So Long, 2009!

Teddy Flushes
“There It Goes!”

And good riddance, if you ask me. Yes, I’ve counted my blessings — I’m not a total whiner. But frankly, my dear, 2009 has been a very disappointing year. And I’m not even talking about partisan politics, global warming, Wall Street greed or the economy.

I was onto it early though. Back in mid-January, I wrote a post called, “This Adulthood Stuff Is Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be,” which pretty much sums up how I feel about the low-lights of 2009:

    “Each day, I get a little better at remembering to write ‘09′…I’m not as certain about whether I have recovered[…]the outlook I had toward life before cancer. Being diagnosed with cancer takes a big bite out of one’s optimism, one’s confidence about facing the future, one’s eagerness to face whatever that future may hold…

    …I’m tired of being responsible, of facing difficulty, of solving problems, of making decisions, of holding myself accountable. When you are faced with a life-threatening disease, you have to deal with a kind of uber-responsibility for your own self-preservation. It’s very difficult for joy & light-heartedness & humor & fun to survive…I still have these moments of enormous spiritual weariness, when I look at the road behind me & freak out just a little bit, all over again.”

So, here’s a recap of this stinkin’ year.

  • January 15th, Semantics: How To Take Your Lumps. Disenchantment with my breast surgeon started to set in. Yeah, so the woman maybe saved my life, but how come I didn’t know I was going to have a partial mastectomy beforehand? Plus, I still had pain, hypersensitivity and lots of scar tissue inside the breast itself. For months, as it turned out. Not happy.
  • January 27th, Water, Water Everywhere. A kind of cognitive dissonance keeps occurring. Frequently. My brain is no longer a reliable organ. This is usually known as “Chemo Brain,” but I didn’t have chemo. The problem has been explored further and is now officially known as “Cancer-Therapy Associated Cognitive Dysfunction.” Gee, that’s nice. Good to have an official name for it, I guess. The link, by the way, takes you to a PDF of a research article you can download. You know, in case you forget what’s wrong with you.
  • February 3rd, Taking Your Lumps, Part 2. I was due for my six-month post-surgery mammogram in a few weeks. Mammograms have forever become not merely an unpleasant inconvenience, but an occasion for terror.
  • February 11th, I’ve Fallen & I Can’t Get Up. A concussion was definitely NOT what I needed two days before I was scheduled for the mammogram.
  • February 17th, ER: It Was More Fun On TV. I still haven’t written that letter to the president of the hospital. And while I’m at it, I’ll be writing another letter to him and maybe another hospital president about radiologists who misread mammograms and then don’t even communicate their concerns to the patient. I was told after the mamm that there was “nothing of concern” on it, which turned out to be a bold-faced lie.
  • February 21st, Sometimes You Need A Good Cry. Because people die of cancer. People you know. And what I didn’t write about in this post is what a crummy, crabby visit I had with my breast surgeon the day before. Okay, so she was up all night delivering babies (she’s an ob/gyn as well as a breast surgeon), but I was still recovering from a concussion. Not to mention her surgery.
  • February 23rd, A Little More To Cry About. Have you ever noticed how often, when you are already dealing with grief, one of your pets dies? Just life’s little way of adding insult to injury, I guess.
  • March 1st, Global Crabby-ness. Misery loves company.
  • March 6th, Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop. Story of my life.
  • March 22nd, Side Effects. That could be the subtitle for 2009. Thought 2009 was going to be the year I put the whole cancer thing behind me. Boy, was I wrong. It was just getting started…
  • April 7th, Take My Boob…Please. Oh, this was so NOT a good week…
  • April 10th, Knowledge Is Power… Happy Freakin’ Birthday.
  • April 15th, We All Need More Cuddling. Just when you think things cannot get worse, they do.
  • April 26th, Happy Dance. Could have also called this “Waiting to Exhale.” Whew. Negative mamm.
  • June 20th, Sleeping With The Light On. This is my favorite post of 2009. Gives me a lump in my throat. It’s about that “I want my mommy” feeling, something I’ve experienced too many times to count this past year.
  • July 14th, Shock & Awe. The word ‘biopsy’ will always make me tremble.
  • July 25th, So Far, So Good. Remembering July 24th, 2008, the day this adventure began.
  • August 1st, Feeling ’bout Half Past Dead. The week I discovered that ‘tired’ isn’t tired — it’s cancer-related fatigue.
  • August 14th, The “F” Word. Fatigue was the absolute bane of my existence this past year. It’s better, but it’s not gone. I’m still paying five days later for having had the nerve to throw a dinner party on Christmas Day and enjoy myself.
  • August 18th, The Scar Marker. The day of my one-year post-surgery negative mammogram. And my 2nd favorite post of 2009. Puts another lump in my throat.
  • September 5th, Metaphor. Monarch butterflies and life lessons. My 3rd favorite blog post, and I think it gets the award for Best Photos.
  • September 28th, It’s Not A Month. It’s Our Lives. Oh, yeah. You know what month I’m talking about.
  • October 3rd, Blind-Sided. Informed consent? What’s that??
  • November 7th, Caffeine & Research. Dr. Winokur & Dr. Kamath? This is for you. Thank you so much for taking cancer-related fatigue seriously and for helping me and hopefully lots of others kick it to the curb. You guys are da bomb.
  • November 20th, The Gift That Keeps On Giving. Radiation causes tissue damage. Forever. Well, duh…but do they really tell you how much? Nooooooo.
  • December 8th, Telling. The link to my broadcast debut. Way cool getting to bitch on a National Public Radio show.
  • December 20th, Jumping To Conclusions. More fun with radiation — my lungs. Just in time for Christmas. Oh, and by the way, the radiation fibrosis has also damaged my singing voice, which I discovered while trying to sing carols on Christmas day. That was really the last straw. I mean, come on. Sure, I can still swear, but I’m not allowed to sing, for crying out loud? That is way not fair.

Okay. I wasn’t just imagining things. It really was that bad. So, yeah, lets just dump this one in the crapper. But hey, thanks for letting me vent all year. I may have lost my voice, but I promise I will not lose the attitude.

Yours with love, the Accidental Amazon.


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3 Responses to “So Long, 2009!”

  1. Here is to 2010. Let’s pray, hope, dream that it will be a helluva lot better than 2009. Cause I don’t think I can stand another one like 2009 and I know you can’t either.

  2. hear hear to ’09 in the crapper. happy ’10 kathi.

  3. Hi Kathi.. I know now why you wanted to kick the 2009 a bit sooner.. but finally it is over and that picture shows you kicked it with an attitude we all sistahs can be proud of… Love that picture…

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