A look back at 2011

At the beginning of 2011, I was bald,  scarred, nursing a nasty radiation burn, and not ready to spend any energy on an end of year analysis of my introduction to life with cancer.

My life has changed a bit since then.

For starters, I have hair.

Judy Schwartz Haley
Photo by Darrah Parker Photography

 

There was some awesome

My little girl grew up so much:

Then

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Now

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While Aaron was finishing his master’s degree, Gem and I went on a 3000+ mile road trip with Grandma, through Canada to Alaska.

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I completed cancer treatment with the help of some amazing people.

We took a couple trips to the coast

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I was on CNN telling the world about my hero, Debbie Cantwell and the Pink Daisy Project.

 

I can’t say goodbye to the cancer experience just yet, I’m still dealing with some residual complications, but I am in the process of moving on. I did so much more than deal with cancer in 2011, but it featured prominently in my life.

Before we get to the rest of my life, I did write up a post detailing what a day of radiation treatment is like, which has been quite a popular post over the past year. I hope it helps people who are facing this treatment, and a little nervous about what they are in for. (I also wrote a similar post about chemotherapy.)

 

What else did I do this year?  

I learned you can experience beauty without feeling guilty for not taking a picture

I am still learning to look past the angry in others

I’m embracing the idea that improvement comes from habit  

Made a fun discovery in my journal

Random act of kindness: I received an amazing gift that still brings a smile to my face and checks my attitude every time I use it

 

Looking Forward

I am so ready to get on with 2012.

I’m not doing resolutions this year, instead I’m picking a couple of words on which to focus as a kind of guiding principle for the year.

I picked “habit” and “kaizen”

The two are related. By habit, I mean I’m going to be intentional about creating healthy habits, slowly and gradually, the same way my bad habits get their start. For instance, I’m gradually improving my diet instead of going on a crash diet cutting out everything at once. Kaizen was a new term to me, meaning small improvements made every day will lead to massive improvements overall. This year is going to be all about incremental, sustainable change.

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Do you have any plans, resolutions, or words of the year for 2012?

 

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