2018 a Year in Review

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Oh 2018, what a year. A year in transition (as I like to think of it).

It started with the blues and a writing dry spell because of the anticlimactic release of book 2. Then there was the dread hanging over me because I knew I would be losing my job sometime that year. I had a lot of back pain and finally made the decision to have a breast reduction (the were JJ and out of control).

I had a friend who years ago had a reduction and everyone else I spoke to say it was the way to go. Okay good. That happened in May. Besides having difficulty recovering from anesthesia and a reaction to the pain med they gave me, everything went well. They took away 5.5 pounds of tissue. In that tissue they found a 3 cm tumor. I’m going to give you the short version. Yes, I had mammograms (several, actually) before the first surgery. It didn’t show. I couldn’t feel it. No one knew it was there. The breast reduction had saved my life. I was scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction (hey, I already knew a great plastic surgeon!) I woke up with “mounds” (read: I wasn’t flat) and because I was still rather large breasted after the reduction I had plenty of skin (tissue expanders are used under the muscle btw). I had the best care. I have amazing doctors. The worst of it was the four drains. Those suuuuucked. Then filling the expanders with saline only took a couple weeks (to give me about a D) and I was scheduled for my implants. They aren’t perfect, but they look darn good for having been through all they’ve been through. Pathology came back that the other side would have gotten cancer too. Good riddance, I guess! And my oncologist told me no chemo. My node tested clear, all the other tests looked good. The worst of it is the med I’m on for the next five years that has violently thrust me into menopause at a young age. You’ll hear me talk about hot flashes–be prepared. I missed seven weeks of work last year, and was weak and out of sorts for a lot of it. That’s the short version.

Hey! We put a new roof on the house. It rained while it was in process. I was home convalescing with drains and watching rain come through the dining room light fixture.

I’d worked at the flower shop for 19 years. We’d been encouraging the boss to retire because she’s had her own health problems in the past and working 6 days a weeks is hard. She finally said “fall” and then she decided on November 17th. I’d put out resumes a while back, and wondered how I’d survive. Unemployment benefits won’t even pay my share of the bills. As fate would have it, another local florist offered me a job. I was saved! I started at the very end of November. I’m still learning her system. The floral business is a million details, and each shop does things differently. I’m my own worst critic, so I do a lot of being angry at myself for making mistakes. But this shop is half the distance from my house, and has better hours. I’m officially part time now, but being that I pay half the gas and half the childcare I did before while making a little more hourly it should all work out. And boy am I getting things done at home! More time with my daughter, too, which is amazing.

When fall came and I was all healed I have to say I was a new woman. Still riding the high from the reduction (holy crap I can breathe!) and happy to be alive and cancer free, fall and the holidays were joyful. I don’t remember the last time I was so happy and full of Christmas spirit. I think the new job helped too. And I’m finally back on track with editing. I suspect book 3 will be out this summer. Looking forward to 2019!