Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 22

Jen's Corner

NEW YEAR, NEW GOALS

The New N*&%$*

T

(NORMAL)

he dreaded words. Readjusting expectations. Refocusing your goals.
All ways of basically saying, "Sorry your life will never be the same
ever again." Cancer isn't the change we choose. But we are entering a
new decade. My Facebook feed is filled with people doing the 20102020 "new decade new me" posts. The pictures are very entertaining.
Friends I know now look like little babies from 2010. Stringy hair, bad makeup,
awful outfits-it's a wonder most of them are contributing members of society now!
Time doesn't heal everything, but it can change everything. 2019 was a
hard year for me. Nothing specific. I wasn't diagnosed with anything, didn't
face anything big and bad. But it wore me down. It was the small, wearying,
mundane things of everyday life. Anxiety, depression, pain, loss. But I made it
through. The cancer community often shares the tag line #outlivingit. I always
envisioned that being a marathon run, a mountain climbed, something big
and impressive. I haven't done anything of that sort yet, and I may never. But
I'd like to make a new tag line for me. #keeplivingit. I made it through today.
I got out of bed. I completed my work week. I crashed hard on the weekend
from exhaustion. I managed to participate in something I cared about. My
celebration is in the fact that I made it through the every day. I worked, I
lived, I kept on. One more freaking year.

This week I celebrated (?) my eight-year cancerversary. More like I acknowledged it. The
struggles are still there. Comparing myself to
coworkers who started a year after me, and yet
have received promotions before me. Or those
who did start with me and are significantly
further along in their careers. I could feel the
burning answer of "but they don't deal with the
struggles you have" and I want to sock someone.
I don't want to deal with the struggles I have. So
many days I wonder what I would give to trade
in my cancer card and live a life like everyone
else. I see the growth and change and the new
place I'm in thanks in a large part to cancer,
but that in no way means that some days I don't
wonder about how much I could have enjoyed
my stunted less-than-ideal backwards place I
may have been in otherwise.
Most of my last decade has been filled with
the pain of cancer, and the struggles of life after.
This next decade is going to be filled with the
physical struggle of long-term side effects and
the various medical conditions cancer has left
me with. My 25-year-old body feels way older,
and the roaring 20s aren't going to help that
any. But this decade will change me, just as the
last one and the one before it did. Maybe this
last decade has made you bitter and hardened at
life. For a lot of you reading this, I know this last
decade has brought you into a way more intimate
relationship with cancer than you ever wanted,
and I know your 20s are going to be rough for
you as you figure out your new normal.
My mother always said something when we
complained about a sibling calling us names
or being mean in general. "If it's true, fix it. If
it's not, forget it." Those words keep ringing in
my years as this decade begins. There is some
stuff we can't change, people we can't control,
things we can't have. Move on. Let's leave that
in 2019. But there's stuff we can fix. We can fix
ourselves, and our attitudes to life. We can fix
the friends we have, or don't have. We can work
towards fixing our world, and being kinder to
each other. We can work on fixing this stupid
thing called cancer for good. l

➥ J E N N I F E R A NA N D WA S DI AGNOSE D W I T H HOD GK I N ' S LY M PHOM A I N JA N UA RY, 2 012 , FOL L OW E D
BY C H E MOT H E R A PY A N D R A DI AT ION T R E AT M E N T S FOR E IGH T MON T H S . J E N N I F E R IS NOW A
SU RV I VOR A N D J US T C E L E BR AT E D H E R E IGH T-Y E A R A N N I V E R SA RY T H IS Y E A R A S C A NC E R-F R E E .
E V E RY W E E K ON L I N E A N D I N OU R QUA RT E R LY M AG A Z I N E , J E N N I F E R A NA N D W I L L BE PROV I DI NG
H E R R E A L S TORY A N D E X PE R I E NC E S TO H E L P I NSPI R E PAT I E N T S A N D SU RV I VOR S . W E C A L L T H IS
J E N ' S C OR N E R .

22

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
MARCH 2020


http://www.elephantsandtea.com

Elephants And Tea - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - March 2020

Contents
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 1
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 3
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 4
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 5
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 6
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 7
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 8
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 9
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 10
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 11
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 12
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 13
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 14
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 15
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 16
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 17
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 18
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 19
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 20
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 21
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 22
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 23
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 24
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 25
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 26
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 27
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 28
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 29
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 30
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 31
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - 32
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Cover3
Elephants And Tea - March 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com