Really there’s no need to worry. I know that when I haven’t posted anything for a while, some people are concerned that it’s because things are bad. Usually quite the opposite is true. Just like now.

I’ve been busy enjoying life, rather than stuck on the sofa. You’ll see that I’ve done a few more things on my List for Living over the summer.

My treatment finished in January and there no plans for anymore at the moment. It’s now been the longest period of time without any since my diagnosis. It’s a record breaking chemo holiday!

Getting used to normal life isn’t as straightforward as you’d imagine. When you’re ill there is only one priority and that’s survival. Life is put on hold. Everything is geared towards killing the cancer. Nothing else matters. You focus on the chemo and just try to get through each day as best you can. Your emotions are linked to the disease and how successfully it’s having the s*** kicked out of it. The everyday stuff just isn’t important.

But when you finish with the toxic cocktails and the horrible side effects start to fade, you begin to glimpse the kind of life that most people have and many take for granted. You mark this with milestones which are quite frankly  ridiculous. When I was having the weekly chemo for many months, I didn’t need to fill my car with petrol once. Now I have to get fuel every so often. I feel lucky each time I fill her up. These are unexpectedly marvellous moments. When you’re used to an abnormal life, normalness can seem strange. There’s no daily battle. You wake up and feel well. That’s such an incredible feeling.

Not everything has been quite so nice. During treatment you’re very much protected. You’re very close to the people you choose to be with. This circle of family and friends love, support and help you. They are very careful about your feelings. They understand more than anyone else how difficult it all is.

When life goes back to normal you’re stop being so cocooned. You see more people than ever before. I look well and I feel brilliant. It must be hard for anyone outside this circle to really appreciate what I’ve been through. I understand this but it can still be a shock when someone comes along and hurts your feelings. Before I was ill I could handle stress and thrived on it. But now it’s much more difficult to cope with. It’s very frustrating as it’s such a waste of time.

However I didn’t have all the horrific treatment in order to only survive. I dealt with each horrible day by dreaming that at some point I may be able to start living again. Only I’d forgotten that with the good but you also get the bad. I assumed that after going through so much, it would be perfect. Of course, real life isn’t like that. So I suppose that I really did get my wish. But there’s no need to worry, there’s so much more good than bad.

9 thoughts on “Normalness 

  1. Absolutely brilliant to hear – and see – all about your adventures over the summer Helen. Am so glad you are getting a well deserved treatment break and are able to enjoy life. Enjoy and simply cull those from your ‘friend list’ who do not enhance life but drain it!

  2. Well done Helen! Nice to see your post and pics, I especially loved the ones of the puffins! X☺

    Sent from Samsung tablet

  3. Fantastic news! so happy that you are enjoying all the ‘normal’ things inn life. Long may it continue xxxxxxxxxx

  4. Hi Helen! I’ve was thinking of you and you popped up! So glad you are getting to a point of ‘normality’. I don’t think anyone understands that unless they’ve had it taken away! Keep on keeping on lovely lady! Love viv xxx

  5. Congratulations Helen, welcome to normal and all the good and bad that goes with it.
    Don’t let the b****s put you down but try and laugh a bit at the bad. You are having a normal life. Well done! It’s an achievement. Xx

  6. I used to think normal was boring, now I respect and appreciate it much more. I was very down the other day then I saw a dog with it’s head out of a car window, having a ball, what a feeling that evoked. I meditate on that and it makes me smile

  7. Great to hear from you Helen. Your post about the harsh realities of life touched me. If only human beings were more sensitive to each other. Most people are quite good at picking up on other’ peoples feelings – but there are always one or two that bulldoze their way through life.

  8. So glad to hear about your “normalness” Helen, but we all know there is nothing normal about you!
    I know it’s hard when people are insensitive, but I just try to think that they are acting normal around me and not treading on eggshells waiting for me to cry/get angry/have a tantrum!
    I always enjoy your photos and your honest blogs.
    Keep well and hope to see you again soon,

  9. Brilliant blog.

    And good to hear you voicing a report on the News Channel about a week ago.

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