How to find the "old" normal/ "new" normal?

survivor51
survivor51 Member Posts: 276
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I posted earlier because I was really down and the sisterhood surrounded me. It seems that many of us have the exact feeling and miss the old normal and how to find the new normal. The more I have prayed these past few days and spent time reflecting, I came up with this. I hope who ever reads this, take away what you personally need and add your own thoughts. If you want to share your thoughts, please do because we, "the sisterhood", all understand and are at different levels on the roller coaster of this cancer. If you are an English teacher, please forgive the grammar errors.

We are born and go from baby to school age. What was normal in those years is not the same and we change to meet the new challenges of grammar, middle, and high school. As we graduate from high school we head to the work force or college or both and find our old selves changing into adulthood. The normal is changing that we use to know and feel about our emotional self, our physical self, and even how we responded to men. We became comfortable in our skin as an adult and as we are having...did have...didn't have....children. I make this comments because of all those sisters that are much younger than myself and the few that older than me. We grew into the mother, sister, friend that we knew. Now comes cancer, some have a lumpectomy, some mastectomy(s), some radiation, some chemo, some reconstruction, some not, some surgery but no need for chemo, and the list goes on. Some have a support system and some the only support is here, some end in divorce, some dating, some alone, and the list goes on. This is where we lost our adult normal. Once cancer came, our life changed in many ways and yet some is the same. If we were able to make all the "changes" in our normal since birth, why is it so hard that we are having difficulty being comfortable in our own skin, our now emotional self, our now physical self. I do not know how to find the "old" normal because it was constantly changing asI grew. Our innocence of safety is gone but we have survived and with or without hair, our eyes, nose, mouth is the same yet we feel so emotionally and physically different. I can't find my "old" normal like I couldn't find the "normal" I was when I was younger. I look to myself, my friends, my family, my "sisterhood" for answers. I don't know the "new" normal for me but all this reflecting has made me realize how strong I am to have gone through all the "normals" in my long life time. Yesterday's normal is not going to be tomorrow's normal. I do pray to get past the feeling of being lost as well as angry and there are many times I do not feel lost but feel great. I do know that the love of all of you, my husband that I am most thankful, my two adult sons, and all my support friends will help me find a path that is more straight and less bumpy. Right now I feel much stronger than the other day. Take my words and use them or not. Just take time to reflect. You all have my spiritual hugs and my love for each of you. Angela

Comments

  • fauxma
    fauxma Member Posts: 3,577 Member
    WOW
    All I can say is WOW that was so true and beautifully expressed.
    Stef
  • zahalene
    zahalene Member Posts: 670
    Amazing insights Angela
    I often wonder why we try so hard to find and hold onto a 'normal' anyway.
    Life is all about diversity and change. True, some changes are easier to endure and accept than others, and some are down right steam-rollers. But so far it's all been pretty interesting. I would never have signed up for the scary bits, but having come through them gives me a greater sense of 'ahhhhh'...in the times of peace and repose. I guess we have to experience the dark in order to appreciate the light.
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Thank you for your thoughts
    Nicely said. I, too, think that finding or being "normal" during/after cancer can make us feel so lost and empty. I'm glad you are feeling stronger and better today. That is the way it is, I think. Lost one day, strong the next. But I think this is the condition of humankind in general. We weave a bumpy road through life -- some more bumpy than others. My mom always says to me, "everything is for humans, suffering and joy, all emotions and experiences." We're here for it all. Your theme about change is wise. So what if our lives are not the same as they once were? They would have changed one way or another anyway. Trying to find joy and peace in the new is our struggle and our priviledge.

    Mimi
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
    mimivac said:

    Thank you for your thoughts
    Nicely said. I, too, think that finding or being "normal" during/after cancer can make us feel so lost and empty. I'm glad you are feeling stronger and better today. That is the way it is, I think. Lost one day, strong the next. But I think this is the condition of humankind in general. We weave a bumpy road through life -- some more bumpy than others. My mom always says to me, "everything is for humans, suffering and joy, all emotions and experiences." We're here for it all. Your theme about change is wise. So what if our lives are not the same as they once were? They would have changed one way or another anyway. Trying to find joy and peace in the new is our struggle and our priviledge.

    Mimi

    ME Normal????
    Good morning all! I have a friend who has shared the same reply with me for years (pre-cancer) I would always say "how are you today?" and she would say "normal" and i would laugh and say "oh come on you have never been normal and neither have i!!" and we would laugh because are experiences in life haven't been what one would classify as NORMAL. Any way who does classify us as being "normal or abnormal". Do any of us have a leave it to beaver life?? I always thought that might be quite boring. Our experiences are what makes us along with our attitudes, emotions, and reactions to them. I find that each time I walk through the storm...i find more inner courage and learn more about myself through them. Most times i come out stronger because of them. This does not mean i haven't had my share of tears and regrets.
    I am fairly new at this recent battle. I had a masectomy Dec. 2nd 09, 6 out of 21 lymph nodes taken were positive. I am my 13th day after my first Chemo-treatment. No its not a pic-nic and I am still straining to see the light at the end. But I know when there are just one set of footprints Jesus is carrying me.
    I love this support group you are all amazingly cool women and are not "normal" but very special survivors

    God bless
    Jackie
  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Well put!
    One question...do you remember the BAD things about growing up? I don't mean the REALLY bad things, of course, but things that seemed to be earth-shattering at the time? A fight with a GF, or a boy that pulled your hair?

    Acceptance is my new watch word. To move on, I have had to accept the changes, and realize that there is NO WAY to 'go back'. Sort of like swinging thru the jungle on vines...I must let go of the last vine, and grab the next one, to keep moving. Of course, there is a split second where I have no vine...but I have my personal faith to keep from falling!

    Thanks for the great thoughts!

    Hugs, Kathi
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    How right and wise you are
    How right and wise you are Angie. Your post made be think and yes also reflect. We've all come a long way and fought a long and hard battle. Things will never be the same, and not only physically but emotionally as well. This battle has changed all of us. Hopefully, in a positive manner. I've certainly changed, I hope for the better. I now take time to smell the roses and appreciate all the little things that I didn't have time for before. Thanks for pointing those facts out to us. Love ya, Lili