Scar Stories: Part I

I have a scar on the upper left portion of my collar/chest area. It is no longer than maybe an inch or two, but it’s there. If I wear clothes that show this area of my body, it is highly noticeable. Sometimes people ask about it. Sometimes they just stare. One time, while buying tickets for a movie, the guy working the booth said to me, “I’m so sorry for asking, but is that a scar from a port?”

I was taken aback. Not by his question, but by his accuracy. Very few people recognize my scar for what it is. The guesses I’ve received as to its origins are laughable. But this young gentleman was spot on. My scar was indeed caused by a port, or port catheter. It’s a small thumb-sized device with a tiny “tail” of tubing that connects to a vein. It sits underneath the skin and allows for easy blood draws and drug injections.

I told the young man behind the counter that it was indeed a port scar. He smiled and slipped his starch white shirt to the side to reveal a scar that was eerily similar to my own. “Lymphoma,” he stated simply. “I’m a little over 2 years out.” My eyes lit up in an immediate kinship as I instantly supplied back, “Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, I’ve been cancer-free since 2005!”

Meeting someone with a similar life story to me was thrilling. There is something instantaneous that happens when you find someone who understands you. But there are other scars, deeper, more hidden, that leave no mark on the outward appearance, yet are as undeniable as the scar that mars my outward body. I like to think of these as “soul scars.” We all have them, they just vary in cause. But, like me and the movie theater employee, when you find someone who bares a matching soul scar, it is an instant connection and understanding.

What scars are you wearing today? Are they on the outside or the inside? What (or who) caused them? Do you know anyone else who wears a similar scar? What’s your scar story?



5 Responses to “Scar Stories: Part I”

  1. Alicia Butler June 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    I have very visible scars I normally keep hidden, but through the grace of our Lord and Savior I have been healed. By extending forgivness I am free. Now instead of my scars being a painful reminder of dark times in my life, they are visible proof that I am loved! Great blog post Lis!

  2. Lis Burns June 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    YES! I love this, Alicia! I don’t see the scar as a reminder of pain, but rather, as a symbol of victory! I have a whole nother blog coming on that subject!

  3. Christy Cooke June 4, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    I love you. You bless me.


  1. Scar Stories: Part II | | Lis Burns' Blog - June 6, 2014

    […] On Tuesday, I shared the importance of recognizing our scars and realizing how not all of them will be on the outside of our being. Many of us bare invisible scars that are still as real as any of those that mar the physical, outward appearance. I think we tend to view these scars in an incredibly negative light many times. But today, I want to suggest a change in perception. […]

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