Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Year in Review

Like Stephanie who writes the 100 Cancer Resolutions blog and unlike every new year since I was about 12 years old, I decided not to write resolutions for 2012. With the Funky Sexy Manifesto and the gazillion to-do lists I create on a daily basis, there were enough things to resolve. Instead, I am going to take a tip from Kris Carr of Crazy Sexy Life and write my own Year in Review. (If you search some of these items, you will find that I blogged about them. All blogged about items are marked with an asterisk *.

My 2011 began with a vision which can be best expressed with this Visioning Board/Collage. I created this board a few days before my surgery to depict how I wanted to go through this cancer journey. I wanted to go through it with strength, resilience, confidence, healthiness, grace, creativity, and tenacity. Whenever I needed a healing inspiration, these images and words were helped me on the way.

- took a sick leave from my full-time teaching job to prepare for my surgery
- got sick with a bad cold the week before my surgery so I ended up taking off sooner
- I had surgery to remove my thyroid gland (total thyroidectomy) and 3 parathyroid glands which resulted in a longer hospital stay due to hypocalcemia (low calcium levels) *
- my one remaining parathyroid gland kicked in a few months later and my calcium levels are back to normal *

- started attending CANSCAIP (Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers) monthly meetings only two weeks after my surgery (Boy, was I crazy!)
- healing, reading, journaling, and cooking
- where is Thyrogen? *

- healing, reading, journaling, cooking, and crying
- where the hell is Thyrogen? *
- getting second and third opinions
- became vegan for Lent and now Vegan 4 Life *

- where is the blasted Thyrogen?
- created Blue Butterfly blog *
- began the low iodine diet (LID) to prepare for my radioactive iodine (RAI) while being vegan (Aaaahhhh!!! That's a scream by the way.) *
- I swallowed the pill of RAI administered and I was in radioactive isolation for four days over the Easter weekend *

- went to court to appeal decision on my sick benefits *
- began to reach out and get support from this journey by attending groups, classes, and workshops through Wellspring Cancer Support Centre and other organizations *

- attended the Young Adult Cancer Canada Retreat East 2011 in Gros Morne Park, Newfoundland *

- visited Ottawa with my sister
- did my whole body scan *

- reintroduced regular exercise in my recovery (Fuck you cancer!) *

- writing articles for Karma Food Co-op Bulletin (I'm writing articles, again!)
- entered the Burrito Bonanza Contest that was organized by Vida Vegan Con Conference and lost *

- wrote my first Vex in the City vegan restaurant review *

- visited Montreal with friends *

- visited New York City with my fiance and got to see family and relatives *

- got my whole body scan results which showed no spread (Yay!!!) so I think this means I am technically in remission. I began the journey of survivorship as well as lots of medical follow-up *

- organized I CanSurvive Picnic to celebrate the results of my scan, celebrate my birthday, and raise money for Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) *

- start of my Funky Sexy Manifesto (Survivor Resolutions) *
- began to get injections for Meaty (my keloid TT scar) to shrink him down and began a series of Meaty posts *

- attended a writing retreat *

- moved my sister into her dorm room in Ottawa

- applied to Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia (UBC) *
- after a short return to full-time work (my day job is a teacher) in September, decided to continue part-time for health reasons

- did my first speaking engagement at Satisfying Her Soul *

- Voice Therapy *
- begun a course, Writing for Children Part 2
- did my second speaking engagement at the Art for Cancer Foundation Gala *
- raised money for Wellspring by running a 5K of Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon*

- fundraising bake sale for Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) Climb *

- attend the Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC) Survivors' Conference in Ottawa, ON *

- went to court to challenge traffic ticket and cop did not show up *
- was asked by Thyroid Cancer Canada (TCC) to be their new News Editor and Newsletter Committee Chair. I accepted.

- found out I didn't get into the MFA but will apply to other programs in 2012 *

What a busy year! Lots to look forward to in 2012. Stay tuned...

1 comment:

gabriela argueta said...

Updates on the keloid treatment?