December 30, 2013
I have never truly cared about celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another, to me, New Year’s is just another holiday, another reason people go out and get crazy, making it dangerous on the roads for others. We always stay home on NYE, and I’m perfectly fine with it.
However, this NYE, the end of 2013, makes me very happy, excited, even a bit giddy. 2013 has been a hard year for me, and my family, as I have battled breast cancer. Surgeries, chemo, radiation, having my immune system wiped out, sleeping for days (seriously, sleeping for days), crying because I just felt so horrible, nasty, horrible burns to my breast from radiation. The ups and downs of my balance and vision. Yeah, I’m ready to have 2013 behind us.
Then there was loosing my job during all this, having to deal with the disability company over paying me in the beginning, stop paying me while they got their money back, then start paying me again, that didn’t cause any stress, ha!
Some of the emotional pain has been pretty hard as well, as I have had plenty of time to sit and reflect on my life. I’ve learned some valuable lessons, saw people in a new light, realized things about myself and others (and it isn’t all pretty), I’ve walked away from relationships that brought nothing or negativity into my life, I’ve had others walk out of my life as well. And those relationship(s) (the ones where people walked out), I realized what my heart already knew…..they were one-sided, meaning, I felt as though I was the one doing all the work, that the relationship meant more to me than it did to the others, and while I thought the end of those relationships would be emotionally painful, I discovered that it wasn’t at all. Maybe because my head caught up with what my heart already knew. Going through cancer, for me, has given me the opportunity to really sit back and take things in, take stock of my life, clean out the closets, get rid of the things that don’t belong any longer.
But, on the flip side of all that emotional pain, many beautiful blessings have been delivered to me! The beautiful way that my husband took care of my every single need (and I do mean, every single need), from not being able to use my arms and go to the bathroom by myself, to bathing me, to listening to me break down and cry, holding me, telling me how proud he is of me in the way I have approached and fought through breast cancer, to reminding me just how far I’ve come. Never once saying those words “It’s gonna be ok”. He tells me every day that he loves me, kisses me on the head each morning before he goes to work (Lord knows he wouldn’t want a whiff of my morning breath), it’s been his actions that have told me how deeply he loves and cares for me. Pat is like a security blanket to me, his presence brings me peace, just being able to look at him, touch him, hold his hand, having him near me, brings me a calmness when my life feels like it’s in a very turbulent storm. During the first phase of chemo, he would take off work a half day and go to chemo with me, I would recline my chemo chair, he would prop his feet up with me, sometimes, he would even fall asleep, and that was ok with me, he was there and that was all that mattered. When it was discovered that the disability people had over paid me, his ability to take off work and take me to chemo came to an end, he had been taking this time off, unpaid. Having him at work, bringing in a paycheck, suddenly became way more important than having him with me. Even though family stepped up to help out, he was always a phone call or text away if I needed him – always. And now that this year is coming to a close (Thank you Lord), I know that he is still just a phone call or text away when we are not together.
My kids are happy and healthy, what more could I ask for?
During this chapter in my life, people have come and gone, but the ones who have stayed, or came and stayed are so very precious to me. you know the old saying “find out who your friends are” is very true. I’m so deeply grateful for the few who have stayed, you have helped me more than words will ever describe. You have allowed me to just be me, you have treated me like a normal person, like cancer wasn’t a major part of my life. You have welcomed me with my bald head, no eye lashes, no eye brows, and no make up, you have helped to keep me grounded and encouraged. We have discussed, sometimes in great detail, my gut issues, which left us laughing. I thank you with every thing I have for helping me through this very trying time in my life. Thank you for never, not once, treating me with kid gloves, like a person who was sick and fighting for their life.
