Early on, I learned my nemesis’ secret: stealth. It came in undetected, like a thief in the night, to steal not only my time and health, but also my strength, courage, and determination.
My nemesis thought he could steal 2019 from me. But all he got away with was a bit of tissue from my tongue and my neck, a few (unneeded) pounds from my midsection, and a bit of my ability to concentrate or focus.
Let’s review what he did not steal from me:
- My avocation, in the form of my job. The year started off with more than 30 days off the job, thanks to politicians and The Big Orange One in DC. But despite their best efforts, I still feel quite strongly about our National Parks. Since radiation ended, I have met every deadline, every report, project, and task thrown at me. I am tired, yes, but at least I kept up. There is still much to be done.
- My background in the sciences and my desire to read even the most tedious data. I am still happy to discuss with people just how humans impact our climate too, even if people want to live in denial. It all has to do with soil and water, systems we have really screwed up. The facts are staring us square in the face; we just need to grow up as a species and admit what we have done.
- My health overall. Cancer is a bitch, but I still have excellent blood pressure, no signs of heart disease, kidney problems, diabetes, or just about anything else I was tested for. And believe me, I have been tested. Cancer has left me feeling numb and very UNenergetic. But those two things are attributable to the liquid diet, lack of solid food for weeks on end, and side effects of radiation. I am down from a size 16/18 in pants to a size 12 at the moment. My doctors kept threatening feeding tubes, but I resisted and I am better for it. 45 days out of radiation and I can taste most food again and am looking forward to trying new foods when I get to New York in 20 days.
- My creativity and my desire to make things for myself. In fact, while going through radiation and staying at Hope Lodge, I designed a new scarf/wrap pattern which I hope to have ready for publication this autumn. I am in the middle of two new sweaters and a new pair of socks for myself, and a new fair isle glove design for my Mountain Woolies line that I sell.
- My love of the written word. It seems if I sit down for more than 2-3 minutes, I fall asleep. Hoping this will pass, I have started reading the next book on my 2019 reading list, and have my friend BJ as my reading inspiration! She is cranking through her booklist like a champ. I have perhaps 10 more books waiting on my list to be read by December 31.
- My goals of paying off my debt and buying myself some things I have needed for years. Well, I have a bit of medical bills now that I wasn’t expecting in January, but thanks to my saved up sick and annual leave (most park folks have no problem saving up leave because we are so short-handed that we never take leave), I was able to cover all of my absences for months with leave and I never missed a paycheck. So I was able to keep up with paying my pre-existing bills and that debt is declining as I’d hoped. The medical bills are on a payment plan and should be done in less than 13 months. Additionally, I have a couple new pieces of furniture for my apartment and I still get to take my vacation to New York that I hoped for back in January. Oh, and thanks to the weight loss, I got to buy some new clothes too. 😉
So suck on that, Cancer. You bit me, but I won.