The New Normal

The shock of this unthinkable season had begun to wear off so I headed to work today for the first time in over two weeks.  Izzy was still having virtually no side effects from last week and I longed for some sense of normal.  It was nice to do some of our same morning routines and walk out the door to the sound of the kids laughing with our sitter.

As I pulled out of the driveway today a sense of peace began to overwhelm me.  Days like this were not to be taken for granted.  I knew that Izzy wouldn’t always feel like playing with her big brother all day in the comfort of our own home.  There would be hard days but there would be normal days too. We could do this.

When I got to work I put a pretty sign on my office door that read “thanks for caring but no cancer talk in here”. It had a smiley face on it too, just so people knew that I loved them but I just needed some space.  There were a couple hundred people at the church for Vacation Bible School, but friends politely stopped by to welcome me back and went on their way.  I sat quietly at my desk most of the day and checked email and worked on reports.  I began to feel in control of my life again.  We could definitely do this.

If you’ve ever played Jenga you know how quickly your seemingly stable tower can collapse with only the removal of a block or two.  Sometimes you can’t even remember which block caused the tower to begin to shake, but once it lost stability there was no going back.

That’s how I would sum up the time between when I left work and when we arrived at the Emergency Room tonight.  There was abdominal pain.  Phone calls.  And then what no one dealing with cancer ever wants to hear: a fever.  

Once here her labs revealed that her white blood cell count was virtually zero.  It’s not what anyone anticipated from this first round of chemo.  This is the mild dose.  Our primary team requested she be transported to Cincinnati but we chose to stay here at least overnight.  

We’ve been admitted now and she’s on her second dose of antibiotics.  They’ve given her Tylenol but the fever is still rising.  

I woke up this morning and thought I was going to have a normal day.  And you know what?  I did.  This is my new normal.  I can put signs on my office door everyday but that won’t keep the cancer out of my life.  I can do all the same things in the same order I used to do them before but it will never make things like they were before.  Before is a thing of the past.  This is today.  

Today my daughter has cancer.  And today I’m in a hospital room with her defenseless body.  And it sucks and I’m angry and I’m sad.  And sometimes that’s okay.  Sometimes I just get to be all of those things and grieve because I want the old normal back.

22 Replies to “The New Normal”

  1. Very well written. You are an amazing person & that will help Izzy a lot. I hate this for Izzy & the entire family. Not fair. You know the bad people live through every kind of self inflicted wound to their bodies such as drug use. If good people did what they do to themselves they’d never survive. Then lil kids like Izzy have to go through this! When she would be a blessing on earth, the worthless thrive. Don’t get it. Well Izzy will be on my mind as usual but even more today. I’d say I wish this and that but it’s just a wish, I can’t take her place or change any of this. Take care as mush as possible & give Izzy a hug from us all. We love you.

  2. I know I can’t say any words to make it okay, but praying an praying an praying. You can do this. You are so strong. God is with you. I want all of our prayer to give you strength and Izzy strength to fight this for victory!!

  3. Unable to convey my thoughts into words. Know you and your family are surrounded in love and prayers.

  4. More and more prayers have been sent and will keep coming. The Lord is with Izzy, you, and your entire family.

  5. Oh, Molly. My heart just breaks for you all. You are not alone, you have the promise of our awesome God..that He will never leave you. I am praying for Izzy, you, Kendrick and Carter everyday-throughout the day. I wish there was an “easy” button. You are strong and you guys can do this. Together you can do it. Big {hugs} to you!

  6. I am praying for izzy as are so many others at the school where I teach. Shari Kirkpatrick shared your story with us and you now have a small army praying for you in our corner of California.

  7. You and Izzy are in my and my familes prayers, Molly. I have been fervantly praying for you both since I heard about this. It’s so hard to see your child hurting. I will continue to pray for God’s presense and peace to envelop both you, Izzy and your family.

  8. Praying for your family! Cancer sucks! I have a group of friends that have been given your FB page for additional prayer.

  9. This kind of normal is something no one can imagine feeling unless they have experienced it themself. I am so sorry all of the Mattocks family is learning about this kind of normal!

  10. With children your daughter’s age I can only imagine the heartache you must be feeling. I am praying for your sweet baby girl, and for your family.

  11. I pray for you and your family every day. I have everyone I know praying as well, so you have prayers from all over the world coming your way. I am amazed at the strenght and faith in your words. I read and re-read your posts and cry, smile, sob, get angry, and wish there was something I could do from Arizona to help. I text your Grandma (Sharon) often with my prayers and thoughts. God is there, lean on him and know that he will get you and your family through this. And, you are right, this is your new normal, as much as it sucks….

  12. Sweet Molly, I am so sorry, I truly wish I could do something to make this better!! I think of you guys ALL THE TIME… I constantly rub my izzy bracelet and say a prayer. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!!!

  13. I am so sorry for your new normal. We are friends of your cousin, Jill, in Cincinnati. We’ll be following closely, praying for your old normal to return and that this would be a time of growth in your family’s relationship with God.

  14. I’m impressed by how how level headed and well written your blogs are under the given circumstances. I’m aware that sympathy is dealt in bulk, but I am constantly thinking about you, your family, and the situation. I love you very much.

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