The New Normal

Nov 23, 2011 | On Being Positive

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Lynne Tapper

I am a lifelong endurance athlete with the dual goal of training and racing until my bones turn to dust and sharing that passion with as many people as possible.

Just for “shits and giggles” (to quote Leland), we decided to hit the local Mall the day BEFORE Thanksgiving for some Chanukah shopping.  It’s Black Wednesday, didn’t you know?  Anyway, it is my goal to avoid the Mall from now until December 26th.  Not sure if that will work, but you cannot blame a girl for dreaming.

In addition to doing some holiday shopping, I convinced Leland to go to The Gap.  I was looking for some button-down shirts that feel comfortable and actually look good with my new shape.  I found this terrific staff person to help me out.  I remember her from another visit to The Gap in the summer.  She was helping me pick out some shirts and commenting on how they fit (or didn’t fit).  Inside I was smiling. She had no idea what I had been through.  To her, I was a normal customer and my breast size was perfectly fine.

Many times friends and family will ask me how I’m doing and ask, “Is everything getting back to normal?” Leland quickly chimes in with, “Well, it’s a new normal.”  I like that.  It has a nice ring to it.  Most things will eventually get back to the way they were, but my life will never be the same.  I’m not saying it will be better or worse, just different.

Here is what the “new normal” feels like to me:

I’m starting to be able to get dressed without much pain.
I’m able to put on clothes without feeling self-conscious.
I’m able to sleep on my side for a few minutes throughout the night.
I’m able to travel to NYC for Thanksgiving with my in-laws and father.  A few weeks ago, we couldn’t make any commitments for this holiday based on how I felt.
I’m able to laugh, but not too much, as it hurts if I really get going.
I’m able to cough and sneeze without feeling like my stitches are going to rip out.

I know these seem like small accomplishments, but trust me, they are huge!  I’m still in some pain. The sutures and steri-strips have not fallen off yet.  Slowly and surely, I’m getting used to this New Normal.




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