Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One Year Later: The Post-Cancer Recap

Last week was the one year anniversary of when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. What a year! I never expected so many of the things that happened this year:
  • Getting cancer in my 30s.
  • Going through chemo, which sucked but also had the wonderful side effect of bringing out the best in my husband and friends.
  • Deciding to stop waiting for my agent to hear from publishers and instead form my own imprint and publish my first book myself.
  • The support of so many people regarding my controversial decision.
  • Feeling healthier than I ever have in my life. 
  • Eating a diet that's pretty close to vegan. This is after previously being someone who prided myself on my ability to try any food, anywhere. I never expected it, but food tastes more amazing than ever.
  • Finding myself completely comfortable with hospitals and needles. 
  • Having short hair—and thinking that it doesn't actually look so bad!
Regarding that last point, after the first inch grew back thin and straight, my hair is now growing back as fierce and curly as ever. In the picture above, you can see my short cut is starting to curl at the edges. That picture was taken a little over a week ago, and it's already visibly longer. I'm stealing an idea from a friend and am going to take a photo of myself each week as my hair grows out, so I can decide what length I like best. As long as I don't look too ridiculous—and those curls will start to look silly—I'll share the photos here. Okay, okay, I'll post photos here regardless. But I don't promise that I won't sometimes be wearing a cute hat.

And how did I fare with my New Year's Resolutions that I came up with right as I finished up chemo and began radiation? I stuck to the important ones (my first mystery novel is coming out at the end of August, I'm working on other fun writing projects, and I'm cooking delicious healthy food) but I failed in a few ways that surprised me:

It's true. Hell has frozen over. And look outside your window; you'll see some pigs flying. Yup, I'm now on Facebook. With my first book coming out in less than two months, I set up an author page (not a personal one). I haven't yet decided what I think of it, but I'm around, so you can find me there.

I wanted to practice my French, but I haven't spoken a word of French since 2012 began. Okay, maybe three words. Or thirty. But I didn't start a new French language course. It turns out it's so much work to be one's own publisher. (More on that next week.) Getting my book ready for publication didn't leave me with much free time. I also didn't keep a sketchbook, or keep up with this blog as much as I would have liked. I did keep a notebook of notes, and I see I've got lots to blog about, so that's one thing that'll be easy to do more of. But French? I apologize in advance to the French, whose language I will slaughter when I visit France this fall after my last cancer treatments are complete.

This year has taught me that it's true you can never know what will happen in your life—but you can be prepared. Having wonderful people in my life got me through this year, and I know now that I can get through anything.

—Gigi

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