Life Redefined: When will I get back to normal?
I talk to a lot of survivors who ask me, “When will I get back to normal?” or, “When will I be my old self again?” I get it. I’ve asked those same questions many times before. Right after I was diagnosed with cancer, I immediately started working toward getting back to “normal.” Eventually, I realized that goal wasn’t achievable. I couldn’t get back to my old self because cancer has really changed me. And you know what? That’s okay.
Cancer is too big of a deal to go through it and NOT be changed. Yes, it changes us physically, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. It changes us mentally, spiritually, socially, emotionally…you name it, cancer affects it.
Here’s the thing…cancer can bring about good change. Please do not confuse that to think I’m suggesting cancer is good, because I absolutely do not believe that is true. However, I do think some of the changes that result from cancer are good.
Last night I spent some time reflecting about how cancer has changed me and what I have learned. I made a long list of things and I want to share a few with you:
1. Life is a precious gift.
2. Putting business on hold to spend time with loved ones is a wise decision.
3. People are more valuable than “things” and “stuff.”
4. The world does not revolve around me. Not even some of the time.
5. I don’t ever have to quit learning. There are people all around me who have valuable lessons to teach me if I’ll just LISTEN.
6. I don’t have to climb Mt. Everest every day. Some days, just getting out of bed is a victory.
7. I have a better sense of what is important and what is worth my time.
8. I need to tell people I love them. People need to hear it and I need to say it. Then, I need to act. My words don’t show my love for others; my actions behind my words are what show my love.
9. Fire is purifying. Living with cancer has made me a better person. I’m better equipped to help others going through similar trials because of what I’ve gone through the past two and a half years.
10. I can always live my life with a purpose.
Cancer survivor and author Lynn Eib says, “I am a better person for having suffered. I have more compassion, more empathy, more patience, and more mercy.” After taking some time for reflection, I realize the same is true in my life. I am a better person for having suffered.
So the answer to the question, “when will I be back to my old self?” is never. I know that can be hard to accept, but I also know it’s not a bad thing. I encourage you to take time to think about the good things cancer has brought into your life. How have you changed for the better? What have you learned? Write it down; make a list. I hope you’ll share your cancer lessons with me. I’d love to hear from you!
Lots of love,
Tags: accepting change, change, changes that come from cancer, lessons from cancer, Life Redefined: When will I get back to normal?, living with cancer, thyroid cancer, Thyroid Cancer Survivor, Written by Joanna Isbill