Monday, January 12, 2015

Unlike Me, It’s Got Good Bones…

And I can’t wait to make it home.

That’s right.  We finally have a place of our own and I am super excited about it. 

This has been a long time coming, and hats off to my boyfriend’s dad and his dad’s girlfriend for putting up with us, and allowing us to stay for so long.

This is the first place that my boyfriend and I have gotten together, and the first time either of us has ever lived with a significant other.

So this is a big deal! 

I wanted to share a few pictures of our new place - empty.  You’ll see that the place really is a great canvas for us to make it our own, and I can’t wait to show you what it looks like once we’re all moved in.   

Given that we’re still moving and we won’t have internet for awhile, I might not be posting as much, but I’m still around, and celebrating this milestone moment in my life. 

The kitchen (we have a dishwasher):

Hallways, we have two:

Closets, we have six.  Completely unheard of in NYC apartment living (of which here are three):

Living/dining area:



Monday, January 5, 2015

2014: Year In Review

This year, more than ever, was full of highs and lows. 

A lot happened, but the most significant thing that happened this year is that my dad died suddenly and tragically as a result of massive flooding in Michigan:

-         Things We Lost In The Flood

-         My New “New Normal”

-         Debts I Can Never Repay

I started writing letters to my dad:

-         Dear Dad #1

-         Dear Dad #2

I had some amazing opportunities come my way…

I got to talk about issues of chronic illness in higher education in new venues:

I went to conferences:

I was quoted in a major magazine:

My blog was named one of the best lupus blogs:

-         Healthline Best Of…

I started a job as a patient advocate in a hospital, and in general, struggled with balance:

-         Something’s Gotta Give

And of course, the ever-present insurance and doctor woes:

Of course, this isn’t all of the posts I wrote in 2014, and I’m leaving some good ones out, but I looked for major themes and that’s what I included here.

Feel free to go through all 47 of them, if you really want to.

And don’t forget to see what I’ve written at other sites (the links below are directly to my pieces), many posts of which include similar themes to the ones on my personal blog:

-         CreakyJoints

-         HealthCentral RA



Every year, I also share the books I’ve read over the past year. 

This year, I really hit a slump when my dad died, so I didn’t have the chance to read as much as I usually do.  So if you’re curious, here’s what I’ve read:

1.       “Philomena” by Martin Sixsmith (NF)

2.      “Chronic Resilience” by Danea Horn (NF)*

3.      “The Sky Is Everywhere” by Jandy Nelson (F)

4.      “Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors” by Susan Sontag (NF)*^

5.      “Intoxicated By My Illness” by Anatole Broyard (NF)*^

6.      “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” by Jean-Dominique Bauby (NF)*^

7.      “Stitches” by David Small (NF)*^

8.     “The First Phone Call From Heaven” by Mitch Albom (F)

9.      “Mom’s Cancer” by Brian Fies (NF)*^

10.  “First Love” by James Patterson (and Emily Raymond) (F)

11.   “The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating” by Carol Radziwell (F)

12.  “Autobiography of a Face” by Lucy Grealy (NF)*^

13.  “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman (NF)*^

14.  “NYPD RED 2” by James Patterson (and Marshall Karp) (F)

15.   “The Cancer Journals” by Audre Lord (NF)*^

16.  “The Autobiography of Vivian” by Vivian Livingston (F)

17.   “Vivian Lives” by Vivian Livingston (F)

18.  “Unlucky 13” by James Patterson (and Maxine Paetro) (F)

19.  “The Big Girls” by Susanna Moore (F)

20.  “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio (F)*

21.  “The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green (F)* (I re-read this after I saw the movie, which I must say was a very good adaptation from the book, and one of the saddest movies I have ever seen)

22. “Vivian: The ‘V’ Spot” by Vivian Livingston (F)

23.  “We Are Water” by Wally Lamb (F)

24. “Invisible” by James Patterson (and David Ellis) (F)

25.  “Happens Every Day” by Isabel Gillies (NF)

26. “A Year and Six Seconds” by Isabel Gillies (NF)

27.  “This Star Won’t Go Out” by Esther Earl (NF)*

28. “Night Film” by Marisha Pessl (F)

29. “Conducting Research Literature Reviews” by Arlene Fink (NF)^

30. “The Nine” by Jeffrey Toobin (NF)^

31.  “Transforming Traumatic Grief” by Courtney Armstrong (NF)

32.  “Footprints of Courage” by Jan Jenkins (NF)

33. “Burn” by James Patterson (and Michael Ledwidge) (NF)

34. “Laughing At My Nightmare” by Shane Burcaw (NF)**

35.  “Lights, Camera, Lupus” by Amanda Rupley (NF)**

36. “Designing and Managing Programs” by Peter Kettner, Robert Moroney, and Lawrence Martin (NF)^

37.  “The Death of Bees” by Lisa O’Donnell (F)

(F) – Fiction
(NF) – Non-fiction

* Books specifically of interest to chronically ill readers

^ Academic books/books for school/my research/dissertation