Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Surreal

I didn't mean to neglect this blog for so long! In fact, I do have about a half dozen posts in draft form just waiting for me to get back to finishing them. But over the last four weeks, I've been enjoying getting back to "normal".

Until paying over $600 in medical bills and scheduling my first follow-up CT scan abruptly yanked me out of my denial.

For the last month or so I have almost managed to forget that I still have to live with having had cancer. I was exhausted and overwhelmed in the beginning, but got back into the rhythm fairly quick. After a few days of people stopping by and "checking in" to see how I was, everyone went back to just greeting me with a quick "hey" as they rushed about the office. I was grateful when I felt like things were settling down and I had picked up my life right where I left it.

Until someone would mention a song that I didn't recognize - because it came out during the months when I wasn't making my daily commute to/from work while listening to the Top 40.

Until I move in a certain direction and one of the long scars across my abdomen pulls uncomfortably - and I remember that I still have to be careful of my healing skin.

Until my mom talks about being enjoying her spring break from school - and we both remember how we'd planned for her to be back here helping me through my first round of chemo.

Until I caught myself thinking something had "just happened" - and then I realized that was over four months ago.

It is definitely a surreal experience to suddenly have cancer and then just as suddenly be cancer-free. And a few of my friends have even joked that they don't think I really ever had cancer. While I recognize that is mostly an expression of relief that I didn't have to experience months of chemo or radiation, the fact is that I did have cancer. And every time I almost forget it, there is a reminder.

So, while most of the time I am rejoicing in the fact that I am back at work and getting to take short trips to visits friends and family, there are those moments that make me realize that I won't be getting "back to normal". I am having to figure out a "new normal".

My new normal involves having to schedule vacations around CT scans and follow up appointments.

My new normal involves trying not to get frustrated when I work out and discover just how weak my muscles are after two major surgeries.

My new normal involves trying not to take anything for granted, while remembering that I am still human and get to have a bad day.

It is all definitely a surreal experience.

6 comments:

  1. Enjoy your new normal!! I can only imagine how surreal it all is.

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    1. Thank you! I am enjoying most of it! :)

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  2. And as for the bills, make easy to do payment arrangements. The business office will recover from their faint (if you do it before they start sending out dunning letters) and appreciate it. (From a medical social worker doing resourcing in Canada).

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    1. Already done! I had to recovery from my mini-meltdown about the long term expenses that come with staying well first. But the payments are pretty reasonable and the hospitals were all helpful!

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  3. L-O-V-E the honesty in this blog. I've never had cancer...but I can just imagine it's similar to losing a baby early on when hardly anyone knows and life just picks back up...until suddenly you realize..."hey, I should be getting fatter"...I should be finding out the gender...or the worst is...hey I should have a baby in my arms at this time...it's so hard to explain to someone that you're grieving even though your life seems completely full and normal and you have so much to be thankful for. LOVE you! So thankful you're not still struggling through becoming cancer free, but learning how to live as a CANCER SURVIVOR!!

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    1. Love you back friend! Thanks for empathizing so perfectly...

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Your support and prayers are so important to me!