Goodbye 2013! You were hell-ish. During your reign, I scored 311 on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, where “Over 300” is the top category of stress. The surgery, that stripped me of my breasts, the wound complications that required me to spend six weeks, 24/7 on a wound vac,the six months of chemotherapy that wiped out 6 years of hair growth in 17 days, and the 28 consecutive days of radiation sessions that left me burnt to a literal crisp was stressful enough. But between chemo and radiation, my already stressed 24-year relationship fell apart. Fighting for my life left no room to fight in a relationship. We both surrendered.
At a time when all I wanted and needed was a smile and a peaceful place to rest my soul, my friend stepped in, opened her home to me, and became my lover. I temporarily moved out of my large modern home in Phoenix and have been living for the past 4 months in a small historic house in Mesa. My belongings are divided between the two houses and, more and more, I’m finding that I need fewer and fewer material things.
2013, you were hell on earth, but you taught me who I am – a warrior, a risk taker, a lover of life. I happily leave you behind, but I won’t forget the positive things you gave me: the friendships I no longer take for granted, the fearlessness with which I entered a new relationship, motivation to lose 30 pounds and reclaim my body, the nakedness of spirit beneath my tough exterior, the strength to grow and change, and the courage to face adversity in ways I never thought I’d be capable of.
2014, I welcome you.