My 41st Chapter: The New Normal

Well, I turned 41 a few weeks ago.  It’s amazing to me that one year ago, after turning 40 and getting my first mammogram, that everything would turn out the way it did.

I went back to work on February 1st, and have slowly ramped up to full-time again.  I was tired, soooooo tired, but being back at work has made me realize how much I enjoy what I do: taking care of OTHER people, being on the OTHER side of the exam table.  Phew, it feels good to not be the patient anymore.

Some of my patients have actually cried when they saw me again, which was incredible.  And some people have said stupid comments, but they are few and far between.  My favorite so far has been this, said to me by one of my male patients: “Oh, you don’t have nipples anymore?  Your poor husband!”.  Really??  Wow.

This next chapter of Me is definitely different, and I don’t think I’ve quite figured it out yet.  I hope to go to a support group for cancer survivors to get some guidance and reassurance on moving forward.  I certainly have a new appreciation for savoring the small moments in life, and trying not to sweat the small stuff – we all need to follow those adages, life’s just too short.

That’s something I’ve definitely noticed in getting back to “new” normal….life is just so…FAST.  I’ve been back at work for two months now and literally haven’t had a moment to write a post, even though I’ve been meaning to do so for weeks.  The only reason I’m able to sit down and do this today is because my car is getting an oil change and new tires.  Otherwise I’d be out flitting about doing the usual errands.

Life has also been seeming very REAL lately.  As in big (both good and not-so-good) things happening to people I know.  One friend lost her brother-in-law suddenly.  Another friend donated her kidney (to a stranger!!).  Several friends or their family members are battling depression.  My sister and another friend are about to have babies.  All these things are just so powerful, for different (and obvious) reasons.  They’re just so…REAL.

What’s the point of my post today?  I’m still not sure….Live in the moment?  Tell your loved ones how much you care about them?  Be good to yourself?

Appreciate every moment and don’t sweat the small stuff, that’s what I’m going with for now.  The rest will fall into place, I have faith in that much.

Another positive note on which I’ll end – a delicious recipe!  It’s vegan, it’s amazing.  You don’t need an Inspiralizer to make this.  It calls for rutabaga, but I found butternut squash “noodles” at the grocery store.  I also roasted broccoli and mushrooms instead of the tomatoes.  You could use this sauce on regular pasta of any sort, throw in whatever veggies you wanted, or top with your choice of protein (although the sauce is quite rich because it’s cashew-based):

Bon Appetit, my friends!!



9 thoughts on “My 41st Chapter: The New Normal

  1. Alex,
    It’s great having you back, you look so amazingly beautiful always have. You’re an inspiration to all of us.
    Love your positive attitude and your words of wisdom!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you never know what to expect when someone opens their mouth…you weren’t administering the cough check by any chance? I would have squeezed a little harder😜. So glad you had a second to write and share your fabulous 41! You are an inspiration for so many reasons, any time you have to share is perfect:). Cheers to a great year ahead, big hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sent that recipe right to my “Pinterest” catalog called Oodles of Zoodles—looks de-lish!!

    Welcome back to the harsh reality called work!! What the hell is wrong that guy, feeling sorry for your “nipple-less” husband?!?!? 😜 Some people!!! Wow!


  4. 🎈HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAYS TO YOU🎈and I am so glad you are feeling better and able to return to work you have no idea how much I have missed you! I guess you can say I’m pretty selfish.. Hope to see you soon.


  5. Such wisdom on the observation that daily life feels too fast, too busy. Let’s all slow down a little. Meanwhile, you get my vote to give an inspirational TED medical talk as part of a (not-yet-created??) series given by health care professionals who have been through a profound experience as a patient. Empathy is such an important factor. XoxoB


  6. Alex- only just reading this now. It’s so beautifully written and contains such wise advice. So happy you’re well. You’re a soldier and a generous and gracious one to have shared your thoughts and feelings. Much love to you- Nan


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