I’m not sure if it’s because I’m at the anniversary of my diagnosis and surgery, but I’ve been rather contemplative. Usually I’m pretty shallow, but lately I’ve been thinking deep thoughts. A lot of work for a simple, superficial gal such as myself.
I’ve been struggling lately with what has become my new normal. My fight has been accepting who I am now while desperately wanting things to be like they were before I was diagnosed.
Two years ago I foolishly thought once my treatment was over and once we got settled as a family again and once I had reconstruction, everything would go back to the way it had been. I had heard from more experienced women that things are never the same, but I guess I didn’t believe it. I am just now coming to the realization that it’s true.
When you’re diagnosed with cancer you think about the big things. Will the surgery get all the cancer? Will the chemo make me sick? Will it do any good? Will I get to watch my kids grow up? But you don’t think about the vast number of other changes your body and mind will go through. They don’t seem important at the time. And I guess when pitted against the ultimate scare of death, they’re not. But when you’ve made it through surgery and treatment and everything is looking good, you start waiting for all those other changes to get back to normal.
Maybe the weight will eventually come off. Maybe the blisters will eventually go away. Maybe the hypersensitive skin will eventually toughen up. Maybe I’ll eventually feel like a 41-year-old instead of someone much older. And the other changes, the ones that are too personal to write about on a blog, maybe some of them will go back to the way it was. But some of the changes are permanent and there’s not a thing I can do about it.
I think I’m finally getting to the place where I can stop mourning the loss of who I was and accept who I am. For me this is a spiritual journey and only by the grace of God will I be content with my situation.
When I was diagnosed there were those who said God had given me cancer for a reason and there were those who said God had allowed the cancer for a reason. Whichever is true, the fact remains that He has been in control of this from the very beginning. I’ve been through the fire and dross has melted away, but I find I’m still not nearly as shiny as I could be. So I’m learning to embrace my new normal because it’s another chance at refinement, bringing me that much closer to being pure gold.