Saturday, 2 April 2011
Finding The New Normal
Its now 11:03pm and I'm sitting on the most uncomfortable pull out chair known to man. Every third week I will be trading in my king sized pillow top bed for this terrible contraption.
Three feet away Nick lays in his hospital bed watching some disgusting "Beyond Survival" tv show and is taking mental notes about how to skin large game in the arctic.
Its uneasily quiet, there are no children sneaking out of bed, dogs barking, phones ringing or babies crying for more milk. Occasionally a page for a nurse or an IV alarm will break the silence.
One would think that this would be the ideal location for your mind to wander, to sit and ponder about the future and to revisit the past but oddly enough for the most part those thoughts dont come.
Here there is a strange sense of normal, at first it made me uncomfortable and quite honestly I didnt understand.
How could someone casually lean against the kitchen counter and discuss their childs cancer and treatment so easily and emotionless. I didnt think that I would fit in, I didnt think that I could be that type of mom, I dont want this to be normal and I dont want to talk about cancer with the same tone that I would talk about a shoe sale at payless. But something happens here, its hard to keep to yourself, to wallow in your own fears and pretend that none of this is happening.
Somehow here tears, smiles and laughter go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Right now I am the new kid, the mom that often looks lost but I am a smart cookie and I will soon navigate this place like the back of my hand. I will understand the cancer lingo and I will know nurses by name instead of hairstyles.
Its a sad thought really because this is not the normal that I wanted or thought that I would have.
Only two weeks ago normal for me was trying to be everything to everyone all at the same time and now that just isnt possible no matter how much I may want it to be. I am learning a hard lesson in letting go of control and am learning to allow others to help me which is something that I have never ever been ok with doing.
I am also learning that my hugs and kisses dont fix all boo boo's. I can hug my child while he cries about the thought of losing all of his hair, the fear of being sick, the panic of the "what if" or the reality that he will eat birthday cake at the same time he is getting chemo treatments but in the end while my embrace may take the edge off, the tears still come. I am still trying to learn that my childs tears are ok and that I dont need to fix them, I just need to listen to them and acknowledge that they are normal... They are his new normal.
The old me is gone and I doubt that she will return, there is no place for her and her ways in this new world. There simply isnt room for the old Cass and Cancer too.
The new normal wasnt invited or even welcomed but it is what it is and I have no choice but to accept it ... with a smile and some laughter whenever possible.