The New Normal

I don’t know if I can think of a saying I hate more than those three words. I have heard so many people say, with regards to COVID-19, that we need to get use to the new normal. There is nothing normal about any of this. It is not normal for my kids to not be able to have play dates, it is not normal that my kids school shut down and had to switch to distance learning, it is not normal to have to wipe down every single grocery item that gets delivered with Clorox wipes, it is not normal to not be able to hug your friends and family that do not live in your house and it is not normal to not be able to go anywhere. The list can go on. 

I have heard, “this is the new normal”, or “get use to your new normal” when it comes to my cancer journey too. But let me tell you, there is nothing normal about cancer. There is nothing normal about having a radical hysterectomy, there is nothing normal about having nine stent procedures, there is nothing normal about having to self catheterize, there is nothing normal about having a port inserted into your chest, there is nothing normal about losing your hair due to the poison being pumped through your body every three weeks, there is nothing normal about missing your kids’ activities, there is nothing normal about the strain cancer puts on your marriage, there is nothing normal about having a nephrostomy bag, there is nothing normal about the unexplained fatigue and there is absolutely nothing normal about having cancer

You know what does feel normal to me? The constant feeling that I am on a roller coaster except it’s not thrilling. You start off on the ride going extremely fast, your heart is beating out of your chest and you don’t know what is coming up next. Then your ride is steady as you weave around the turns. Up next, you climb the steep hill and then you speed down at full speed and you can’t catch your breath and you’re wondering when is this ride going to end. Right when you think it’s slowing down and you have a grasp on everything, it takes off again and you find yourself going up yet another hill and this time it has loopty loops. This is how I view my current journey with cancer; a roller coaster that I can’t get off and it doesn’t end. A ride that is full of up hill battles and twists and turns at every corner. Despite the gasping for air and the wind in my face feel, I know that this roller coaster is just a detour. The girls love roller coasters and will ride anything they are tall enough for so good thing my roller coaster doesn’t have a height requirement or limit of people because I have the best group of people in my corner. So until my current roller coaster comes to a happy ending, you will find me sitting front row with my arms in the air and the wind in my face. 


Becky was originally diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2018, at age 35, and quickly became an active member of the Cervivor community, joining Facebook Group discussions, attending MeetUps, participating in the September 2019 Cervivor School and becoming a Cervivor Ambassador. She was diagnosed with a recurrence in late-2019, just weeks after returning from Cervivor School. Read her Cervivor story and learn how, amid this most recent diagnosis, her Cervivor Spark and passion to prevent other women from cervical cancer gets stronger each day.

Get Ready for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month (#CCAM). While we at Cervivor are educating and advocating 365 days a year, January presents us a unique opportunity to plug into the visibility of the month. Or frankly, to be proactive in giving the month visibility and ensuring that activities are happening in our communities! What are things you can do? Here are a few suggestions to kick off your planning for January:

  1. Host a cervical cancer survivor meet-up in your local area or speak with your local OB/GYN or cancer clinic about hosting a gynecologic cancer/cervical cancer support group.
  • Encourage New Year’s resolutions to keep up with annual women’s health exams, Pap testing and HPV testing. Encourage mom of teens and tweens to get their children the HPV vaccine. 
  • Schedule speaking opportunities by checking online for upcoming health fairs at local community centers or places of worship. Contact local women’s groups. Arrange to have a table to share information about cervical cancer prevention. 
  • Plan a fundraiser, awareness walk or “PAP Rally.” Start a treadmill challenge or steps counting challenge in January to encourage women to think about their health in 2020. 
  • Plan a Wear Teal & White Tuesday among your office or community to promote cervical cancer awareness and prevention. 
  • Spread the word on social media via your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your blog. Re-tweet, like and share others’ posts throughout the month to amplify their messages too. Our friends at the American Sexual Health Association have some posters and pre-written social media posts that are easy to share. Coming soon: our own customized Cervivor #CCAM social media toolkit.