Saturday, November 19, 2011

Not So Special

It was two days before Thanksgiving of last year that my life was forever changed.  I was given the cancer diagnosis that kicked off six months of grueling treatment.  It was the initial diagnosis that came with almost no detail and I remember spending the long Thanksgiving weekend wondering if it would be my last Thanksgiving.

I have been feeling emotional the last few days, and I’m trying to understand why.  I think part of it is that I can put a year of fighting cancer behind me.  I can move forward into a new phase.  I also think this type of anniversary is bringing the whole experience to the forefront of my mind.
Lastly, I think a little bit of the emotion also may be the difficulty of assimilating back into normal.  When you have cancer, you become “special”.  Everyone gives you a break because you’re going through something awful.  People lower their expectations of you.  And that is a good thing because just getting out of bed can be an accomplishment when you are going through cancer treatment. 
But then life goes back to normal.  And the expectations are raised and you are not so special.  And working a 60 hour work week isn’t enough to even feel like you accomplished something normal, let alone special.  And it’s hard to make that adjustment mentally.    
I feel a bit broken still and I’m still mentally healing.  But after a year, no one wants to hear about it anymore.  And this is not an awful thing.  It’s just human nature.  Life goes on.  And so I smile and I stop talking about it, and I try to move forward too.  And slowly but surely, the smile is becoming more genuine.  And some days I go nearly all day without thinking about cancer. 

I have much to do, so I must stop this monologue.  There is a refrigerator to clean, and a house to get ready for Thanksgiving.  But I will try to move forward with a spirit of gratitude and joy.  Because those are the things that make us all feel special.

No comments:

Post a Comment