Sunday, April 15, 2012

Scar Tissue

I have a lot of tattoos. I started young and have accumulated 9 of them, although I wish it was more. Each one of them, for better or for worse, reminds me of a different time in my life. Some of them are beautiful. Some of them I can't believe I actually chose to put on my body. Some I have covered with new ink, and some I want to elaborate on. People who don't love tattoos don't understand why I would subject myself to intense physical pain to put a permanent mark on my body. They don't see the payoff. They have a point - technically, tattoos are scars. Occasionally, when I am in the shower or scratching an itch, I run my fingers over my tattoos, and can often feel tiny ridges of scar tissue. But mostly, when I look at my tattoos, I see the pretty and not the ugly ridges underneath.

KG has had a couple of minor surgeries to remove basal cell and suspected basal cell spots. Some scars are bigger than others, but the one on his face is barely perceptible. This tiny line that marks the spot of something that was harmful that is now gone. But, the one on his belly is considerable. It wasn't as carefully done, so it kept a purple color and rough edges. The scars are different shapes and sizes, all garnered with considerable pain. But, when I look at KG's scars, I am more grateful that they removed the cancerous cells than I am upset about them leaving such a mark.

Unfortunately, KG and I have accumulated a lot of new scars over the last couple of years. These are the kind that don't show on the surface. These scars become visible at specific times. Years of frustration, pain, sadness, and disillusionment caused the ridges to build. They have built up so much that we can't see past them. Over the last week, KG remarked to me that we are more prepared for bad news than good news. Every time the phone rang with excellent news of the retrieval, embryo reports, and the transfer date, our hearts were in our throats. We were certain the news would be bad. We knew we were going to be disappointed again. Scars.

In a few hours, we have our embryo transfer. Once again, I am up before 7am, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Scars.

Do scars ever really disappear? Or do they just become less and less noticeable with time?

We are hoping one of these days we can focus on the pretty and stop running our fingers on the ridges.


  1. No, I don't think our scars, physical or emotional, ever disappear, but I do think they help form who we are. They give us perspective and help us relate to others. It may not always be wanted perspective; there are a few things in life I still wish I hadn't experience, even though the pain is no longer acute, but so it goes.

    Good luck today! I hope you're surprised with another fabulous report and an easy transfer! Thinking of you...

  2. There's an organization I've heard of that turns tattoos and scars with painful memories into beautiful tattoos (the artist does it for free, they design the tattoo with the person who is getting it). The scars don't go away, they are just transformed.

    Good luck today!!!!!!

  3. Today is going to be great! Sometimes things just work out. Be prepared for both outcomes because the positive one is certainly more in your favor this time. Enjoy today and be happy and restful. We are all rooting for you! Your emotional scars are going to heql soon enough.

    Wishing you both all the luck today!

  4. Scars are a tricky thing. They will always remain with us, but the healing process can dictate how visible they will be. I remember following both my tattoos being given very specific instructions for how to care for them while I healed. Similar instructions were given following all my surgeries (thankfully, all minor). The scars I've tended to are not as painful and visually unappealing as the ones I've neglected.

    I know you're scared. Very scared. But I also know that you're not in this alone. I've been hoping and praying for you, wishing for good news. And I will continue to do so, no matter what the outcome. Hugs and love, my friend.

  5. I was just talking to Cristy about how I have grown accustomed to protecting myself and preparing for the worst. Those scars maybe be invisible to some, but they are always in full view to us. I can feel them every day, very real and very scary.
    What you are feeling is natural. It's not something you can control well. You just do what you can to keep a little peace in your heart. From here on out, there is very little you can do.
    I'm thinking all good thoughts for you and can't wait to hear how it goes.

  6. I hope that this time there isn't a scar but instead a bit of happiness.

  7. When you hold your baby (which you will!) you will look back and see only the beauty of your child's smile. All of the scars will be nothing but the stepping stones that you had to take to get to him or her. Sometimes those steps will still have memories but they will be less gloomy. The tears will dry much quicker when you have a warm, wiggly, baby looking deep into your eyes and telling you, with not a single word, that it is was all worth it.

  8. Beautifully written, my friend.

  9. I don't think they will ever disappear, but hopefully like your tattoos there will be something beautiful to show for them. Really good post. Do you find getting a tattoo is healing like I do?

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