Sunday, April 24, 2011


I began this blog several months into my journey with breast cancer. Didn't feel like talking about it (much less writing about it) back then. And as I've mentioned in posts prior, my husband and I kept the news to ourselves until January. We hurried through the Christmas holidays in a hushed haze, then squeaked past New Year's by the skin of our teeth. Here's what happened.

A few weeks before the holidays, we go out to dinner with our core group of friends — five couples who spend every New Year's Eve together. The discussion quickly turns to what we are going to do for the big night. My husband and I have already decided we are going to sit this one out. There is no way I can pretend to be happy, in front of friends, about a new year that is ushering in a dirty little secret — we hadn't let the cancer cat out of the bag yet. 

Our friends don't understand our sudden desire to spend New Year's alone. My husband takes the curmudgeon hit, saying he can't bear to sit in a noisy, over-crowded restaurant for hours on end and would rather just stay home. They think he is getting old and crotchety (who isn't?). And of course they try to convince us (as all good friends will) to come along, or do something other than dinner. They promise we'll have a blast and say we're silly for sitting at home when we can do that any night of the week. After all, man, it's a new year!


The pressure is daunting. Everyone wants us to hang out with them but I feel like I'm drowning. (Can I get a life jacket over here? Please?) But we stick to our guns, and though our friends think we've gone a little bonkers, they ultimately respect our desire for a "romantic evening" alone. (Ha.)

New Year's Eve goes out the way it came in — quietly. We watch the ball drop, try not to think about the ball of anxiety that's been dropped in our laps, and go to bed.
Our friends post pictures on Facebook of what looks like a fab New Year's Eve, with dancing and drinking and goofy noisemakers. It really does look like fun. (And it really doesn't look like they miss us.) 

In hindsight, our little white lie has left a pretty bad taste in my mouth. If I had it to do it over again, I would:

1) Tell my friends and family sooner rather than later. 
2) Gladly put my poker face on
3) Toss back a flight of champagne 
4) Toast to a Healthy New Year
5) Be happy I am able to do any and all of the above.

... because soon enough, I'll have more days and nights sitting at home than I care to count.

(For more, see Finding Support.)

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