It Has Actually Been a Really Great Year

p and r 40th birthday party

Over the weekend hubby and I hosted a Seventies-themed birthday party to welcome my sister and brother-in-law into to their 40’s.

From the ridiculous costumes to the 1970’s music, our home was filled with joy. We reminisced and shared our memories from the 1970’s. We made new memories as we gathered together, laughing lightheartedly about non-sense.

After months marked by illness, darkness, pain and grief, it is glorious to laugh lightheartedly about non-sense.

Sistah had not seen me in about 4 weeks and she was blown away at how well I am doing. That is the thing with healing, it happens so slowly that it takes stepping away to really see the marked changes.

Sunday, hubby and I took our new kayaks out on the lake.

Last summer we rented kayaks and had such a great time that we decided it only made sense to buy them since we live so close to the lake and river.

Our day was lovely. I was pretty tired after Saturday’s party so we did not paddle far, instead we let the breeze carry us. I enjoyed watching the sunbeams bounce off the water.

Twinges of fear and sadness tried to steal the moment as I savored my sunny summer, tempting me to wonder if it would be my last sunny summer.

I pushed those thoughts away because there is no reason to think that. I am responding well to the Sprycel.

I think that it must be natural to have such thoughts after going through a medical crisis, and I have been through 3 of them. There must be some post traumatic stress element to it.

Last night I was posting pictures to social media and I looked through events that have happened over the past year.

As odd as this will sound, after the sheer horror that hit us from November through April, I must say that it has actually been a really great year.

I remember fighting sadness and discouragement on January 1st because I was too sick to bring in the new year in a spectacular (or even hopeful) manner.

At that time, leukemia was active and I was on my way down, not up.

I had not even switched chemotherapy yet.

I remember telling my husband that I was not going to get discouraged.

I told him that my new year could start on a different date; that it did not have to be limited to January 1st.

I remember talking with him about how I could still have a great year even though January 1st was so hard.

After looking through the pics of my past year, I would say that it has been spectacular and that if anyone ever feels like their year is limited to the way it starts on January 1st–that is not true.

snow raleigh january 2014

January 2014

January 2014, we were still in Raleigh. I was totally healthy. A year later, I underwent the 6th of 7 bone marrow exams I have had and it was, by far, the worst I have experienced. You can read about it here.

bone marrow room

January 2015


Kayaking with hubby last summer, before I got sick. We had so much fun that we decided it only made sense to buy kayaks because we live by the water and we would waste so much money if we keep renting them.

kayaking with hubby 2014

July 2014

Brunch at one of our favorite places in Atlanta


August 17, 2014

We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary at the vineyard where we were married.

5th anniversary

September 2014

We bought our first house as a married couple together

moving day november 18. 2014

November 18. 2014

Thanksgiving 2014, I was already sick but we did not understand what was happening yet. You can read about it here.

chris and jessica tgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

December 17th, I was getting sick fast and had lost about 10 pounds in 3 weeks, I was having terrible nose bleeds, chills and bone pain.

Fleetwood Mac is one of my all time favorite bands and hubby knew that I had always wanted to see them in concert.

At the last minute, despite the fact that our world was falling apart, he made sure I got to go to the concert. We had a blast.

fleetwood mac

Fleetwood Mac Concert December 17, 2014

The 6th of 7 bone marrow biopsies that I mentioned above and wrote about here.

bone marrow room

January 9th, 2015

I started the new chemo on January 15th. I was in horrific bone pain by that point. I was desperate for help, it was a turning point day for me. You can read about it here.


January 15, 2015

The new chemo started working, I started gaining weight and drove for the first time (I look horrible in this picture–but better than I had looked–I had lost ~20 pounds in 5 weeks).

getting better

February 1, 2015

The chemo, Sprycel, was working but I was not tolerating it well for the first few months. We met with the bone marrow transplant team. It was crushing. You can read about it here.

bone marrow book

February 25, 2015

Hubby and I recovered from the bone marrow transplant meeting and had our first really “fun” date. I felt ok enough for it to be a truly fun evening. And we discussed the hard issues that had been introduced at the transplant meeting. You can read about it here.

return to yoga 2 (3)

March 1, 2015

Sistah took me to my 7th bone marrow exam which was a very good experience (thank you God). You can read about it here.

bone marrow bx 7

Sistah and Me March 9, 2015

At the encouragement of a new friend, I started walking. You can read about it here.

walk 3.23.15

March 25, 2015

Celebratory supper after our second meeting with the bone marrow transplant meeting. You can read about it here.

celebratory dinner after bone marrow meeting.jpg2

April 14, 2015

Hubby and I are getting out weekly now as I wrote here.

library date

May 31, 2015

And then, as if nothing severe ever happened, yesterday my husband and I set out with our kayaks 11 months after our first kayak experience last summer.

Our day was filled with laughter and laziness and in many ways similar to the day we had last July when we were so naive of the storm that was headed our way.


June 14, 2015

kayaking 6.14.2015

Hubby and I on our maiden voyage June 14, 2015

So, yes, it has actually been a really great year.

Amazing…all that can happen in a year.

“to God be the glory, great things He has done”

–Fanny Crosby

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