What a year! Started off great for me. I was on a mission to get healthy and the year ended with a mission to be in remission (get it?). Ha ha ha. Anyhoo, I realized this year (before my diagnosis) that I had wasted too much of my life being overweight and unhealthy. I missed having an active lifestyle, really living my life and enjoying the world. I spent many years going through the motions; working, being a mom, wife, volunteer, anything to take the focus off of myself and really doing what I needed to do. As many of you know, Snohomish Boot Camp changed everything for me. I not only had the resources to get in to good physical condition, but I met people that made me want to be a better person, friend, wife, and mother. I made friendships that have sustained me through some rough moments, and found a community of people that have accepted me at my worst and at my best. This may sound like an advertisement for a cult or something ridiculous, but these people have really been that important to me. What brings it all home is the fact that I found all of this BEFORE I got sick. What a gift! I started the fight for my life with the physical tools, the mental strength, and the support system already in place to give me a chance. I'm not trying to be melodramatic, but that is the reality. If you don't believe me, go to some cancer websites and read some stories. There are so many people out there fighting who have no hope. Not because their diagnosis are so extreme, but because they don't have the means to cope. I WILL NOT be that person. Does that mean I don't have moments of despair? Hell no! But it's inevitable that I draw from the strength I've acquired this past year and suck it up and move on.
Of course none (and I mean none) of the good things would have meant anything without the amazing love and support of my family. When I say I have the most amazing husband, Jeff, that would be a lie. No! Kidding! We have been married for 17 years and were high school sweethearts. When you get married young, like we did, you have no CLUE what life is really about-at least we didn't. You hope you pick the right person whom you believe will be a good husband and father, provider, and friend. But how do you ever really know? I can honestly say, I know. Jeff supported me through the years in every way, and when the going got tough and I got cancer, there was never a doubt that he would step up and be everything I've needed him to be. He makes me laugh when things are too serious, and he's been there in the middle of the grocery store when I've burst into tears over the thought this could be my last Christmas. He doesn't take on the world and try to "make it all go away", he simply hugs me and says "it's going to be okay". He tells me he's proud of me (and I believe him), and he reminds me of my goals (which can be annoying but necessary). I am so lucky. I love you Jeff.
Also, my beautiful baby girl, Mandi. The reason I wake up in the morning, the reason I go to work, the reason I come home, and the reason I drink and/or do recreational drugs occasionally. She has been my workout buddy and more supportive than any teenage girl should have to be this past year. At the end of the day, after all the nasty words and fights, she still wants to crawl into bed with her mama and that is reason enough to fight this fight.
I'm also so lucky to have tremendous support from my extended family, in-laws, neighbors, and co-workers. I hope I'm as good to you all as you've been to me;
Mom, Di, Jas, Yvonne, Doug, Howard, Gigi, Kimberly, Paul, Bill, Kathy, Christine, my Healthline Peeps (all y'all), Kyla, Karli, etc. Thanks for putting up with my psychoness. Love you all!
So, on that happy note. I am REALLY looking forward to the New Year. I have more reasons than ever to enjoy every moment. I'm going to DO more things, spend more time with my family and friends, and don't be surprised if I give you a hug or throw in an "I love you" when you least expect it. Life is too slippery a slope to let those moments pass. Please learn from my experience and don't take things too seriously, or forget to enjoy each day. Have a happy and HEALTHY new year! Oh and girls, please do your self exams and schedule your mammos!
If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience. ~Robert Fulghum