"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." - Ralph Waldo Emerson - December 21- 31, 2012

"Dear George - Remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings! Love, Clarence." - It's a Wonderful Life

The days and nights are long for me. Too little sleep and too much tv. I spend most of my time in bed or on the couch. Its not like I can really do much to keep myself busy. It hurts to drive. It hurts to sleep. Taking a shower is complicated. Shopping takes too much energy. I'm a convalescent in my own home...BORING!  But not so bored that I am missing work.  :)

Mom and Dad visit daily. The mailbox is full of cards. I'm getting constant text messages. I shouldn't be bored but I can't help but think of all the things I would usually be doing this time of year. Baking, cleaning, shopping, parties...I'm missing all the fun but try to keep reminding myself that it is all for the best. I'm cancer free and should not be complaining about my life but I can't help it some days. When you spend so much time alone and in bed you get stuck in your head. I am definitely starting to get really stuck.

I have my weekly visits with my plastic surgeon to check my skin. It is looking worse each day. I keep adding the cream and taking antibiotics so that I don't get an infection. Fortunately, the skin does not cause any pain. I have little to no feeling in either of my breasts but my chest muscles are still killing me.

The Sunday before Christmas came and I met Steph, Gina, Kim, and Cindi for breakfast. Cindi and I had tried lunch and a little shopping last week. I did ok at lunch but zoned out while shopping at Best Buy and she had to take me home. We had a great breakfast and stayed at the restaurant for over two hours. While we all have crazy schedules (ok, I really don't right now) we have kept our friendships as a priority. After all, there is always time for family.

The day before Christmas Eve I had a visit from my friend Beverly. She's a wonderful caring woman and a GREAT cook. I met Beverly a few years ago when she was planning a fundraising walk to honor her granddaughter that lost her battle to cancer at a very young age. One of her sons in a friend of mine that I see when traveling to Atlanta on business and her daughter has become a friend through Cindi. Joliet is truly one of those places where everyone knows each other. A big town with roots that run deep and webs that are tangled. Beverly's visit was great. She brought a a box of different soups that she and her husband made. All in perfect size containers to fit in the freezer. Exactly what this girl needs right now. She also bought Xmas cookies from an exchange. I'm a lucky girl.

Christmas Eve came quickly this year. I am prepared for Christmas because I did not get carried away with shopping. Originally the plan was to have my parents bring Christmas dinner to my house but today we decided that we would all go to their house Christmas Day. I spent Christmas Eve with Stephanie. We enjoyed a Mexican feast that featured Beverly's amazing black bean soup. The fire was roaring and the champagne was cold. Just a simple night in sweats chatting with one of my best friends. WE laughed, cried, ate to much, talked a ton, wrapped up in blankets and relaxed. Pretty darn perfect. Feliz Navidad!!

Christmas day was at Mom and Dad's. Mom did a great job picking up my slack for the holiday. We had a really nice day. I didn't stay too long because I was ready for a pain killer. It seems so strange to spend much of Christmas in bed watching Downton Abby but I needed the rest.  I spent Christmas day with some of the most important people in my life and Christmas night cuddled with my four legged family.

I dug into my gift cards and Christmas money to go shopping at Best Buy the day after Christmas.  I know...CRAZY!  But it really wasn't that bad.  I wanted to look at cameras.  I broke my camera at a wedding over a year ago.  Well, my purse strap broke and the purse dropped to the floor with my camera inside.  So I have been wanting a camera for sometime. The iPhone can only do so much.  The shopping was overwhelming.  So many cameras and so little knowledge on my end.  Fortunately one of the sales guys was great and there was a camera that had been returned and now has an open box deal...perfect...sold!  Thanks to my WE!  I think the cats are ready to move out because I keep taking their pictures while I learn to use the camera.  Here's the first picture.

Sweet little Henry.

First self portrait.  Ok...I need to read the user's guide.

December 27 came with a visit to the plastic surgeon. PRAYING that my tubes would be removed. These things are hard to hide and annoying. DR. V took one side and Jason (Dr. Levine) took the other. I simply say there and hoped that it would not hurt too badly! I didn't pass out so that is a plus! Dr. V is still concerned about the black skin and wants me back on New Year's Eve. He is going on vacation and I will see whomever is covering his day.

Drainage tubes....UGH...get these things out of me.

Still in bed most of the time. I went to Loyola on NYE. It was a really quite day there with only about 6 people in the waiting area. There's a lady that I see almost every time that I have an appointment. We must be on the same routine. I will find out later that she was the patient after me on surgery day, December 12. I see one of Dr. V's associates. He's dressed to the nines (really, what does that mean?) and very kind. Seriously, those have to be some of the best shoes I have seen on a man! I am so used to Dr. V being in scrubs. The associate is VERY concerned about my skin. He puts me on a higher dose of antibiotics and wants me back in the office the day that Dr. V gets back from vacation. UGH...why is this all happening? I stop by the store on the way home to pick up stuff for the Papesh's NYE party tonight.

NYE is spent with my closest friends and their families. A simple night of laughing, eating, and love. I didn't "see the ball drop"...I was home and in bed by 10 PM. I hear things were hilarious after I left. I hate missing out on things but I am smart enough to listen to my body.

Some of my favorite people in the world!  My WE!

Jake being well, Jake.  Not amused with my new camera. He really does like me!

The kids playing the game of Life.  

Me and Geeeennnnaaa!!

I have never been more excited to end a year. 2012 was a tough one! I am happy to have it behind me but I took a lot of time to reflect on all that has happened. Tears rolled down my face as I went to bed tonight. I think that they were mostly tears of peace. While I didn't want to face cancer again I have counted my amazing blessing along the way.
  • My family is wonderful...where would I be without their support.
  • Amazing people have allowed me to be a part of their lives. I have great friends.
  • I've learned to say more "I love yous" and give hugs with abandon. Who would have thought that would happen?!?!
  • I continue to learn to love myself for who I am.
  • I appreciate each day that my feet hit the floor.

"Dear George - Remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings! Love, Clarence."

Cancer and all...I truly do have a wonderful life. I'm not the richest, the prettiest, the smartest...but I just might be one of the luckiest.

BRING ON 2013!!!



Ready for our close up!  ;)

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