What is normal? I can’t help but look on the newsfeed and scroll through. Friends. Weddings. Babies. Promotions. Birthdays. Yoga. Perfectly prepared meals. Walks on the beach. A turmeric latte. A puppy on parade. You know, the things that young adults do.
As much as I have tried to maintain aspects of my life that feel normal; the reality is that my life has flipped upside down. I left a life I created for myself: job, apartment, independence, schedule, roots. I moved countries, now I live out of a suitcase, and like it or not I am a dependent. The only thing that remains the same is waking up in the morning and going to bed at night. #GRATEFUL
Life becomes a one woman circus. A balancing act, a production, smoke and mirrors. Sometimes I feel like I am the trapeze duo, soaring, flying from one feat to the next; at times, the bearded lady (or balding lady…opposite problem, I guess). Come one come all check out this anomaly! One night only and for 5$, yes you heard me right just FIVE DOLLARS, for the price of a Big Mac you can see tonight’s main event!
And my life doesn’t look like the cancer center either. The other day, I walked up the stairs to see my doctor and asked a volunteer to please let Dr. P know I was there. Her response, “I’m sorry she can’t see you now, she is only taking patients.” She thought I was a drug rep; her face was priceless when the nurse called “GRESHAM!”. I got snubbed at a hospital gift shop when I asked to try on a scarf because she didn’t think I was a cancer patient, until I made a joke about all my hair falling out…then she accepted that I was part of the team.
I come with the precautions of an infant and the complications of a geriatric; all while trying to hold on to the life of a 30 year old. Now, the normal is wiping down any surface before I touch it. Normal is having anti-bacterial at MY FINGER TIPS (I’m like a walking death magnet with no immune system). My normal is resting and making sure my body is not in a state of stress. Normal is managing the constant anxiety of my well being. My normal is writing down everything I eat and every pain or reaction my body has to help map a strategy for the next round. Normal is hot flashes. Normal is being winded after a flight of FIVE steps. Normal is a constant barrage of needles and lab tests. Normal is extreme aches in my bones. Normal is rejoicing over a “normal” bowel movement. Normal is dancing in a isles of a grocery store. Normal is trying to meet this guy on Bumble, while I’ve still got hair. Normal is a face mask at a baby birthday.
I KNEW it would be hard. I didn’t KNOW it would be hard…know what I mean?
“If ya don’t know, now ya know….” -Biggie
I have spent years on the search for what it means to be FEMALE, for what it means to THRIVE, for what it means to be ALIVE. This path has lead me all over the world, drawn to women and their children, to communities, to SPIRIT, and ultimately BACK to MYSELF. Here I will share my most recent adventure, navigating a diagnosis of triple positive BREAST CANCER and each step of the way I figure out how to be a little more ME. I am Catherine-Ayer Gresham a 30 year old woman