in a parking lot. It all takes time, I know, but everyone is right. These scars let us tell our story! So many times people have commented how I do not look sick. Because I do not have missing hair, sunken eyes, etc, they assume melanoma is no big deal. When they see my scars—especially of the 5 incision sites the day after my first surgery, they are hit with the harsh reality that melanoma is not nearly as easy as what they think. I cringe when I remember joking years ago, "If I have to get cancer, let it be skin cancer." Oh, regrets….

                                              Live & learn. Best wishes to all of you. πŸ™‚

                                              CLPrice31
                                              Participant

                                                Thank you all for sharing your stories with me! My first experience with someone asking about one of my neck scars left me sobbing in a parking lot. It all takes time, I know, but everyone is right. These scars let us tell our story! So many times people have commented how I do not look sick. Because I do not have missing hair, sunken eyes, etc, they assume melanoma is no big deal. When they see my scars—especially of the 5 incision sites the day after my first surgery, they are hit with the harsh reality that melanoma is not nearly as easy as what they think. I cringe when I remember joking years ago, "If I have to get cancer, let it be skin cancer." Oh, regrets….

                                                Live & learn. Best wishes to all of you. πŸ™‚

                                                nicoli
                                                Participant

                                                  I don't really have too many scars. My main battle scar is my permanently bald head. Yup, 56 year old grandma with no hair. Mel was on my scalp and in March of this year I had my second scalp surgery due to local recurrence. My incision was about 15 inches winding around my head and my head was shaved for surgery. No biggy.

                                                  The biggy came in April when I received 29 radiation treatments to my scalp which left me permanently and totally bald! Real cute.

                                                  When I look in the mirror and want to cry I remember my friend, Sarah. Sarah was only 35 when she died from esophagel cancer, leaving two young children. Sarah had beautiful, blond hair, long down below her waist. Her pride and joy. Sarah died with all of her hair because the cancer took her before she could receive treatment.

                                                  I know Sarah would have easily given up her hair and been permanently bald if it meant living for her children. 

                                                  Scars and hair……not so important after all.

                                                  Nicki, Stage 3b

                                                    CLPrice31
                                                    Participant

                                                      Nicki, your post gave me chills. You are absolutely right—scars & hair, not important in the grand scheme of things.

                                                      Thank you for sharing.

                                                      CLPrice31
                                                      Participant

                                                        Nicki, your post gave me chills. You are absolutely right—scars & hair, not important in the grand scheme of things.

                                                        Thank you for sharing.

                                                      nicoli
                                                      Participant

                                                        I don't really have too many scars. My main battle scar is my permanently bald head. Yup, 56 year old grandma with no hair. Mel was on my scalp and in March of this year I had my second scalp surgery due to local recurrence. My incision was about 15 inches winding around my head and my head was shaved for surgery. No biggy.

                                                        The biggy came in April when I received 29 radiation treatments to my scalp which left me permanently and totally bald! Real cute.

                                                        When I look in the mirror and want to cry I remember my friend, Sarah. Sarah was only 35 when she died from esophagel cancer, leaving two young children. Sarah had beautiful, blond hair, long down below her waist. Her pride and joy. Sarah died with all of her hair because the cancer took her before she could receive treatment.

                                                        I know Sarah would have easily given up her hair and been permanently bald if it meant living for her children. 

                                                        Scars and hair……not so important after all.

                                                        Nicki, Stage 3b

                                                        H555
                                                        Participant

                                                          Chelsea thank you for this. I'm an almost 62 year grandpa and my 26 year old daddy's girl is also named Chelsea. I'm 12 days past an inguinal LND for a recurrence of melanoma, the same day I retired. he primary was 16 years ago and this thief popped back into my life 2 months prior to retirement. Hopefully I stay IIIC for a while. I've got my post op follow up tomorrow to schedule radiation and adjuvant therapy. I've got lots of scars, fighting prostate cancer and your post made me cry. You are a great great inspiration. thank you.

                                                            CLPrice31
                                                            Participant

                                                              I will be thinking of you! Please post & let us know how you are doing. I hate that this is happening at all, but retirement should be an exciting time. Anyway, focus on taking care of your body & try to keep your spirits up. I cried the first time I read the quote as well. Best wishes to you! smiley

                                                              killmel
                                                              Participant

                                                                HI CL,

                                                                 

                                                                How are you doing on IPI..any side effects?

                                                                 

                                                                Hoping you do well.

                                                                 

                                                                Jane

                                                                CLPrice31
                                                                Participant

                                                                  Hi Jane,

                                                                  I am doing well. I almost believe I feel too good…I head for my 4th infusion this Friday. I have experienced headaches, some minor stomach issues, ulcers in my mouth, and extreme exhaustion. No rash, nothing that has made me stop my day to day life. Oh–and when I was having my eyebrows waxed the last time, the technician informed me that there were white hairs in my eyebrows. She said, "Don't worry! I pluck!" I had to smile because those white hairs are actually good indicators that I am in in fact receiving the drug and not the placebo. Overall, I feel like I have a never ending hangover or flu bug. Not horrible, but definitely not my normal self.

                                                                  Thank you for asking!

                                                                  Chelsea

                                                                  CLPrice31
                                                                  Participant

                                                                    Hi Jane,

                                                                    I am doing well. I almost believe I feel too good…I head for my 4th infusion this Friday. I have experienced headaches, some minor stomach issues, ulcers in my mouth, and extreme exhaustion. No rash, nothing that has made me stop my day to day life. Oh–and when I was having my eyebrows waxed the last time, the technician informed me that there were white hairs in my eyebrows. She said, "Don't worry! I pluck!" I had to smile because those white hairs are actually good indicators that I am in in fact receiving the drug and not the placebo. Overall, I feel like I have a never ending hangover or flu bug. Not horrible, but definitely not my normal self.

                                                                    Thank you for asking!

                                                                    Chelsea

                                                                    killmel
                                                                    Participant

                                                                      HI CL,

                                                                       

                                                                      How are you doing on IPI..any side effects?

                                                                       

                                                                      Hoping you do well.

                                                                       

                                                                      Jane

                                                                      CLPrice31
                                                                      Participant

                                                                        I will be thinking of you! Please post & let us know how you are doing. I hate that this is happening at all, but retirement should be an exciting time. Anyway, focus on taking care of your body & try to keep your spirits up. I cried the first time I read the quote as well. Best wishes to you! smiley

                                                                      H555
                                                                      Participant

                                                                        Chelsea thank you for this. I'm an almost 62 year grandpa and my 26 year old daddy's girl is also named Chelsea. I'm 12 days past an inguinal LND for a recurrence of melanoma, the same day I retired. he primary was 16 years ago and this thief popped back into my life 2 months prior to retirement. Hopefully I stay IIIC for a while. I've got my post op follow up tomorrow to schedule radiation and adjuvant therapy. I've got lots of scars, fighting prostate cancer and your post made me cry. You are a great great inspiration. thank you.

                                                                    Viewing 13 reply threads
                                                                    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
                                                                    About the MRF Patient Forum

                                                                    The MRF Patient Forum is the oldest and largest online community of people affected by melanoma. It is designed to provide peer support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. There is no better place to discuss different parts of your journey with this cancer and find the friends and support resources to make that journey more bearable.

                                                                    The information on the forum is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide byΒ MRF posting policies.

                                                                    Popular Topics