When we put the call out for scar stories in conjunction with National Bikini Day we were completely overwhelmed with the response we got from our two beautiful teal sisters. Below is Relonda's story, this is the second in our summer scar series, so if you haven't read our first follow the link below!
Teal Diva : Tell us a little about yourself and your scar journey.
Relonda : Hello my name is Relonda and I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer on November 5, 2013, two days before my 50th birthday. The infamous scars have been a journey of their own. Everyday since my March 31, 2014 surgery, I have avoided showing my scars to anyone. Many days, I avoid looking at them and when I do look some days I cry. It’s a bittersweet reminder that I haven’t allowed anyone to see not even my husband. I kept them hidden until now. Today, I see power in my scars. Power to overcome a cancer diagnosis. Power to embrace the beauty of my scars. Power to overcome the pain endured during the fight. Power to be resilient post-cancer. Power to love myself. Power in any battles. Power in knowing I beat the hell out of Ovarian Cancer.
Teal Diva : Was it easy to embrace your scar?
Relonda : In transparency, it was not easy to embrace my scars. Until this project, I had not embraced my scars. It has been hard to look at although I see them everyday. It’s a constant reminder that I battled cancer. When I get out the shower, I glance at my scars and tell myself, wow, you really fought cancer.
Teal Diva : How have you embraced your scar?
Relonda : Since agreeing to participate in this project, I have embraced my scars. It’s been 8 years and in the last month, I see my scars in a new light. I’ve eliminated feeling sad about my scars. I see them as a reminder that I fought and beat Ovarian Cancer. My scars are a reminder that I am a Teal Testimony. A reminder that these battle wounds are proof of a battle won.
Teal Diva : What would you say to other cancer survivors to encourage them to embrace their scars?
Relonda : I would like other cancer survivors to embrace their scars early on. See them as signs of their strength, resilience and their fight.
Teal Diva : Does your scar encourage you in anyway?
Relonda : My scars encourage me to keep thriving in my survivorship.
Teal Diva : Any advice for being body positive post-surgery?
Relonda : When we look at our bodies, we want the “perfect” body image one that is defined by what society sets a standard for. But what is the “perfect” body image? There is no “perfect” body image. We have to accept our bodies and all the imperfections. Imperfections are beautiful and perfect in their own way. We have to embrace our uniqueness and speak positive about the body we were blessed to have. It’s learning to accept the beauty in our bodies. To give ourselves positive affirmations about our bodies. I do this every morning and since this project, I have began adding affirmations about my scars. I repeat several times, “I love my scars! I embrace my scars! My scars are my superpower!!” I also say, “Imperfections are simply perfections with a twist” - Relonda
Teal Diva : Anything else you’d like to share with our teal sisterhood?
Relonda : Doing this project took me completely out of my comfort zone. A swimsuit photo about something I’ve avoided for 8 years. I’ve been able to look everyday without getting sad. I have been able to conquer the sadness and replace it with acceptance. I now feel empowered and see the scars as a strength.
You can connect with Rolanda on her socials, give her a follow and some love for truly being a teal warrior!
Facebook: R Hancock McGhee Msw