I normally do a end of the year, was your year good or bad list, assigning different numbers to different things and typically if you include the number of loved ones I have breaking it down that way makes every year at least an okay year.
Well, this year is different. There is no way this can be considered even an okay year with all the health problems I’ve had. It is just sad that at 33 years old I have kidney cancer. If you look at the statistics, 33 year olds have a better chance at winning the lottery than developing kidney cancer.*
Yet, even with all that there were some good things this year. My youngest nephew, Shawn was born in February. That little guy’s smile made my second day after the nephrectomy much better by coming to see me and giving me that great big gorgeous smile of his.
My sister, Katie, her boyfriend and her two children moved closer to us, so we’re all back within a couple blocks of one another. That’s a good thing as I love them all very much.
I got my driver’s license straightened out and got a new to me vehicle. Having wheels again gives me much more freedom to come and go as I please, as I can not drive Tony’s vehicle. It is a stick and my left leg has so many nerve issues that I can’t trust it to work the clutch. My vehicle may be a minivan but I have added plenty of stickers and personalized license plate to make it much more mine.
I learned just how much the friends I have mean to me. First of all the ones I have had since I was a teenager are still some of the best friends you could ever ask for. While we don’t get to see one another often we always care about one another and do whatever we can for each other.
I also learned that the friends I have online, especially from my clan, Iocaine Powder, from the game Kingdom of Loathing are amazing in so many ways. Even though I have only met a few of them in person they are incredible and I love them all.
They got together donated to help with Tony’s expenses while I was hospitalized
and to help cover some of my medical and pharmacy copays. Then, when I came home I had a huge also enough arrangement of daises in a beautiful green container waiting for me. A week later, I had a giant stuffed animal custom made for me from one of the familiars in the game. One that I had really wanted a small one of, and ended up with this giant reminder of how much they care.
Another good thing this year was my trip to Ohio. I drove out to Columbus Ohio in November to a meet for players of the Kingdom of Loathing. Not only did I get to spend time with two clannies I had already met and several I hadn’t, as well as meeting a lot of other players, many of whom I now consider friends.
Of all the good things that happened this year, I do have to say the best was celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary in October. While we didn’t get to do anything outlandish due to my cancer diagnosis, my sister set us up with a hotel room, and we went to the best little Italian restaurant in the Fredericksburg, VA area, Restaurante Renato’s. I set up reservations for us and they treated us as if we were royalty. The evening was full of wonderful food and just lovely. I will be forever grateful to the staff of Renato’s and their treatment of us.
Back in July of this year we finally got back to Niagara Falls, NY which is where I was born and lived until the month before I turned 8 years old. It is also where the vast majority of my Dad’s side of the family lives. It was fantastic to see so many of my cousins, and their spouses and children, as well as my aunts and uncles. My aunts and uncles are all getting up their in the years and we needed to spend time together, I would have hated to have the last time I saw any of them to have been in 1997.
Honestly now that I did sit down and go through my year, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Of course having kidney cancer and losing an organ is terrible and has made this past 3 months very hard on Tony and me but, overall a lot of good happened this year. So while I wouldn’t rate this a great year it isn’t getting a completely negative rating either.
*yes probably an exaggeration but, kidney cancer normally doesn’t strike those under 45, it really is an oddity to be 33 and have it.