Friday, December 30, 2011


As I frantically try to organize some fun to ring in the new year, I am reminded of what I did or did not do last year at this time and why.  I remember the fog of fatigue and nausea that rolled me into 2011.  I remember the brain scan in January, the metastasis scare in February, the mastectomy in March, the biopsy in April, the last day of radiation in May, and finally the summer of recovery that led to the most glorious fall.    

My reflections reminded me of my favorite houseplant.  In college I started the plant from a cutting from home, and it moved with me from the dorms to apartments, from upstairs to downstairs, from North Carolina to Wisconsin.  But when the plant and I finally moved back to Iowa in April 2009, I mistakenly thought it would be okay on the porch overnight.  It froze.  It died.

Just when I was about to throw it out, I saw something amazing.    

It was growing again!  From the center of death and decay sprang a tiny, vibrant leaf.  Over the past two and a half years, this single leaf has given rise to my old favorite plant. 

I feel like the beginning of 2011 was the center of my death and decay.  But look what has sprung forth this year in my life:  from activism (three state proclamations in support of IBC awareness) to career accomplishments (five accepted publications) to family joys (two potty-trained darlings)!  I have overcome the trauma almost as effectively as my houseplant.

Here's to the end of a trying yet remarkable year.  Happy 2012 to all of you!


  1. Heather - you are so eloquent in your sharing. I feel so amazingly full of the wonder and mystery of the Universe when I think of your journey this past year - and I am filled with such gratitude and a sense of grace to know that you are in the place you are today . . . Anne Lamott says it well:

    “I do not understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”

  2. That's cool! You see opportunty & purpose that most of us are oblivious too. Great post, analogy & I love that plant!

  3. The spider plant!!!! Those always remind me of you :) xoxox Cheers to 2012 for sure! ~Holly

  4. Last night I cut two baby spiders off of this plant and started them in water for a dear friend. Having recovered enough resources to again give of oneself is the ultimate analogy for my recovery, indeed.

  5. Hi Hearher... So good to read this blog. I love your plant analagy.... Its so true, just when u think u truly have lost something it begins completely new growth and totally has life... Most people would have tossed it. You are doing an amazing job with the girls and taking care of yourself. Thank you for sharing your journey.
    Hugs, Wisty