I love celebrations -- be they birthday, holiday, New Year's, anniversary. My ritual on New Year's Eve for many years has been to take inventory, month by month through the past year, and recall the highlights which made that year unique and special. This process helps remind me of all the wonders that have come my way, and of all that I have to be grateful for as the new year begins.
And as the year 2009 begins to unfold, I feel enormously positive and hopeful. And it's not just because of the changing political situation that will occur when President Obama is sworn in on Inauguration Day. Positivity and hopefulness are qualities that I display in general, and now they are enhanced due to the fact that I am much stronger than I was 1 year ago. Yes, I am healing.
One year ago at the beginning of 2008, I was still on chemo, I had just stopped using a walker when I was indoors, and I was just beginning to be able to get any regular exercise through walking or bending my body. Also, one year ago I developed vertigo while taking Revlimid to treat the myeloma (and that condition -- of getting dizzy when lying down and also when sitting up -- stayed with me through October 2008).
My condition now is very different. I can stand up straight with ease. No dizziness. I can bend forward and sideways. I can open the refrigerator (good thing, too, because I love ice cream). Last week I went snowshoeing in the woods for an hour, for the first time since my spine collapsed. And I can lie on the floor and lift my legs. I can do some parts of yoga poses. Most of this was impossible 1 year ago.
There has been so much improvement in my condition since 1 year ago, that I am certain that in the coming year I will see even more. And THAT is something that I will continue to celebrate for the rest of my life.