“A scar simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you”
Tonight when I was changing Kenedi the big red scar on her chest caught my eye. I have seen this scar a thousand times but tonight it caught my eye. As I sat there looking at her scar and looking at her smiling, I got a little choked up. That red mark that’s imprinted in my 9 month old’s chest is far more than just a scar. That scar has a story and although the story has a happy ending, a lot of what that scar represents is pain and suffering.
Kenedi only has 3 scars. She has 2 on her chest from her PICC line and one on her leg from a biopsy. She had a few biopsy spots on the back of her hip (Kendal as well) but those are so small they are unnoticeable. Kendal has a few more scars than Kenedi. She has two on the left side of her chest close to her ribs that are from the NICU. Since she was born at 33 weeks, her lungs weren’t working properly and she unfortunately popped a hole in one of her lungs. A Pneumothorax. This required a chest tube to help pull off the extra air in her rib cage. She eventually was put on an oscillator to help her breathe. Thankfully after 7 long days, she was finally tube free and breathing on her own. She has two more scars on the top of her head. One from a biopsy while we were at Mayo and the other from the original biopsy. The one that started it all. The biopsy that gave us the prelim results that she and her sister had cancer at 3 months old. That scar haunts me. Both girls are beginning to sprout some hair and it’s the CUTEST peach fuzz you ever did see. But that deep gouge of a scar on Kendal’s head is completely barren. Free from any peach fuzz. It’s a constant reminder, that cannot be covered by clothing, about what they have gone through. What we have gone through. In addition to these scars, Kendal also has a scar from her PICC line in her chest.
Teagan isn’t free from scars either. Although she does not have cancer, at one year old she had osteomyelitis that abscessed on the growth plate of her femur. The largest bone in her body that hadn’t come close to growing to it’s full potential at the time. She was at risk for her femur to stop growing with this infection without surgery. She now has about a 4 inch long scar on her left knee. We do not know the exact origin of Teagan’s bone infection but we are told it can come from something as simple as a scratch. After 3 different surgeries and a PICC line for 6 weeks, she is (still) infection free. We are grateful that her femur continues to grow properly and after another 2 years of check-ups, she will be free and clear from her ordeal.
The scars I personally wear from each of these ordeals, although are not visible, are quite severe. I feel as though my soul has been seared with scars. Each time pain was inflicted upon one of my littles. Each time I agreed for them to feel pain in order to save their life. Each time I watched from the sidelines as they were held down for a procedure. Each time I assisted in holding them down for a procedure. Each time blood was drawn. Each time anesthesia was given. Each time chemo was given. Each time they puked from treatment. Each time they cried because they were hungry before surgery. Each time I waited days for results that would decide the fate of my girls’ future. Each one of these times I was given an internal scar. You would think that by this point I would be so scared up that I if you could see these scars on the outside, I as a person, may be unrecognizable. But that’s the beauty in scars, isn’t it? They make us who we are. They give us character and show our strength. Our weaknesses. They show our story and explain our journey. They are teaching tools of what to do and what not to do. They make us unique. They make us beautiful.
I know scars are a part of life, and all 3 of my beauties have scars that show the difficulties they have faced. These scars are reminders of how resilient they are. How strong we all are. I will be reminded every day by the scars of where the girls have been, but they will not dictate where they will go.
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