Lessons Learned in 2012

What a year!  Just months after our diagnosis of Cowden’s Syndrome in the fall of 2011, Meghan and I took on 2012 completely unsure what to expect.  As a matter of fact this very week last year, I was anxiously awaiting word on her thyroid biopsy slides that I had had transferred to a new hospital.  Ironic that I sit tonight, waiting to hear when the next thyroid biopsy will be.  The more things change…

In 2012…

I lost the ability to say, “I can’t.”  Instead I gained “Nerves of Steel” attacking this syndrome head on.

I lost my self pity and gained determination watching my daughter start her own awareness campaigns.

I lost my fear of driving on highways and in big cities.  Now I navigate NYC like a (cautious) professional, and even venture to hospitals in NJ and Boston.

I lost my fear of ridiculously large medical bills.   Instead I get to them when I can, knowing in most cases they are fortunately not mine to pay anyway.

I lost about 3 more sizes, and have finally settled into clothes that fit.

I lost my muscle tone, as wild days kept exercising at bay.

I lost sleep, and more of my brown hair to gray as worrying kept me up many nights.

I lost my breasts in a bilateral mastectomy, but replaced them with perky new silicone ones, and with that…

I lost my fear of breast cancer and those ridiculous breast MRIs!

I lost my feeling of loneliness after my surgery when I got to spend a week chatting it up with my Mom.

I lost some of my close friends, who understandably tire of hearing me repeat the same stories without resolution, but I gained an incredible online support “family,” through Facebook, through PTEN world, and through my blog.

I lost that sense that we are alone at this battle against Cowden’s Syndrome, and I gained a deeper appreciation for the friends that call, message, and connect me to organizations like NORD, and the Global Genes Project.

I lost my uterus, and my ovaries, but I was done with them anyway,  and I gained permanent birth control and instant hot flashes!

I lost one of my Grandpas who I know I was so lucky to have for so long, but whose loss is felt deeply.

I lost my old cell phone, and finally traded it in for a “smart” phone.

I lost my old church, for reasons that still break my heart, but my family has been welcomed home at a new church where we are still marveling in God’s mercy and grace.

I lost my negative attitude about Staten Islanders when I watched my friends and neighbors rally to help the victims of “Superstorm Sandy.”

I lost my car in a ridiculous accident, but this week replaced it with a 2013 Hyundai Sonata.

I lost the way I sometimes took my grandparents for granted after Grandma Edith fell this fall.  I always loved them with all my heart, but I will remember how lucky I am each and every day.

Family shot in front of the New Year's Eve Ball.

Family shot in front of the New Year’s Eve Ball.

In 2012 I gained tools I will use every day as I move forward.

I gained…

Determination – that we will beat this!

Focus- on what matters most.

Perspective- that everyone suffers.

Forgiveness- because negativity hurts me more than them.

Gratitude- for the kindness of family, friends, and strangers.

Compassion- as I watched my little girl continuously open her heart to others.

2012 had plenty of hard times, but like my car, it was far from a “total loss.”

Here’s to the lessons to be learned in 2013.

Wishing you all health and happiness!

pic collage

9 thoughts on “Lessons Learned in 2012

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