Background: I have been trying to figure out how to live as a parent/partner/woman who is always in remission. I have had multiple surgeries from my thyroid cancer, crohns disease and general over ability to produce tissue and tumors.
One of the most noticeable scars runs hip to hip. It’s not straight, though if she were skinnier it would probably be straighter, and the surgeon had told her as much.
“Now afterwards, you won’t be able to stand for a while, at least not upright,” he cautions.
She nods. The large flab of skin across her middle thwacks against her pubic region as she does something as subtle as move her head up and down.
“But it’s the best thing to do, right?” She asks the doctor, and he waves her off.
“It’s the only thing.”
She’s had two babies recently in quick succession. They’d started the damage but not completed it. Inflamed tissue from old diseases had grown in their place, filling the void of motherhood with something sinister.
“Will I be able to pick my kids up?” She asks, twirling her hair around her finger.
“It’ll be a while,” he replies, already having moved on to another chart in front of him.
“Just don’t worry, you’ll be fine, it is a quick surgery, and hey -you’ll look good in jeans again.”
She giggles though she doesn’t find it funny.
He turns back to her. “I’ll just use the c-section scars,” he says.
She lifts up her shirt, and then the heavy belly under it, to reveal the scar, short, brown and jagged, gone over twice, that gave her children.
“Will you still be able to see this?” She asks, running her fingertips over the smooth tight skin.
“Not much,” he replies, “Isn’t that great? It’ll be like one big scar. Nothing new.”
She sinks back on the crinkly paper, inhales the soft bitter powder of three different sizes of latex gloves, coughs once and accepts it.