In many obvious ways, we were not sorry to say goodbye to 2016. My breast cancer diagnosis on February 1st sent our little family into a tailspin, and it took all of our strength – and a lot of help from friends and family – to make it through. I officially finished treatment on November 9th, and although I dove headfirst into holiday (and fifth birthday) planning, some processing and introspection has crept in. I know there will be much more of that as the holiday hullabaloo subsides.
I put together a photo album of this year, which may seem crazy considering I looked and felt horrible for much of it, but I felt strongly we needed it. We need it to prove to ourselves that yes, we were dealt a blow, but also yes, we rallied, we found ways to be joyful, and we became closer, despite all. We even purchased our dream property in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge and have spent nearly every weekend since August there! I want us to remember those things. I want Ronin to be able to look at these pictures –of the three of us smiling, of our families who dropped everything to help us, of our friends who pitched in, in a million ways, of our Race for the Cure team, who helped us raise over $15,000 for the Komen foundation – and think: “Whoa, those are some awesome people.”
So many things have been reaffirmed for me through this experience. If I was lazy about prioritizing what is really important before, having, and beating cancer has helped me get my focus back. I’ll live my 45th year with renewed enthusiasm. It has been an incredible year – nearly as incredibly good as it was incredibly bad – and we stand at the end of it so anxious to get on with the awesome business of living.
To all our friends and family near and far, we send our love and heartfelt wishes for peace and joy in the New Year. And for all that you did for us over the past one – for the food and flowers, the errands run, the child cared for, the notes and letters – we are awed and humbled, and forever and ever, we will be grateful.
2017? We got this.