In the Air!

In the Air!
400 feet above the ground in Orlando.

Florida

Florida
Taking my first step towards a new life.

Virginia

Virginia
Spending an afternoon at Marymount during my internship!

My rocks!

My rocks!
Wouldn't be where I am without my parents!

Graduation

Graduation
Walking for my Masters. An interesting book end as this all started when I graduated from undergrad!

Awesome Nurses!

Awesome Nurses!
After my port removal and saying goodbye to my chemo nurses before moving away from Michigan. Wouldn't be doing that without them!

Hair again!

Hair again!
Growing longer each day

Last Chemo

Last Chemo

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Silliness

Silliness
Something to remember and return to. A good day!

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

My New Normal. Day 1. Big Move!

The phrase "new normal" means something different to everyone. I've gone through a few different phases of it myself. Three years ago right now I was in the middle of my chemo treatments. Two years ago I was getting ready to start grad school and still recovering. One year ago I was half way through grad school and slowly starting to do more and more. This month, I just moved to Florida to start a new job and new career.  And I am excited and scared and so many other things!

I've come a long way since three years ago. But with every new thing I do, I can see the difference in myself from four years ago before my life got turned upside down. My short term memory is abismal!  My stamina, while leaps and bounds better from when I was in treatment, will randomly disappear on me. My concentration wanders so easily!  I have to rest more. I have a harder time fighting off any kind of virus or flu or cold.  And let's not forget the hot flashes, the achy knees, the constant struggle to loose weight, the doctors appointments and that fear of a reaccurance that's curled up in the back of my mind that wildly unleashes itself randomly!

All of this is a daily challenge for me to deal with. And not a lot of people I can talk about it with in my life.  My hair has grown back. My port has been removed. My scans have been clean.  Everyone else has moved on. It's not immediate. They don't see it. But it's all I can see. It will never go away for me. And that's another part of my new normal. 

In the morning I start a new phase in my life. I'm starting a job as an Orientation & Mobility Specialist here in Florida.  I finally get to earn a living doing what I love!  And I am terrified!!  What if I get sick again?  What if my stamina drops?  How do I deal with this in a work environment?  Am I up front?  Do I hide it?  Do I pretend it never happened when I'm around people?  Do I hide the hot flashes and bouts of exhaustion?  How do I get around the memory problems in a new work environment?  How will I deal with the new environment?  I know I can do this but sometimes I need to take a minute and collect myself, close my eyes and just breath. 

How do I find my new normal?

I don't know. All I can figure is that I'll just have to live each day and go with the experiences of those days. Keep looking for that one thing to smile about and settle into whatever the next New Nornal will be for me. So for the next year I'm going to be writing each day about my experiences, struggles, accomplishments and so on in hopes of finding that new normal. 

The first big step was moving down here. I can't drive more than five hours or so strait without becoming completely exhausted so I took five days to drive from Virginia to Florida on my own, splitting it up to be able to visit friends and family along the way. I'll share thoughts and stories from that trip in the days to come as I had a lot of time to think!  But for now, I guess part of my new normal I learned about is that I can't be in a rush to get places anymore. I have to take my time. And I think in slowing down, I get more time to look around and see what I'm passing through. 

And so now I'm here and excited and nervous about tomorrow!  Here we go!  Jumping in feet first!


Standing next to a space suit at the Florida / Georgia line:)


The Florida welcome sign. Big step moving here. 











 

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