For many, the last few weeks have probably been filled with shopping, wrapping, planning menus and running what seems like an endless list of errands. Regardless of your beliefs, or how you celebrate, there’s always the “day after” when life snaps back into place and all the busyness seems to come to a screeching halt as we crawl toward the new year.
Each year, as we count down the days and minutes to midnight of the start of another year, thoughts of resolutions, new beginnings, and even happy endings bounce around in our heads to replace shopping lists and last-minute errands that clogged our brains just a few days ago. Just as the holidays come and go each year, the start of a new year comes with things we can be absolutely certain about (the sun will rise and set each day), things we can be relatively certain about (more than 40,000 women and men will die from breast cancer) and things we are less certain about (a cure will be found to finally end the scourge of breast cancer.) Like any other year, 2012 will bring us the mundane and the profound – the joy and the sadness and, of course – the hope and despair that comes with the reality of metastatic breast cancer.
I’ve never been much of a New Year’s Eve reveller and certainly never one to make resolutions I knew I couldn’t keep. That’s ok though, because I really don’t have any bad habits I have to get rid of. I’ve never smoked, I try to exercise (when my back allows) and after being overweight for most of my adult life, a stint at Weight Watcher’s about 10 years ago helped me take the extra pounds off that I’ve managed to keep off (and, no, I didn’t start WW in January – I started the week of July 4th.) Why is it, then, that these days before we begin a new year tend to bring a cloak of sadness that hovers over me, ready to cover me in tears. Long ago (pre-mets) I came to the conclusion that I am sad for the lost opportunities – things I let get by me, never realizing that those opportunities may never come my way again.
Having metastatic breast cancer has taught me a lot about myself, my life and my ability to look to the future and to the promise of a new year filled with the hope that maybe 2012 will bring researchers the answers, once and for all time, to finally find a cure for breast cancer. As long as I have that hope, I can face the new year, for I have to believe that one of these years, we will be rejoicing a new year without the reality of metastatic breast cancer hanging over us.
May 2012 bring us closer to the cure. May you all find joy in even the everyday, seemingly meaningless moments of your lives, may you find peace within yourselves and may each day bring a reason to smile!
Don’t Stop Believing