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body image

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

Has anyone on these boards had plastic surgery after cancer to undo what the surgeons did? If so did it help? I'm not coping with my scars at all or the daily reminders I'm still having from colon cancer. I'm still very bitter about this. Don't tell me to focus on what I have to be thankful for. I just want to look at myself in the mirror and not see my scars and not to be reminded and have pain every time I'm in the bathroom from my takedown.

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

Dear Tiny One,
I, too, have many scars from 4 separate surgeries; the last one being a complete APR with colostomy. It was painful, sometimes humiliating and life-saving. You may not want to hear this but, you have to practice looking for the good in all of this. If not, you will be swallowed up by despair and what was all of that bravery and fighting for.
I really don't believe there is a single product or procedure that can restore your body to it's former self. So many of us talk about our new normal; I think that includes our body image as well.I'm not crazy about what I see in the mirror, either; I just concentrate on the smile and the attitude and it makes coming to terms with my scars much more bearable.
I hope this helps you in some way; we are all left with deficits when it comes to cancer. That just makes it all the more necessary to find new assets.Mine are a deeper love of life, family and friends. My husband tells me I am more beautiful now than I ever was; I know he means it.
We cannot have the things we lost back again; we can, however, find more gifts in life that more than make up for those losses. I hope you find those things and revel in them.

Peace to you,
Hollyberry

SIRENAF42's picture
SIRENAF42
Posts: 204
Joined: Oct 2008

I have scars from two surgeries for sinus cancer and radiation treatments to the face.... and they are on my face. I cant hide them with clothes or make up, they are there and will always be. When I twitch, sneeze or blow my nose, they hurt. Do I wish they were gone, every darn day. I wish everyday that I didnt have them, or I could find a way to hide them. But I cant and I finally accepted it (this after a really bad makeup someone recommended, that made me look like a maniquin). People see them everytime they look at me, some say "what happened" others just kinda stare. Im a divorced mother of two, I just knew Id be single for the rest of my life as I felt scarred and ugly. After I finished my pity party for one.. I decided that it is who I have become and.... you know what - I just really dont care that they are there anymore.

I love who I have become, not perfect, but still beautiful. I will keep my scars and continue to fight the cancer.

Your scars are the new you, embrace them. See a dr for the pain, maybe he can suggest some creams or something to help you.

Hugs!

Sirena - Esthesionueroblastoma Survivor of 7 months :)

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

tiny,

I've had both a silicone testicular implant and abdominal liposuction and have been happy with both decisions. My plastic surgeon is also a personal hero since his remaining in practice following own diagnosis and treatment for pancreatic cancer.

http://healthandappearance.blogspot.com/2009/01/patrick-swayze-is-hero.html

(Live strong, Dr. Lack!)

Anything that makes YOU feel better is very much "on the table" in terms of being worthy of consideration. Go for it!

Love and Courage!

Rick

blueroses's picture
blueroses
Posts: 527
Joined: Jul 2008

I have a couple of scars from my surgeries and I have some irregularity in my eyes as well. It appears one eye is sunken back a bit further than the other one but sometimes it isn't noticable at all - depends I think if I have or haven't had enough rest. I would love to have that fixed surgically but they want to call it elected plastic surgery and I would have to pay big bucks for it.

This issue of plastic surgery after cancer treatment is a sore spot with me because I think that it should automatically follow. If the patient wants the altered area corrected then it should be done but that's often not what happens. I have had doctors tell me that there is no difference between my eye size when a nurse in the room confirms she sees it too. Just another one of the stories of invalidation. There is so much more that should be done for cancer survivors to help them readjust to society after going through the harshness of some treatments. Cancer rehab would help alot of people. Hope today is a good one for you tiny one. Blessings, Blueroses.

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I had open abdominal surgery for uterine cancer in early October and they really opened me up like a sandwich to get the 25 lymph nodes they removed, cutting from the public bone then around my belly button and on up. I'm thinking that I'll treat myself to some corrective plastic surgery if I make it two yeats without a recurrance. I'd hate to have cosmetic work done, and then have to have more scarring surgery again later. And I figure if I wait 2 years, I'll be 58 then, and hopefully not vain anymore about my appearance, or the scar will have faded so much that it no longer bothers me. (It's not like I wear a bikini anymore!)

Tiny One: In June I will be having the internal radiation that I imagine is similar to what you had. (I am currently mid-way through 28 rounds of external pelvic radiation.) If this causes me any sexual problems later, I will certainly have THAT reconstructive surgery done. If that is what you are considering, you have my strong support for usre.

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I had external radiation not internal radiation. What's involved with internal radiation? Did they say how much discomfort is involved with this? I'm not considering reconstructive surgery at this time. I'm interested in how much discomfort is involved in this. I imagine for abdominal surgery it would not be covered by insurance. It would sure make alot of people feel good.

maya00i's picture
maya00i
Posts: 43
Joined: Jun 2009

I am like hollyberry I have had two hernia surgeries,colostomy and reversal due to a perforated colon,hysterectomy,mastectomy. They removed my belly button and did a tummy tuck. Believe me the tummy tuck did nothing for me. When I look at TV and see what they did for Kate on Jon and Kate plus eight, I just cringe and say now why didn't I turn out like that.. I know about wanting to take mirrors down. I am the same person inside if noone likes me for what I am so be it. I did not have reconstructive surgery for my breaat.I figured I went through enough.

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