In the early days after Chesters diagnosis I would often wonder to myself if life would ever feel normal again. I would often think about how easy it had been with just three of us, not that I in anyway wish that we hadn’t had Chester. I knew having a second baby would be hard work but I had never imagined just how hard.
I would look at other people I knew around me having their second and third babies and would think to myself, how much easier it would be if CF wasn’t a factor and I remember thinking that I couldn’t cope, thinking I wouldn’t be able to do it and that it was all too much.
Fast forward two and a bit years to my life now and I can honestly say that for the first time since Chester was born life feels normal, whatever normal is? I don’t feel sad and miserable all the time, I don’t look at Chester and just want to cry (not all the time anyway) and I don’t have that feeling that something awful is going to happen hanging over me all the time.
I look at what we have achieved, how far he has come and how happy he is, oblivious of the fight he is taking on, I look at all the wonderful memories we are helping to build and life really feels good.
Don’t get me wrong we have to be super organised and plan ahead, and still be careful with things we do but CF has become routine and normal to us, I don’t find it all so daunting, well not all the time.
He is a child who will get into mischief, he will drink rain water from the plastic cup that’s been covered in mud in the garden for weeks and he will pick food up off the floor and eat it, this is all part of growing up, I’ve learned to take a breath not stress about it and carry on (until cough swab time and then I hold my breath waiting for the results).
Doing his treatments has become normal for him as well and giving his meds is like second nature, we don’t even think about how much he has to have we just know.
I see newly diagnosed parents and I honestly feel their pain, it’s an awful place to be, and when I think back to those days and how it made me feel it does still make me incredibly sad and I still feel sick about it, and if there is one thing I could say to them is that it will get easier and life can and will be normal again, it just takes time.
I guess I’ve come to realise that this is what will be normal for us and everyone’s normal will be different because everyone’s expectations of how things should be will be different. No ones path is the same and everyone will have their own difficulties to overcome, for us that difficulty is CF.
Now don’t get me wrong there are times when CF still kicks me in the gut to remind me of it’s presence but more often than not I just deal with what’s thrown at me and carry on without a second thought, because if I stay and dwell on it I am letting CF win.
Our recent holiday was the first time in a very long time where I have hardly thought about CF and haven’t been stressed out by it, we carried on as normal doing all the same things as everyone else, swimming in the lakes and pools, playing in the children’s play areas and I am happy to say CF didn’t get a second thought.
We had an amazing time despite breaking down on our way home and the memories we made were priceless and to anyone looking in we were a perfectly normal family, nobody was any the wiser and we didn’t have to talk about CF to anyone, there was no need and it was brilliant.
It’s taken time but we are headed in the right direction enjoying life and not letting CF win, there will be bumps in the road and at times there will be setbacks but for now Life has become normal.