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My husband was recently diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma on his nose (a.k.a. skin cancer)….for the second time. We’d been down this path 12 years ago and it was an extremely painful procedure to remove the cancer and then a long recovery process for the reconstructive surgery. This time around, the cancer was in the exact same spot making the reconstruction much more difficult. We found a highly recommended plastic surgeon and hoped and prayed for the best.
I will admit, when I first saw him in the recovery room, he looked like a monster. My daughter cried at the site of him. I tried to stay strong as I knew that having a scarred face would be devastating for his self-esteem.As the weeks have passed, I am in awe of the miraculous work that the surgeon did. Yes… he has a scar, but it will fade and most importantly, the cancer is gone.

Probably due to all of the stress (and my admitted exercise addiction), I managed to simultaneously aggravate my already deteriorating disc in my lower back. This is nothing new for me as I had back surgery for scoliosis in the 8th grade and have had fused vertebrae and a metal rod in my back ever since. No need to feel bad for me…. As I see it, we all have “stuff” that we have to deal with. My back pain aside, its times like this when I actually remember my scar…the one that is about a foot long and goes all the way down my spine. I used to be embarrassed and mortified that I had such an “imperfection”. But as I’ve gotten older, I realize that although my scar doesn’t define me, it is a part of me and my story. It will not be my excuse for not living life. We all have scars - - some are physical and some are emotional, but they are a part of each and every one of us.
Instead of looking at each scar as a mistake or misfortune, I look at them now as a teaching moment, a sign of survival or overcoming an obstacle. Our scars give us character and have helped us become the person we are today and the one we want to be tomorrow. And in life when you encounter someone who appears to be flaw-less, take a few extra minutes to dig a little deeper, get to know them better, as they may just be needing a good friend to accept them - - scars and all.

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