For those of you keeping track, today is day 607th of my stay at Six Flags Over Cancer. I’ve been waiting for things to stop hurting and/or start working for awhile now, so I could begin my “new normal” and I could start pretending like none of this ever happened. I’ve come to realize, things hurting and bits not working, going to the doctor, is my new normal.

I’m hoping I’ll look back on this list in a year and be able to laugh.

*Brain – Still not working; I lose vocabulary words in the middle of a sentence; Foggy, foggy, foggy, not all of the time but more than I’m comfortable with.

*Ears – Tinnitus has worsened; Hearing aid probably the next step.

*Head – TMJ, which really needs a new name because it sounds relatively harmless but let me tell you, it is not; Migraines.

*Mouth – Still with the sores, drop of a hat, etc.

*Left Shoulder & Arm – Lymphadema, mild, I’m very lucky; Chronic pain in shoulder is now a front and center issue; Orthopedist is next.

*Breasts – My after-market additions have finally been installed; More surgery is needed, of course; The implants don’t feel as weird as the expanders, so that’s good.

*Heart – Blood pressure low, low, low, like 70/55 low; More tests needed.

*Abdomen – This is a new one; Liposuction during reconstruction plus Tamoxifen which can make your internal plumbing sore = most of the time I walk around with that “about to sneeze” feeling.

*Neuropathy – Both peripheral and autonomic; Hands, feet, etc.; You know when the doctor tests your reflexes by hitting your knee with that little hammer? My leg doesn’t move.

*Lower Back – Chronic pain on the increase; My radiation oncologist tells me the bone and tissue deterioration continues for three to four years after treatment ends; Gives me something to look forward to.

Other Symptoms:

Disordered sleep; Weird, trippy, sometimes horrifically realistic, dreams; Mood swings; Hot flashes, so inaptly named for they come on fast but they do not leave as quickly

I’m still glad I didn’t know this is how it would be. But this…phase…I’m going through, this realization that this is as probably as good as it is ever going to get, has been difficult. I’m trying. I working on it. Give me a little more time.