Monday, December 31, 2007

Farewell 2007

This is it. I’m closing the door on 2007 and looking forward to the New Year. This has been the hardest year of my entire life and I’ve come out of it wiser and stronger. I look back and sometimes can’t imagine that I went through all of that, like it didn’t happen to me but I see my short hair and some lingering scars from the IJ lines and know it DID happen. Looking back at emails to friends before April, I knew something was wrong and I was scared of my echo cardiogram, without knowing why. I wrote about my hands shaking so much I could barely put my contacts in the morning of the test and I didn’t know how serious the results of that test would be – it blows me away to read that email now.

Not all of 2007 was bad, even though it does seem that way. At Christmas, my brother-in-law, Brian said he went to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house and their tradition is for each person around the table to say what he or she is thankful for. He said he was thankful for my health, and his statement nearly brought tears to my eyes.

It made me think of what I am thankful for and things I could really have done without this year.

I could have done without:

  • Priscilla trying to kick my butt – she’s not a very nice tumor
  • Many, many needle sticks to draw blood, IVs, etc. – NOT FUN
  • Cancer touching the lives of friends
  • Weight loss of nearly 25 lbs
  • Losing all my darn long naturally curly hair
  • Cousin Gina’s health problems

I am grateful and thankful for:

  • Kicking Priscilla’s butt: ding dong, Priscilla’s DEAD!!
  • Awesome nurses and doctors at NIH
  • FREE health care through NIH
  • Chocolate croissants
  • Ice cream
  • A successful 3-month check-up and surprise party afterwards
  • Friends, family, and co-workers supporting us throughout the difficult times
  • My new sister-in-law: Shaunda and Michael were married in February
  • Receiving donations from friends, family, and co-workers for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life
  • Good movies and books to occupy my time
  • Gina’s good health at year's end
  • Janine's remission - you go girl!
  • The return of my hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows
  • Honoring other cancer survivors at the Light the Night Walk for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Celebrating our 9th Wedding Anniversary in August and rejoicing over being cancer-free with a trip to the Outer Banks
  • Celebrating Christmas in Texas; visiting both our families; doing the San Antonio River Walk; enjoying fresh guacamole at Boudros; soaking in the hot tub; and eating fine BBQ at Austin’s Salt Lick restaurant
  • Team in Training triathlon for Mike
  • Sharing happy news with friends and family: A Christmas engagement for Mike’s mom and a much-hoped for pregnancy for close friends

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May 2008 bring joy, happiness, and good health to all!

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”

-Siddhartha (the founder of Buddhism)


Gila said...

Hi Angela--

You are right--it has been one hell of a roller coaster for you this year. I hope that the New Year brings you only good things. Yes, we can learn from the bad, but if you learn any more, your brain will explode. I think a break is in order, and hope that you continue to get it.

On the whole "thankful" theme, I actually just wrote something along those lines last night. It is on my blog.


Anonymous said...

2007 was a heckuva year all right. But I think it proves there's some truth to that Nietzche quote about, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."

Then again, you were pretty strong before this all started.

- Blair