The new normal is what makes our world so different from what it was pre-diagnosis. In my life before cancer, I would never need to rest on a bench on the seawall after walking for only 10 minutes. But now sitting on the bench is the best part of the walk.
I would never think “a good day” would include a visit to the lab for blood-work, a doctor’s appointment and a stop at the fruit store for cherries. That’s a productive day for me. Bookended by several rests and a nap, that makes my day bearable with my current fatigue. It’s my new normal.
This morning I heard the results of last week’s CT scan. Some tumours were bigger, some smaller, some had disappeared. Some new ones. Overall stable. I reminded myself that this is the new normal… last year I was still waiting for remission to reappear but now stable is good enough. It’s the new normal… the ever evolving normal.
It’s been two months now that I’ve been on the clinical trial using rucaparib. I’ve experienced fatigue that sometimes sends me back to bed for a nap after breakfast. Is this my new normal? Tomorrow I receive my next month of pills, a reduced dose in an effort to reduce the fatigue and give me more of my life again. Within a week, I’m told, I will have my energy back. A new normal again.
When I’m languishing in bed mid-afternoon, awakening from daytime dreams, I sometimes wonder where I am on this journey. Have I seen most of it in the nearly five years since I was diagnosed? Only 30% of women with ovarian cancer live to see five years or more. Is this enough of a life, these half days immersed in sleep?