I peer into the same activities that I once was wholly apart of. I observe things like parties, and other social events. I attend dinners, and performances. I engage in these "small talk" conversations. I even physically partake in activities like shopping, or exercising.
For all intents and purposes I think I do a very good job at involving myself among our social world. I had 26 years of practice at being myself, so I'd hope that I'm decent at it. I don't know anyone else who can play the role of me, better than myself. When I'm feeling the isolation, the seperation, and the lack of motivation, I can quickly launch into "old normal becca" at the moment someone asks me "So how are you?" And I think most people are none the wiser.
Even though people ask that as a way to mask what they really want to ask which is "How are you dealing with cancer and treatment still? are you tired? sick? doing any better? is it almost over? What happens next? Even though they do that...ultimately, most, don't want to hear all the answers to it. If they did...I would think, they wouldn't mask it with "how are you?" They'd just cut to the chase and ask directly. "How are you?" is just a space-filler.
I've disassociated myself with you. You as in, the rest of our normal world. I don't belong there anymore, as I am not normal. I am in another class now. And not the "cool kids" or the "theater dorks" or the "jocks" class. I am now a member of a society of people, I believe, who cannot help but acknowledge that what we once were is no longer, and what we now are is a completely bizarro twilight-zone reality that most can ever even fathom.
I drive down the street and see a young 20-something mother pushing her stroller down the street and I think "nope. never will be me.".
I stand in line at the bank and watch a couple in front of me who discuss their weekend plans of going camping in michigan. Seemingly no worries other than the fact that they've been waiting at the bank for over 5 minutes to take care of their finances for the week.
I watch an old 70-something woman hobbling out from Panera to her chevy taking her time to watch the seagulls in the parking lot as she puts her cane in the passenger seat.
I see all of this, and am filled with a longing for the irrelevance, enviable monotony , and unreachable normalness. My monotony and normalness is living my days thinking almost nonstop about my guts, my blood, my side effects, my prescriptions, my schedule of emptying my bowels, my money and lack thereof. I spend my days off doing doctor appointments, infusions, procedures, transfusions, waiting room, blood tests, scans, and scopes. I spend my evenings pretending I've found that new perspective on life that makes me enjoy all the little things that much more, when mostly I'm gluing on that smile and going through the motions of who I knew myself to be before the me I am became the permanent patient.