a new normal.

“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.” ~ Robin S. Sharma

IMG_3789My mom has cancer. Stage 3C ovarian cancer.

I’m still getting used to saying that…we’ve only known for a month. I will never forget how I felt when my Dad told me: the moment he said cancer, my heart felt like it had actually broken into a million pieces. It hurt. I didn’t know what to do or say. I was a wreck. Crying and scared and confused and overwhelmed and…sigh…it felt like too much to comprehend at once.

It was terrible. I felt terrible. I felt like it was happening to me. This is my Mom we’re talking about here…the woman who gave me life. She is a part of me. I couldn’t fathom the thought of her insides being taken over by some foreign beast, causing her to suffer.

I didn’t know what ovarian cancer meant. I didn’t know what the prognoses were for it. All I knew was cancer is scary. And I didn’t want my mom to have it. End. Of. Story.

As the reality of the matter sank in, I slowly began to accept her diagnosis as a part of my story…because her cancer is our cancer. That’s what family means to me.

Eric & I took about two seconds to decide we’d move home to take care of my mom throughout her treatments. It just made sense. All things considered, the timing was perfect for us, to be able to move home to Wilmette without having any obligations (jobs or abode) elsewhere. Pivoting at its best.

While our decision to move home was easy to make, I still admittedly lamented the “loss” of what we’d previously been planning for our upcoming three months…traveling to France, Italy, Greece, and Turkey…baby making, deciding where to live, finding a new home, settling in…having our own place & space again.

It all changed in the blink of an eye, and I re-learned the following lesson:

Reality only exists in the present moment. Everything else is just a dream. A dream about the future. A dream about the past. None of that is real; it’s a fantasy or a memory. And for as much control I may like to believe I have over my future, the only thing I can actually control is how I choose to respond to whatever Life sends my way.

The more I learn to accept my circumstances & let-go-of/redefine my fantasies about the future, the more joyful and fulfilled I’ll feel.

And what more could I want out of life than to feel joyful and fulfilled? For me, joy comes from giving and receiving LOVE. And fulfillment comes from SHINING MY LIGHT and supporting others in shining theirs, too. It’s actually quite simple…in theory. I’m still working on the execution part. 😉

So that’s the latest from this corner of the world: living with my parents in Wilmette and establishing a new normal, while accepting reality from moment to moment.

Loving. Laughing. Crying. Learning. Growing. The usual.

More updates soon.

xo Nicole

pictures taken by Kenny Kim of www.kennykim.com

PS – if you want updates on my mom’s condition, visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kyonghuimehta to request a password for access.

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