that is how this last weekend was.
the sweet was...
- time with family for multiple days in a row
- sleeping in and even one quick nap on thanksgiving
- great food
- decorating for christmas (not necessarily out of being in the holiday mood quite yet, but not sure when else we would have time)
the bitter was...
- wanting to be able to wrap a good friend entirely up in bubble wrap to protect her from pain and not being able to do that but supporting her the best i can
- the loss of a family member on thanksgiving to cancer. my mom had told me when i got to her house on thanksgiving that her cousin diane was in the hospital and not doing well. the call came to notify us just as we were sitting down to thanksgiving dinner. on wednesday we will meet to say goodbye to diane. this will be the third funeral since my diagnosis, funerals are never easy, there are harder for me now than ever before. i wish there were no more goodbyes to be had this year. i can't remember the last year that has gone by that we have not lost a friend or a family member. i hope that 2012 breaks that cycle and there are no goodbyes. i hope. i hope. i hope.
i saw my counselor last week and we had an interesting talk about my nightmares. the nightmares continue although i don't have them every night. she had an interesting perspective as she always does. she told me that she thinks it is likely the trauma of the last year finally finding its way out, and i hope, out for good. since i went right from diagnosis to surgery, to high dose treatments, to low dose treatments, and so many doctors appointments in between, there hasn't been much time for me to just process as i was always focused on the next hurdle i needed to cross (for the bulk of the year, that focus was always on getting throug the next shot). i have known for a long time that i should have taken more time off at the beginning. but going back to work was a decision that i could make at a time when there weren't many decisions i had control over. it was my routine and what i knew. it provided me the ability to think of something other than how scared and sick i was. it gave me comfort that some parts of my life could continue as usual, even if i felt like hell doing it. i got to spend my days around people that i liked and who made me laugh. but it was too fast to go back, and i knew even before i ended treatment, that if i had it to do all over again (which i hope i never do), i would have taken more time to really deal with the diagnosis and how my life would forever change - in both good ways and bad. so i am going to take some time soon to catch my breath and give myself the time i didn't take last year.
i look forward to december coming and feeling up to more this year than last. last year was brutal and i remember spending most of christmas day on the couch with nausea. so this year can only be better than the last.
i have a fun list of things that we will do, including...
- the reindeer festival at cougar mountain zoo
- making a gingerbread house and getting to eat candy at the same time (jill, i won't make mine from scratch like you do - which is a tradition that i think rocks by the way, so i hope that we can still be friends after you read this)
- going to snowflake lane and hearing the drummers rock it out
- watching malena open her advent calendar surprises every day from the calendar my mom made her from scratch
- going to the garden d' lights at the bellevue botanical garden like we do every year between christmas and new years
- drinking hot chocolate
- making these flourless peanut butter cookies
- hopefully making it to zoolights for the first time
- eating my mom's chocolate covered pretzels and my friend chris's homemade peppermint bark (yum)
- painting wooden snowflakes with malena for homemade christmas presents (everyone who is getting one and is reading this will need to act surprised)
- doing some on-line shopping from artists like kate endle, malena will be getting this book and i will getting this calendar (thanks mom, i will totally act surprised when i open it, you are such a good shopper;)) or tag team tompkins from which i have purchased two pieces (this one and this one) that are framed and in my craft room and now nerd has this one
happy monday all, november comes to a close this week and december begins. the final transition of the year. bring it on. i am ready for a fresh start.