Christmas is over, family has returned to their lives in faraway places, the tree is down and holiday decorations put away for another time. Life, as they say, can return to normal.
The problem is I no longer know what “normal” is. After a cancer diagnosis, surgery, and chemotherapy little in my life is as it was prior to diagnosis. My body is different - scarred and weaker, no longer able to tolerate certain activities nor to move as freely as before. My mind wanders into places it never dared to go and holds both fear and hope in equal measure where before fear had no place. My spirit has been challenged and I have questioned much of what I thought to be true.
2017 was the year I fought for my life. Surgery and chemotherapy took a great toll on my physical and spiritual being. 2018 was a year of recovery, my focus on healing. It took the entire year to rebuild my physical strength, to find a mental space where I can live with and even embrace the uncertainty, to get back out into the world and yes, to grow my hair into a style that looks like someone other than my oncologist cut it.
It is time for a new beginning.
So, Monday night I will close my eyes to old ends and open my heart to new beginnings.
All I ask, dear 2019, is to please, be kind.