I have always defined a lot of my life by music, the joy it brings, the lyrics that touch me. I find myself thinking about the song Good Riddance by Green Day. It sums up the way I will remember this year.
2013 has been crazy. It began with the high of having had a New Year's Eve party with live music, friends, my daughters and more fun than I'd had in years. I was having the time of my life. I had a beautiful new house. My business took a turn upward. Life was so good that it scared me.
We began the summer with plans. All the things we were going to do with the house. The motorcycle trips we were going to take. The visits to our condo that we visit so rarely we forget we have it. Then the beast known as cancer re-entered my life. And 2013 took a turn that I never expected.
Now that it's the last day of the year of course I reflect. Don't we all? I want to say it was the worst year of my life but you know what? I can't. I won't. A dear friend who I'd met during my first bout with cancer ten years ago said to me once: "We may have cancer, but cancer doesn't have us". So to say that I allowed cancer to ruin my year is giving in.
Life throws us all kids of curveballs and we can either learn how to handle them or strike out. What I've learned this year above all others are these things:
1) Attitude is EVERYTHING. Without being positive and accepting what I cannot change, I would be a depressed, institutionalized mess. I could not change having cancer - I could change the outcome by doing everything possible to rid myself of it. It's left me with no hair, boobs, ovaries, fallopian tubes and quite possibly some of my fingernails which may be about to fall off. But even without all those things, it's left me with one thing: health.
2) I have the most amazing husband and daughters on the face of the Earth. I have never felt so much love and support in my life. This love has carried me through this with laughter, good times and the ability to feel happiness like never before.
3) I have amazing friends and family. The outpouring of support and love has been overwhelming. Sometimes I have a hard time believing that people can be this kind in such a messed up world.
4) The body is a resilient thing. When I look at a baby and I see their untouched, soft skin and innocence I look at myself with first sadness at the scars but then happiness that I have withstood the wounds and can carry on.
5) Life is just fucking beautiful. I appreciate everything and everyone in it and no matter what, I have in fact had, the time of my life.
Happy New Year to all.
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