The Thing About New Normals

When you’re diagnosed with cancer – or any serious illness, I’m sure – you have to get used to a lot of things. And most of them are things nobody should ever have to get used to.

But life doesn’t always work out that way.

It’s been seven months since I was diagnosed, but I really started feeling sick about a year ago, long before I knew what was wrong with me. Looking back, I don’t think there was a day since then that I’ve felt “well” as we all typically use the word. I’ve had to accept that what’s well for me and what’s well for most other people… just aren’t the same anymore.

I’ve had to accept that IV infusions are now just part of my routine. I’ve had to accept that every two weeks I’ll have to go in for chemo, and that whether there are side effects or no, I’ll still feel like crap for a few days afterward. I’ve had to accept that my energy isn’t quite the renewable resource it used to be, or at least that it takes a little longer for me to recover it. I’ve had to accept that my bad days will likely be really bad.

I don’t post about those, because I don’t think anybody wants to read about my vomiting episodes, or the days when I’m just feeling really sorry for myself. But I have those episodes and those days, and they’re just kinda part of the new normal for me now.

I really hate that. I hate that I’ve just accepted all this stuff as part and parcel of Life With Cancer. I hate that I have to write it off as what I have to go through to get better. I hate that I can’t just get up and be the old Lee again.

I miss the old Lee.

But this is what life is now. And I’m doing the best I can to live it.

But I can’t do it alone. I need help. I need support. And I’m so grateful to all of you for being there to provide it, in presence or in spirit. You make the good days better, and the bad days less bad. Sometimes that little bit makes all the difference.

And in this new normal, sometimes that’s enough.

Thank you.

One thought on “The Thing About New Normals

  1. Darrell Pittman says:

    Lee, I know that in our “gender roles” based society, this may not be socially acceptable but … after reading this post, all I wanted to do was to hug you. I don’t know what to say but I do know what I feel. So at this moment, I just want to hug you in silence and rest in the quiet. I know that would not change your situation but it IS what I feel. I don’t even know if it makes sense.

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