Farewell 2017

My dearest 2017,

Before you leave, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you. Our journey together has been a sorted one. It has been neither good nor bad, but rather a blur of a year.

We started our relationship in the most peculiar way. Meeting with sleep in my eyes and a Mariah Carey meltdown. I should have known this was going to be the precursor of our time together – exhaustion and challenging your believes.

Our relationship grew and unlike 2016, you gave me a sweet gift right away. I love how you knew that a little charm would blow 2016 out of the water. 🙂 While the creation of the gift was month in the making and a joint venture of past years, its deliver was oh so sweet and simple. “It is not cancer, but rather inflammation.”

Say what?!? I thought the shock of the year was Mariah Carey lip synching and here we are a little over a week into the year hearing those words flow from a neurosurgeon’s mouth. The next few weeks were hard as we waited to meet the new doctor. We were so grateful, but that sweet and simple phrase cast us back into a world of unknown. We had no idea if life would ever be back to normal and what the road ahead held. Looking back, we know the long detour on the road, led us to the right doctor to travel with. Thanks for being patient as I cursed your name – I meant it, but I take it back.

A doctor, who we have come to like a great deal, uttered some strange terms followed by, “I think we have a diagnosis” at our first meeting. He then told us to hit the gas and fly. The next few weeks are nothing both sleep in our eyes and exhaustion as we ran from one place to the next preparing for the start of chemo. Again, I am sorry that I cursed your name. I was tired and scared of what you had in store next.

As strange as it sounds, we found comfort in what little routine we made during the 6 months of chemo. Maybe the greatest gift you could have given – a start to normal. These six months certainly were filled with exhaustion and questioning your believes. We called it 2 weeks off and 2 weeks on living.

During our 2 weeks off living, 2017 showed us some important life lessons:

  • Life has a funny way of working out when you let things fall into place.
  • No one likes to be with a cranky person so try your best to find joy.
  • Needles, while icky, are ok if really necessary. I have grown from walking out of the room when the needle comes in to watch with intent to get over my fear.
  • Subscriptions to Amazon, HBO and Netflix are so needed when you get the “flu” every month.

During our 2 weeks of on living, we learned:

  • Always make time for that drink, snuggle with a nephew even if you are tired. You do not know what tomorrow holds.
  • Push your boundaries. Live the life you want regardless of the circumstances and possible outcomes. You can’t control either –  travel, work too hard, drink too much
  • Brad is a much better driver than me.
  • Love like crazy and never stop spreading joy.
  • Chase your dreams! If you fail, who cares – at least you tried.

Our 6 months were the longest, most exhausting experience yet. All nighters should be reserved for 21 and under. 2017, I thank you for making me see the importance of what this life should be all about. I thank you most for helping me to get my husband back to “normal” over those long nights and odd living schedule.

Chemo ended as the season began to change. We were shocked that half the year had past and we were ready to start living. After almost a year journey, you gave me back “normal”. Normal in the Wester house is pure insanity. Brad and I look at the calendar and determine what few nights we will eat at home together. He is off doing what he does best – volunteering, mentoring and helping other chase their dreams. I am catching up with friends, Stella and Dot styling and picking back up my love for yoga. Any free moment we have, we are basking in our family, friends and snuggling the kitten. The most memorable moments of post chemo living, all centered around being with those that we loved.

  • After a decade of worth of friendships, I finally got all my friends down to Florida. It had been two years since we all had been in the same city together.
  • The solar eclipse was stunning. I took the day off not sure what to expect
  • The introduction of two sweet new babies – Elizabeth and Timothy

My Netflix binging has gone way down, and I am ok with not cranking out an entire season in a weekend. 2017, I am thankful for the hectic life of this and that. We honestly fit an entire year in six short months.

2017, I never want to meet a year like you again. You were hard, tiring and full of activities that were not suppose to be fun. Somehow though, I enjoyed you. You taught me so much about myself, life and marriage. Most importantly, you played the central roll in getting my husband and “normal” back. Thanks for our love/hate year. I wish you well, but so look forward to your farewell. Know while I appreciate you, you are most certainly not welcomed back and you can’t share any of your traits with upcoming years.




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