To paraphrase Charles Dickens, 2011 was the best of times and the worst of times for me.
Lessons I wish that I didn’t have to learn this past year:
- That chemotherapy, the accompanying medications and low blood counts cause you to forget a lot of things that happened during treatment
- That two people I considered close friends would belittle my cancer and judge how I handled it
- That the hardest part of treatment is when it’s over because you don’t suddenly feel better – inside or out
- That during menopause you: 1) are hot all the time; 2) can’t sleep well; 3) can’t get wet, even when you’re turned on; and 4) are moody and irritable
- That Philly Matt not only didn’t have my back when the chips were down, but wasn’t an authentic friend or boyfriend
- That not all charities and advocates are truly about the cause
- That there was an expiration date to realizing that Best Boy was right about the fact that we'd be a good couple
- That I have a long way to go before I look in the mirror and like what I see post-cancer
- That the side effects from hormonal therapy for breast cancer can outweigh the benefits of taking the medication in the first place
- That hearing about how great my short hair looks causes me to cringe because I didn't choose this
- That far too many people have encountered the same feelings and reactions that I have during and after treatment
What I’m thankful for over the past year:
- My amazing friends
- Teaching, my students and my university. The joy I experience from teaching has been a huge unexpected blessing for me in 2011!
- Not having to worry about a roof over my head, the clothes on my back, health insurance and food in my stomach
- Best Boy and a dating life that's interesting without much drama
- My doctors
- My health
- The comfort I get from my faith
- Feeling like I’m doing just what I’m meant to do with respect to this site, my charitable endeavors and my advocacy work
Despite so many blessings, I can't wait to ring in 2012. I wish that I didn't learn so many hard lessons this year, but I know that in the long run, I'll look back on this year as one of huge personal and professional growth. For now, though, I can't wait for 2011 to be over, and I'm praying for a peaceful and healthy 2012.
I hope that you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and that 2012 brings you much for which to be thankful!!! xoxo