2016: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good

Anamaya Sturgess-Hill was born on 7/6/16. I became an aunt this year and while aware I am very biased, she is the most wonderful baby ever. I have loved watching my brother and sister-in-law become parents. I owe them the world for bringing the baby on three transatlantic flights so I have seen all of them a bunch this fall. She brings so much joy into my life and we’ve all already agreed I will probably never say no to her.

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Our first meeting

The Bad

2016 election. Enough said.

The Ugly

My whole life was turned upside-down in August. I have appendiceal cancer. I went in for surgery on August 10th to have an ovarian cyst removed and not only was that malignant they found a tumor on my appendix. Four weeks later I started chemotherapy and have been undergoing treatments every two weeks since September. At this point I have one more treatment left before they do more scans and schedule a second surgery in mid to late January.

Appendiceal cancer is extremely rare and even more so in a 31-year-old. They see maybe 1000 cases a year and in comparison, see 140,000 colorectal cancers. I have an incredible care team that I 100% trust.

A lot of you know this and I couldn’t be more grateful for the outpouring of love and support from my friends and family.

I decided it was finally time to go more public as it has taken over my life, but I will not allow it to define me. I am not cancer. I am not a cause. It is something I’m going through. And something I will get past.

Cancer is life-altering, but not defining.

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10 thoughts on “2016: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  1. I had no idea, wow, you’re incredibly tough & brave. I never sensed any panic or fret out of you through social media, which says a lot. I’m 100% in agreement that you will get past it.

  2. Dear Renee, I am so impressed by your courage and grace. You’ve not given in to the unfairness of this, but instead shared the lovely things in your life. Thoughts, prayers and all good wishes to you from me. We are newer friends, but if there’s anything you want, I would be honored to provide it- even if it’s only to grouse about the election with you.

  3. Renee, you are brave, you are real, you are honest and you are going to get past all of this bringing inspiration to us all. Keep smiling that beautiful smile.

  4. Thank you for always being honest and bold. Wishing you the best, lady. Cheers to living life to the fullest. P.S. the little babe is oh so adorable!

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