The New Normal: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

I always get excited about a new month. Nothing really changes between the 31st (or the 30th, 28th or 29th) and the 1st, but the transition from one month to the next is usually pretty refreshing. It’s a chance to start fresh, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

February was rough. For a short month it was packed with, what seemed like, more than 29 days worth of stress, worry, and questions. Some questions got answers and some were added to a list to be figured out at a later date. As if February wasn’t hard enough, it was leap year and we were “lucky” enough have one extra day. Our extra day was spent meeting with the bone marrow transplant doctor that we had been referred to as part of Justin’s latest treatment plan. Here we were again, listening to a man we had just met, explain what was happening in Justin’s body and what our next steps are.

There’s no flexibility with a bone marrow transplant. You are essentially being told that the next year of your life is being put on hold. We were shocked.

We’re not in Kansas anymore ToTo. 

This was no longer the treatment process we knew and had gotten used to.

The night before his appointment, I spent some time putting together a binder to organize all of the paperwork that we had been given recently. I was getting overwhelmed with all of the information being packed in my brain and I knew eventually I wouldn’t remember the simplest of details. I felt prepared and like I was, finally, ahead of the game. As the doctor and transplant coordinator kept talking and handing me folders, packets, study information, and things to fill out I just kept thinking…

“Damn, I’m going to need a bigger binder.”

It felt like we had fallen into another universe, and again, had left with just as many unknowns as we did answers. As we walked through the maze of the main hospital and parking garage I felt extremely thankful that Justin’s dad had come with us that day. I just wanted to shut my eyes and turn my brain off for a few minutes. I was asleep before we hit the expressway.

When Justin and I got home we didn’t really talk about the details. There was no use trying to control things now. A bone marrow transplant won’t happen for at least four months, and if we learned anything from the short month of February, it’s that we have to take this one step at a time. Stupid extra leap day.

The next morning I got to work early to make up some time I had missed the day before, eventually I realized that it was no longer February. It was a relief. It made processing the year ahead of us a little less daunting to think about. I felt like a new month gave me the motivation to leave the shock behind me, with February. A new month and a new mission.

I can’t help but think that the bone marrow transplant appointment being on the last day of that awful month was more than a coincidence. I’m not usually one to believe that things happen for a reason, especially lately, but whatever made it happen, I’m thankful for it. Justin and I have a fight in front of us and we are as ready as we can be. It will be different, more difficult, and scarier than any other battle we have seen. We’ll get through it, one month at a time.

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