Unicorns. Magical. Fairies. Money falling from the sky. Winning the lotto. Client deals on a the daily. This is what I pictured 2019 being for me. Nothing could go wrong and it is the Year of Gab. I am untouchable and unstoppable. Well, there have been SO many good times so far (New Years & Murder Mystery Party are clear standouts), I have also had a hard dose of reality that I am not fully back mentally, emotionally, and physically.
To me, 2019 is a new beginning (when that ball dropped, I cried hysterically; happy/sad tears. 2018 was not my best but it was in the past and I wanted to MARCH FORWARD). It is a reset. Everyone says their New Years Resolutions and we try REAL hard to stick to them. Mine is simple. Stay healthy, be mindful of my health, make smarter decisions, stick to my vitamin regiment, and keep exercising. Seems easy enough one would think!
Right after I wrote my last post, I legit rested for a week and put myself on house arrest (luckily I love mi casa). After feeling like I escaped from cancer prison for such a short amount of time, my freedom was stripped away from me after getting 102. Clearly the world was not ready for Gabby Stoller yet. After I finished my last round, I was told to resume life as “normal” (seriously what the eff does that mean). Don’t they know what Gabby Stoller “normal” is? Don’t they understand that I move a million miles an hour and sitting is not a part of my vocabulary. I threw myself back into the world full steam ahead and felt the repercussions. Pre-Big C, Marc and I booked our December trip to Marco Island with the kids; the entire time I was going through chemo, our mantra was “the beach” and just getting there. I had this picture in my bald head how I would be laying on the beach with SPF75 (duh), listening to Dave Matthews, and my kids would be running and playing by the ocean, and that would be that moment of pure joy. All I wanted to see was my family in a different location with lots of sunshine and smiles. After all, whether they realize it or not, we just went through a major life obstacle, and deserved to celebrate.
By far the biggest disappointment was having to cancel Florida. I cried and cried and cried. How could the one thing that was my vision board throughout the entire 5 months be stripped away from me? How was I going to tell my kids who knew this trip marked the end of mommy not being able to travel? All the doctors said I could go but my gut told me no; after getting 102 and being hospitalized, I just knew that a plane is a petri dish and there was no way I could put my body in risk. G-d bless my husband who is just the most understanding man in the world and dealt with my libra brain as we toggled back and forth; at the end of the day, Marco Island will always be there and when I go, I will be able to not be as much of a worry wart about germs.
We took the kids to Rocking Horse Ranch which was so much fun for the kids and at the very same time made my skin crawl. The place is SO cute and has so many fun activities but there are kids EVERYWHERE along with signs that say “germs are everywhere during this time of the year”. Super comforting for someone who just finished chemo! I figured if I don’t get sick from there, my immune system is back. I love a good challenge! Sure enough, we lived outdoors and did skiing, snow tubing, and ice skating; as a family, we had the best time and my kids asked if we could move there. Well Gabby 1, Rocking Horse Rach 0; despite all those nuggets running around and everyone coughing everywhere, this girl managed to be in the clear.
What I am beginning to realize is that while my attitude has been pretty fantastic throughout the big C, the post experience is just different. It is more of a mindfuck (pardon my language) than anything else. On one end, I am on a high for accomplishing such a wild adventure, and on the other, I am still not sure how to proceed with life as “normal”. The only way I know how is to throw myself back into it, to go to my kids activities, to spend time with my Markeeeee, to go back to work, to go out on a Saturday night, and to say YES to everything. Those things distract your brain from thinking about what you JUST went through. While all of that is great and the things that I love and missed, you almost have PTSD and start feeling guilty for living again.
