Saturday, December 29, 2012

On birthdays and new beginnings

Since today is my birthday (shared with beautiful daughter Allegra) I thought I'd re-post what I posted on my newspaper blog.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A new year ahead brings hope for us all

As 2012 comes to a close and I celebrate another birthday in a few short days I'm really not feeling nostalgic about the passage of time.

On the contrary. I'm looking forward to 2013 and a new start.

Soon I'll be marking my second anniversary as a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with the disease in February 2011.

The past two years have been an educational experience, to say the least.
From hearing my doctor give me the news of my diagnosis on Feb. 11, to two surgeries, to chemotherapy and radiation treatments, to losing my hair, I've learned a lot.

One thing I learned is that keeping oneself healthy is a full-time job. Appointments abound!  

I've also learned to appreciate the little things in life more than ever before.

Soon after I was diagnosed I joined a support group.
I'm part of the Circle of Friends, which is based at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby. The ladies certainly live up to the group's name. They are friendly! I've never been in a support group before. New members are always welcome. 

I consider myself a private person but a year ago I wrote a revealing (for me) story about the American Cancer Society's "Look Good...Feel Better" session I attended at Griffin Hospital.

And I've participated in three fund-raising walks - two sponsored by Griffin and one coordinated this October by a dedicated Naugatuck mother of four whose own mother is a cancer survivor. The walks benefited the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital.

This year I formed a team. It was a lot of fun.

I'm looking forward to getting an even bigger team together next October. New members are always welcome. {grin}

This fall Griffin Hospital launched a survivorship program and I've been taking advantage of what the program offers. Last week I was one of only three patients who took part in a helpful workshop run by licensed clinical social worker Donna Hayes.

My takeaway from that session was I need to make time for moi, something with which many women seem to have trouble.
Women of a certain generation (myself included) have been raised to take care of everyone, which leaves little time or energy for much else.

Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, getting physical rehab, socializing, participating in fund-raising activities, and writing about all of the above. It's all a part of kicking cancer to the curb.

If you have gone through a bout with cancer as millions of us have you know whereof I speak.

And so...what about those New Year's Resolutions?

I haven't made a list yet, but mostly likely I'll jot a few resolutions down on a piece of paper.

And what about you?


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

again happy birthday! so glad you are at the two year mark, i hit five years last month and it feels wonderful but yes, staying healthy is SO important!

smiles, bee

Betty said...

Happy Birthday to you both.

Linda said...

I know I wrote a nice long comment on this post yesterday but as it was on my iPhone, it apparently got eaten so let's try this again ...

First off - yay for two years and let's go for twenty more! No doubt it was an adventure that you don't wish to have again!

Second - as for resolutions, the only way I've ever made and managed to keep was not to make any more resolutions so I hate to break it now! That said, I am determined to make smarter choices this next year - whether it be in terms of time management, food choices, financial affairs, or a myriad of other things, I want to be able to say that I chose wisely rather than poorly!