Sunday, March 29, 2015

My new normal

The past few days have gone really well.  Post-chemo side effects have been completely predictable and manageable.  I've had less pain than from the first two treatments, and I haven't taken any nausea medication since Wednesday night.  Very good things.  I have been struggling with my esophagus though.  Its been very sensitive - just a general burning sensation and periodic air bubbles and food getting stuck in my throat.   I noticed this last round too, but it seems more pronounced this time.  If it follows the pattern, it should subside within a couple days though.

So all and all, aside from my esophagus, and being super tired, I am doing very well.

Friday at work was, of course, a struggle.  I hit my "wall" about 5 times throughout the day.  But with the help of water, snacks, and a nap during my plan, I was able to power through.  I stayed a few hours late to prep things for next week.  I'm trying to operate under the circumstances that I never know how I'm going to feel, so I want my classroom to be ready for unanticipated absences.  When I finally got home, it was GAME OVER.  Took a shower, laid down, and I knew I wasn't moving again for a long long time.  I officially "went to bed" at 8:30pm, which consequently had me wide awake at 4am the next morning.  Its weird.  Its like my body will now only sleep for the amount it needs.  No more.  No less.

Emotionally, I've been struggling a little bit this morning.  My primary duty to myself is to ensure that I'm accepting my situation, feeling gratitude, and contributing to my healing.   Basically, keeping myself happy.  I haven't been too happy today.  With the whirlwind of doctors and appointments, and massive bits of information having subsided, I've now settled into a strange state.  I'm mourning what I used to be.   This is my new normal now.

One of the things my book was talking about is that many breast cancer patients just push forth and get through their treatment and surgeries with the goal of "getting back to normal".  But there isn't an "old normal" anymore.   The goal is to treat the current cancer, and then making adjustments to your health habits so that you reduce the chance of a recurrence.  Optimal health is my new normal.

I just need to cry a little bit.  Because just a few posts ago, I was writing about how this experience is basically upgrading my life.  And I believe that.  I'm just mourning what I used to be, is all.


  1. I think it's fair to say you have the old normal which is done, the now normal which isn't ideal but a means to the end of cancer, and the survivor normal. I don't know much about cancer but I do know several cancer survivors that are living great lives now and aren't weighted down with fatigue and uneasiness. They instead are raising families, running marathons, and climbing mountains. There's no way your cancer survivor normal would be the same as your chemo normal. There's a light at the end of that tunnel. :)

  2. I think any time we experience change, even when we know it is for the better, there is a certain amount of discomfort in venturing into the unknown and mourning what we are letting go of...letting go can be scary, even if freeing. I think the tears give us the strength to smile again.

    I will also say this, Pinterest is my coping mechanism. My "Reality" board is full of humorous but true thoughts/experiences with a life long disease. While once you are through this you will have beaten the disease, I am sure you can relate to some if not all of the sentiments on how it changes your life. Allow yourself to feel--cry, laugh, etc. It is your heart letting go of the past and embracing the future. If you weren't having any of that I would be worried about you. ^_~

    I've had a LOT of things that won't ever go back to normal--not just in health, but health included. It is a journey, but what you will learn will make you even more compassionate, wise, intuitive, and just as a person and as a teacher. Before you know it, your new normal will be the old normal and you won't be looking back...only forward with a smile. *hugs* Hang in there!

  3. Also, can you take Nexium? They have it over the counter was given to me when I had a tear in the esophagus to help it heal. It might help if you can take it.