The themes for the year were: Health, creation, family, roots, and an appreciation for what I’ve got!
In January, I realized that drawing gives me a lot of joy. I enrolled in a six-week art class at a local art school, and that was fun. But (since time is short) I decided that I’d dedicate every work meeting to the multitasking effort of doodling something AND listening at the same time. My meeting notes were fun! (And they actually helped me concentrate on the meeting, go figure.) This post is illustrated with some of my crazy doodles from meetings.
In February, I spent a lot of time focusing on slowly recovering my body from chemotherapy. I got acupuncture and tried to quit my latte addiction (I totally failed). My child turned 7.
In March they said my cancer was successfully treated. (It was, honestly. Just not all of it. Cancer is a tricksy thing!) I rode my skateboard and hung out with my child and read her every single Astrid Lindgren book. I’m sure other things happened too, but I mostly just basked in the joy of a temporary surcease from chemotherapy and stuff.
I kept cutting off more and more of my hair. By April my hair was just plain SHORT! We also began to look for a house to buy. It was a weird cognitive shift to want to buy a house somewhere, as if for the first time in nearly 40 years, I felt like putting down roots.
It was interesting to think about making a place a home. I always thought I’d be too restless to settle down anywhere. The deciding factor was that with a house, we could grow a garden. Still, it was a completely different way of looking at where I am. I realized that rooting somewhere means that I can get active in the community and make positive changes for the good — which is something I’ve been avoiding for too long.
In May I had my 39th birthday. My child graduated from 1st grade; I went to a wedding; I helped throw a baby shower; I celebrated Mother’s day… And we kept looking for houses.
June brought long summer dinners out-of-doors with friends, hurricanes, and a lovely birthday present trip to NYC. Traveling makes me feel alive, and this was no exception!
July. Dad had a blood clot in his thumb, which precipitated a small whirlwind weekend trip in which my kid (sick from croup) met her cousins and saw the Stone farm in upstate NY. It was lovely to reconnect to the Stone family.
In August we found a house and put in an offer! And … then we waited, because it was a short sale.
In September I learned through an endoscopy (routine check up) that another spot of my cancer returned. C’est la vie. There were also big family birthday parties and the start of second grade for my kid. We went to our first roller derby, and this month basically sucked.
October, my favorite month, was a bit marred by dealing with cancer stuff. I went through the usual tests and learned that the cancer was still small, slow-growing and containable, so I could treat it just I did like last time. Moving on, I had a fabulously crazy Halloween party at work, and devoted myself once again to creating crafts. House news? Nope!
November. I thought chemotherapy would be the extent of my worries, and then my dad’s accident put it all in perspective. I made another sudden drastic trip to hang out with him in Hawaii. I hadn’t been back to Honolulu for over a decade, and everything was lovely and weird at the same time. I stayed across the street from my old childhood apartment, and sat by my father’s side every day in the ICU. It was scary yet nice to see him, and a week was far too short a time to be by his side. My heart is still with my dad and Debbie even though I had to return home and continue my own treatments. House news? Nope!
December. I made a concentrated effort to have chemotherapy and spend my extra time creating things! This month was so much better due to the release of The Hobbit, and gave me an excuse to happily talk about Lord of the Rings to all and sundry. We’ve also attended parties and family gatherings and Skype sessions with a still-recovering dad. We’ve spent time with friends and family, some of whom we haven’t seen in a long time. My kid sang in a Christmas performance. We baked a lot, and I started crocheting again. Life moves on, even when sh*t happens. House news? …
Yep! We finally have word on the house, one of the seller’s mortgage companies has OK’d our offer, and we’re awaiting word from the second one. I hope to hear about it by sometime next week, because we’ve got to get our house ready for visitors from far away in March! (Putting down roots in 2013 is going to be so very weird, but hopefully good at the same time.)
I have no idea what to expect from 2013. I admit that I’m peeking at the year cautiously, one hand in front of my eyes, hoping it doesn’t one-two punch me the way that September – November did this year. Still, we’re all alive and growing and learning, and that counts for a lot.
Peace and health to you all, and thanks to the family and friends that kept us alive and well and happy this year!