It's the last day of 2011, a natural time to reflect back on the past year. To say that this past year has not exactly gone the way I planned is something of an understatement. Everyone keeps telling me, "I bet you're glad to see the end of this year!" and "2012 has to be better for you, right?!" Which leads nicely into my sole New Year's Resolution for 2012: to quote the Bee Gees, Stayin' Alive! I want to be around to ring in 2013.
The internets tell me that following a diagnosis of stage IV stomach cancer, on average a person lives 6 months without treatment & a year with. So my six months are up. If I'd lived a hundred years ago, I'd probably be dead or nearly so by now. So everything from here on out is a gift from modern medical science. And I am grateful. But also greedy. I want more, all the life I can get, damnit! But I've also more or less, most days, come to terms with the fact that the length of my life is pretty much out of my control. True, that's the way it is for most of us, but most people have the luxury of ignoring that fact at 33 - I don't.
Talking with my friends one night, I asked them, if you likely could only hope for a few more years, what would you do? We talked about it, and in the end decided, not much differently. Just keep living the life you're living. I think that's a sign you're doing what you should be - because if the prospect of dying soon would make you make drastic changes to how you're living your life, you should probably just make those changes anyways, 'cause you never know.
What this whole stupid fucking cancer experience has driven home to me, is that I love my life. I like vegging out, puttering around in a house I love. Cuddling with the most amazing man in the world on the couch, watching our stories. Harassing my cats. Curling with Team Awesome & hanging out with my friends. Going to work Monday through Friday with great people. Visiting my family. Traveling with my honey, whether it's somewhere exotic or just to the next town. This is what I want, for as long as I can have it.
It's funny, I always thought I had all this wasted potential, that someday if I just got my shit together I'd do something amazing. But maybe it's OK to just enjoy this quiet little life, and never set the world on fire. Maybe just enjoying each day is more than enough.
So goodbye 2011... you may have been the year I was diagnosed with cancer, but you were also the year when I met some amazing doctors & started treatment. When I realized how lucky I am, how many amazing people I have in my life. I'm looking forward to 2012 with quiet hopefulness... who knows, maybe it'll go down in history as the year they cure cancer! Happy New Year, everyone!