The “Best” Of 2018

When asked how my year was, I automatically answer with “awesome!”. I thought about it and what I define as  “awesome” these days is pretty different then I would have 4 years ago! Still, 2018 was good to me. This is my recap:


- 18 Chemo Treatments (Kadcyla)
- 20 Trial Treatments (ZW25)
- 1 Larynscopy Surgery (Throat surgery in human language)
- 3 Broken Arms (in 2 months): 
      1 traumatic experience at the Carleton Place hospital (my first time on Ketamine!)
      1 lie of the year (How much have you had to drink?)
      3 screws that came out of my bone causing it to break again  (“they’re just floating in there!”)
      1 car door (I just opened it and my arm broke!!)
       92 staples (*upside down smile emoji*)
       1 metal rod and 4 metal screws removed
       2 metal plates placed in my arm (bionic woman)

- 4 surgeries this year in total (thank u, next)

- 3 blood transfusions (help people like me out and donate!)
- Bloodwork, scans, doctors appointments (too many to count)

- 5 shows (Harry Styles, John Legend, Les Miserables & JT x 2 .. could’ve been 6 but I left Drake hanging)
- 7/12 book club picks (and multiple viewings of The Bachelor)
- 7 days in Nicaragua (+39 > -20)
-  1 Bachelorette (Harry Potter themed)
- 3 weddings (does late twenties make you a better dancer, or do you just stop caring what people think?)
- 4 birthday parties (6 pairs of kitty ears)
∞ Mozza Sticks (w/ seafood sauce) 

Reflecting on the year, Jeff and I eagerly (better late then never?) made playlists based on 2018’s Best Albums. Let’s just say there’s a little something for everyone.. 

Jeff  “albums are meant to be listened to together” Mitchell :

Sam “don’t judge me” Mitchell:

My favourite books I read this year:

The book that most impacted me this year: 
Call Me By Your Name/Andre Aciman

My fave fictional story of the year: 
The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo/Taylor Jenkins Reid

The best non-fiction:
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
/Atul Gawande

Saving my favourite for last. My year in pictures!

Entering into this year I was recovering from a craniotomy and the loss of using my right hand. A lot of the time I thought - if this is my time, I’m happy. Then a year went by, and not only did I learn to work with what I have and listened to my body about how I feel (no more acidic foods and no more holding babies.. my heart breaks for both) I am feeling good and in a much better place then the start of this year. 

On January 7th I had a trial PET scan because I had swelling in my brain. This scan will tell the doctors what’s going on in there - growing tumour or dead tissue from it being previously radiated. Either way it will need to be treated and there isn’t really a ‘great’ option. Welcome 2019, I’m ready to face whatever you bring my way. 




This post consumed me for a lot of last week. I posted it, left it up for a few hours, then deleted it. I had this positive outlook on this year, but shortly after posting I saw on Facebook that two of my breast cancer friends had chosen to end their treatments. This was such a brave decision, but it gave me such mixed feelings. I felt I couldn’t post anything happy or positive after that. The truth is - this doesn’t get any better for us. We have as many good moments as we can, but inevitably it will get worse. There is no good outcome I have to look forward to. I’m not going to get better. In reality,  I’m not ready to be sick again in 2019. My view on this year dramatically changed.

Last night I wrote a letter to someone I know about his end of life decision. I thought it would break me, but instead I thought about it long and hard. What is really important when it comes to the end?

Every time I think I’ve come to peace with “why” this is happening to me, I feel differently and have to try and relearn it all over again. I’ve always come to the same conclusion though; we are loved, we matter and we are the lucky ones. We get to see our friends, family and community show us an outpouring of support. Getting to see these moments before we ultimately move on is amazing and important, being able to experience this gives us a great sense of self and answers all of the questions. I often ask, “Why am I here?”. Often, I feel I haven’t done enough that is making an impact, that’s “worth” it. I think the real meaning is experiencing what we love, connecting with everyone we love, and loving our bodies for enduring so much and allowing us to do the first two things. 

So here I am posting this blog because I’m still allowing myself to be ‘me’; I am my own person first, not my diagnosis. I’m trying not to get trapped in dark thoughts, reminding myself that to have hope isn’t a bad or unrealistic feeling. I’ll relearn this over and over, as I said in my letter above, but today I can only hope for a better day and continue to seek out strength so that I’m able to keep going.
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