Monday, August 26, 2013

Normal - The Unknown

My wrists have been aching so much lately. I'm sorry I haven't written, so much to say, so little wrist action. But - what I want to share is important enough to push through the pain.


I'm a volunteer with Living Beyond Breast Cancer's Helpline. I've posted about my wonderful time in PA training for this role.  Two of today's calls were from women wanting to know how to move forward. Both are facing anniversaries. Is what they're feeling "Normal"?

First off I reassured them that anything they're feeling is normal - fear, anxiety, fatigue, loss - status-quo. But we know there is no normal. Hell, I am not, we are not, repeat, are not, the same. I didn't want cancer to happen - I liked me, but I'm changed, forever.

What you may see on the outside is the Ronda you are accustomed to seeing. I even changed my hair color back to pre-cancer color, so I would feel, at least to some little bit, normal, me. You may see I've put on some pounds, but you most likely won't see any other affects from cancer.

Even if I stripped naked, you wouldn't see many differences, except for a bundle of scars.

But if you could strip me down to my soul, you would see I've changed. So please, don't ask when I'm going to be normal again (I've asked God this many times), because I won't be. I'm defining "normal" as I put one foot in front of the other. Do ask how I'm feeling, ask about my journey, ask how I'm handling moving forward, ask how you can support me. And if my answers are, "I have no idea," then smile with me, give me a hug, and life goes on. And - don't expect me to talk about this for hours - or listen for hours. My attention span is at about 5 minutes. Hopefully that will change as my endurance for conversation increases. 

"Normal" is going to take awhile, and I haven't been down this road before. And just like cancer - well, here I go, or here I continue. Normal is going to mean figuring out me every day, as I improve, as I grow, as I heal. Be patient with me, tell me I look good, but don't talk about before - I'm also still mourning. Healing and mourning, and moving forward. Still traveling in the Unknown.



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