How I Learned to Accept my Scars

Photography by Hello Maggy Photography

March 22, 2018 was the day that my life completely changed.  The day that I heard I had cancer.  I never in my wildest dreams expected that I could have cancer at only 32 years old.

Typically, I avoid my “cancerversary” and what it brings.  I pretend it doesn’t exist, ignore it, shut it out, try not to cry, and move on.  This year, I decided that I would celebrate this day and my life with a photo shoot.  The purpose of this photo shoot was to show off my scars and help me to feel more comfortable and secure in this body I have been left with.  Those who know me, know that I have never been interested in attention or being in the spotlight, but as a cancer warrior I feel that I need to share this date and what I have been through.

These last three years I have been through a ridiculous amount of appointments, scans, biopsies, 10 surgeries (one being 11 hours long), hundreds of needle pokes, countless medications, 16 chemotherapy treatments, 18 Herceptin treatments, hospitalizations, a road trip in an ambulance, cancer recurrence scares, breast implant illness, and more than I can possibly explain.  I’ve lost friends and a relationship, gained friends, lost pets, sold a house, bought a house, moved to a new town, returned to work, and cried more tears than I ever thought possible.  I’m living with chronic health issues now and I’m not sure I’ll ever feel “normal” again.  

Now, I reflect back on the last three years which have been absolutely horrible, crazy and yet, a great learning experience. I’m grateful to be here, writing this. I am grateful for all of the things I have learned, and for the incredible warriors I met along the way.

I’m not sharing all of this for anyone to feel sorry for me.  I’m sharing this for myself, so that I can have some closure and move forward.  I’m sharing this so that people can understand who I am.  I’m sharing this so that other warriors don’t feel alone like I do, and maybe I can offer support to those who need it.  

We have all experienced struggles in life, some more than others, but these struggles make us who we are today.  My scars and my journey have added to my character and have changed me forever.  I miss the old Krystie, every single day, but I know that I am so very lucky to be here, scars and all. – Krystie Graham

Click here to read more from Krystie.

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