Sunday, December 4, 2016

Normal Doesn't Fit

(Enjoyed some time out with family over Thanksgiving Break)

Up to this point I've been extremely patient. 

I've given it time.

I've given others time.

I feel like I've given time, time. 

I spent over a year of my life fighting for the chance to live again. I subjected my body to a slew of unimaginable treatments so disgusting and complicated that unless you have experienced it- you can't even begin to imagine. 

I only made it due to three reasons: God, my family, and the incredible amount of people that have prayed for me.
Throughout treatment, I was able to persevere due to the "light at the end of the tunnel." That glimmer of hope that one day - I would return to normal. The day when I would be able to be back at school, drowning in the crazy onslaught of college life. 
After my cancer diagnosis, all I could dream about was the chance to once again be normal. 

Here is what I have found:

Normal doesn't fit.

It's like trying to plug an iPod into a cassette player;
It's like trying to fit in an 8 year old's pair of jeans;
It's like starting a famous musician as the quarterback for the Packers.

You get my point...

I've spent the last few days trying to make sense of it all. 

Why don't I feel normal at school? Why does everything around me seem so foreign? Why does college life feel so unnatural?

Nothing was making sense until I started browsing through pictures on my computer. I slowly scrolled through the photos until I reached the months before my cancer diagnosis. 

That's when it hit me:

I am a completely different person. 

You see, my college system hasn't changed; my friends' lives haven't changed; even the simplest routines haven't changed.

I've changed. 

I have found that I'm trying to force myself back into this box. This clean-cut, simple, organized box of "pre-cancer Caleb."
Here's the deal . . . I don't fit. I can't fit.

Everything about me has changed:
My problems. My irritations. My frustrations. My plans. My life. My friends. My perspective. My understanding. My normal.
The changes in my life aren't a bad thing. In fact, I would never want to go back to the "ignorant Caleb" I was before!
It helps to understand that the person I am today can't spend a day without thinking about death. 
Can't spend a day without praying for fellow cancer-families still stuck in the fight. 
Can't spend a day without thanking God for my second chance at life. 
 Can't spend a day without reflecting on where I have been.

Just because I don't fit doesn't mean that something is wrong. Actually, it's become my reminder that this stage right now - is only a stepping stone.

Nursing school, college-life, peers, grades, stress...  these are just stepping stones to reaching my goal:
The chance to invest my life as a nurse helping kids fight cancer.

That is where I relate. That is my calling. That is my goal. That is where my heart is.
 (This kid right here has my heart. Please pray for Josie as she is undergoing immunotherapy treatments. Also, please pray that they can find answers for her GI issues)

P.S.- I realize that it has been forever since I have posted. In fact, this is by far my longest blog drought! For that I apologize.


  1. To find your passion is such a gift. I am thankful for God's work in you. I can't wait to see you reach your goal!! You are going to be such a blessing to those kids... you are now, too! Hugs!

  2. No need to apologize, Caleb. There are times we enter "God's waiting room", a place in time where God can give new understanding on His perspective and purpose for our lives. It is a place where silence is necessary. ��
    Linda B

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  4. Beautiful post ... and so much understanding! The 'other side' of the valley of the shadow of death is just that ... the other side. There is no continuous loop back to normal ... because there is so much growth and learning in the darkness. You've outgrown normal and have been given a precious gift ... a new normal and a wonderful opportunity to glorify God right where He has you! I will continue to pray for you Caleb. He is faithful!

  5. Caleb, you are always well worth the wait. Thank you for sharing with us all. I feel privileged to hear your wisdom and processing. I know they are not realized easily: lots of confusion, pain, change, and grief are the cost.

    We love you,

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing all that you have on this blog! You have literally gave me a whole new perspective on life! I love you guys so much! Keep posting! Praying always for you!


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