Thursday, May 9, 2013

Invisible Scars

I created a video on my physical/visible scars a few weeks ago for is a website for blogs, video posts, stories, products, clothing, and great stuff!  The RockScarLove logo and Scars R Sexy clothing wear provide a new strength for those who bear the scars of life, both visible and invisible.

Invisible scars are well hidden, not often seen, but most definitely felt.

I wanted to post my thoughts on the topic of invisible scars, and the darkness of hovering clouds for the cancer survivor.  Throughout this document the words "cancer survivor" are loosely used, as cancer survivors are not always quite as fortunate as the words imply.  Yes, their cancer is in remission, and that is incredibly wonderful!  However, as time passes, they find new medical issues developing, caused by the very same treatments that killed the cancer, initially saving their lives.  So with the disease in remission and new health issues erupting, the survivor continues to spin, fearful of what may come next.

Our visible scars are reminders of each step and path along the way of disease or injury.  The invisible scars run much deeper.  Even when the physical scar starts to fade in color and blend in with surrounding skin, the invisible scar residing just below it continues to prevail.

For me, going through major health events, resulted in a darkness like no other.  The darkness hovers, and follows me around like Charlie Brown's friend PigPen's cloud of dirt.  This pesky dark cloud of dirt doesn’t magically go away, or even diminish.  It’s a lifetime event.  Actually, it grows with each late-effect side-effect issue discovered.  I may be tricked into thinking it has finally subsided, but its still there, poised and ready to strike at any moment in some new unknown way.  As many times as I try to rid myself of the cloud, I know I can't.  Nor should I.  As that would be a denial I can't afford to risk.   If I ignore the cloud, I may deny identifying symptoms of another late-effect side-effect.

I will say, the invisible scars can show themselves in unkind outward ways.  They are indeed ugly and evil on their own.  Holding inside the frustrations of the incredible physical changes I’ve encountered over the past 7 years takes a toll emotionally and messes with my psyche.  Occasionally, the frustration pours out, like a burst of bad energy…. I think my head spins around, fire blows out of my nose, and words spoken may not be the kindest.  The “edit” feature between thought and outside voice is turned off.  Sleeping has become a nightmare without remembering the dream.  I thrash around, eventually waking myself, or getting a shove (because a tap on the shoulder won’t do it) to wake me to stop.  When I awake from these nightmares, I have absolutely no recollection of a dream of any kind – good or bad.  It’s the darkness of the cloud that never gives my pea brain a rest. 

We all definitely have our day to day issues to deal with.  Work, the car, the kids, the spouse, the toilet overflowed, the dog ate the cat, etc.  A cancer survivor has those plus these invisible scars weighing them down.  So, if you know a survivor and they seem to be off their game, it’s probably that sneaky darkness hovering about that needs a good strong wind to push it away.... Understand the added pressures of a survivor’s invisible scars, and simply give them a big heartfelt sincere hug.  It is one of the best and easiest ways to provide comfort.  Pass it forward.

The Live Sincerely Project is something I fell in love with.  It has a simple message to include in your every day life.... no matter how wonderful or shitty you may be feeling.  -

The Live Sincerely Project states 
"Life is unfair and scary and hard and confusing and painful and fleeting and amazing and connecting and fun and wonderful and beautiful.  If there is one thing to learn from our own mortality, it’s how important it is to live sincerely."  

The Live Sincerely Project, RockScarLove and others like it, help to distract the darkness. 

My friends and family are the best relief from the darkness.  They are always part of the life that is my one and only… live it, embrace it, move forward.  And on those fun gatherings when I become the drunk belligerent girl, they still love me!  What more could I ever want or need!

If this darkness ever comes knocking at your door, feel free to call on me.... I can provide a big Cindy hug that will squeeze that mother fucking dark cloud into a  stupor, and provide some inner peace, no matter how short termed it may be.  Those little times of relief, add up to big moments of good memories to fall back on.

A big thank you to and!! 

An even BIGGER THANK YOU to my friends and family who (without even knowing it) take this hot mess of a thing called my life, and make it so very worth living each and every day…..

Stay Strong..... take time to enjoy that elusive inner peace.


  1. Cindy,

    I just love the way you share your story, your life and how freely you love those who come into you life!

    I think the invisible scars are the most difficult to handle b/c they are just that: invisible to everyone on the outside. We tend to think if people look ok on the outside, then for sure they've got it all together on the inside, ha! I know I don't.

    Thanks so much for you friendship; I am loving getting to know you and Christy!

    Stay strong and when you need someone to hold you up know that we are all here for you. That is, of course, assuming I can get RockScarLove in the car with me again.


  2. Wow. It's as if you crawled inside my head and read my thoughts, then peered into my heart and saw the despair of the post-cancer blackness written there. This is so right on. Searching for that elusive inner peace.

  3. Cindy, I found your blog through Pinkunderbelly. You are right on about the invisible scars. So many of us can identify, and we are all here for each other. Thanks for your eloquent post. xo

  4. Pinkunderbelly, thank you for your kind words, and reporting in your blog!! It is a darkness we carry.... Like a shadow :)

  5. Thank you Jan Hasak! Indeed we are here for each other.... The Internet is a wonderful tool! You don't happen to be from the Reading, PA area do you? It's a name from my past that you share, if not. :)