Today, I feel as if I have a "split personality". There are two people living within: Regular Shelby and Cancer-Diagnosed Shelby. Will there always be two of me from this point on?
Regular Shelby is a wife, daughter, sister, friend, media specialist and mother to three wonderful children. She wakes up, gets dressed, wakes children up, makes breakfast, drops off at daycare, and goes to work - all by 7: 25 a.m. (Ok, maybe 7:26 or 7:27, if I'm running late!) Then, she works eight hours with wonderful co-workers and great students, and begins the afternoon shift. After school, it's time to run errands, cook supper, homework, baths, laundry, housework, prepare for the next day, and then bed. Somewhere in there, I try to spend quality time with my loved ones, laugh, learn, and celebrate the "little things". Regular Shelby relishes the unexpected, yet manageable events that make each day unique. Whether it's an unexpected funny at lunch time with co-workers that results in belly-laughs, a child's milestone, confession, or a quiet moment to relax...they are all part of Regular Shelby's day.
Then, there's the newly discovered Cancer-Diagnosed Shelby. She's the one who has been overwhelmed with love and support from family, friends, classmates, co-workers and students. The one who is surrounded by prayers from Alaska to South Florida, who has the constant thought of "what's next on this journey?" She has turned into an emotional wreck (when no one is looking), but feels like she has to put up a strong front for her family. She had to ask about Family Medical Leave Act Procedures and discuss where her "Teachers As Advisers" class will go on Thursday mornings, during her leave. Cancer-Diagnosed Shelby had to answer, "Will you die, Mom?", from her son. She also has to learn breast cancer lingo, and had to answer an email from a former student asking, "Mrs. H, Is it true you have cancer?"
The challenge is merging the two. I know that Cancer will not define me, but it will forever change me and my family. I know that there will be days when one personality will be stronger than the other...but in the end, I'll still be just "Shelby".
* As a side note, my MRI is scheduled for this Thursday, August 25th at 8:00 a.m. and my appointment with Dr. Martin to discuss my treatment plan is Tuesday, August 30 at 3:50 p.m.*