Normal. It has such a nice ring to it.

“Your recent mammogram was normal,” the letter from my health provider stated. I read the sentence a couple more times to make sure I got it right. Normal. How comforting, how safe-sounding.

My husband and I had just returned from a camping trip to a beautiful and peaceful place. Last year at this time we returned from a different camping trip to discover I had breast cancer. As a person who tends to look for patterns in life, I couldn’t help being a bit nervous. On the way home I thought about how I might react if I was once again called in for a recheck. I think it would be harder this time than the last. Going through cancer once is scary, but having it return? I think that would be much worse, because the fear would arise that this cancer was never going to go away, that life would never be ordinary and safe again.

But the letter said I was normal–or at least, one part of my anatomy was. My husband gave me a high five, and we both grinned. The sun was shining, we were home from a wonderful trip, and we could go on living each day and planning for the future. There will be unexpected challenges to come–that is a given for all of us–but for now, life is good.

About susanmaas

I grew up in the green state of Oregon, coming to love the birds, flowers, and other wild things of the woods. Our family homeschooled for sixteen years, spending wonderful vacations at the beach or camping in the western United States and British Columbia. For most of my adult life, I have been a part-time writer, creating personal experience stories, homeschooling articles, devotionals, Sunday school curriculum, and children's stories and books. I enjoy looking for signs of the eternal in nature and the small, everything events in our lives.
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