Friday, December 21, 2012


Progress.  The shopping is finished.  The gifts are all in boxes.  The wrapping paper is in the house.

I can PAY my daughter to wrap the gifts.  She'd do it for nothing, but I'd feel better if I pay her for her time.  Unless the wrapping has some sort of therapeutic effect on me.  I think, however, I'd be better off withOUT a pair of scissors anywhere near me.  

The tree will be decorated.  Lots of lights I will post a picture.  I have NEVER decorated a tree this close to Christmas but there's a first for everything.  It's all good.

I have to run to one store to pick up something that I ordered online.  No waiting, no looking around..... just a simple pick up.  And done.

So yes, despite the confusion and the commotion, there will be a "proper Christmas."  In keeping with the spirit of the season, I wanted to share some of the things that have filled me with joy despite the medical uncertainty swirling around at the moment.  Waiting is awful and having things happen when it's holiday time exacerbates the whole process.  Instead of focusing on the waiting, I'm looking at the joy.  The unexpected.  The random acts of kindness.  The things that cause me to catch my breath in the back of my throat.

In no particular order.....

Except for this in the top spot: Yesterday, I saw someone tweet something about #Fearless Friends with a link to Lori's blog.  My new "system" with the blogs is something I'm still trying to fine tune so I'm missing blog posts.  This had me in tears before I got beyond the third word.  Lori has my back.  And she made that very public in this blog post at Regrounding.

Knowing Barb is still reeling from her recent mets diagnosis and going through the decision making process with regard to treatment AND doing her first treatment, she has the grace to offer me her love and support because of what is going on in my family.  The epitome of selfless.

The note I received to let me know a donation was made in my name to Breast Cancer Action on my birthday last month. Breast Cancer Action cuts right to the heart of things.  I like that.  Lots.  It's the way to shake things up and BE the change. I was floored at the kindness of someone I have yet to meet but someone who means lots to me.  Our schedules seem to clash, but we will make it happen.  Special beyond words.

The comment on this blog about the tweets from San Antonio.  Someone was translating my words to share with a Danish speaking audience.  Humbling in ways I can't begin to describe.

Every single comment on this blog from every single person EVER.  I've been lifted up during some rough moments, particularly over these past few days, I've been validated when I felt something was wrong, I've been given the chance to laugh at myself because I got to see things through your eyes and I've shed plenty of tears.  I owe many of you responses to the recent comments.  Again, I have read each and every word.  Things have been distracting me from giving proper acknowledgement.

I had the chance to be part of a spectacular group of advocates in San Antonio and I still have homework to finish but the experience was transformative.  Ditto the invitation to the Partnering for Cures conference.  Learning.  The joy in the learning.  And a very special dinner one evening with a group of women I know are destined to change the world. 

The opportunities afforded to me by WEGO Health to speak for all of us as they strive to bring patients into every possible discussion.  I was treated respectfully by the audiences I had the privilege of addressing.  My opinions were held in the highest regard. The winds of change are blowing and the patient is becoming increasingly more important in the decisions that will change the face of healthcare.  As we should be.

The honor to volunteer with the DSLRF to promote the Health of Women study and to encourage enrollment in the Love/Avon Army of Women initiative.  I believe in the work of Susan Love and I know she's on the right track.

The joy of spending time with CJ and a chance to METAvivor raise funds in whatever way possible so more money can be provided directly to research for the metastatic patients.  They matter most.  Their lives are on the line.

The twitter love and it IS love.  The community.  The sense of one-ness.  Those who have reached out to lean on me and those very same people who have turned around to hold me up in my own moments.

Those who I have met, and those who I have yet to meet..... all joy.....

Plenty more to say..... this is to be continued....... I've barely scratched the surface......

Stay Tuned.....


  1. This post is one big smile with a tight hug wrapped around. Happy holidays to you, AnneMarie!

    1. Thanks, Catherine. I knew I'd readjust my thoughts. First, I had to walk through the land of the overwhelmed to I could actually SEE what is right in front of my eyes. Much love to you....


  2. dear annemarie,

    i am so thrilled for you! and i know of what you speak above. today we discovered it was NOT thursday, but, indeed, friday. and just to add to our dismay christmas eve is NOT tuesday, but monday. resulted in feeling like one of those hamsters on a wheel for a while - and totally paralyzed for a while. but after 6 hours of running pillar to post (UPS), we finally got it all done - pkg's will be a day or 2 late, but loved ones' holiday will just last a little longer! now we are stupid tired, but also filled with joy. walking through the land of the overwhelmed - whew! makes joy just a little sweeter, yes?

    much love and happy christmas, XOXO

    karen, TC

  3. I love this post. I wish you all the joy of the holiday season and the gratitude you are feeling, even in spite of uncertainty.

  4. Like Beth, I also love this post. There is so much to be thankful for and it's a great time to appreciate all that is around us. And yes, there are things that are very difficult like the situation with Barb, your mom, and your sister, but you have so many people who love and support you and all that is going on around you. Just keep being you and I hope to see you and meet you in person in DC with the NBCC or SABCS next year. Happy New Year! Hugs!-Susan


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