The new normal

This is the new normal.

Only a few short weeks ago, Grandpa’s condition deteriorated significantly while Mum was overseas.  I prepared her as best I could, but nothing really prepares you for that degree of change.  She didn’t recognise him when I first took her to see him in hospital and still clung to the expectation that he might return to normal, to some cognition, some recognition.  However, as I told her then, this was the new normal.  The new normal for only 10 days as it turned out.

And for me, this is the new normal.

I do accept that. Not in a fatalistic way.  I really just don’t want to rail against it all.  I want to get back out and about with Alannah, in the sunshine, in the fresh air.  Yes, even the best possible diagnosis following Monday’s biopsy will be tough.  And that is the best case that Dr S know thinks less likely after seeing the tumour in the flesh.  But if I pretend otherwise, it’s just going to be tougher.

With the best of intentions, a few people have said they hope I feel better soon.  Or that they know I’ll get through it soon.  I know that is not true.  I understand why they say it and I try to break it to them gently: this is not something where you feel better soon.

And I’m not going to beat myself up wishing that it were.  The swelling has gone down a bit today and Alannah has been inside too long.  Tomorrow, I’m getting out in the fresh air and, I hope, sunshine.  She is on antibiotics now after seeing the doctor today, so here’s hoping for a more restful night.



  1. You sound an amazing young woman. I was impressed with how you looked after your Grandpa when your mum was in France and didn’t worry her with his deterioration until she came home. I love how you interact with Allana and be a good mum to her. Now you have this dreadful problem to deal with and you sound so resigned and calm about it. I hope the treatment is not too difficult for you and that it is successful.

  2. Kirsten — Your mother and I were blogging friends who met in Paris and became (I believe) “real” friends over coffee in a restaurant near des Invalides (terrible service, great location between her studio and our hotel). I was so sorry she arrived in Paris just as we were leaving.
    I am not going to say “it will be better soon” or anything like that. I just want to tell you we are all stronger than we think we are. I went through cancer tests when I was 31, and the worst part was waiting for the results. Having a hysterectomy was easier, somehow, than waiting to find out if I needed one.
    I have a friend I’ve known since I was 4. Her son has cancer in his jaw. I try not to bombard her with “how is he?” questions, but I hate not knowing. It has always seemed to me anything is better than not knowing.
    Thinking of you, and Julie, too.
    — Kay, Alberta, Canada

  3. Hi Kirsten – I’m sorry such a crappy, sucky thing has happened to you.
    I guess – hang on, and get ready for a roller-coaster ride.
    With all that is going on in your life, you really must be feeling emotionally battered at the moment.
    Do you meditate?
    If you don’t, could I please recommend it to you – I have a link if you’d like – it’s a real life line.

  4. Margaret says:

    Welcome to blog world.
    I wish you strength and peace for your journey in overcoming this condition.
    Cuddles with little people are often the best medicine.

  5. Everything that Dianne said. All I can say is that I’m very glad it’s not cancer and wish you strength in the days to come.

    (I also agree with freefalling about meditation if you feel its something that you can do.)

  6. Hey Kirsty,

    What a great idea to write this down – I hope it helps you to process everything; it definitely helps us to learn a little bit more about your journey through this.

    Thinking of you and big hugs xo

  7. Kirsten I have been so enjoying your photos that Julie has been posting. And this is a truly stylish blog — I just wish you didn’t have the situation that has led you to start it. My prayers are with you.

  8. Thank you all for your lovely words. This isn’t going to be easy and the support makes such a difference.

  9. And freefalling & Ann – I don’t meditate but I’m open to anything that will help me maintain equilibrium and calm through this. Please feel free to send me the link.

  10. MARLIES says:

    Kirsten, Darren and Alannah,
    WOW, Kirsten you are a very exceptional person. It’s a tough gig you have at the moment but you have shown such courage and calm. I love your approach to the problem. It has obviously focused your attention and allowed you to articulate your feelings, not bottle them up, which we all know can be negative. Keep POSITIVE, and stay STRONG.
    Alannah is gorgeous by the way.
    Marlies, Phil Ward’s wife.

  11. Thanks Marlies, that’s so sweet. It’s been a long month but I am feeling really positive and determined to look on the bright side. Ally gives the best cuddles when I need them. K xx

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