May 12, 2020 - My New Normal
(Disclaimer: When I began updating Caring Bridge, I had no idea how many entries I would write. My goal was to leave a written legacy for Mason, for him to read when he was older. I didn’t know if he would hear about 2019 with my voice or read my written word only. I am blessed that I am writing the 47th entry. I will write only three more entries, as I prayerfully hope the worst is behind us. Cancer is an unpredictable enemy, so if there is more to write, a new volume will begin.)
May is a month of many things. Saturday was my 51st birthday. Sunday was Mother’s Day. It is also the month that I discovered cancer in my breast. I felt my lump on May 12, Mother’s Day, 2019. It is ironic that we are on the 1-year mark of an unexpected year. 2019 was a year of cancer, multiple surgeries, the loss of my mother, and now a global pandemic.
I remember celebrating my 50th birthday at a work conference concert. I joked that SAP held the concert in honor of my momentous birthday. It was Lady GaGa, who else! We had fabulous seats on the floor a few rows from the stage. As I was belting out “Shallow”, “Born this Way”, and “On the Edge of Glory”, I did not have a care in the world. I had no idea cancer was waiting to meet me.
May 2020 has also brought major changes for the Kranking family. With a heavy heart, we decided to move and leave our beloved 30A in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. We sold our house and have moved to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. We have settled in a lovely neighborhood and hope to see Mason thrive with a new adventure and new friends.
There are many reasons as to why we decided to move and relocate. Last year was particularly difficult. We were dealing with cancer, but because of cancer, we were driving 6 hours every other week, if not more frequently. My treatment was in Atlanta. We considered having treatment at the beach, but we felt safer with the doctors in Atlanta. It was easier for me as I was only a passenger, but Jamie endured the drive, mile after mile.
It meant many hours in the car, many hours in hotels, and many hours away from Mason. We were so fortunate to have family and dear friends who pitched in and helped without hesitation. It also brought on the hard realization that we were living in a vacation area with limited healthcare options. When we moved to Seagrove Beach, healthcare was not in our thought. We were not thinking about serious illnesses. We were young and healthy, until we’re not.
As 2019 ended, Jamie and I began discussing the possibility of moving. Coastal areas were important to me. Jamie didn’t want to be further south due to the heat. So, Ponte Vedra seemed like the logical spot. It is closer to Savannah, which meant closer to family. It also gives us many options for health care, including the Mayo Clinic, if ever needed.
We will miss the glorious beaches in Walton County, but most of all we will miss our very dear friends. In the seven years that we lived there; our friends became family. It was very hard and bittersweet to leave, but we know we will return for visits and vacations.
As far as my health, I am adjusting to taking a daily dose of anastrozole. We are not foes, but we certainly haven’t become friends. I am experiencing notably more joint pain. I feel it when I sleep. The simple act of changing positions or rolling over in bed is a quick reminder of my new normal. When I awake in the morning, it is difficult to get out of bed. But, once I am up and moving, I do ok. Experiencing random join pain is strange. It doesn’t hurt enough to complain, but you constantly feel it. The aches and pains are my new normal.
It has been 1 year to the day when I felt that strange lump. The cancer was removed, and I am still here. I am still living. I love my family and I am thriving.