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Thursday, October 11, 2018

When Your "Normal" Isn't "Normal!"


Most of the time I feel like I am "normal"; I do my very best to keep up with life in general. You know, things like getting up in the morning and getting dressed (even if that doesn't happen until afternoon), keeping the house in a relatively clean and tidy state, making sure there are always clean undies to put on, and food to eat at mealtime; which is typically sporadic, depending upon my nausea.

Fortunately, my husband has adjusted to what I consider and accept as "normal" and is able to go on about his "normal" day, without being resentful. For this, I am grateful and appreciative.
But the cold, hard truth of the matter is that my "normal" is sub-standard to those around me. I am slower and have less stamina than most. I do not start my day at full steam ahead, as it takes me forever to get moving, and my most productive hours are between the hours of two and six, which does not fit well into most people's everyday life.

I am also unpredictable and wishy-washy. I hate to make definitive plans because I hate cancelling plans; I just never know how I am going to feel. This is not easy for most to understand. So, I ask myself, is this really normal?

And if I am honest and kind, I will answer that it is "normal" for me; and if I am brutally honest and truthful, I will recognize that I am most certainly NOT "normal" in comparison to my peers. This is difficult to accept, deal with, and increasingly frustrating.

My limitations become so much more apparent when I am around other normal, healthy people. For example, when I am out and about with uncompromised friends, I am usually walking at least a half-block behind them; huffing and puffing, trying to keep up. I am the one who requests indoor seating at the cafe' because there is either, too much sun, or it is too hot or both. And on boat rides, I must sit indoors due to heat, sun and exhaust from the boat. All of these things are not just preferences, but necessities, if I don't want to end up miserable, sick and in bed.

"Normally" these limitations do not bother me, as I do not wish to be the anchor around anyone's neck, but every now and then, they shine a beacon on just how limited I really am. On those occasions, I can easily become melancholy, and my mind begins to wander. I begin to analyze life.

You have all heard the adage, "What Would Jesus Do?" right? Well, on those feeling sorry for myself sort of occasions, I ask myself, "What Would I Do?" How would I treat the situation? Would I treat it differently now, than I would have prior to being diagnosed with cancer? Am I more or less tolerant than I used to be? How do my limitations make others feel? How do my limitations affect others? Am I more of a burden than a pleasure? Should I simply quit accepting invitations from others who are not limited? Or should I make my limitations and expectations known? Do I apologize for my limitations?

I often find myself vacillating between trying to keep up with the "normal" people and throwing in the towel and giving in to my limitations. I suppose that the majority of the time I hover right smack dab in the middle; participating to the best of my ability. And instead of feeling sorry for myself, I enjoy my own experience, often meeting others, who are just like me!

The ones that can't keep up, the ones that are slow and steady, the ones that see things differently than those who have yet met with physical challenges, which are out of their control.

Sometimes it is lonely, and it is always frustrating, but at least for now I am still able to enjoy my life, even if it is at a snail's pace!

And for that I am grateful!

Now there is food for thought.....
#lovemylife #thrivingwithcancer #leukemia #chronicmylogenousleukemia #livingwithchronicillness

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