2016…

As I reflect on this last year, I realize many people are over it, meaning they are ready for the bright new year that 2017 will bring. They are ready for positive change, new beginnings and a fresh perspective. While I am also ready for 2017, I am not closing the chapter on 2016 in sadness or anger.

This past year has brought a lot. I had a double mastectomy with 21 (21!!!) lymph nodes removed, I had expanders put in place of the breasts that once fed my son, I experienced radiation- twice, I had brain surgery, herceptin every three weeks from January until July, two new chemo pills that equate to about 686 pills yet well over $25k, 4 injections totaling over $28k, I had a few colds but many stomach aches, Jacob had pneumonia once and a cold twice and Joe had a sinus infection. We have traveled to 6 separate cancer centers across the east coast and Texas, met with countless nurses and doctors throughout the year, and the list goes on…I am sure this is just the beginning of what this year has brought in terms of medication, treatment and, well, cancer. 

Yet I can’t help but think about what else 2016 gave me. I made a few dozen Love Jars trying to brighten someone’s day, worked fulltime between my surgery and radiation, bought a new-used vehicle (for the first time in 8 years) to celebrate being “cancer free”, made sure each cancer visit was filled with some sort of adventure, I’ve had 2 paint parties that were filled with endless laughter, was blessed by Team Gina – who not only gifted my family my medical deductible and a weekend away but also new friendships that I didn’t know I NEEDED in my life, a fundraiser in New York to help pay the insane cancer costs, more new and priceless friendships that formed by a simple hello, an unexpected (free!) weekend cruise getaway that my husband and I needed more than we realized, a first ever sisters weekend, a trip to Savannah to meet my baby sister, my baby sister’s WEDDING – and a wonderful visit with family and friends, wonderful inlaws, my best friends wedding!, a few hundred blog posts, probably a million pictures and enough belly laughs for me to have a 6 pack (not happening).

This year also brought dozens of new words for Jacob, a hundred or so walks, a new bedtime routine that includes my bed, a new food change for me, countless sunsets mixed with a few late nights where little man was up until it was “too dark”, snuggles that are worth their weight in gold, 2 clothes sizes changed for Jacob and he went through a lot of shoes as his tootsies grew. He had his first haircut and another one recently, he met Mickey, Minnie, Pluto & Goofy, he picked out pumpkins and his very own Christmas tree, we have said a lot of prayers, talked to the stars while pointing out the moon, went on boat trips around the intracoastal, fished a whole lot, visited my happy place (never enough!), and giggled…oh, how we giggled.

We have read hundreds of books and visited the book fair, learned to count to 17 (and 10 in Spanish!), we have sung the alphabet song more times than I can count, done tons of arts & crafts, rode his strider bike, he is no longer afraid of his four wheeler, looked forward to his advent calendar all month and celebrated each holiday.

I haven’t read nearly enough books but discovered a love of audio books to take over the trip to work. I didn’t write nearly as much as I wanted but took a leap of faith and attended a writing seminar – and learned so much.

I imagine that this just barely scratches the service of what this year has brought. I began the year by celebrating my cancer free future but quickly learned that the cancer has taken up permanent residence. The emotional toll of that sentence is hard to process and yet I refuse to let it take over. This year has brought a lot of BIG events and change but it’s the little moments, the day to day life, that I focus on most. Our daily routine and snuggles sessions are what I look forward to most. 

There are no words to describe the gratitude that I have for each & every day. I am glad to do the mundane things that I once hated – laundry, dishes, etc. These things mean that I feel well enough to do the day-to-day tasks.

I don’t know what 2017 will bring but I hope it brings stability, wellness and inspiration. I hope it is filled with belly laughs, endless snuggles and priceless memories. I plan to travel as much as I can and see parts of this world that have only filled my dreams. I intend to make memories with my family and friends. I want to experience new things and embrace the moments that make life so wonderful. 

What has 2016 brought you? What plans do you have for 2017 to be new and different?

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14 thoughts on “2016…

  1. I’m working on telling the story to myself of 2016. Thank you for telling yours. I am so glad that I found your blog this year – you have spread more love and healing than you can know by sharing your world with your writing. To witness you embracing the miracles happening in ordinary moments is inspiring. To witness your direct looks at the progression of your cancering is also a gift. Knowing that both the beautiful and the difficult exist together. Thank you. May 2017 continue to bring you sublime moments, with fewer cancer surprises – though I like the idea of surprising all your doctors with a radical remission…
    My 2016 brought growing teenage lads- including my nephew who moved in with us to go to college here. My older homeschooled son got to go to NASA with his robotics team and made the deans list his first term of college – while taking physics and calculus. My incredibly creative 14 year old made huge progress in his journey to read despite his dyslexia, and in 2016 had a major breakthrough, he progressed from first grade level to nearly fifth grade level! After soo much perseverance and hard work on his part for all these years it is amazing to hear him read now. We definitely had a few moments of doubt over our years of homeschooling, and 2016 brought us a lot of reassurance that we made the best choice for our family. They are loving and clear eyed boys.
    In 2016 I was blessed to celebrate 21 years of marriage with my Joe, we eloped after dating a few weeks, and after knowing each other less than three months. I am glad to say I still feel so happy to be hanging out with him despite having “married in haste.”
    I continue to relish our two cats, our hoards of chickens and the myriad of wild birds, creatures, trees and plants that grace this place I live. Roll on mighty Columbia River roll on.
    My health continues to be good, though I learned some more about my limits in 2016 too. I continue to work on healing, and processing the transformative power of my travels through cancerland. I wrote a lot.
    I am so grateful to be here on this beautiful planet with all of the other beautiful souls at this time. I believe that we are the ones who can turn up the volume on LOVE, and that by doing so we transform everything. Thank you so much Megan for being the LOVE amplifier you are.
    Cheers for 2017!
    Much love Iris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow!! You have had a very busy year but absolutely one that was full of blessings. I am glad to hear that your boys are doing so well. Their stories of progress are incredible. It’s interesting that we question each step we take and then look back and realize it was one of the biggest & best leaps we ever could have hoped for.
      Congratulations on 21 years of marriage! That was a blessing before even realizing it. Your home, your family and the life that you have created all sound so wonderful. You should be very proud of the path that you have chosen for you all.
      Thank you for your kindness. I will continue to try & spread love everywhere I go in 2017. Here’s to a great, no – AMAZING – year ahead!! 😘😘❀❀❀

      Liked by 1 person

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