I was reading the results of a CT scan I had a few weeks ago to make sure my PE from September had cleared. It mentioned that there was scarring on the outer lobe of my left lung (or something like that). This makes sense because that is the side that went through radiation, basically where the large tumor was located. It got me thinking about all of the other scars that I have amassed throughout my life. On a deeper level it really got me thinking about the scars that aren’t visable.
Emotionally, I’m left with the scars of having my old life removed with the words you have cancer. I finally had found a job within my new career field, I thought maybe I would finally be able to move out on my own again. Then September 15, 2016 cancer went ahead and pissed in the punch. Suddenly, I worried about dying, what the future held and if I would be okay. And the truth is I’m still dealing with the emotional scars of losing the hopes and dreams before I had cancer because some of them now just seem impossible. I wonder if I’ll ever have a career or if it will always be more of a job because of all the ground that I feel like I’ve lost because of dealing with cancer. I wonder if I’ll ever have my own house and be on my own again because cancer and life after cancer is expensive.
Then there are mental scars. My mental scars are based in emotion but they feel different than emotional scars. Every time I have to get some sort of imaging or ultrasound done I have that anxiety that something is going to be found. The scanxiety used to be highly emotional but now it is more of an association that the imaging orders create this fear, it’s not something felt deep inside it is just the mental response to getting that piece of paper that says orders. (I think there’s some sort of technical term for this but my psychology class was at 8am and I don’t remember anything.)
The physical, emotional, and mental scarring that comes with cancer is such a mind fuck (I can’t think of a term). I’m glad that no one told me about this in the beginning. I’m also really thankful to mental health professionals that are helping to sort through all of these scars.