I woke up on New Years Eve and while still laying in bed next to Mike, I shouted, "Peace out 2011, adios, sayonara"...and I might have even thrown in a four letter word about how much I hated 2011 and how eager I was to bid farewell to the year.
But then I thought about it a little bit more and came to a few realizations. Not to sound dramatic, but dealing with a life-threatening illness gives you a perspective on things that's greater than what you realized was even possible. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how wonderful 2011 was, while at the same time being the most devastating and difficult year of my life. Doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense when I put it like that, huh?
Well, although 2011 brought the "C word" into our lives, the year was also filled with many other amazing things....
- The birth of 4 of my best friends babies
- Mike & I took a fabulous trip to Seattle just weeks before I was diagnosed
- We were spoiled with 2 visits to Michigan from our favorite Floridian friends :)
- We were still able to attend 6 of our friends/families weddings (out of the 12 we were invited to)
- Experienced the unforgettable 3 Day For a Cure event with my amazing team and all of you that came to support us
- We not only visited Seattle, but went to Petosky, Nashville, Ludington, Sage Lake with my girls, and Fort Lauderdale - all while I was undergoing chemo - and Chicago the month after my surgery
- Had 3 of my wonderful sorority sisters come visit for a weekend while they were here for the 3 Day For A Cure event
- I went to my first U of M football game at The Big House! ...and it was their first ever night game....and they beat Notre Dame!
- I met Kris Carr - a true inspiration
- Had a visit from Sarah, one of my best friends and roommates from college who came all the way from Denver
- Was able to get together with 4 more of my wonderful college roomies just after Christmas
- Mike and I had the huge honor of becoming Godparents to sweet little Alice
- I have met and forged friendships with so many amazing people that I likely would have never known if it weren't for my diagnosis this year
- And had countless other wonderful moments with our friends and family - whether it was a quick visit, a night out together, or the incredible "Love Fest" - we have made so many great memories with everyone!
So while it would be easy to say how awful this year has been, how much heartache and tears it has caused, how much we have had to give up and miss out on....how can I possibly look at it in such a negative way when I look at that list of incredible moments from this year.
During a time when I could have curled up in a ball, stayed under the covers and felt sorry for myself, I chose to live! To get up each and every day and try to make the best of it - whether I am feeling a little sad or achy, tired or frustrated - I have never let it stop me from living my life and doing all of the things I love. I have heard many people say that cancer was somewhat of a blessing in their lives because it taught them how to live life to the fullest and enjoy each moment. Well, I am so thankful that I have always lived this way. Mike and I have always packed our calendars with amazing things like 10 or 12 weddings in a year, weekend getaways, and countless nights with friends. Sure, my cancer treatment has slowed me down a bit - but it has not taken over my life or stopped me from creating these lasting memories with the people I love.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and every single one of you that has helped me get through 2011. Whether you are one of my best friends that I talk to regularly, a neighbor that waves hello on the street, or someone I have never met that prays for me and my family....Thank you! I have no idea how I would have made it through these difficult months without you. I feel your love and support each and every day and it is what helps me pull back the covers and get out of bed on those tough mornings. I am so grateful for all of you and the way you cheer me on, boost my spirits, and inspire me to keep going.
I can only imagine what incredible blessings and memories this next year will bring. The great thing is that with Mike by my side, and all of you supporting me, I know that I can get through anything. If 2011 has taught me anything, it's that I am a lot tougher than I ever gave myself credit for. I know I will be able to overcome any obstacles in my path and move on to bigger and better things. I am confident 2012 will bring even more happiness and great memories than this past year did and I pray that it brings me a renewed sense of health so that I am able to tackle even more this year and start to give back to all of you that have helped carry me through this year.
Mike and I would like to sincerely wish all of our friends & family (and all of you that follow that blog that we have never even met!) a happy New Year! We wish you nothing but health and happiness for 2012...thank you for all you have done to support us through 2011 - we are beyond grateful!
xoxo, Meghan....and Mike too! :)
Here's a few quick snapshots from some great times with our friends over the past week...
Momma Jan, Court, Kate, Kel, Alice, Wrig and I...always a blast when I get together with some of my very best girls!
Mike snuggling his sweet little Goddaughter during a visit after Christmas
Some of my wonderful college roomies from 210 Campus Avenue :) So grateful we were able to meet up in Ohio after Christmas. We missed you Nikki, Kim, Sarah & Jules!
Our last pic of 2011 - just before midnight ♥
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