Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have been living as a survivor for a while, it’s best to prepare yourself for some scarring. Sometimes these scars will be a thing or even a place, and you may not even realize that this is the makeup of the battles you’ve conquered or those that are waiting in the wind. I often think about everything that I’ve gone through and it’s amazing that I’m in this space, but part of this space is remembering the good with the not-so-good.
After applying some lotion on my hands and looking in the mirror, what popped at me from the other side? Well, that very subtle battle scar of some procedures opened up that memory deck with, “Oh yeah, I remember that”. The one I barely see every day but don’t really notice it as it’s not as recognizable is that good ole stem cell harvest procedure that had tubes poking out of my neck. I can say that was a scary time, and though I’m happy I didn’t need to resort to the stem cell transplant in the final run, the process was still and may always be very daunting.
Another reminder was the swollen feet that I got thanks to those steroids, well, I'm happy to say my feet are back to normal. The most evident is the dried-up veins in the middle of my arm, which are now similar to the Sahara Desert, what used to be a great source of getting blood drawn is now trying due to all of the scar tissues and the many grueling pokes, and IV's over so many years.
Places in time
The prelude to those battle scars includes the smell of antiseptic from my hospital that led to a prick and poke for treatment. I can honestly say I don’t miss it. I miss some of the people on my team but not the trial of the process.
It’s interesting that somewhere in the back of my mind I do reflect on the time when I had to constantly be in a doctor’s office, and maybe it’s trauma, but I do tense up slightly entering into a doctor’s office, whether when going with someone else or not. I always wish for the best outcome, as I know sometimes we go in not knowing what a basic appointment may lead into. I know the words “you have cancer” are not the words many are expecting, but sometimes that is the case. So for me, I do and still tense up subconsciously.
Missing in action
Part of those unfortunate battle scars is the reminder of those few individuals that were let’s just say... missing through it all. It’s great to commune after feeling well and put together aesthetically, but a part of us can’t get over those people that couldn’t cope with what may have been happening with us.
Do you really get over those that choose or chose not to be involved? I don’t know about that one, as it does open up the door, or do you confront them on that, or let it go? Believe it or not, this situation holds true to being a battle scar.
The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it
What type of blood cancer are you or your loved one diagnosed with?