Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Return to Normalcy...or Not

President Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, coined the phrase, "Return to Normalcy" during his bid for election in 1920.  Harding encouraged the citizens of the United States to return to their normal everyday lives and activities, following the conclusion of World War I.  His inaugural addresses stated, "We must strive for normalcy, to reach stability." Harding is often considered one of the worst presidents in US History, but I think his phrase (or that of some prohibition-induced spin doctor) is very insightful.

Harding's inaugural words are something I will remind myself of in the upcoming days, weeks, and months.  As much as I would like to believe that my life will be the same, it won't.  For my family, my children, and myself, I'm going to have to strive to be "normal"...whatever that may be.

Today, I am taking President Harding's words to heart.  I am striving for normalcy. This afternoon, we attended the Clifton Ridge football game.  Go Cougars!  (Griffen and I worked in the concession stand for the first half.)  After the game, we went out to eat, celebrating Griffen's selection as part of the 2011-2012 Gray Elementary Chorus.  Now, it's onto listening to Adelia talk about her day, discussing AP World History Notes,  reviewing spelling words with Griffen, and Barbies with Arleigh.  Amongst that, there's laundry to be done, baths, lunches to be packed and preparation for tomorrow.  For us, that's an attempt of normalcy.

My days of normalcy, however, are dwindling.  One week from now, my mastectomy will be complete.  I will be a patient at the hospital, staying overnight.  My loving husband will assume his role as "Mr. Mom".  My children will realize that Mama won't be coming home tonight.  There will be relief that the surgery is over, but apprehension about the pathology results.  I may be cancer free, but I will only have one breast.  That is far from normal.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment at the Breast Health Center with my Oncology Nurse Navigator.  You can read more about a Nurse Navigator here.   She will spend time discussing breast cancer, the mastectomy, post-op instructions, and what comes next in my journey with breast cancer. Jeff and I look forward to meeting her and the information and knowledge she can share with us.

So, for the next six days, I will focus on Harding's visions of normalcy...but hey, who said that I was normal to begin with?  :)


1 comment:

tracy said...

Shelby, as i read this it occurred to me that you wont be normal as you once knew it. It would be as if new parents brought their baby home and said to each other ok, now that the baby is home lets get things back to normal! (NOT) you are no longer JUST a good mom, good wife, co-worker, friend, ect. you are a survivor. you are stronger than you thought. you are less likely to take for granted the little things that fill your life with sprinkles. You will have war wounds from this battle and you will come out victorious! you will have a custom made for Shelby normal, because that is what you will have earned!