One year ago, I was in the middle of 3 weddings. Working, being a mommy, just starting my Mary Kay business, coasting through a pretty normal, happy, seemingly healthy life. I didn't give much thought to my health and had no idea what the coming year would bring. If you told me then what would happen in May, I wouldn't have believed you. Looking back, it's hard to believe what the past 7 months has brought. This year started off innocently enough as we prepared for Rick and Courtney's wedding, brought the birth of Bradley and learned that Austin was on his way. I still find it funny that the last pictures of me and my family before cancer are of me in a pink dress. Seems so ironic, and the picture taken by Tammy and Ryan at my brother's nuptials has become nearly iconic for my family at this point.
Now, my world has changed. I had a year of challenges, both physical and emotional. One which included not only me, but my mother getting diagnosed with breast cancer. A year where we went from zero family history, to one considered a strong history. A year when awareness went from being just a fleeting thought to a practical obession and a way of life. It was also a year of blessings. Aside from the new wonderful people that joined our family, it also was a year where I learned to appreciate what we have. A year to realize how much love and support I have. A year to learn about a talent that lied long-hidden. A year to make a difference in the lives of others.
I may never quite embrace my cancer or ever be happy that it intruded so rudely into my world, but I cannot let it win, physically or emotionally. I need to keep fighting back for myself and my family. I have to continue to find ways to make cancer work for me, for it to fuel me to be a better person. I have said it before, fear can be a great motivator. To look at the awesome gifts and opportunities we have been given and to find ways to make the most of what we have.
So, as I stand at the door of 2012, I have learned the lesson that I cannot predict the future. I just know that I will do whatever I can to get the most out of life, to love as much as I can, and to not take my health for granted. I pray that this year brings me and mom the words "cancer-free" and that we can begin a new journey in a healthier life to enjoy for many years to come.