Pink Post! *Thanks to CSB for the great photo!
I have lots of scars on my body. I have scars from 2 c-sections, carpal tunnel surgery, torn meniscus (knee) surgery, one on my face from childhood, a scar from my port insertion (for chemotherapy), scars across the backs of my thighs where tissue was harvested to make my newest set of breasts and of course, there’s a plethora of criss-crossing RR track-like scars across my breasts and under my arms. The scars have never fully gone away in 10+ years. They are still noticeable and remind me daily of what I’ve endured. They are my scars of honor shall we say ~ they show the 14 surgeries I have endured in order to stand before you. (Actually sit before you, but you know what I mean!)
The scars that don’t show on my body are there as well ~ the ones that run deeper than the skin that holds my flesh together to my bones. Those are the ones that are harder to talk about ~ the ones that are hidden under scabs which have grown over the festering sadness which once accompanied my painful cancer journey. For the most part, I have picked away at the scabs, allowing a fresh look at life and the healing that goes along with talking about my journey through breast cancer that has made them much smaller for the most part ~ almost undetectable to others at this point in my life.
Because if you met me on the street, you wouldn’t know what I had endured in my life. You may meet me and think that I have a blessed life (which I most certainly do and for which I am eternally grateful), but you wouldn’t know of the suffering, the baldness, the buckets of tears which I have cried. You wouldn’t know of the pain, both physical and mental and emotional trauma which has plagued me for years. You would hopefully see a happy woman who seems carefree because that’s who I want to be.
I don’t hide my breast cancer past if I think I can help someone, but I don’t go around telling everyone about it either. It’s a part of me that I share when necessary, but there are plenty of people who know me who have no idea of what I’ve endured. They don’t know that behind my smile sometimes lurks a few tears.
So the next time you meet a stranger on the street or a casual friend, I want you remember that we all have hidden scars that can also be called experience. Your experiences shape your presence in this lifetime. Perhaps you weren’t able to control your experiences, but you can surely control your present moment, your present thought and your present attitude also known as your presence.
Greet the day with gratitude that you are here and present in this moment! Greet others with that same beautiful smile that shines warmth, love and enjoyment in living. Sometimes you may find that it’s just too difficult to be that way ~ and when that happens, remember you’ve got a friend in me. I”ll lend you my smile, I”ll hold your hand and I’ll sit with you for awhile, lending you my strength until you can take another baby step forward for yourself for together we can make it better.