2013. Ohhhhhhh 2013. I’ve thought and thought about what I could POSSIBLY write to do this year justice. I feel like I’m a blog cheater without an obligatory end of the year post, but I’m not going to lie – it is absolutely daunting to think about. So I’ve put it off and put it off and put it off until now, where there’s only a few hours left of the year, and even fewer until my family all joins together and we get our game night on. BUT, this is a year I don’t ever want to forget. Sure, it has been long. And it hasn’t all been easy. But it’s been a year of overwhelmingly positive memories. It’s the year where I faced my own mortality head on, and came out a stronger, better person… or so I like to think. It’s certainly changed me in more ways than I can count. It’s a year that’s shown me the beauty of the human spirit in those around me, both that I knew before and that came into my life in the past 12 months. 2013 will be a year I won’t soon forget – though I’m admittedly looking forward to a new start a little more than before this year! But before the clock hits midnight, here it is: my 2013 in review… bullet point highlights (not included of course: endless dinners with friends, sushi nights, happy hours, etc etc – it’s the little things that matter, but that would get old quick!)
- I brought in 2013 in our usual family fashion – no wild parties, but fun nonetheless!
- I turned 25 – woohoo! Brought in the year with many a celebration… suffice to say, my friends are THE BEST. Major points if you get the reference of my awesome birthday cake!
- I met the wonderful Amy and Eryn for the first time – it made the beginning of my mastectomy journey both very real and very do-able!
- I saw Lady Gaga in concert for the 3rd time. I freaking love her.
- I traveled to the Texas Hill Country with one of my best friends for some birthday fun… and learned to like red wine! An achievement I’ve been working on since I turned 21!
- I met with my breast surgeon for the first time since finding out I was BRCA2 positive 5 years earlier and we decided a prophylactic mastectomy was the way to go… and decided on a date that day!
- I also met my plastic surgeon and gyn-oncologist for the first time. They’re both amazing, and I’m so grateful everything fell into place the way it did
- I had my first (and only!) breast MRI and first round of ovarian cancer surveillance. One time of breast surveillance was PLENTY for me and confirmed my decision to have the surgery
- I traveled a bunch for work – a then-new concept for me! But it was lots of fun and I learned a ton!
- I participated in Shattered Dreams again – a program I’m a huge supporter of, and I get to “save lives” with the WorkFave. Woot.
- I visited one of my oldest and bestest friends in the world in Seattle – such a wonderful person, trip, and place! I can’t wait to go back!
- Not a whole bunch of huge life events, either boob world or real world, but lots of fun memories with friends – oh, and the 100 day mark countdown to surgery began!
- My brother and his then-girlfriend and now-fiance visited – wonderful, wonderful family time ensued!
- I went to Boston with some of my favorite nurse-friends… shenanigans and awesomeness abound!
- And of course, Angelina Jolie brought BRCA into the spotlight with her powerful article
- I went to Pennsylvania to visit a dear friend and be a part of her awesome mission to raise awareness for Mitochondrial Disease – love you Hayley!
- Work was epic crazy but SO much fun – reiterated how much I LOVE my job with a whole crop of new amazing people joining us!
- Visited family for the Fourth of July – arguably one of my most favorite holidays!! So much fun I absolutely love having everyone together and being so patriotic!
- ALL of the many pre-op visits commenced… it was a little over a week of craziness, but I saw everyone (breast surgeon/plastic surgeon, gyn-onc, etc, and was set for surgery!
- My amazing friend Sarah took pre-op pictures as we counted down to single digits – so grateful I did that!
- Big work conference – lots of fun had, memories made, and distraction achieved!
- Boob Voyage – still can’t talk about it without getting teary… my family and friends never cease to astound me!
- Pre-op and The Big Day – August 6th I had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy
- I chillaxed for the next few weeks at home with my parents and my wonderful Aunt came to visit, got drains out and first expander fill, followed up with both my surgeons, got back to my apartment and returned to work 3.5 weeks later!
- Got back into the groove of things – lots of fun stuff with friends this month! And some (boob) confessions came out.
- Had my second (and final) expander fill and scheduled my exchange surgery!
- Went to my first Bright Pink Dallas event – met some wonderful people that I am so grateful to now call my friends! So looking forward to what this year has to bring for the chapter!
- And of course went to Chicago with Amy & Eryn for Bright Pink’s FabFest – so fun!
- I celebrated a year of being at my “new” job – still adore it and look forward to going to work every day. Basically I work with super-cool people.
- Celebrated my first National Previvor Day and BRA Day – not that I wasn’t a previor before, but now these days have a whole new meaning!
- Of course went to recreate the horrible picture from last October and got to be a part of a sea of pink in the incredible breast cancer walk with my Aunt, Cousin, and Mom!
- Had a fun Halloween trick or treating with my goddaughters, and then a fabulous party with friends!
- Lots of lovely fall days with friends, dinners, etc – saw The Grinch with my parents!
- November 22nd – the day I ditched expanders (post eviction notice)!! Woohoo I was so ready and my exchange surgery was such an exciting day!! I’m SO happy to be done and love my fabulous results.
- Thanksgiving was a little different then planned with an unexpected hospital admit, but I got out just in time and we made it to Ruthie’s for a wonderful dinner!
- Saw my plastic surgeon for my exchange surgery follow-up and finally started really feeling better… with some Mother-Nature induced rest due to Icepocalypse 2013!
- Bought cowboy boots. Yes, this deserves its own bullet – it was a long time coming!
- Lots of fun holiday events and parties, got my first new car, and got to spend the holidays with my wonderful family, complete with some fun traveling!!
Whew – what a year, indeed! A HUGE thank you to my incredible family and friends for being here for me, and Thank YOU for being a part of it – here’s to a FABULOUS 2014!!