I rooted around the drawer with some desperate vigor, there had to be a hidden pair of underwear lurking that’d escaped my uptight drawer organization in here somewhere. I purposely own enough underwear to supply an entire cheer-leading team to avoid this kind of situation, yet here I am, not a single undie in sight and a laundry basket bursting with my skivvies. As I boldly hunted through my collection of wild print push-up bras, sensible bandos and other unmentionables I mentally searched through my gym bag, purses, even knitting bags determined to uncover a back-up up pair of at least granny panties somewhere. Then the gitch fairy smiled down on me and I burst out with a triumphant ‘a-ha’ yanking out a rogue pair hidden amongst my pantyhose and socks.
But my excitement quickly turned into dread as I realized that although the pair was brand new, adorably covered in coral and purple flowers, they had been part of a gift from my Nana over 12 birthday’s ago. Yup, these puppies were going to take a lot of wiggling, stretching and determination to avoid instantly being converted into a thong. Dreading the long day ahead wearing my panties of yore, I tried to convince myself that small underwear was better than no underwear at all.
Luckily enough they stayed out of my tushie, but that was only because they were securely lodged in the indents they were creating that I knew would leave red marks for days to follow. I smiled as I accepted the metaphor, it was official; after cancer there will be no forcing myself into a former life, it just doesn’t fit anymore.
Even if I tired, when my life is no longer consumed with treatments, needles, and appointments I couldn’t go back to ‘normal’. I can return to the same job, dance on the same floors, wear the same shoes, but I’ve changed therefore so has my life. Normal is wonderfully no longer.
One of the many blessings for me in all of this is becoming friends with change. I like that I will get to experience life with fresh perspectives, a different kind of bravery and more light heartedness than I ever have before. I have a history of kicking and screaming or forcing myself to be a square peg in a round hole just to keep the status quo, which has only ever limited me. And limiting is no longer an option.
Now, all I can see is the freedom and ultimately fun that change will be. I don’t have to have all the answers all the time, I don’t have to have it all figured out, and the less I try to control the more I see options I never knew were available to me. It was exhausting living my life digging my claws into the familiar when change was going to happen whether I dug in or not.
For me, trying to find a normal after cancer would be like like trying to shove a 44 year old tushie into the underwear of a 30 year old, they may get up, but they would be confining, hold me back and make life unnecessarily uncomfortable. I can’t wait to see how different life will be and what new adventures are waiting. Next time I find myself without a single pair of knickers to get in a twist, it will be commando all the way.