Before I got cancer, I was practically scar free. I had only had my appendix out when I was ten years old and that scar was barely visible. I loved my body the way that it was and the idea of being chopped and changed horrified me at first. I think the shock of everything was a lot to take in all at once. I knew that I was going to have to have a mastectomy but there are so many different types. Also the result can vary from person to person. Ultimately though, if you had a choice to live with scars or die scar free, which would you pick?
I had to accept that my body was going to change forever. I researched other mastectomy operations and found out as much as I possibly could about it. I had some cancer friends who showed my their scars too. The difficulty that I had was that I was the first person in Cork University Hospital to have a skin and nipple sparing mastectomy with immediate LD flap reconstruction. So I could not see the result of any other person who had had the same procedure locally. And also the surgeon's could not tell me with complete certainty the outcome. It was a risk with many complications but I was willing to take the chance. I googled as many images of the operation that I could find on the Internet and I was very happy to proceed.
The scar on my back 2 weeks after the operation.
The scars from the drains 1 week after the operation.
My reconstructed breast 2 weeks after the operation.
I remember when I first saw the scars, they were very raw, fresh and scabby. I thought that they would never heal properly. I had no problem accepting them but I just wondered how much they would heal. Ultimately, it was a small price to pay to be alive.
Over time the scars healed. They are fantastic scars now. I am proud of them. They make me unique and they remind me of what I went through. The surgeon's that I had did a super job. Especially Jason Kelly, my plastic surgeon. The scars have never bothered me. They are a part of me now. And I have shown them to other cancer patients who may be getting the same operation done as me.
My scars make me who I am and they remind me of what I went through. They have healed beautifully and they are a part of me now. I could not imagine life without my cancer scars.
My back 3 weeks after the operation.
The scar at the top of my back 4 weeks after the operation.
The scars from the drains 4 weeks after the operation. They are barely visible.