Exactly one year.
One year ago I was 8 days away from tackling 40 with all kinds and sorts of celebrations planned.
One year ago I was 2 days away from starting an exciting new job that landed in my lap unexpectedly.
One year ago I was heading into remission from a horrible 8 week flare that sent me to hospitals, kept me from driving, left me in bed for long periods of time and rendered me far less attentive to my support crew, though most showed up anyway to help me, feed my family, and bring good cheer... and not just of the adult beverage variety, though they did that, too, of course.
One year ago I found out that the person among them that I thought cared the most just wasn't strong enough to handle that which needs to be handled when the going gets tough in my world.
One year ago I was an awesome kickboxer despite joints that were screaming from daily pain.
One year ago my kingdom was shattered into a million little pieces.
One year ago I became a prisoner in a house I could no longer stand.
One year ago I weiged 45 lbs more than I do today.
One year ago I stopped going to the neighborhood pool.
One year ago I realized that I should have listened better to my screaming gut because it never fails me.
One year ago I remembered just how perceptive children are.
One year ago I realized, with great sadness, that I could no longer allow myself to love too many people unconditionally or trust even my most trusted friends.
One year ago I received the best note ever from someone I've never met that said, quite simply, "one piece at a time".
One year ago I made a commitment.
Eleven months ago there was a repeat performance and so I remembered that people don't change but that they can evolve if they put their minds to it.
Ten months ago I continued my attempts at diagnostic and prescriptive measures to aid in the evolution.
Nine months ago I found out the treatment option still wasn't working, which I should have known, because the necessary evolution was not my own and you can't force that upon another soul.
Eight months ago I realized it's exhausting to have the life sucked out of you and, being the cranky and stubborn princess that I am, I fought back, because I was determined to never again fall victim to a... ummmm... life sucker.
Seven months ago I found my voice... though most would argue I never lost it. I blame my susceptibility to strep for my bouts of silence.
Six months ago there was no number six. Obviously.
Five months ago I knew what I wanted.
Four months ago I wished I would be miraculously cured and never again have to worry about health insurance.
Three months ago I just knew something wasn't right in every single arena.
Two months ago I learned about monoclonal proteins and was forced to consider, briefly, the possibility that I might not have too many more years upon which to reflect.
Last month took me to paradise and back.
And here I sit, exactly one year later, wondering how it is possible to have been through so much, learned so many things, traveled so far and yet still be in the same place as I was back then on so many levels.
Life is funny like that.