Dealing With the Physical Scars from Breast Cancer Surgery

In Breast Cancer, Recent Posts by Barbara Jacoby

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For just about every breast cancer patient, either a lumpectomy or mastectomy will be a part of your treatment. And whether you opt for breast reconstruction or not, you will have the visible scars in your sights forever. I remember how it was after my lumpectomy, seeing the angry zig-zag reminder on a daily basis and wondering whether it would ever be different. Ultimately, it was, when I had the double mastectomy but had a plastic surgeon there to follow the cancer surgeon’s work. This was because he was inserting expanders for reconstruction and he did all of the repair work after the breast tissue was removed.

I had no idea what a difference I would experience when I was able to look in the mirror and see the change in my own physical scars.Barbara Jacoby

But, with all of the follow up work and procedures needed to complete the reconstruction at that time, I was focused on just about everything else but the scars as I was trying to adjust to my new physical reality that was substantially different than what I had previously known. And when it came to dealing with the physical scars, my plastic surgeon suggested his own product that I couldn’t begin to afford. So ultimately I purchased an over-the-counter product from the local drugstore that did a “sufficient” job at the time as my options were very limited.

Several years later, while doing research for someone regarding questions about what were the latest options in breast reconstruction surgery, I was fortunate enough to meet and ultimately work with Terri Coutee and her private Facebook community at the DiepCJourney Foundation. In doing so, I became very interested when she introduced her group to a product that she had used during her own reconstruction, InviCible scars, and talked about her own successful outcomes with its use.

So I decided to do a bit of my own research and tried InviCible scars myself. I decided to try it not only on old scars but also for the one that I had on my neck from a more recent thyroid surgery and on the brown spots on my face from sun exposure, etc. The positive results made me realize that my physical scars had a much greater impact on my own self image than I had ever imagined. And while I know that the mental scars from any cancer surgery will most likely be a part of a person’s life forever, I had no idea what a difference I would experience when I was able to look in the mirror and see the change in my own physical scars.

I have never been focused on what other people think of me and just figured that I could cover up my physical scars with clothing and makeup and never gave it much more thought. But, when I was able to find something that faded these exterior reminders that I had to see every day of my life, I never imagined that it would make such a big difference for me.

I share this because I wanted to share with every other cancer patient what this has taught me. Just because we have had to deal with physical changes as a result of our treatments that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do whatever we can to minimize them to the best of our abilities. My self perception is what has changed and it reminded me that we should always do those things for ourselves that help us to feel better on a physical level because that will help us with how we feel on a mental level. And the better we feel about ourselves, the better our healing will be. And perhaps the better we treat ourselves, the more likely we will be to treat others the same way, too.