Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012: A Year in Review

It's that time of year (well, actually it was this past week, but I was laid up in bed from surgery) where we reflect on the activities and lessons learned from the year past.  We make resolutions; we break resolutions.  For myself, every year I resolve to do a better job of sending out birthday cards.  Friends and Family with Jan/Feb birthday - congratulations - you are always VERY LIKELY to get a card.  For anyone post-March - that is about the time my resolve withers away.

So, here is our Murray Madhouse recap.  What a year it's been:

January: Halfway through 36 radiation treatments.  Ring in the New Year in Times Square (what what!) Return back to work after a lengthy leave of absence from double mastectomy.
Ringing in 2012 in New York City
February: Brian turns 37! Radiation is done, getting treated with Herceptin every three weeks, getting back to normal.  Evan has an ear infection every two weeks.  We become great friends with our pediatrician.  Take the boys to Great Wolf Lodge for a weekend - this trip give definition to the saying, "Great intentions.  Epic failure".  Wait; I think that's my saying.
A moment of smiles at Great Wolf Lodge (one of the only smiling-moments captured).

March: Brian and I take off to Mexico!  Although we were just away in January, it's been a crazy year and we are proud of ourselves for not killing each other still being in love. We spend the days reading, walking on the beach, and enjoying our afternoon Booze Cruise (getting into the pool and floating over to the pool bar on a raft).  We hold hands the entire plane ride home and within 5 minutes of entering the house are back on a mad dash for survival.  Evan stays with Grandma and Grandpa, and of course, the weather is a balmy 75-degrees while we are gone.

A little faux-hawk time after the bath.

Cuddled up in Nana's crib for Evy.

April: Enjoy a quiet but warm spring in Michigan.  Finally feeling like I can re-join the fitness community, so I hire a personal trainer.  Am excited to get back in shape and run a race.  Mental health: check.  Physical health: MIA.  Celebrate Meggie's 28th Birthday; it's the last time I wear my wig out in public.
Wine-induced smiles.

Happy Birthday, Meggie!

May: Evan turns 1!  I feel so humbled to reach this milestone.  I was so worried about my sweet little boy while I was pregnant and going through chemo treatments, that I am just thrilled he is healthy, thriving and the light of our family.  He is funny, charming and such a flirt.  We celebrate with a small party with our family at home.
Daddy and the Birthday Boy.

Boompa, Nana and Auntie with the Birthday Boy.

Celebrating Evan's Big Day with an outside BBQ.

My 1st Birthday!

June: My last Herceptin treatment!  Fifteen months after I started chemotherapy, I am done!  Very excited to finish this portion of treatment, because it also means I can have my port removed during reconstruction.  Brian throws me a SURPRISE 31ST Birthday Party!  I am so excited to see all of my family at my party, especially because I spent my 30th birthday exhausted, getting 7 hours of chemo. Evan is walking and into EVERYTHING.
Celebrating at my 31st Birthday Party with Stacey and Courtney.

Getting my last Herceptin treatment.

My view from chemo is checking out this sexy fellow!
July: Fourth of July - my favorite holiday - spent on Lake Fenton.  Leave vacation to return to reconstructive surgery; remove tissue expanders, remove port, insert implants.  Cannot lift Evan for four weeks - it's a tough transition.  My mom dedicates all of her time to watching Evan while I recover; one week into recovery, she slips and falls in the bathroom and breaks her elbow.  2 Mommies Down.
Fourth of July on the Party Pontoon

Heavy wine, heavy cheese consumption.  This helps with surgery recovery and Nana's elbow break.

Evy camped out at Grandma Cindy's during my surgery.

Brian wins the Dickel Cup!
August: Brian and I celebrate our 2nd anniversary in Chicago.  Cubs game, deep dish pizza, shopping on Michigan Ave.  It was a great weekend to get away and enjoy time with each other.  We always have the best time together when there are no obligations/work/kids/cancer/chemo around.
My best friend.

Checking out our first Cubs game.  (boring)

An amazing dinner with a fabulous date.
September: Kids are back to school, which is amazing sad. Since I'm working from home, it's great to have them around but a bit distracting to have the three boys running all over the place. It's also the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  I had planned to run the 5k but have complications from a minor surgery I had 10 days before the race.  But I walk.  And I walk faster than I did the year before.  I am absolutely going to run in 2013!
Cohen in 1st grade.  Gavin in 4th grade.

All of my boys.

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  One of my favorite events!

My handsome little man.
October: Fall, football, apple cider, Halloween.  I start to travel a little bit more for work; I have to leave for a trip when Evan has a 104.3 degree temperature and Sixths Disease.  Mommy Guilt is the worst.  Brian and I are invited back to New York to help Nivea kick off their 2013 New Years Kiss Contest.  We head from NY to Denver, CO to visit Brian's sister, Alison.  Great time away, but anxious to be home.
Date night with Mommy and Daddy at the Children's Museum.

Sneaking cuddles from Grandma Cindy.

My little monster.

Pikes Peak, CO

A wedding in Akron, OH

Reliving our 2012 NYE Kiss in New York City.

November: Thanksgiving at our house with both families.  I'm out of town every week from work.  I'm also dealing with a lot of issues in my left arm - axillary web syndrome - which is very painful when at rest, and almost impossible to work out with.  I'm frustrated because I want to get back in shape but keep having physical setbacks.
Spend every week at the airport.

December: Shopping.  Decorating.  Baking.  Wrapping.  On top of work travel, school activities and another surgery.  Another reconstruction surgery on December 20.  It's all a bit overwhelming and I feel tired.  Ready to move on to 2013!

But I have a beautiful, healthy 19-month old.  I have the most supportive husband I could ask for.  My family moved in for a week to take care of Evan and me - and that's the best gift I could ask for.  I was able to spend time with my talented brother, Bryan.  And have some time off work to recover and rev up for next year.

A blessed Christmas at the Murray Madhouse!

Evy didn't understand why he had presents, but thoroughly enjoyed unwrapping them.

In bed recovering from surgery.  But enjoying my fancy pajama pants.
2012 was definitely better than 2011, health-wise. Instead of having a lot of diagnoses thrown at me, I was able to wrap up a lot of things - radiation ended, Herceptin ended, and hopefully surgeries have ended.  I am about to finish Year 1 on Tamoxifen and have some major decisions to make; do I stay on the drug for the prescribed 5-years or go off of it early to have another baby?  I don't feel like my family is complete but am also concerned about getting pregnant and what that estrogen will do to me.  Big things to thing about.

Also, very eager to recover from this surgery so I can get back on the road to health.  I want to run a race (25K/half-marathon).  I want to get rid of the last baby-weight turned steroid-weight turned can't-work-out weight.  I want to attack physical therapy with everything I can and get rid of my "cords".  There is no room for them in 2013.  Ain't no one got time for that (best YouTube of 2013).

Hope you had the most wonderful of New Years!  Brian has been talking about writing a guest-post on my blog, so I expect to do that soon!


  1. I just found your blog through Mama Lauglin and I am FLOORED by how amazing you are. I know that everyone goes through their diagnosis differently, but when I look at you I just can't help but be in awe. My mom was diagnosed in 2011 at 47 and it was hell on her. You are truly inspirational, not just to women who have been diagnosed, but to all of us...

  2. I found your blog thru Mama L. I love your Tory Burch bag. I live in NJ and have always wanted to do Times Square on New Year's eve.

    I have read a few of your posts and your an inspiration to all of us. Happy New Year to you and your family.