Monday, December 29, 2008

Leah's Year in Review Part One

Now that the wrapping paper has been thrown aside...I'd like to take a moment heading into this new year to acknowledge all that I am grateful for. Life has been very good to me this year.

One year ago I was in a very different place than I am today and perhaps that is the beauty of the passage of time. Nothing remains the same and we are all in constant motion. Life moves on.
In acknowledgement of that I'd like to do Leah's year in review. Looking back at 2008....

I celebrated New Years 2008 with friends and for the first time in 4 years I wasn't sick when the ball dropped. This was a very big deal for me.

In February I travelled to Kansas to see my cousins...I got two states out of that trip...if you count time spent in Missouri shopping and eating. It was of during quite a cold snap but Julia and Emily and I found lots of ways to entertain ourselves indoors. As usual I can always be persuaded to play dress is never too old for that. In the few months they had been based at Fort Leavenworth the girls had taken up horseback riding. I had the chance to get back on a horse for the first time in years and realized one thing. It's never good to stay away from something you love for too long. This is so true of many things in life. Note to self: I have to take opportunities to ride more often.

In March James and I travelled from Albany to surprise Carol in Boston for her 30th birthday!
We had quite a grand time, especially when you add the fact that it was St. Patrick's Day weekend. The South Boston Parade was the most fun I've had on St. Pattys Day ever. Okay, I've had a lot of fun on this day pretty much annually...but this took the cake. One might say I got a little too crazy at the parade but Carol and James were okay with that...right? You only live once and if you want to dance with the guy dressed like Sam Adams...why not do it? And if he swings you up in the air in the process then all the better. If you want to high five 100 people in Southie in half an hour ya do it...the mood really called for it. By the end of the parade as we piled on to the T, which was absolutely mobbed, I had the beads and green lollypops to account for my fun. Mardi Gras this was not and I didn't bare anything to get them (it was too cold)...but fun fun fun!

On the way home James put up with my singing in the long car ride and even joined I think it's safe to say we're kindred roadtrippers.

In April I sat down with my list and realized that if I wanted to get 30 states under my belt in my 30th year I'd have to get crackin'. Mom jumped in the car to head with me to Michigan for a very short trip through Canada and into Port Huron Michigan, the capital city of the Great Lakes.
Port Huron is a really cool place to visit. You can see the real blog from that trip here.
As it happens that blog grabbed the attention of a Port Huron tourism website and the webmaster asked for my permission to use it. She even sent me a check. It didn't quite pay for the gas there but it was a nice little compliment.

May was quite possibly my busiest month ever...after months and months of planning we held our first Stupid Cancer happy hour here in Rochester. This was followed the next day with a trek to Syracuse for the first OMG young adult cancer conference. Hard to believe that at that point I'd been communicating with I'm Too Young For This founder Matthew Zachary for almost a year and this was the first time we met in person.
All of us involved had quite the crazy weekend...but in the end it was every bit worth it!

Another exciting thing in May...the trip to Montana to Camp Mak-A-Dream for the Young Adult Survivors Conference. I met some friends there that I hope to keep in touch with for many years to come. Almost a week of fresh air, scenery, workshops, a hike or two and plenty of fun was what my body and my spirit needed. Oh and did I mention that the 4 hr lay-over on the way there got me a bonus state...Minnesota. This put my state count at 26.

Three days after returning home I did the keynote speech along with Matthew Zachary for the Ithaca Cancer Resource Center's annual luncheon.

And then...there was the passing of Blanche, my long struggling car. After almost ten years of me behind her wheel she finally turned over for the last time...and expired. It was time to say goodbye to the car that seemingly for so long just wouldn't quit. Read about her life and times here.

Another clean scan...who isn't happy about those results?...I started summer off on the right foot.
This was a real turning point for me as things started to get just a little bit easier in the whole process of putting cancer behind me...don't know why, maybe because a year and a half had gone by since treatment ended. Suddenly I felt okay to snap a few quick pics with my favorite chemo nurse, Carol and Lori my favorite office staffer. The tension was still there but somehow I feel like a whole new patient they are seeing. This is definitely a place I've spent a lot of time. Like it or not a lot of my memories of my late 20s were in large part spent in and out of Strong Memorial.

As with all things...we have to take the good memories, the laughter and the happy moments in, even as they are tinged with the sad or hard memories. There is joy even here.


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