31 Letters in 31 Days: Letter 16 – Dear Scar

Dear Scar (The one at the bottom of my back.)

Apparently, the mole that was once in your place had always been there, according to mum, dad and the dermatologist. But when hypochondria, the nasty bitch, took hold of me, I acted as if I had never seen said mole before. Of course I had though. I had noticed it but had never thought anything about it. I hadn’t needed to, until I learnt about cancer and how moles can be the beginnings of melanoma i.e. skin cancer. Before that though, I thought I had a brain tumour, cervical cancer, leukaemia, breast cancer and numerous other extremely dangerous or terminal illnesses. The day I had the mole removed was odd. I left the house and went to the hospital hungry and was made to put on one of those silly paper apron things. I was operated on by a tall, Nigerian man, with the most beautiful blue black skin I had ever seen. You started out as a tug, as the skin was pulled – over the place where the mole was, before it had been scooped out – and stitched together again. The mole went away in a petri dish to be examined for any abnormalities while I walked slowly home. The mole went away physically, but emotionally, it was still very much with me, as I waited, plagued by anxieties and nightmares, for a fortnight, to hear news back of positive or negative results. The result was negative. The mole was benign. It was a few days before you stopped hurting and a few weeks before I could look at you, big, silvery and smooth. You scared me at first, but over time, your size has reduced and hypochondria has fucked off to mess around with another poor sod.

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