Not Scarred by My Cancer Scar

When fighting cancer you laugh  because you don’t want to cry.

A few weeks before my second papillary thyroid cancer surgery, my 13-year-old son, Jon, was way more excited than me.

“Yea, cool, mom, so are ya’ nervous? Like they’re going to go in there and slash you open and look for the cancer!”

I bit my tongue for about five seconds then calmly informed him that I was his mom, I loved him, and I didn’t take offense, but warned him against using the term “slashing” to other cancer/surgery patients.


Scott and Mindy at Hospital pm

My husband, Scott, was a little more dramatic when I first removed the cool white foam neck guard and dared look at the 6 1/2 inch scar that chokered half way around my neck and up to my right ear.


Mindy Right pm

Mindy Left pm



“Wow, you look like you got ripped
open with a chain-saw!”




When we discussed the near-certain probability of future surgeries he created a clever solution.

“Hey, they should have just put in a zipper, so instead of another surgery, we could just zip it open, take out the cancer and zip it back shut.”

Why didn’t my doctor think of that?

Another comment came during coffee break at church.

My always-laughing friend, Betty, admired my scar and said, “They really sliced you open this time!”

It was fair game.

When she came to church with a band-aid  covering the spot where they removed skin cancer on her nose I’d asked if she cut herself shaving.

I guess we’re even.


Beka and scissors pm

It took my 6-year old daughter, Rebekah, awhile to get used to the scar. After a few days she was ready to join in the laughter.

“You know what it looks like Mom? Let me show you!”

She dug around in a drawer and came back triumphantly. She asked  if the doctor used scissors to open up my neck. We must not have satisfied her curiosity, because a few days  later she questioned us further.

“Did they use a plastic knife or a sharp knife?”

I needed clarification. “Do you mean when they cut me open for surgery?”


Daddy decided to add his expert commentary, because Daddies Know Everything. “They used a sharp knife.”

Beka asked, “Oh, a sharp plastic knife?”

I said, “No, a sharp metal knife. It is called a scalpel. It’s sharp so it doesn’t hurt. They use it once and throw it away.”

“Oh.” I think she liked her tool choice better.

I’m thankful we’ve communicated about something that is horrible and scary – cancer. Teasing and joking are acceptable methods of dealing with stress, and I’m thankful my kids and husband  felt comfortable enough to tease me.

That is normal for us.

Normal feels good.

The scar doesn’t bother me. I don’t cover it with a scarf, I don’t cover it with makeup.   Maybe because I’m happily married and my husband doesn’t care. Maybe because I am getting wrinkled and gray and one more flaw can’t make that much of a difference. It also helps that at 5 foot 2 inches, I’m shorter than most people and they look down on me and don’t  see my neck.

Mindy with Scar pm

My scar is a symbol of overcoming.


The Lord has been my strength and my song, and many prayers have padded the rocky road with peace and comfort. A nurse told me to wear my scar proudly, because I was alive.

On the Lighter Side of the Scar

TweetGod will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars!


Awhile back this wall-hanging in an antique store was an inspiration – not enough to buy it, just enough to photograph it. I should have bought it. I now consider it spiritual foreshadowing as the Lord prepared me for another setback.

It was two weeks prior to hearing that despite this successful surgery, my cancer returned a third time.

The Lord was preparing my heart…

…and looking over my scar.


Galatians 6:17

From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

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7 Responses to Not Scarred by My Cancer Scar

  1. ~ Tandis ~ May 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    (swallowing the little lump in my throat)Mindy, you are a treasure to the Lord Jesus. Such a testimony to His faithful love and care. Chin up 🙂 and wear that scar proudly!

  2. Bernie May 18, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    Keeping you in my heart and prayers…:-)Hugs

  3. Hoppy May 18, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    You are so Beautiful Mindy! You have always delighted and inspired me. A very good example of what kind of mother and servant of the Lord I wish to be some day. And I am comforted to know that in all the scary situations in life you have willingly obeyed and worshiped God. Such a testimony to me, I will forever admire you.

  4. lisasmith May 25, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    I just love the saying Mindy… I probably would've bought the framed art!!The Lord keeps showing me that scars are the proof that He lives! I am proud and deeply humbled to carry scars like my Jesus. love, lisa

  5. Bevy June 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Mindy, You encourage me so much…I love and appreciate your look on life with your recent surgery and it shows how much at peace you are with your Maker. 😉 You certainly are a Shining Light, a reflection of HIS presence in your life.Thanks for your faithful, encourgaging comments from time to time, on my blog. I've looked for an email address to respond at length – but don't see one. That's okay. I just want you to know that I'm really blessed to "get" to know you better – through this avenue of blogland.I was reading your recent posts (didnt' comment), on your other blog, with your girls Father's Day posts… So precious.You have a beautiful family, Mindy. You are blessed.

  6. Delores Topliff November 1, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    Great post here and another trophy of victory, maturity, and moving forward in strength. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mindy Peltier November 1, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

      Delores, thanks for visiting and reading today. I am so blessed to know you and appreciate you being a part of my life and providing a role model of what moving forward in strength looks like. Many blessings to you.

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