Nothing has been routine for me since first line / second line treatments. You settle into an odd routine having chemotherapy. There is a continued disruption that becomes your life. You adapt to anguish and pain while in a self preservation mode. There is a repetitive habitual schedule with radiation. While you start feeling better, there is a daily disturbance of travel and reminder of what has happened to you that you never dreamed could. By the time you get home, you are left with little time to do other things. When that is over, keeping with recent tradition, there is a customary standard met with more tests, doctors appointments and new crisis which follow. You are kept busy with ordeals. This is your life. It’s been demanding and hectic. When it ends (or slows down), you don’t know how to proceed. WHAT do you DO NOW? What is your life? Nothing has settled into “normal” yet. The only normal I’ve known for 9 months is sickness and drama. Once I get this thyroid thing, cervical problem, joint and bone pains, and settle into a medication that works for me, taken care of, I can search for a new normal, with routine, balance and quality.
It’s hard to find this new way to live life. You never forget you have cancer. You may have a day or two of enjoyment where you can toss it to the back of your mind, but you are always reminded one way or another, you are not normal anymore. Nothing is clear. In a split second I catch myself in the mirror on the way to the toilet, there’s a hazy distorted version of me, I see my hair growing back. I dream of a day when it will be restored to what it was (which will take a couple of years). Then I recall an article of a beautiful woman with two small children. She fought breast cancer. Four years after she had been diagnosed and treated, her hair restored, she’d passed. I wonder to myself, by the time I’m satisfied with the length of my hair, will it be my time? In a split second all of that races through my mind. Because of a mirror. I needed to pee and I passed the damn mirror. Besides hardships on your body, it’s a burden of the mind. One that leaves you wondering every day “when will it get worse?” “What is going to happen?” “Am I wasting my time?” “What would be a better use of my time?” “Do I spend my time for me? Or do I spend it for others around me?” I tend to think I need to spend it for others, with a small dose of me time. Eventually, I will not be able to spend it for others. Which isn’t something one should think about only because they have cancer. Spending time with your family or people you care about, truly appreciating them, should be everyone’s first priority. Because you never know what tomorrow holds. No one does.
For 2 weeks, I consciously held a pattern. I stayed off the computer, I spent most of my time with my daughter. I spent more time with my husband then I’ve spent in 9 months, which wasn’t much at all really but a heck of a lot more then strangers passing by like we’ve been. Sure there were a couple doctor appointments, but I’ll be dipped! There IS a life away from the computer. I spent more quality time with my daughter. My family. This is it. This iswhat I want. I’m going to find my way into a routine to incorporate the loves of my life.
Routine. Balance. Normal. Hopefully I’ll find it. Preferably one that with plenty of quality family time and rose smelling.