Many moons ago in a land far away….(4 years ago in London ON) – it was on this evening that I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Burkitt’s Lymphoma. I was feeling very ill, and was waiting for some test results that weren’t due back for about a week. But at 8:14 the phone rings:
Him: I’m looking for Samantha Hooey.
Me: This is her.
Him: My name is Dr Minuk, I’m an oncologist…
I spent that night at the new apartment I had just rented with my boyfriend at the time. It was furnished with a blow up mattress and a laptop. We drank gingerale out of fancy champagne glasses my aunt had given me, and I stayed up all night watching seasons of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia because I needed a laugh and was too afraid to sleep.
Fast forward to now.
I’ve been reflecting today on how I’ve never been one to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Expectations are always so high, it’s always been too cold, and if I can’t get a cab when I want to go home to bed it gives me anxiety (and/or rage issues). So, I generally just don’t do much. I’ve actually been a bit of grinch about it. I will generally be DD at a party and go home shortly after midnight. Last year I volunteered to be on call at work. The highlight of my night was my friend insisting on paging me because he couldn’t believe I had such an ancient form of technology. But this year, I want it to be different because things feel different.
I feel like ME. I feel complete. I feel a million things I truly believe I wouldn’t allow myself to feel if I hadn’t received that bad news 4 years ago. I am with the love of my life…the one I should have been with years ago seeing it was love at first sight….but the timing was never right and I was always too afraid of commitment – Here’s to you Vancouver. I have met some amazing people who have inspired me greatly and have shown me the magic that life can hold. Some of those amazing people I have been lucky enough to share the stage with. I have had the best conversations of my life. I have felt love stronger than I knew was possible. I have laughed harder than I ever have in my existence. I am extremely blessed for my good health, and the good health of my family and friends. I have had talks with my mother and sister that have made me more grateful than ever to have them. I have seen my niece and nephew grow and be cute as pie and cwazy and hilarious. I have learned more about my father in the last 5 months than I ever thought was possible. I am thankful I have found myself in positions where I have been able to help others, after all the help from others I have received. I have realized the importance of feeling at peace, and peace is finally what I have found.
So now, I am looking forward to this evening. I realize the reasons why I am looking forward to it are the same reasons I look forward to every day. I have dropped my expectations. I have found the joy and importance of the little things. I have let go of the fear of failure and disappointment, I am not letting the past shadow the present, and I feel genuinely excited about what the future will bring. I know too well what it’s like to be more than thankful a specific year is over with, and with that I send my love to anyone out there going through a hard time. Hold onto any ounce of hope tightly with both hands, know that you are loved and that there is a brand new year at your doorstep. And if you have something to celebrate? Celebrate the $#!% out of it.
I love you. All of you!