Ella had clinic last Tuesday. It is a different feeling for me to go knowing that she is not having chemo. It was unusually quiet and we had some time to chat with the nurses and Ella's favorite volunteer- The Craft Lady. She had some extra bruises on her legs, so I was a little concerned, but all is well and they are just normal every day "I'm a kid that plays" bruises. Ella has been off of treatment for 8 months and her counts are officially back to NORMAL! No more looking at her count sheet to see red exclamation points or the words Low or High. Just nice black letters that say everything is in the normal range.
|Ella playing with her cousin Sara.|
But, what is our normal range? Our new family "Normal" is different. I think we have spent so much time the past few years keeping ourselves "Normal" and "Busy", that now we really have to stop, take a deep breath and figure out what this new normal will look like. For me, I think I have been trying so hard to keep myself busy and therefore a little numb that I'm not sure what our normal is.
When Ella was diagnosed my doctor suggested a low dose anxiety/depression medication for me. Knowing what I was about to watch my child go through, his suggestion was made to help me cope. I also suffered with Postpartum Depression after I gave birth to both my kids, so I had a history. Anyway, I didn't want to do it because in my eyes, that made me weak. I needed to be strong and prove that I was strong. But, who am I trying to prove this to and why do I care? I realized that I am a little too concerned with what others might think about me. It is each persons decision, but I did take that prescription. I think it kept my emotions more even during the process, but I think it numbed me a little to the normal. Normal life does have highs and lows. It is not all middle ground. It is not all everything is fine. I will have times of great strength, like signing the paperwork to add Ella to the National Cancer Registry or giving her chemo as I brush the hair off her pillow that fell out overnight. But, I think in order to grow, we must also go through times of great weakness. I will fail as a mom and yell at my kids for not focusing in the morning before school, I will let down a friend and hurt their feelings, I will forget to appreciate my husband, I will eat Oreo's at 9pm even though I know It's so bad for me. Sometime the weakness makes us stronger, and sometimes it just confirms- hey, I'm human- I'm just normal.
So, I am trying to un-busy myself. I decided to pass on the trip to Haiti this year, lessen my outside commitments, and I am going to focus this summer on enjoying a normal life with my kids. Making some plans, but I don't want to be busy. I just want us to find a new normal.
Enjoy your summer everyone.
|Ella and Sara- our two ginger girls.|