Thursday, September 9, 2010

the new normal

i mentioned that we thyroid cancer patients live from scan to scan. someone wrote a comment on my blog that this is the "new normal". i agree. my life has changed in so many ways, i can not believe it sometimes. if you did not know me very well, you probably could not tell that anything had changed with me. i get up everyday, i go to work. i come home and feed my dogs and cats. i do my chores,etc. i guess what has changed the most  is my attitude, and my perception of the world around me. before i got sick,  when i heard that someone was dealing with a serious illness, i felt some amount of sympathy for them and their family, but i really could not relate to how they were feeling. i tended also to compartmentalize my feelings- sadness,anger or whatever, and throw them in the back of my brain. now i think that i can honestly communicate with someone who is sick, or has a family member who is dealing with a serious illness. i hate to say it, but truthfully, this has made me better at my job. i have more compassion, and i truly listen when someone chooses to confide in me.

today, one of my patients told me about her daughter-in-law having thyroid cancer. she has had the surgery, along with the RAI. she has two little children, and this wonderful woman- who has a serious health condition herself- was running herself ragged taking care of the children, as well as her daughter-in-law. one of the grandchildren is a seven month old baby. of course, you can not explain RAI to a baby, much less the "six foot" rule. her daughter-in-law was just "reunited" with her baby this week. her mother-in-law told me that she did not know which one of them was the happiest.they were laughing, crying, and would not let go of each other.  then, my patient told me that she was going to go back to work next week, and that things would be returning to "normal". i said, really, normal? and she said, yes- normal, whatever normal means now.

this family has changed forever. the new normal that they have created for themselves involves a lot of love, commitment, and hard work. some days will be good days, some bad, but i think that this has made them closer. i really admire the way that they have handled this difficult situation. i would say that i am hoping that they laugh a lot and have fun, but with a baby, i think this goes without saying.

to all thyroid cancer patients out there, whatever your new normal is, i hope that you are doing well. i hope you have benefited from this illness in ways you could never have imagined, and rejoiced in good days. i hope that you have laughed, loved, and rested well. welcome everyone to the new normal.


  1. My new normal is to continue my life as I did before, but recognize the days when I need to slow down or completely stop any activities and just rest. I try to no longer push myself to continue on. There are days when my body just needs to rest and I let it.

  2. It takes some getting used to the "new normal" On the days I have a good energy level I do what I can activity wise, and on the days I'm very tired I try to find things I enjoy that don't take a lot of energy. I'm not employed, so have the option of being "lazy" if I need to be.

    I just wish the memory issues were better. The last week hubby bought me a new bike (for the good energy days) and he handed the instruction manual for the speedometer/odometer and told me not to lose it. I put it where I thought I wouldn't lose it, but guess what? It took me 3 days looking for it to find it again. I was getting very upset, because I simply couldn't remember....