Feeling Grateful for….in March

Whoever said that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb hasn’t lived my life.

For whatever reason, for me, March has been more like “in like a lion, out like a son of a bitch.” March sucked so badly last year that I told a friend that I was going to boycott the month in 2011, and just go directly from February to April.

Besides the fact that that would have taken physics capabilities that I definitely did not learn in Mr. Brown’s high school physics class, I’m glad I stuck around for this March. It wound up pretty good — and I can say that even without looking back at my gratitude journal, which is looking a little sparse lately (too many trips and late nights, though it’s a habit I want to return to).

So why was March 2011 so good? Well, certainly not because of work, which enough of you have heard about recently. But everything else overshadowed that negative:

  • Family. As I mentioned in my February recap, our nephew, Liam, was born on February 28. But we didn’t meet him until March, so I’m claiming him for both months. He had no interest in waking up to say hi to us but was content to sit in our arms for hours (when I could peel him out of his Mimi’s arms, that is). Even better: That visit came just after time with my almost-niece, Shannon, who is apparently going to be running road races by the time she’s 10 months old — oh, and her mom, too (my almost-sister). And continuing the baby theme for the month, we got yet another almost-niece on March 18, when Abby arrived, growing our group of Sox and Pats fans in DC by one more. (Obviously she will have no choice in the matter of which teams she’ll root for.) We are exceedingly lucky to have all these little ones in our lives.
  • Fun. Two vacations, plus a trip home, inside 3.5 weeks. It made for a lot of crazy days — four straight weekends of travel — but I am not about to complain when those weeks also included wine tasting in caves, spring training baseball games in 85-degree weather, around-the-world drinking in Epcot, a visit with my brother (home from L.A.), celebrating my parents’ 35th anniversary, and lots of quality time with B. I dug myself a giant hole at school by going away during spring break rather than using the time to catch up on work I’d fallen behind on, but who the hell cares? We really, really needed the time away — without any illnesses or sadness hanging over us, as in too many of our recent trips — and I came back mellow (for a minute, at least) and with a couple of freckles that poked through the SPF 70.
  • Health. I can’t say March went out like a lamb — too much cold, and work and school baloney to justify that — but I couldn’t have asked for a better ending than the one I got in the form of a phone call from my nurse. I had my periodic neck ultrasound and bloodwork done two weeks ago, and not only did everything come back clean, all my blood markers are still moving in the right direction. The docs are looking for my thyroglobulin level — the blood marker that detects thyroid cells, of which I should have none — to move below 0.5. (That’s the point at which point it will be considered undetectable, the holy grail for thyca patients.) I’ve never made it below 1.0 since my thyroidectomy three years ago, but this month, my Tg level hit 0.7! That’s down from my last reading of 1.3, which means the radioactive iodine continues to work in my system, and that I’m only 0.2 away from undetectable. I may never get there — 20 percent of all thyca patients don’t — but everything looks really good. A year out from 2010’s really crappy March, I can’t ask for anything more.
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