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