Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ending 2013 and looking ahead

As I look behind me at 2013, here are my highlights:

1. I started my recovery from tandem stem cell transplants. While I am by no means "recovered" because I'm still on maintenance therapy, this is still an enormous achievement. I can't understate this enough. Stem cell transplants are hard and I made it through. Yoga, weekly massage, my essential oils, nutrition and rest-- it all helps. I still have that port in my chest (you can see it in the photo below) but it's my lifeline so instead of hating it, I think I love it

2. My divorce was finalized. No more can that alcoholic with the temper tantrums and bullying control my life in any way, shape or form. I'm still recovering from the abuse and I still marvel at how bad it was. But I am grateful every single day that I no longer have substance abuse in my life

3. We went on some amazing trips and created lifelong memories. Those trips included: Northern Europe (Germany, Russia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Estonia) and Paris, Colorado, several trips to California, and many throughout Utah as we continue to explore this fantastic state

Here we are on the Gulf of Finland on the grounds of Peter the Great's summer palace (Peterhoff) about an hour outside of St Petersburg, Russia

4. We said a very sad goodbye to Jim Gerken. He is so dearly missed

5. I started blogging! I love this blog and I love the many people who have found me, take time to read my story, and offer support and encouragement to me along the way. My readership is at 11,000 and growing every day

6. I started writing for Divorced Moms and other sites and sharing my story with others. If my experience helps other victims and survivors, this is all worthwhile

7. I continue raising my daughters and cherishing every day we have together. There is nothing more rewarding (or more difficult) than being their mom

8. Spending time with my mom and dad-- the two greatest people alive

9. I grew hair-- lots and lots of hair. One year ago today, I had barely fuzz on my head. Now, thanks to hair extensions, I have plenty (and it's curly!)

10. I signed up for a new health plan under Obamacare. Great coverage and saves me tons of money!

And while I won't actually make any resolutions, I do have plans for 2014. They include...

1. Going to Italy in June (with visits to Switzerland and France), somewhere tropical (Dominican Republic? Jamaica? Belize?) over Spring Break, and Montana with my BFFs in July

2. Continuing to focus on my health and recovery

3. Writing my blog and starting my book, which will detail my story of abuse, escape and recovery

4. Completing a half marathon (I'll most likely walk it!)

5. Finding ways to be an advocate and champion for supporting other cancer warriors and finding a cure for multiple myeloma

6. Being a better mom

7. Enjoying a healthy and "normal" relationship, which each day reminds me that kindness, thoughtfulness and a world of no screaming is not only possible, but should be expected

8. Getting through my "Utah Bucket List"

9. Finishing Atlas Shrugged and War & Peace

10. Completing my lawsuit against my ex husband. While the divorce is done, there is one more piece of unfinished business, which I will blog about as we make our way through it

11. Staying close to God and staying true to my values

12. Finishing up my two year maintenance therapy with my sanity intact

Wishing you, my readers, a memorable 2014! Thank you for reading my blog and being part of my story. You mean more to me than words can ever express.