Just when you start feeling like you got your groove back, there are obstacles that get in your way. First one I had was right before the New Year where I felt another lump on my right side (I knew it was almost impossible but I am forever changed and not lax). I put a giant X on it and called Sloan immediately. Being that it is the holiday, doctors are away and I have to wait until the New Year to see them. Sure enough (insert PHEW!), it was a bone and I had a matching one on the other side. They comforted me and told me this is totally normal and that I am welcome to come visit whenever I need someone to inspect me. I told them I will be back for “feel ups” every month just to comfort me mentally. Plus any excuse to show off my new babies ;). Second obstacle was this week when I had 103 and found out I have strep throat. I mean I know it is the time of year BUT seriously go infect someone else outside of the Wass household; I am sorry but it is someone else’s turn. LEAVE ME the EFF ALONE. I promise you I will drop off soup at this persons house, I will even pay their copay at the doctor, and I will text and check in everyday. I am sorry to all of you out there, I love you dearly, but my turn is over. Because of you strep (and for everyone spreading it), I had to push my surgery back and I had to miss one of my closest friends 40th birthday parties (Seth, I will make it up to you!). 1/16 was the date on my calendar that was highlighted, bolded, had a giant circle around it since October. Now it is 1/23 which is only a week BUT still it is a disappointment and requires moving my entire life/kids lives around. I refuse to let anything get in the way this time and will basically be going to work and then home until then. This surgery is happening and whoever/whatever gets in my way, I would watch out (Valley Stream Gab will be unleashed; insert Christina Aguilera Fighter song).
Outside of having to cancel my trip and getting strep, there have been many incredible memories in 2019 and I am still confident this is the Year of Gab. As Marc says we are only 12 days in Gab, think about everything we have done so far. Let’s list these bad boys out:
- Hair Growth: I look like GI Jane; I would say I am one to two months away from being able to rock this look sometimes (the wigs will still be a HUGE part of my life).
- New Years 2019: What is better than a PJ party and close friends? Thank you Firestones for having us, for serving the Peruvian chicken that I can’t get enough of, and for the good times. Love everyone there and what a way to kick off 2019!
- Riley’s Sleepunder: All Riley wanted for her 6th birthday was to have some girls sleepover; we were a no sick zone so that was a no go so I promised her at end of December she could have some girls over for a sleepunder. She had the BEST time and so did the girls; made me so happy to do that for her!
- Back at work: it is beyond freeing to get on train (HOLLLLA TRAIN CREW), get on the subway (of course with gloves and a ton of antibacterial), walk the streets of NY with my Positive Vibes playlist, and to get WORK EMAIL. Ready to crush 2019!!! Bring it!
- Skiing: I have not gone skiing in over 10 years. Last time I went with Sam, Hunter, Dani, and Zach and they know how that ended; I fell off the ski lift, tried to climb back up, cried my way to letting someone drive me down, and then sat by myself in the ski lodge for HOURS. Time before that, I was 13 (I believe) fell on my family friend Ben and laughed so hard I peed in my pants (I really am SO sorry!). Needless to say when Riley asked me at Rocking Horse Ranch, I was hesitant BUT could not say no to that face; she was so fearless and I had to embrace it. I am SO happy I did—YOLO. I cannot wait to go skiing again and to take some lessons (bunny hill of course). WARNING: This video is ridiculous (thanks Marc for capturing and for all your laughs and ZOOM capabilities; yes that is Riley kicking her moms a**).
- Murder Mystery Party: Marc and I love to have a party house. For those who have experienced it, I think it is safe to say, that you never not have a good time at the Wass casa. We/I decorate the house like cray (I mean there was a mini pinball machine and giant blow up 80s phones/boomboxes), make sure there is far too much food/booze, and only invite GOOD VIBES. Outside of Cinco de Mayo, this was my favorite party ever. The crew ROCKED it. Everyone showed up in their assigned character, transformed into the 80s genre, and came over ready to have a good time. It was ABSURD on so many levels and the most fun freakin night. Pictures below will give you enough of a vision of how fun we are, how awesome our friends are, and how outrageous costumes were (any excuse for me to wear that red wig!).
I am debating hiding in a bubble for the rest of January BUT what fun would that be? J I am going to be super cautious until the surgery and then February is MINE. Until then, I am going to embrace that not everyday is going to be rainbows and sunshine and that I am allowed to have hard moments/days. Like I said, this is the weirdest transition period of my life but I am adjusting and learning everyday (what is better than that; if you are not learning, your life is boring).
Happy New Year everyone! Cheers to 2019, cheers to change, cheers to accepting not everyday is “magical”, cheers to being healthy (cancer free, not strep), and cheers to being with family/friends.
Next post will be after surgery!
Gab (SO SO SO SO CLOSE: at the 25 mile mark!)