What A Difference A Year Can Make (Plus A Goofy Self-Portrait)

I’ve been thinking about something a lot lately. And I’ve been wanting to write about it but have no idea how to do it. I don’t even know where to start. When I look back at my blog entries from this time last year, they are much more numerous than I remember. Listing all the links in this post seems not only exhausting but also very redundant. (If you’re interested in reading them, they can be located by using the ‘Archived Dumbassery’ tool in the sidebar.)

Today marks a very important anniversary for me. As I lie in bed typing, I will confess that I’ve been secretly preoccupied for the last week or two. And it’s all coming to a head for me now. Here’s the short story.

On December 1, 2011, I had surgery to remove a tumor my doctor found on my lung during a very routine medical exam. Needless to say, I was floored by the whole experience. But I guess I didn’t realize just how much until I re-read the 17 posts I wrote leading up to my surgery and then the 15 that came after (19 if you count the guest posts). The whole thing seems so surreal to me now. I remember the story as though it were someone else’s.

On this same day last year, of the more than five hundred mothers at my children’s school, three were sick and receiving substantial support from our amazing community. Since that time, the first woman succumbed to her illness, the second lost a vital organ and the third is writing to you now from this keyboard. I managed to walk away from my medical crisis with only four little scars on my torso to remind me that it really happened.

Why should I be so lucky?

I have absolutely no idea. I don’t have these answers or any like it. I just know that I need to take a moment to reflect on the positive hand I’ve been dealt. I will not take it for granted. I am very thankful for the opportunity to continue being a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and a friend.

Oh, and one more thing ….


This picture was taken by me only moments before I was wheeled into surgery. As you can plainly see, I was high as a kite and the family members who were with me at the time really should have taken my phone away. But they didn’t. And I managed to snap this picture. It’s actually one of my favorite shots on my phone’s camera roll, although I’ve never shown it to anyone. It’s pretty raw …. but it’s also pretty happy. Right now, that seems like a nice combination.


18 responses to “What A Difference A Year Can Make (Plus A Goofy Self-Portrait)

  1. Congratulations are certainly in order. And we are all thankful to know you. Sending love. Great pic too.

  2. I am so happy everything worked out so well for you. I dont know you that well, yet, but from what I do know, you deserve only the best! The picture is terrific. Your smile is contagious!

  3. Because I’m really lazy, I don’t read every post you write, just those that I have time for before you write another one, and I don’t think I was reading you last year. I had no idea you went through this and you are very much entitled to feeling lucky at this time of the year. 3 women facing illness in one school- wow. I also love that self picture, mainly because I’m amazed that you look so good as you are getting wheeled in to surgery. And you must have the longest arms known to man because all of my self pictures are way too close and look like I am just an arm’s length away from the camera. That must have been some serious magic happening in there! I’m happy for you that you get to celebrate the holidays with nary a worry this year.

    • A. You are not lazy. Who has time to READ?
      B. Thank you.
      C. I assure you that, as a woman who stands at barely 5’4″, my arms are not especially long. But I am WAY handy with that phone. Apparently, even under the influence.

  4. I’m so glad you wrote about it today. It’s so therapeutic, and crazy to think about. I know exactly what you mean about it feeling like someone else’s life. I can relate to so much of this post. As you know, we’ve got a bit in common. You’re a survivor, and for that my friend I am happy. Much love to you . . . a wife, a daughter, a mother, and somebody’s friend. Happy Anniversary. xo

  5. I remember falling apart with Jeff. You’re a good sister, and he’s a good brother. And I used to think y’all hated each other ! Life can be tough and sweet. Today, it’s sweet. Enjoy.

  6. You’re pretty awesome. 🙂 So glad you took the time to write about it. Hope you had a great day!

  7. That is a great pic and, yes, you look high as a kite but also really goooood. I had a different yet similar life experience this summer and it was difficult for me to write about it. I actually DON’T remember writing about it because I was still heavily medicated. I went back recently and read through July and it was all foreign to me. I get how it feels like it was/is someone else’s life. I feel that now looking back 5 months. I’m happy you are celebrating your anniversary and I will do the same next June 27th. We each have days we won’t forget. My life is better because of it, ironically. I bet you feel the same in some ways. Happy to be reading this!

  8. It’s also pretty confident, just like you always are.

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