Friday, July 3, 2015

Normal? Normal? What is Normal?

I know it's not a setting on my dryer..........I just checked.
I picked up this framed puzzle at the thrift store because I like the colors and thought it would go great in my basement scrapbook area, it kinda looks like me when I had red hair, and it's silly and makes me smile. 
I've always felt different, partly because of my red hair. We lived in a very small town and I was the only redhead....I was teased, I was skinny, I was shy, I was alone and learned to keep things to myself. When you're growing up it is probably 'normal' to feel alone and not understood, I did.

Finally I decided to embrace my differentness....I was tall, thin, independent, and had red hair, I stood out in the crowd and I wanted to celebrate it. I stood tall and dressed in my own style. 
Then I became a mom, a housewife, just another person. It's ok, I was content...for the most part. I divorced, was single, and remarried later. 
MANY years later (in 2014) I developed breast cancer and congestive heart failure. I think I took it all in stride, I tried to. I tell everyone that I feel great, almost as good as BC (before breast cancer) and that is mostly true. When I look at my window sill lined with pill bottles I know it's not totally true. How can anyone feel great after cancer? You don't, but you do the best you can. I am really happy with how I feel now....but I am NOT back to 'normal'. 
I'm thankful that I retired last year.......there's no way I could have worked through my cancer & heart treatments. I work in slow's the only speed I have. When I go for a walk I weave (that is so weird), if I were driving I'd certainly be pulled over. My fingernails have vertical ridges and the ridges are thin and my nails often break at the ridge, therefore are very short. I've never had long nails, but I'd certainly like to be able to polish them I just don't want to draw attention to them. There is such a thing as chemo brain, so many times the right word does not come to mind. Several times I've had to ask Kev what the word is as I try to explain what I mean. When I am in bed every night my knees (sometimes elbows) and legs just ache. The knee aches and pains are nothing new, but the leg cramps are. I can feel a cramp coming on in my calf, it tightens up but never totally materializes. ....thankfully. I am not sure why that happens but I do know another woman who gets awful cramps in her arms and legs. Through one of my facebook groups I found out that sometimes fibromyalgia appears after chemo. I hope that stays away from me. My sister is afflicted and also the husband of a good friend is. Under my right arm (where the lymph nodes were removed) it gets tight, I don't know how else to explain it. Sometimes it's also tender, not a big problem...but not 'normal'. 
I've decided to celebrate my differentness once again. I've lost weight and am so happy about that. I love my new short, sassy hair style. I even dreamt it was red again and chin length and I had to make an appointment to get it cut and colored back to the current style I have. I usually dress in a t-shirt and capris but when I go someplace I like to dress with some type of style...maybe add a scarf or just something to add interest. I am not afraid to be different. I love maxi dresses. Our thursday night church service is very casual but I decided to wear a maxi dress last night. Church is only a couple blocks away so I walked.....and I probably looked a bit strange walking home carrying 2 bags of green lettuce. (a church member had an abundance of it so I had a bag for myself and one for bff).
Lots of times I do something silly to make people laugh, and usually I am the butt of the joke. I like happy people!

To me normal means being my spunky self; silly many times but serious about serious things; standing out in the crowd; working up a storm at home one day and doing nothing the next (by choice); having friends just stop over for no reason. 
I am so thankful for the life I have.

P.S. Hubby is still not working and his unemployment is messed up right now b/c he didn't know he had to do job searches when he was working for a temp company. Woe is us..............  He did have 2 job interviews this week so wish him luck!!!

Happy 4th of July!
Be safe!


  1. We all have our own "normal." I am happy on a day when I "feel" fine, even though I know (and my test results show) that I'm not. I was different too. I think I still am (I'm very outspoken!). I cry too easily, my heart breaks for things that "don't concern me." I could go on, but you know, cause you are my best friend.

  2. I am different also. Always have been. Not a crowd person at all. I still feel out of place sometimes. I am emotional.
    I hope things work out for your husband with the job interviews.

  3. Sweet Linda, Hugs for you and your husband. It seems that some times our plates get way too full. You are a brave woman . Probably stronger and braver than you ever dreamed you could be. Never give up . Blessings to you and yours, xoxo,Susie
    P.S. via la difference.

  4. You are amazing and don't ever forget that!!! If you can beat CANCER - you can do anything!!! I, too, beat cancer and went on to have an amazing life!!! I am STILL living it!!! It's the simple and everyday things that make it so worth living! Love you and your attitude!!!

  5. I don't think there is such a thing as normal! You seem to handle any situation with style. I do know that trips of any length are more fun when you are along.
    Praying that Kevin finds a job that he enjoys.

  6. You are truly amazing and also have the gift of telling a story that pulls the reader in and captures their heart.
    You are a hero in a maxi dress (I live in long skirts ~ my gypsy side......never change you are so perfect just where you are....celebrate YOU! You bless my heart. I too am a cancer survivor, but mine was only stage one, and I didn't have to go what you went through...however...cancer is cancer and I'm so thankful mine is gone too.