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Friday, November 14, 2008

Scars and Reminders

Last night as I was getting ready for bed, I looked in the mirror. I saw my scars staring back at me. I used to have a fairly nice chest, I hear myself thinking. At the same time I only think this based on what I know others are thinking when they see my scars. Truly they are such a part of my body now that I rarely think twice.

This occasion I was looking in the mirror and studying them. I realize they are my "war wounds" and I should be "proud". It's just a constant reminder of how hard it was. I look at that scar and see how it sinks into my chest where they had to actually shave bone. I didn't even know they were going to do that until it had healed a bit and I saw that the inner tip of the scar was sunken in. To top off that beauty I have a nice little radiation tattoo in the tip of it. My port scar is on the other side of my chest. It was not supposed to be a big scar, but for some reason that one did the keloid thing. It's gotten fat and red and puffy. I can't figure out why that one did and the biopsy scar did not. I think I am thankful though. If the biopsy scar which is much bigger and longer did the keloid thing it would be gigantic.

I have looked up information on Keloids online and have come to the conclusion it might not be Keloid but rather hypertrophic. The only thing that makes me wonder Keloid is that it itches a lot and I get sudden sharp stabbing pains in this scar on occasion, but it doesn't appear to be wider or grow outside the original wound area. Here are the definitions of both kids of scars:

The hypertrophic scar
The morphological characteristic of a hypertrophic scar is the excessive formation of the scar, due to an increased number of collagenous fibres. Bulgy, connective tissue raises above the surrounding skin level, however limited to the original wound area. Immature hypertrophic scars show a reddish colouring and tend to be itchy.

The keloid
Keloids often develop long after the wound healing has been concluded. Surplus production of connective tissue fibres is so excessive that it causes the scar to spread widely beyond the original wound area onto healthy skin. Keloids have a reddish colouring and they itch, burn, prickle and can often be painful. Treatment of keloids is rather difficult since surgical removal is often followed by relapse. The disposition towards scar keloids is often genetic and increasing numbers of young women are being affected.

It's not so much that I am bothered by my scars appearance. I just get lost in thought when I see them. I realize I have this constant reminder. When I wear shirts that reveal them I see others staring wondering. I sometimes just want to say "I got in a knife fight." I'm a mere 5'2", 102 pound girl. So that saying is honestly even more hilarious in person. I guess I do dislike how the scars look. I can't even really remember what my chest used to look like. That's OK though. They are a part of me now and though I wouldn't choose to have them I think I can live with having them.


Anonymous said...

i am keloidal. the first time i saw my keloid scar from C section, i felt somewhat sad. gone were the days where the belly was smooth and flatter..

Petula said...

I didn't know keloids could be painful and itchy. Maybe mine was a long time ago and I don't remember. I totally understand what you're saying... you're happy you're here, and the scars are a reminder of everything you've been through. I have a very large scar from getting my gall bladder removed. I almost died because it was gangrened. It took quite a few years to get used to it, but now I often forget it is there. HOWEVER, four children later and the baby belly to show for it, a mysterious nasty rash that left small raised keloid scars and a healing tubaligation scar and I am not too happy with the appearance of my belly!

Sometimes we have to contemplate these physical things we don't necessarily like... I think it's healthy. Oh, by the way, I like the knife fight story! :D

Dwayne said...

Those who go through life and have no scars, go through life and have not lived.

The scars are a sign of strength.

Sandi said...

Yes no matter how our scars come about they always tell a story don't they? I hear a lot that I should wear them proudly. Regardless we do miss how our bodies used to look don't we? And yes though I'll always wear mine proudly they will be a constant reminder of what I went through. Then again, I am glad that it will never truly just be forgotten. It's a huge part of who I am now.

Over The Top Aprons said...

Sandi, I came across your blog in the ClogCatalog and I wanted to read the rest of your story. You are a very brave young woman, and acceptance of where we are is sometimes difficult, but you have proven your courage just by being able to share what you went through and you have the blessing of a beautiful , healthy baby. I wish you continued good health.

TD said...

Many American boys (myself included) have hypertrophic scarring from a certain infant surgery. Scars are a byproduct of being human beings on Planet Earth, and they become part of who we are, for better or worse.

Your scars tell the story of a survivor.

Meaghan said...

im so glad you stop by my blog and commented! Congratulations on being such a strong woman! Reading this post reminds me of a lot of feelings/emotions I have been going through on my journey battling cancer. I've written similar posts about my scars, radiation tattoos etc...its a daily battle even when the cancer is gone!

I hope that we can get to know each other more. I felt so very alone when i went through my battle and just recently have found support through my blogging. Congratulations on having a healthy baby, thats wonderful.

Also, if you would be at all interested in writing a post on my blog I would be honored. I am now following your blog and will put you on my blog roll :)


Janet Gardner said...

I admire your honestly about how you feel about the scars, as you said they are a part of you now and who you have become, a stronger more beautiful person inside and out. I know what you mean about people staring. I work with people with disablities and my mother had a mental illness while I was young but got better when I was older, when I went out in public with my mother and now with the people I work with I just want to shout out something like you were asying, just to point out thier ignorance. Thanks for your constant inspiration to others.
Take Care,

Janet Gardner said...

Hi Sandi,
sorry I misspelled saying, If you can correct it I would appreciate it, if not no big deal