It is strange to be where I am right now. I have found that it is not only an adjustment to have your life disrupted by a major illness in your family; it is also an adjustment to have things return back to normal. We get used to the roles we play in life; things change and we adapt. However, it is not always easy to go back to where we were. I know that last year when I returned home from the bone marrow transplant, the first month home was very difficult for Barbie. Recently, a friend has also completed a very difficult year with her son's cancer and is trying to find her way back to the daily routine. You'd think that it would be simple; but it is not. Just because it is wonderful to be better, there is also the risk of falling into old habits, old worries and old priorities. These can distract from the valuable lessons learned from the adversity. The new normal can be replaced by the old normal.
By no means do I at all regret feeling better. However, I do not want to let daily demands detract from moments of meditation and gratitude that have so lifted me during days of despair. I love that I have more strength and less fatigue; I am thrilled that my calendar is filled for the next four months and only one of those days is a doctor appointment. What joy is mine to now spend so much time again in the service of others. Yet, I must continue to remember and be grateful for what brought me here. Sometimes we can be blinded by the busyness. Barbie had defined the new normal as accepting that life would never be the same while making the best of what you have now. As much as I thoroughly enjoy recovering things thought lost, I must also hold on to things gained.
I came home today and took a nap. I was tired. But this was not the fatigue inherent to my illness, it was just a hard days work. I was in the operating room all day and did five cases. Three to carve out prostates to unblock bladders, one to unblock a kidney and a circumcision. It was only the tiredness that anyone might feel after a busy day at work. It felt good. Next week Barbie, Caitlin, Rebecca and I take a week off to go on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera. By Wednesday we will be gliding over the jungle on zip-lines. Viva la new-old normal.