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Closing Out Another Year

2011 is rapidly winding down. Another year is ready to “close out.” For those who celebrate Christmas, the rush of preparation is over. One can quite literally slow down, breathe easier and relax a bit. Even the lights on the tree seem more subdued this week, or maybe it’s just that I am.

This quieter week between Christmas and New Year’s has always been one of my favorite weeks of the entire year, mostly because of many fond memories. It seems like the perfect time to unwind, reflect and just be.

That’s what I’m trying to do anyway.

I’ve decided I’m quite ready to send 2011 on its way and more than eager to welcome in a New Year.

2011 was my first entire year spent in post-cancer diagnosis limbo-land. It was the year I was supposed to define my “new normal.”

I’m going to need a little lot more time.

For me, 2011 was a year filled with more than a few new challenges. There were my three surgeries, plus the “minor” tattooing procedure, lingering side effects of chemo to learn to live with, new aches and pains from Arimidex (or as hubby calls it my daily low-dose chemo pill), dealing with Twang arm (borrowing that descriptive word choice from Feisty Blue Gecko, thank you), adding a physical therapist to my trusty medical team, a “minor” recurrence scare, having my oncologist up and quit on me, gaining a few pounds when I’m supposed to be losing a few and, of course, my continuing vigil waiting for the return of a respectable head of hair that doesn’t need to be hidden under a baseball cap.

I’m well aware that in the scheme of things, I’m very lucky. My challenges have been pretty minor. Many others have been dealing with a whole lot more. I shouldn’t be complaining. At all. I know that.

Still… this is not the life I envisioned a short while ago.

On the other side of the coin, there have been some pretty great things that have happened this year. Daughter and boyfriend are now engaged (no date set yet). Son number one graduated with his master’s degree in history and is continuing on with further studies. Son number two is finding his way at college and continuing to hone his musical talents. My dad had an 85th birthday party. Hubby and I celebrated a milestone wedding anniversary and finally took our first ever vacation as a couple to a sunny destination during the middle of winter. I had two more magazine articles accepted for publication (more on those later). I made a little progress on my book. I forged some truly wonderful friendships on-line and reconnected with a couple of old “real-life” friends as well. I finally joined Facebook and started Twittering.

And let’s not forget, we got a CAT!

When balancing the good and the bad stuff on the “scale of life” this year, I have to admit the good things definitely out-weighed the bad and this is always a very good thing.

I’m very grateful.

Still, I’m ready to put another “cancer year” behind me. I’m ready to continue muddling my way through this unchartered cancer limbo-land I now reside in.

I don’t know what the next year will bring, but who does?

And that’s exactly why every New Year is something to anticipate and yes, celebrate!

See you next year!

What has been one of your challenges in 2011?

How do you feel about the New Year?







25 thoughts to “Closing Out Another Year”

  1. I would say you had a good year, my friend. It was filled with love and family with a few bumps along with way. Happy New Year and here’s to 2012 which I hope will be filled with joy, peace and happiness.


    1. Renn, Thanks for stopping by. It is all a balancing act of sorts isn’t it? I guess that’s the way life has always been really. Hoping for goodness and light for you as well in 2012, Renn!

  2. I love new year too, the possibility of new starts and new beginnings always feels good to me. And I’m planning on getting a CAT too…
    Here’s to more conversations in 2012! Best, Sarah

    1. Being Sarah, There is something special about new beginnings isn’t there? I’m excited to hear you are getting a cat!! When?? I think you will find pet ownership to be quite wonderful. And yes, here’s to more conversation in 2012 for sure! Thanks for commenting.

  3. I, too, am eagerly anticipating 2012. It sounds like, despite those bumpy roads, you have had a decent 2011. I can’t wait to hear about the articles accepted for publication. You are an awesome writer, and the world is lucky to hear your voice!!

    Congratulations on a full year post-cancer. Like you’ve said, there’s no one way to do cancer right: we all have our way of handling it. 2011 marked my 10th year since diagnosis, but my 5th year since a surgery that would alter my life. I guess that makes me an oldie/newbie…ha!

    Anyway, have a wonderful New Year and congratulations on your children achieving major milestones. You have so much to be proud of!!

    1. Beth, Yes, 2011 was decent. I know I’m quite lucky. I can’t believe it’s been that long since your diagnosis. And then the surgery five years after that. Wow. I guess you have quite a few years under your belt already don’t you? Thanks for your kind words. You’re encouragement means a lot to me. I’ll keep you posted on my articles if you do the same about your book! Hope you find your agent in 2012! I’m eagerly anticipating your book’s publication!

