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Anne's Vulva Cancer Journal

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What is Normal? - What now?

 Time really does fly by when you are having fun, I have proven that! But seriously over that last 8 years I initially thought that once having the radiation & chemo, all I had to do was heal, heal and do some more healing and I would return to NORMAL, was I ever wrong.

The Dictionary meanings for NORMAL are:
: according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle 
: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern

 I am going to start with saying that what I now believe is "NORMAL" and what the rest of the human race thinks is "NORMAL" is totally different. It has taken me quite some time to learn & accept that my "Normal" is OK and that it is fine to be this way.  I have new limits and needed to learn what they are.  Once learning about these limits they are sometimes entertaining and sometimes very frustrating.  After all that has been said and done, after the radiation and chemotherapy, life will never be the same.  May it be a small to large physical difficulty or a small to large psychological dilemma we are all effected, whether we want to admit it or not.  You will have to learn what "your normal" really is.  Just because you can't do all the things you used to, does not mean you are not normal. Or that you look and feel different.  Remember that beauty is on the inside.  The outside of our body is just a shell holding all the good stuff together. No matter where they have operated and left scars, it is the inside that counts.
      Learning how to do things a different way can be difficult but not impossible.
I used to be a morning person, yes one of those pesky early riser's, until having cancer.  I used to enjoy getting up before the sun and accomplishing those little jobs that stack up to a mountain.  Now, I am lucky if I am up by 9:00am.  My sleep habits have gone in the toilet, I am up at all hours of the day and night.  At first I thought that this is not "normal" then I began to accept that this is " my normal ", and this is ok.  I designed my schedule around my sleep habits, no early appointments, tape my favorite TV programs and ordered call answer from my phone company.  I no longer feel bad if I miss a call during the daytime hours.  Everyone has learnt, I will call them back, make lunch dates and have company when I can.  Best of all no more telemarketers, they don't leave messages!
The hardest part for me is learning not to believe that everything should be done by yesterday. Tomorrow or next week is fine. I never used to delegate but I sure do now.

The fact is, if there is something "different" about you, you don't have to feel ashamed.

We have to learn not to compare what everybody else is like and how they do things. Just because we do things a little slower we are not substandard. I will now never be a beauty queen, but on the other hand I never was before the cancer. We are setting new rules on how we should live, a day at a time.  

So the next time someone approaches you and tells you that you do not look normal without your hair, tell them that you are setting a new trend.

My new "normal" is the mark of the beginning of my new life, with a new perspective and a greater understanding of my own strength and determination.

So you still think that you have to be normal? Take the test.

Are you NORMAL?

Diagnostic criteria for NPD: Normal Person Disorder

  • A chronic feeling of normalness.
  • A tendency to bore others easily.
  • A nagging sense of never meeting one's goal.
  • Lack of difficulty getting organized.
  • Inability to be humorous.
  • Knowing how to count without forgetting what number you are up to.
  • An inability to be creative and intuitive, no seat of pants to fly by.
  • A VCR set to 12:00am flashing.
  • An broken remote control.
  • A To-Do list which never gets done.

If you have two or more of the above for more than a week - YOU ARE NORMAL!!

Have a great day!

Anne :)


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