Ta-Ta, 25!

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Wow.  An entire year has passed since I started this blog.  365 days. 525,600 minutes (sorry, couldn’t help myself!). 57 blog posts. It’s really incredible to think how far I’ve come, and even more so, how much of the past year is already a blur.  25, and 2013, is a year I will definitely never forget.

It’s sometimes both a blessing and a curse to be a January Baby.  In this context, because I can’t really do a classic “year in review” style post because oh, that’s right, I just did that 21 days ago. So instead, I’ve decided to mark this day with the 25 things – some random, but mostly falling into the categories of things I’ve learned, relearned, and learned to appreciate as a 25 year old – some related to the fact that it’s the year I had a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, some not.  But let’s be honest, boobs DID kind of dominate the year!

26 is already pretty awesome, based on the celebrations that have been had, and the celebrations that are still to come.  And don’t think I’m one of those crazy people who doesn’t realize that I’m actually no different than I was 24 hours ago, but WOW the weight of being “done” with “that year” is kind of awesome.  It sort of hit me with the year changing to beautiful 2014, but now, it’s like I really did it.  I’m really beyond it.  But I can’t do the year justice without giving it some attention, so here it is, in no particular order except the first and last –

Diana’s 25 from 25

1. Without a doubt, number one – “people are what matter.” Meredith Grey said it oh so many years ago, and it’s just so true.

2. I have the best parents in the world. I won’t elaborate cause then this stupid water gets in my eyes and I can’t see to type (what’s that about?!) but suffice to say, they’ve always been there for me my entire life, but have truly outdone themselves this year.

3. Finding out you’re BRCA positive is truly a gift. Once you get over the suckage of it of course. Because you have the chance to do things preventatively that others didn’t have the chance to. Shout out to my Aunt for giving me the gift of knowledge.

4. I have freaking amazing, loyal, incredible friends. It breaks my heart to hear of people that have lost friends in the surgery journey. And I feel so lucky that my friendships just grew stronger, and that my closest friends redefined friendship being there for my surgeries and everything else.

5. Related to above, don’t underestimate friends you’ve never met in person, and new friends. Having “surgery buddies” to go through this with, even if they’re across the country or even the world, gives unspeakable comfort.

6. Fantastic doctors make all the difference in the world. And surgeons that are artists too are amazing.

7. After having some infamous horrible roommate situations in college, I really thought they were the worst things in the world. But now I have the best roommate ever and can’t imagine living without her.

8. JP drains and boob goo? Really not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. Expanders? Yeah they suck.

9. Electric blankets are one of the best things ever created. If you don’t have one you are seriously missing out.

10. Don’t ever underestimate your work family. I absolutely adore mine and they were amazing even when I was gone. And they’re a huge reason of why I adore my job so much.

11. Wine and girls nights are miraculously effective and cheaper than therapy. And wine clubs are fun. And I actually now believe that red wine really is an acquired taste, and I feel accomplished that I now enjoy it!

12. I learned to give into my Texas roots. And cowboy boots can actually be cute.

13. Seeing my friends getting married was weird at first in a “holy crap we’re growing up!” way. Seeing them have babies and being amazing parents is even more insane. And incredible to watch.

14. I don’t know what I’d do without my 3 go-to TV shows on DVD. Friends, Gilmore Girls, and Grey’s Anatomy. It’s like the soundtrack to my life, and just the noise is comforting. Also I still laugh. Every time. Don’t judge.

15. Parenthood is hands down the best drama on TV right now. And Modern Family is the funniest show since Friends. I adore them both.

16. I could totally be vegan/plant strong all the time if I really wanted to. But I love my sushi. So I’ve finally found my happy balance of “flexitarian-ism” about 2 years after I first started it.

17. Boob jokes never get old. And bring everyone together.

18. I am immensely grateful for good health insurance. That’s a totally adult thing to say, but for reals. We haven’t done the final math of the past year but wow. Not a perfect system but I’m really freaking grateful for it.

19. I know I had some doubters about how I could be so open about something so personal. I knew my surgery journey was something I wanted to share, and I learned that the feeling of knowing you were the inspiration for someone to take ownership of their health and get tested, or to be the person that was living proof that it will, in fact, all be okay, is something truly indescribable. It’s an honor to be even the smallest part of someone else’s journey.

20. This is the year I perfected my sangria recipe. It’s basically already legendary.

21. Cards Against Humanity is amazing. Best. Game. Ever.

22. August 6 will always be a day I remember – my Boobiversary, if you will. But equally as memorable? August 4. My Boob Voyage. I still get choked up trying to talk about the incredible show of support – friends and family from all parts of my life came together and it left me speechless. And the boob cake and boobcakes were epic.

23. I’ve already learned to appreciate that I made the right decision to have this surgery. Everyone told me the relief afterwards is almost palpable, and that’s so true. It’s truly incredible.

24. I have a new appreciation for not taking the little things for granted. Because those are often the things that matter most. A smile, a text message… Little things that can change someone’s day.

25. And lastly, the thing I’ve said over and over through this entire journey – I’ve learned to never underestimate the beauty of the human spirit. It will surprise you when you need it most, and truly is just an incredible thing.

Here’s to an amazing 2014 and year of 26!!