Saturday, 3 December 2011

The Year That Was

On this day last year, I celebrated my big 3-0. The husband arranged for another two families to join us at Royal Pines Resort for the weekend. Although it rained for most of the weekend, we had a good time. But, I would never have imagined what was in store for me.

In January we did our first, Whole30. We loved it. We became paleo/primal.

February marked our five year anniversary. So, for the first time ever, the husband and I went away, for the night without child one and two, to the Treasury. We had loads of fun. It was such a treat! Any fears I had of being 30 and "so old" were quickly squashed when I was asked for my I.D. as I entered the casino. Bam!

March was the month that I found the lump. It was also the month that I threw my first children's party (for child number one) and it was heaps of fun. I look forward to doing more of them.

You'd think that April 4 would be the day that my world fell apart. Yes, that date is permanently etched in my mind. But, my world didn't fall apart. It certainly changed a great deal. My house was still standing when I returned home from the doctor, my friends and family still loved me and I still woke and went to sleep (although a little less some nights). Life went on. The hospital became my second home as I was there for every test imaginable. Before the month came to a close, the tumour was out.

In May, I celebrated that the cancer hadn't spread. On May 30, I had my first chemo. That was scary.

June, July and August are like a bad dream now. I actually struggle to comprehend what really happened. I'm like a woman who has given birth. I've seen the baby (in my case, good health) and now I can't remember the birth pains (chemo side effects). I am not joking.

By September, I was a week into radiation. That was so easy! I couldn't believe how good I was feeling. And, what was more amazing was that I was getting better and better. I really didn't realise how ill the chemo drugs had actually made me.

When my final radiation came, I was overjoyed. The finish line had always seemed so far away. I was there. It was over. The husband organised a surprise party and I was already able to go public without headgear. Oh yeah. It felt wonderful to be healthy.

In November, I had this urge to shop. It was a strange feeling. Up and until then I hadn't even noticed how I was never interested in going to the shops, walking around and looking at clothes for myself. It really was like I was becoming me again. Does that make sense? For so long, I had been a shell of who I was. I didn't even know it at the time. I couldn't believe that I was still climbing the mountain of good health. Every time I thought I had reached the highest point, I would still find myself feeling even better a week later. I now understand why cancer survivors become so...triumphant? I've experienced the two extremes. Being so so sick just makes healthy absolutely amazing!

Just days before my 31st birthday I lost my big toe nail. Totally gross, I know. And, certainly a topic that would usually make me feel weak. It happened though. Losing fingernails and toe nails are one of the side effects of chemo and I really had imagined that I was well and truly past any of those. Well, my left big toe is without a brightly coloured nail. Great. Around the same time, as the toe nail incident, it occurred to me that I would be returning to work with the short hair do... I must admit that I freaked out a bit. I don't know why, really. Either I just hadn't thought about it or for some reason I had this notion that returning to work would also mean me being all back to "normal". Let's face it, I have a new normal now. And, I've seen some pretty cool, short hairstyles lately so I may try out some on my way to a shoulder length style...

I received a gift each day in the post, for the week of my birthday. Thanks husband. I then had a surprise birthday party with family and friends. That was really cool. Mum even made me a paleo fruit cake (I love fruit cake!). I'll have to post the recipe because it was beautiful!

I don't know what this next year will bring. What challenges will I face? Will I experience failure? Success? I know for sure, like so many have tried to teach me before this year, that I can enjoy every moment. Too much time is carelessly wasted on unnecessary upsets.

It's a little early for a new year resolution, I know, but it's more like a goal for this next year of my life. Here it is: I want to laugh through 2012.

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