Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Normal" Life.....

I think if you took a poll of cancer patients, they would tell you the one thing they really really want, is to have a "normal life" or get back to what was their normal life. I know that goes through my mind in lots of different ways, as the topic has so many layers to it. Getting back to normal relates to emotional, physical, spiritual and financial "normals". My biggest wish, hope and dream, would be to continue living life the same way after being diagnosed as the way I did before. Is that ever ever possible though? Even if, say you got the physical back on track, don't you always have the mental there saying......you have cancer. You might be in a remission, but the fact is, once you have cancer, you always have cancer, even if it's just a little bitty thought in the back of your mind. The trick then, as I see it, is to strive, through our limitations, to regain as normal of a life as we can after being diagnosed. I would imagine at certain times throughout the journey, you have one thing that will bother you more than others, depending on where your focus may be at that time. Like if it''s a physical thing, well of course, that can't help but take priority at that time, but maybe down the road when the physical aspects get back on track, maybe the financial aspect will rear it's ugly head. Accepting our diagnosis, is #1 in regaining our normal life back, and then the process of adapting to life with cancer comes next. What helps me, I find, is focusing on the bigger picture. Sheesh, I'm always making plans for the future, because I refuse to allow cancer to run my life. Now I will admit, there are times when cancer DOES run my life, through no fault of my own. Like for example, when you have doctor visits every blessed day of the week! Hard to un-focus on cancer during times like that, as the constant needles and blood and vitals etc., slap you in the face with the reality of the situation. But those days, fortunately aren't the norm. How does that saying go? I may have cancer, but it doesn't have me. It's just that we need to remind ourselves every morning when we wake up that HEY..I survived another day, so what am I gonna do with it? And I don't necessarily mean do something physical with the day, it can be any of the other aspects I talked about. We just have to come to the point of acceptance that says, yep, this is shitty....I have cancer.... but it is not the center of my universe and I will push along as best as I am able. Now I don't mean to sound trite...far from it.......and this is not the easiest thing to do either, especially when physically feeling crappy, but keeping it uppermost in my mind helps me. I still have so many things I still want and need to do, that I have to focus on them and give cancer a back seat in my life as best as I can. I have lots of trips I still need to take, some I am currently planning as we speak, and I want to be around for my girls. At least till I'm an old lady :) I just don't want anyone giving in or giving up, which is WAY easier to do than getting battle armor on and fighting another day, but that's the card we drew, so don't fold your hand....play the cards.

5 comments:

Susan said...

Amen!!! well said. My thoughts exactly..

Susie Hemingway said...

Great 'post' this, bags of strength coming through! Some of your comments also applied to the carers of someone with Cancer -everyday given to caring for a loved one - I also look forward to holidays and travelling again, how I miss the dancing we did, lots of things really ( not for here I think) but you sound most positive and this was for me a most up-beat post, Stay strong gutsy lady...my best to you.

Kala Pohl Studio said...

You are an inspiration dearest Jan. Love you!

Dennis Pyritz, RN said...

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Take care, Dennis

tim's wife said...

Jan,
This is a great post and so true. I used to think my life was so boring and now I would give anything for that back. This "striving for normal"
is right on the mark with so many of us. My husband does a terrific job of putting MM out of his mind and carrying on with his life. It is a gift to me and our daughter that he does and so selfless on his part. You have the right attitude girl and I wish you all the best.
Signed, Olivia's(a softball pitcher) mom(a softball coach.)