A New Normal

Day 12, cycle 1. I’m adjusting (as is my family) to a new normal — finding workarounds for typical daily chores, managing symptoms, and most of all, adjusting to being a cancer patient and all that comes with that.

I’m not sure everyone in my life is adjusting quite as well, however. I think some folks are getting frustrated with me for refusing their offers of help or companionship or even phone calls and while I’m sorry about that, we’ve more or less got things covered, I’m tired, and companionship isn’t on the docket when my immune system is at its lowest. This week, I will hit the low point on the immunity front, so I’m not taking any chances. This was brought home to me this week, when my usual 30 minute walk (1 rest max) became 15 minutes with 3 rests. Clearly I’m weaker. I started charting my good/bad days on the calendar for this chemo cycle so I’ll be better prepared next round, assuming that my body does something similar. One can at least hope for that.

On the chore front, I was delighted to learn that our local grocery store has a new “to go” service, whereby I can order groceries online and drive up and have a lovely person load them in the car and pay outside. Saves me the worry of having to negotiate the grocery store in a face mask with a bucket of hand sanitizer, and my husband of having to spend part of every precious weekend at the store. Add to this the fact that more foods are seeming possible, my meat craving is at its highest, and cooking is no longer making me ill, so I’m able to take care of myself in this small way. Feels good to be able to do that and not feel like an invalid.

I was also comforted by two calls from my children this week where my health did not take center stage and other, more pressing issues did. Glad to see that we’re not the “all cancer, all the time” channel, or at least we weren’t this week and had the wherewithal to talk about other things. I also started a bucket list of things I want to do once treatment is behind me. I had been thinking about that before treatment, but in the first few weeks, it was so consuming to just get through a day that I was unable to think about anything else. Now that the pain and nausea are a bit more under control, and I’m getting better sleep overall, I’m able to get back to daydreaming about what life might be like when the old normal returns or perhaps a newer new normal.

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