  4. On the most part this year wasn’t too bad. A few grinds and groans but nothing terrible. I think for me it has and still is coming to terms that my family doesn’t give a damn.I’m not even so much hurt anymore than disappointed they miss out on knowing my son. He hurts…I am now going on three years of diagnosis. I still haven’t reached that point that I’m no longer scared of Cancer. It terrifies me but does not control me. Congratulations on your daughter’s engagement! That’s huge! Also Congrats on getting a Cat..I have had a cat all my entire life. Never been without one. I simply love them…..
    Love Alli XX

    1. Alli, I’m sorry about your family not being there for you and your son. That’s really tough for you and so disappointing on many levels. I don’t think one every really gets over that fear cancer can bring, but as you said, we can’t let it control us can we? Thanks for the congrats on both counts. I’m excited for the wedding and I’m finding a cat to be a pretty nice addition to the family. I’ve become a cat lover too! Thanks for reading and commenting, Alli. My best to you in 2012.

  5. A lovely reflective post Nancy. This past year has brought very tough challenges to my life and as I face into the New Year, I am apprehensive about the challenges that still await me. Alongside all the sadness and pain of the past year, one thing shines bright – the love, support, kindness and compassion of my online friends – friends like you Nancy – and for this I am truly grateful x

    1. Marie, 2011 has been very cruel to you. I’m so sorry about all the pain you have been forced to grapple with. I’m grateful for your friendship as well, Marie, as are so many others. I hope 2012 brings peace, love and many fond memories. Your friends will continue to be here for you for sure. My best.

  6. Nancy, I just found your blog, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the near future for you and your family. I’m sorry you’re going through all of this, but it will make you stronger in the end. Then you’ll have the chance to say, “I did it!” I wish you nothing but a great new year and that 2012 brings you joy and happiness.

    1. Paula, Thank you for finding my blog and for taking time to leave a comment. Thanks for the good wishes as well. Hoping 2012 is good to all of us!! Hope to “see” you around again soon!

  7. Nancy,

    I just had to respond to your response to my first comment. Thank you so much for your kind wishes about me finding an agent. Here’s the status on my book: Query letter, book proposal, book all done. Looking for agents now. Scared. But not nearly as scary as cancer. Will be pushing hard to get a publisher for 2012. If nothing comes of it, I’ll know I did something extraordinary anyway. But I hope and pray something happens. Thanks for your encouragement! Have a great New Year.

    1. Beth, You’re very welcome, Beth. I know how daunting looking for an agent can be. Completing your book is accomplishing something extraordinary for sure. I hope to be able to say the say some day… Hope you have a great New Year too, Beth. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  8. great reflective blog, I am struggling with my new normal, and twang arm, too.
    New Year, a chance for a new beginning, good luck for 2012, let’s hope it brings good things for all of us.

    1. Gabby, Thank you so much for reading and commenting. This ‘new normal’ thing is a bit of a struggle at times isn’t it? Actually, I don’t care much for any such labels… Don’t you just love that expression from Feisty Blue Gecko – twang arm. It’s perfect. 2012 and good things for all, I like the sound of that!

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  10. This is a post I can really relate to, Nancy. 2011 has been both the worst and the best year of my life! I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April, 2011. At almost the exact same time I met my soul mate and we have shared some of the happiest times of my life over the past 9 months! Also my chidren have shown their fabulousness though the cancer journey. So, it is not all bad. Happy New Year to you!

    1. Cancer Warrior, Wow, you have had quite the year haven’t you? I’m happy you have had some great times to balance out the not-so-great ones. That certainly helps. Thanks for commenting and Happy New Year to you too!

  11. Nancy, congratulations on your daughter’s engagement. That kind of news can certainly take your mind off of unpleasant stuff. I’m ready to move past 2011. It was “fine.” Can’t say it was horrible, but I’m looking forward to something better. More good stuff and less, “it could have been worse.” Know what I mean? All the best in 2012, Nancy! I look forward to traveling the path with you.

    1. Stacey, Yes, I know exactly what you mean. The end of 2011 definitely brought your family some unpleastantness. I’m sure your first Christmas without Goliath was hard and yet I’m sure you were also very thankful, too, this Christmas after the accident. Hoping the New Year brings good things to you and your family, Stacey. I look forward to being on “that path” with you too! Thanks for taking time to comment. And thanks for the congrats! Keep healing…

  12. It’s a pleasure to know you, Nancy, and to read your lovely and lively writing. As a yoga friend of mine said this year: “We greet you, 2012, with a loving embrace. Thanks for giving us a fresh start.” This is my new mantra! All the best in 2012. –Gayle

    1. Gayle, It’s a pleasure to know you too, Gayle, and also to have read your book. Pink Ribbon Blues was one of my top reads in 2011. Nice mantra there. Thanks for sharing it. My best to you in 2012!

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