On my 40th birthday I had an over-the-top party where we served 40 wines and 40 cheeses. Included in the selection of wines were a few that were less than stellar to represent the years that we all have occasionally. You know, the ones that suck dog weenies. As I welcome 2013, I’d like to take a moment and say farewell to the surreal year that was 2012.
Armed with sock monkey pajamas and meditation music I entered the hospital in January 2012 for what would be the first of seven surgeries to permanently reduce my risk of more cancer. While I do not regret my decisions, the process proved far more challenging than anticipated.
While I was in the hospital I learned my sister had tested positive for the same BRCA1 mutation that caused my early-onset breast cancer at age 36. Her oncologist told her she’d been incredibly lucky to reach her early 50′s free from cancer. Her turn at the same series of surgeries would soon follow. I sent her a care package of items that included these lovely oversized p.j.’s and told her to burn them when she was done. I had no intention of donning them ever again.
Wisely, my sister did not destroy the surgery pajamas.
A few weeks ago, just to cap off the surgical adventures of 2012, my mother decided that her two daughters should not have all the fun and found herself having open heart surgery. Just to scare the crap out of me she developed a blood clot inside her heart and had to return for a second surgery. It was Mom’s turn for the sock monkey pajamas.
In case you are wondering, she is holding a calendar from my vet that includes my cat, the lovely Miss Bubble. I cropped the rest of the photo so she would not shoot me for showing the world her post-surgery beauty.
What is joyful about saying sayonara to 2012 is that all three of us who have worn the pajamas this year are doing quite well. We will move on with our lives and while there will always be some scars, both mental and physical, the events of 2012 are almost in the rear view mirror and that is a very fine feeling indeed. Sadly, there are others in our circle who have not fared as well. We hope that 2013 will be less bumpy for all of those we love and that the sock monkey pajamas can be permanently retired.