During the beginning, when people were, what felt like, dropping like flies, I was hurt on a few levels, I couldn’t understand why they suddenly stopped communicating with me, but over time, I have realized that maybe they are the type of people who don’t know how to handle watching someone fight cancer, loose their hair, become pale in color, etc. Maybe they will turn back up in my life next year, or maybe they won’t. I know the first few months of this ordeal (from the time of that first phone call till……..) where rough, I possibly said or did things that made others mad, I have no way of knowing, however, all I can say is this: Until someone walks in my shoes, understands what it is that I was going through emotionally and physically, you will never understand why I said or did some of the things that I did, or even didn’t do. This journey of breast cancer doesn’t come with instructions, we all have to find our own way through all this pinkness. However, if I offended or upset anyone and you didn’t bring it to my attention, and you chose to walk away instead, well, you became one of the people that I realized that the relationship was one sided, you never gave me the opportunity to fix things and make it right. I can’t help how I feel, while my actions may have hurt you, your actions of silence hurt me as well and left me wondering and leaving me to draw my own conclusions.
People have questioned how much time I spend on Facebook, or even how much I talk about Wall-E. Let me see if I can explain it. While being confined to my house for the past year, and people not contacting me, or coming to see me, Facebook became my means to connecting with the outside world as a whole. It brought me news of all kinds, entertainment of sorts, it allowed me to share in others joys and sorrows. I have celebrated your milestones with you, rejoiced over the blessings you have received, prayed with you and for you. Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with the outside world. Now as for Wall-E. He is more than just a dog. He has been my most faithful companion this past year. He stays beside me as much as possible, we share the recliner, have shared over sized pillows when we sleep, he has licked my head clean during the bald time frame, he just simply wants to be near me, and like Pat, he brings me comfort. He seems to know when I need him near, petting him is peaceful and I love him. He is my fur mate. I have never bonded with an animal like this before, he is very special to me and when we are apart, I do truly miss him.
With the closing of 2013, brings about all the wonderful and amazing things that 2014 will bring and I honestly, could not be more excited about what is to come in our lives!
My dr visits and tests (and surgeries) are becoming less and less frequent. Instead of having some type of dr appointment every single month, I am getting on a more normal schedule of seeing dr’s every 3 months for normal check ups! I have only one surgery left for my reconstruction, then the tattooing and I will be done with that part, praise the Lord! My hair is growing at a pretty decent rate, so maybe this time next year, I will be able to have a ‘style’. I’m still embracing my grey streak, and may not cover it when my hair is long enough. I’m looking forward to having my vision fully straightened out and having my eye lashes grow in and stay instead of growing in and breaking off. I’m excited to be able to find a new job, something that I will love and look forward to going to daily. A position that will allow me to be surrounded by others in a positive work environment and will encourage me to grow, a job that will bring happiness into my life! I am very excited to take Pat to see The Eagles in concert, I think giving him tickets for Christmas was my most favorite gift! I have 2 nieces getting married in 2014, and one of my dearest friends daughter is also getting married! Lots of love to celebrate in the new year! I’m hoping to truly find my way back to my camera, to fall back in love with photography, to get back into the creative world that cancer put on pause for me. I’m looking forward to seeing George Strait in his final concert, and then also learning when Garth Brooks will start touring again. And, I’ll be welcoming a new niece or nephew in 2014 as well.
But most of all, I’m looking forward to welcoming our first grand child. This grand child gives me so much to look forward too, all of the other stuff, is just stuff, but this grand baby is a new life, a new life to love and I am so eternally thankful to just simply be alive and healthy to be here to witness this miracle! I’ve been saying for several years that I wasn’t ready to be a grand parent, and ever after the kids told us they were pregnant, it took a few days for the shock to wear off and reality to set in. Now, I’m just beside myself with joy. I’ve been looking at the things we need here at our house for the baby, looking at cute clothes, praying for this baby daily, trying to contain my excitement, and I do mean contain it, I’m truly excited! I’m trying to decide what my grandparent name will be, I want something fun, easy, not stuffy and formal. I want this child to know me, to love me, to want to come see me, to even face time with me. I have visions of reading stories via face time with this child! Have I mentioned yet, just how thankful I am that I am alive to be a part of this?
2014 is going to be MY year, I’m claiming it as MY YEAR and I hope that you will choose to also be a part of it, to continue to help me spread the word about awareness, to support me as I face new challenges, to help me find my love of photography again (ya know, I’ve got a grand baby that is going to need to be photographed), to help me continue to laugh and smile, to love me.
Here’s to 2014, and 2013, well, you can just kiss my big ol butt goodbye.
I love my family! This is what happens when you give one of the guys the wireless trigger remote!