I have scars. I have a scar on my nose from when I went face first into a glass top coffee table as a toddler. I have a scar on my arm from a silly fight on the school bus in elementary school. There are probably more that I’m not even thinking of. They are all either in spots that are easily concealed or that I can’t physically see.
But there’s one scar that I can’t avoid. Its the scar on the back of my hand from my melanoma excision. Its been almost 8 months since the surgery and the scar is still red and quite visible. I’ve browsed the drugstore and looked up natural, alternative remedies to minimize it but ultimately walk away with an “eh, I’ll worry about it later”.
Just writing about this scar is somewhat awkward for me. In terms of cancer, mine barely counts. It was classified as stage 0, caught before it spread any further than that one little mole. So who am I to talk like I survived some battle with cancer?
But that’s not what this scar represents.
When I look at my hand, I see the possibility of a completely different outcome. I feel lucky, grateful, relieved. Had I not seen my dermatologist that day, that melanoma most likely would have continued to spread and the nightmare might not have been over with a simple, outpatient procedure.
My scar speaks to the value of early detection and the importance of taking care of yourself. Do self-exams, see your doctor regularly, know your risk factors, be aware of your body so you know when something’s not right.
What do your scars say? Do they tell a story? Teach a lesson? Make you laugh or cry?