Some Kind of Normal

12 Nov

I have a love-hate relationship with tamoxifen. I love how this drug is helping to protect me from a reoccurrence of breast cancer. I hate the unpleasant side effects it inflicts upon my body. Especially the nausea. Four years is an awfully long time to have an unhappy stomach.

Last night as I swallowed my last bite of dinner, I immediately wished I had skipped the meal altogether. Feeling queasy, I quickly cleared the table and cleaned the dishes. I needed to make sack lunches for the next day, so I grabbed some ham and cheese and set out eight slices of bread on the counter.

My little girl, who had helped me with the dishes, was still in the kitchen happily telling me about her day at school. As I began to spread the Miracle Whip, without any warning, I suddenly threw-up. TMI? Let me get to the point. While I continued to be sick, my daughter kept right on chattering about her day — as if it was perfectly normal for her mom to be throwing up in the kitchen.

When she finished her story, she did ask, “You okay, Mom?” But before I could answer, her attention turned to the food on the counter. “Hey,” she said, as if we were talking about a condiment, “you didn’t get any of that on my sandwich did you?”

How many other kids do you know that think it’s normal to go to school with a vomit-splattered sandwich?

In that moment, it occurred to me that my daughter had no idea what normal really is. As I pondered this, I thought back to how young she had been when I was first diagnosed with cancer. And I realized that she had been too young to remember a mom who had been healthy and energetic and didn’t throw up while making the sandwiches.

Sometimes I can’t remember that mom, either.


6 Responses to “Some Kind of Normal”

  1. Mary Beth Roossien November 12, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    Oh Jill… I am so sorry you have to suffer so much…

  2. jan November 12, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    Today’s blog brings a tear to my eyes. Oh that we had our priorities in the right order like a child who exclaims over what might have gotten on her sandwich, not over mom’s illness. You may find it hard to remember the mom of yesterday but the Jill of today is just the right Jill, totally accepted, valued, and loved by our Heavenly Father…and your daughter. You are a blessing to me, Jill, and to many others.

  3. writergirldreams November 13, 2010 at 12:05 am #

    Oh Jill, I think this is the biggest loss out of all the losses with a cancer diagnosis. The loss of the old life, the old normal. I try not to think about it, sometimes, late at night, it haunts me. I want my old life back. I will never have it back. My son asked me yesterday “Mom, what do you want for your birthday?” A time machine, I said. Oh Jill. Oh Jill. hugs and there there now. wgd

  4. Holly Hall November 13, 2010 at 2:06 am #

    Oh Jill. I love how you share all of your experiences with everyone. I look forward to reading your postings and they always 1) make me think 2) bring tears to my eyes 3) make me realize how life always unexpected, but you can be grateful and finally 4) Jesus loves us and has his arms around us always! Most of the time, when I read what you wrote, I think of all of those things. The Jill I remember from Point Loma long ago is still here. She still has a smile on her face and is kind and patient and funny. You keep going in all that you have been going through. I’m not sure if I could do that, but you inspire me! Thank you.

  5. Kim Forseth November 15, 2010 at 6:24 am #

    I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed and appreciated your thoughts you share each week. I especially relate to your latest blog on trying to remember the healthy mom. When I was initially diagnosed with MS, a year ago, the doctors put me on the once a week protocol, Avonex. Now this drug has good results with many people with MS, but not with me. For 8 months, every weekend I felt like I had the flu- how depressing at times. You see I would give myself my shot on Fridays and Saturday and Sundays were spent feeling like every muscle in body hurt, no energy- well you get the picture. But as you know, God’s faithfulness remains. I am now on a drug therapy with no side effects- at least that I am currently experiencing. I am just waiting for the day, like you probably, that I can wake up and just forget I have MS that day.

  6. Wagonwife Designs November 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    I am so sorry you are struggling with this. It is the loss of normal that gets us at times. I will keep you in my prayers.

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