Thursday, June 9, 2011

Meaty is looking really meaty

I have decided to write an update on Meaty since he has not received any publicity recently. Many of you may know Meaty as my thyroidectomy scar. On April 15th, I posted His Name is Meaty which showed photographs of his healing and transition each week from January to April however I know that he continues to heal. In fact, I was told that it will take up to two years for Meaty to heal completely. Since my last update, Meaty continues to make the transition. My biggest fear was that Meaty would begin to keloid. If you are black, brown, or olive complected, you probably already know what a keloid is, have one, or have someone in your family with one. If you are white, you may already know because your friends of colour may have complained about them or you might be one of the rare persons to have one.

According to wikipedia:

Keloids are firm, rubbery lesions or shiny, fibrous nodules, and can vary from pink to flesh-coloured or red to dark brown in colour. A keloid scar is benign, non-contagious, and sometimes accompanied by severe itchiness and pain, and changes in texture. In severe cases, it can affect movement of skin.

Now doesn't that sound spectacular.

I have been quite concerned before my surgery that my scar would form a keloid. My sister in New York gave me a list of treatments that her great dermatologist gave her to give to me. I also have tried to use naturopathic remedies and creams for the scar as well as Vitamin E. Then I began to use a product called ScarGel that contains silicone over the last two months. Silicone is supposed to reduce a scar. Also with my surgeons recommendation, I began to massage the scar by stroking my finger along my skin repeatedly. After the Thyroid Cancer Patient's Forum, I heard a number of patients say that they were pleased with Bio Oil for the reduction of their scars. (A number of thyroidectomy patients on other sites also recommend Bio Oil.) So I have been using Bio Oil this week. I know one person so far who has used the steroid injection and it helped reduce her scar.

So you know when they say if you focus on something too much you only magnify it, I wonder if that is what happened to Meaty?

I saw my surgeon today and he agrees that Meaty is keloiding so he has suggested a series of monthly injections of a steroid which are to shrink it. He said I would need a numbing cream before the injection so it would not be so painful. There is also a small risk of hyperpigmentation (lightening the skin in the area of the scar).

I have noticed a few different ways that others' thyroidectomy scars have healed. I notice on many white people that the scar tends to be a pale thin line. On many Black people, like my mother, the scar is slightly thicker and the same colour tone as the surrounding skin. I have also seen scars heal differently depending on whether someone has had a second operation and/or neck dissection.

I don't mind if my scar is visible, I just don't wish it to be soooo noticeable. I also don't hide my scar especially when I know I am going to be around other cancer patients or survivors. (And I don't want to always have to cover up my scar.) At times I will wear a scarf or sunscreen on it if it is very sunny or if I wish to dress up or if I am meeting new people.

Occasionally, if I am on the street or talking to a stranger, I will see their eyes drift slightly down and I think they are looking at the scar. I wonder what they are thinking. 'Hmmm... I wonder if she was in a knife fight?' 'I wonder if she was stabbed in her throat?' 'Poor thing. So pretty, if it weren't for that scar.' Maybe this is all in my head. I am actually proud of my scar but I would much rather if they asked about it out loud instead of the look.

I added a clip of supermodel/actress Sofia Vergara talking about her thyroid cancer I could not find the interview in which she mentioned that there is a lot of things you can do for the scar these days. I notice that in none of her photos is her scar showing so whatever she used must be working. (Then of course there are the camera tricks and photoshop.)

Nevertheless, if anyone has ever had the steroid injections for their scar, please let me know how it went for you. You can e-mail me at:

1 comment:

Angie B said...

Nadia, My sister's scars are all keloids, from scrapes to mole removals. There have been some awful ones, but the have a terrific tendency to subside dramatically within a few years on their own. Good luck, and the last thing I'd think was a knife fight! Your attacker would need pretty good control to get something so straight and clean!