Today’s post is part random stream of consciousness and part a cross-post of a fellow breast cancer blogger. It is food for thought indeed as a survivor and like her, I keep hearing annoying new buzz phrases now like “new normal“. I suppose it sounds better than “1 6/8 boobed woman” but yet….
And guess what? Realistically once you have a breast cancer diagnosis and even when you become a survivor, normal ain’t what she used to be. Once you’ve been there, you’ve just been there.
This morning I stood in front of the mirror and checked things out. My skin is pretty much the same color it was pre-radiation, but well that left breast feels completely different from the right breast – almost heavier and fake by comparison. And then there are my little blue dots, the tattoos that look like a breast constellation.
And yesterday…yesterday the random act of “what if it comes back?” thoughts.
You can be positive, you can move forward, and you can take all the steps to change your life for the positive after a life altering experience like breast cancer, but you have to be a realist. And being a realist is accepting flaws in yourself and being able to accept that every day you might not be zippy peppy. Being a realist also means questioning buzz phrases like “the new normal”.
We’re not a one size fits all as women. Our breasts aren’t one size fits all even without breast cancer. And each breast cancer is different. So the “new normal” of it all? I concur…find another buzz phrase.
I am alive and grateful to be so. I have learned a lot about myself and learned to love again. So I think in a weird way I have grown. I am hoping in the weird karma of it all the rest of the things I want will fall into place.
Read this post from tastethefireforyourself – she’s a terrific writer and blogger and keeps it real.
This seems to be one of the current buzz phrases around adjusting to one’s life after cancer and, while it may be accurate, it’s a phrase I hate: “the new normal“.
I think the reason I hate it is that to me it seems so much of a brush-off: this is your ‘new normal‘, this is what you’d best adapt to. It doesn’t allow for improvement, it doesn’t offer options, it’s a flat and final statement. It’s asking you to lower your expectations rather than risking the possibly false offering of hope.
It’s also condescending – it assumes the patient either doesn’t remember the last six months (or more!) of slash, poison, and burn or that the patient somehow expects that all that won’t leave a mark on the body. I’m less than a week out of radiation; I haven’t had time to forget, and I’ll carry my scars the rest of my life. I know I’ve been changed, the marks are still clear on my body.
Of course, it’s also true, to some degree – there will be a ‘new normal‘ for the body. How could there not be? Things have changed, it is not as it was before. It’s not something I need my nose rubbed in; it’s not really the most helpful phrase to offer a patient.