The best of times, the worst of times?

September 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm 3 comments

I am sure one could look at 2010 and remark that it was an awful year and ask me if I will be glad when it’s over.  I am sure on the outside this could be true. Let’s recap a bit shall we?

I started this year with a diagnosis of lymphoma. It was real, confirmed and treatment plans were being solidified. Cancer does not run in my family as far as anyone knows. And if fact, T-Cell lymphoma is not genetically linked nor is it a lifestyle issue (smoking, etc.). No one can prevent or predict this cancer. It just happens. This is not unlike other types of cancer. I lost my hair, seemed to be always tired, had a sour belly (got tired of trying to spell nauseous, which still gives me fits even today when I type it), and had to deal with a host of other challenges I never knew existed (at least not in my prior life).

But what did I learn? Why is having and living with cancer not the worst thing in the world? Because I am still here. I can still enjoy life’s moments – no matter how great they are or how shitty they are. I am still here and that is all that matters. Sure, I wouldn’t have wanted this if asked. Heck, no one wants the challenges that life brings. But they happen and guess what, we have to figure out how to live and manage through them. So, I learned.  And here I am, nine months later, still living and learning.

About the middle of the year, the IRS decided that my teeny-tiny coaching company needed to be audited.  No matter that last year, I made less than $15,000.  They wanted it all back in their greedy little hands. I have gone round and round with them, showing receipts, invoices, etc. I am not winning the fight.  Quite frankly, if you are the little guy like me, you are screwed.  The penalties and interest while I appeal and show more documentation, produce more evidence of every line item, is killing only me.  It isn’t worth it.  But I am still fighting on those items that I refuse to give up on.  There are some items that having missed one little record keeping piece (out of say 10), means I have to give in to the IRS and the tax code.   I am a freak about filing, organization and whatnot, but I was not good enough. Lesson learned.   I have had to dissolve my company. I am now a statistic  – 80% of new businesses fail within the first 5 years (I made it past my 3rd anniversary).  I guess it’s good to be known for something!!

So, what has come out of this, anything positive?  I tried and it felt good. I started my own company. I did a lot of things right. I am proud to have done this and taken a huge risk. There were many rewards along the way and I would do it all over again (except for filing as a LLC).  You cannot get anywhere in life without making some mistakes along the way.  The mistakes sometimes don’t matter. It’s what you take away from them that matters.  This will always be seen as an accomplishment to me and I am proud to have done it. And it will not stop me from trying again.

I recently got into a car accident in my less than 3 month old car.  It was a huge bummer.  Thankfully, no one was hurt as it happened at a red light.  I was quite devastated. All I could think about at first was how my baby blue was now crumpled.  Of course, after a while, you realize it’s just metal. A thing.  Of course fixing that thing will cost money. I hate spending money on stuff like this.  So after money out-of-pocket to meet my deductible for the surgery, chemo and radiation treatments, the IRS taking part of their share, and then this, I feel like a financial failure this year. But money is not life and money is not happiness.

I admit wishing I would wake up from the dream and none of these things happened. But I know they did and I move on.  I don’t dwell on these things like I used to; obsessing and obsessing.  It brings me no peace to dwell. It actually makes things worse and I find myself getting more depressed or anxious about life.   So, I guess if you looked at the first 9 months of this year, you could say it wasn’t a good one.  But I wouldn’t agree.

One thing that I wouldn’t trade about this year is family and friends.  I learned of love and friendship this year that I hadn’t before.  My dad was there every step of the way.  My mom sent cards that I keep and still look at. My sister emailed me and made me feel like I was sitting right next to her talking.   And the friends that kept me in their hearts and their prayers are ones that I can’t repay. But I also know that we have a bond greater than I ever realized or failed to recognize.  I love all of you and you know who you are.  A few special shoot-out’s, just because I want to (and I can). Don sent me cards that made me laugh, made me smile, and made me feel loved from afar even though we talked practically daily. Julie sent cards that made me howl with laughter.  Cathy sent cards that warmed my heart.  Nat sent text messages, IM’s, emails, cards – she never once let me forget she was here, even though she was there. This was on top of Laura coordinating a food drive! The calls, visits, and other things – I couldn’t have ever predicted.  It didn’t matter if a friend lived 5 minutes away, or 5 hours away. Geography was no barrier to love! I have said this many times over the years but this year really embodied it – it all starts with love. And to me, love is the greatest gift ever.

I can sit on my deck and stare at the beauty of the world and just live in the moment. No more thinking of to do lists or what is next.  There is no next. There is now.

I believe that Omaha has the best sunsets in the world.  I have decided to take a picture every night to prove it.  Then I will publish a book of photos. I published this blog from its first day to the end of last year.  I will soon publish a book about my cancer adventure.  I haven’t written a book yet (that I would let anyone read) but I keep getting closer.

My cats brought me endless comfort and laughter when I was sometimes bed bound. Never underestimate the love of a pet.

I had the best job in the world as I was able to still work full-time but also have treatments.  I know how lucky that is, believe me.

I stopped worrying so much.  Just about everything is temporary. If you gain weight, you can lose it. If you get a bad haircut, it will grow back. Do things on your timetable – don’t worry about the person next you.

Most of all, I keep laughing.  I can find humor in many things and as long as I can, I will.

This year may not seem like it has been the best so far, but when it all begins with love, there is no bad day, or bad year.


Entry filed under: holidays, humor, Miscellania, pets, Relationships, research, thoughts, weather, well-being, Who is?, workplace. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Oddities, or more random thoughts sometimes professors do have it coming

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. weighty  |  September 27, 2010 at 1:20 am

    gonna send this to my mom

  • 2. Penny  |  November 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Anissa…I don’t know how I missed that all of this was going on in your life, but I did. You are amazing. You have such a positive outlook in the face of such adversity and I admire you. I am saddened to hear of your cancer, but inspired by your resolve and your fight, not that I would expect anything less of you. 🙂 Blessings on you. Glad to hear you’ve been surrounded by love of family and friends and those two sweet furry ones. It’s clearly been a rough year for you, but you seem to have come out the other side with remarkable resilience. (((hugs))) penny


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