I Don't Want The "New Normal"

Life after cancer is anything abut normal. Instead of focusing on finding "the new normal," Barbara believes that survivors should focus on discovering "the new life" and leave "normal" behind. Read more.

The New Normal. Those three words can be frustrating and daunting to hear as a cancer survivor. I, personally, detest them.

Like many a cancer survivor, I have proclaimed, "I don't want the new normal - I want my normal back." I know it's impossible - life will not go back to the way it was before cancer, as cancer is an opponent that does not fight fairly. Its goal is to kill, steal and destroy. But the best revenge against such an adversary is to stay strong, make the survivor's voice heard and to not only accept that things will not be the same, but to embrace the new life.

Often times cancer survivors will admit that before the cancer, they did not understand that they were not truly living. Cancer has a way of opening eyes and reminding its opponents of what is really important. It causes people to reflect and become a little more introspective as they explore the many questions that they will face - Why did I survive? Are my dreams gone? What does my future hold? When those questions are explored with honesty, they can be answered with amazing insight and lead to a thrilling new sense of life. But remember - you don't have to have all of the answers right now. That's part of the journey.

I have learned through my experience that unfulfilled dreams can challenge the cancer survivor to move forward and pursue them. Relationships can be sorted through and repaired in some cases as the survivor is ready to move on. What about the crazy impulsive things? Try horseback riding, go ice skating, take a class in a subject that is interesting and fascinating (all of these are on my "New Life To Do List").

It's time for a fresh perspective and a second look at the "New Normal". When you stop to think about it, do you really want life to be "normal"? After all, it is defined as "conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected." As we all know, life after cancer is anything but "usual." The way I see it - life after cancer should be defined as something much more exciting than just, "normal." It isn't a new normal, it is a new life entirely.

And it can be an extra-ordinary one, at that.

Forget the "New Normal", embrace the extraordinary "New Life" and find a way of turning surviving into thriving.

What do you think about the "new normal"?