Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Since the beginning of a new year is a time for reflection, I have been thinking a lot about where I am in my life right now. This past year, I was faced with some tremendous obstacles that were challenging but also allowed me to grow as a person.

Events of 2011
-I was diagnosed with breast cancer
-I completed four months of intense chemotherapy
-I was hospitalized for infections, sepsis, blood clots, and pulmonary embolisms
-I lost all of my hair, and then grew back about two inches of it
-I had a double mastectomy
-I had a series of surgeries to have my breasts reconstructed
-I overcame my fear of needles and even learned how to give myself my own shot in the tummy
-I was declared cancer-free (!!!)
-I proudly watched my son learn to stand, crawl, walk, talk, and reach so many other milestones
-I met a bunch of new mommy friends, joined two playgroups, and participated in mommy-and-me classes
-I enjoyed learning how to cook and bake for the first time
-I watched my beautiful best friend get married
-I planned/hosted Ryan’s first birthday party and a halloween party
-I started going to church regularly in the church that I grew up in
-I began to focus on the importance of making healthy choices for my body
-I became a vegetarian (and love it)
-I went back to grad school to become a reading specialist
-I made the best of each special moment that I had left with my mom
-I sadly watched my mom’s health decline as a result of her metastasisized colon cancer (she is still currently in hospice care)
-I grew spiritually to love God and my husband and to appreciate the blessings in my life more than I ever have before

My goals, hopes, and prayers for 2012
-Clear PET scans (no cancer recurrence)
-That my mom will find peace and no longer be suffering
-Health and happiness for my child, husband, and all of our other family members and friends
-That my fertility will return so that we can have another baby (and hopefully another one after that!)
-That we will become homeowners (our tiny apartment has become too crowded for the three of us)
-To earn my master’s degree as a reading specialist (or to be almost finished by this time next year)
-To regain my energy and start a regular exercise routine
-To provide Ryan with learning experiences, social interactions, and an abundance of love
-To become better at cooking and photography
-To simplify, spend less on “stuff”, and live fully in each and every moment

I think that it is interesting how much everything has changed throughout the past five years. Each New Year’s Eve seems to be a little more calm, laid-back, and fulfilling than the one before it. The first New Year's Eve that Barry and I spent together was in 2007 when we went on a dinner party cruise with J, K, and their boyfriends.

In 2008, we went to New York City and then had an awkward but memorable bus ride home.

We spent 2009 in Florida at a bar with some of Barry’s friends.

And in 2010, we celebrated with my mom at a restaurant.  (I was actually pregnant at this time and didn't know it yet.)

We didn’t do anything for 2011 because I was still recovering from my lumpectomy surgery the day before. I didn’t even take a picture that year.

For New Year’s Eve last night, I took Ryan to visit my mom at the hospice house (along with my dad and Aunt S) and then we came home to spend some time with Barry and watch the ball drop at midnight.  The boys aren’t exactly “night people” like I am (this was taken at 11:25pm):

I just love these two and I could not be happier than spending New Year’s Eve with our perfect little family.  I love them both more than I could ever describe in words.  Ryan is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to us!


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