Obviously, with surgery comes scars. I’m pretty lucky and heal really well– the part of my scars that have remained untouched since March have faded. They’re not invisible, but they’re hardly noticeable. The scars from my swap out last fall are another story. Granted, they are newer. But I think the fact that they’re on top of the old scars (he used the outer portion of the old scars to swap in the implants– didn’t need to use the entire scar) might be making the healing a little tougher. When I went in for a check up last month, I asked about it– they were just pinker and not quite as smooth. Again, I know it’s not a matter of life or death. But I love how sensitive my surgeon is to what I need, what I want. I’m sure there are women who wouldn’t care if their scars were pink and noticeable. He might suggest options for improvement, but I’m sure that many women would just want to be done with doctor’s visits, interventions, reminders of their cancer. And that is perfectly fine.
Me on the other hand? I’m looking at the big picture, the long game. I want to take the time now to do things right so that I’m not unhappy for years and years to come. Thankfully, reconstruction is done by a cosmetic surgeon who knows not just how to do surgery, but how to make sure it looks pretty when everything is done. He suggested I use these silicone sheets for six months (will this ever be over??) and it should help the scars fade and flatten.They’re pretty easy to wear, they just stick on top of the scar and don’t go anywhere. I currently have two pair in rotation. When I get into the shower, I take off one set and put them on the outside of the (included) case. When I get out, I dry off and put on the clean pair from the inside of the case. Then I take a minute or two and wash off the other pair with warm water and a little soap. I stick them on the inside of the case, use a clean towel to absorb most of the moisture, and let them dry before snapping the case shut. They don’t bother me at all– I don’t even know they’re there.
But the real question: do they work? Well, the scientist in me knows never to introduce two new variables at the same time, you’ll never know which one is causing your reaction. But the “just want to get on with things” part of me decided I’d rather be done with everything faster than know exactly how effective these scar sheets are.
The second suggestion my surgeon made was steroids. Ahh, the wonder drug. They gave me boundless energy and kept the nausea at bay when I was on chemo. Apparently when injected directly into a scar, they also help it fade and shrink faster. So in addition to the scar sheets, I’ve had my first of two rounds of steroids (mixed with a little lidocaine) injected just under the skin into my scar. I know it sounds awful, but I only barely felt it on one side, not at all (and I’m not even kidding) on the other. There was a little bruising, but the scars really do look a lot better. I’m sure the biggest part of the improvement I can see is due to the steroids, but the silicone scar sheets really aren’t a problem, so I guess I’ll be wearing them for the next five months or so. Every little bit, right?