A Reflection on the Year That Was – 2012

There is no doubt in my mind that 2012 was not exactly the year that I expected it to be. I know that very rarely do our lives ever go as planned, but I certainly wasn’t planning to be fighting cancer before the 5th month of the year was over. As I look back at that trip to Nashville I remember that I was looking forward to it very much. I was going to be spending time with some great people and learning about a great medical system. Even though that trip went downhill fast I still came away from that experience with some friendships that will forever be cherished.

2012 taught me quite a few things. Some things that I learned were new. Others things were already known but were either clarified or refocused. Here are some of the things that I learned:

  • I have a wonderfully supportive and loving family.
  • Life comes at you in unexpected ways.
  • Cancer sucks.
  • Positivity is a powerful thing.
  • You never know when you might find yourself in a position to teach something to someone.
  • Cancer is not unbeatable.
  • Chemotherapy is unpleasant…at best.
  • I have some unbelievably thoughtful co-workers.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  • The power of prayer is very strong.
  • I am surrounded by so many friends it is almost unfathomable.
  • I am strong and resilient, but perhaps not as much as I thought.
  • We are not always in control of our health.
  • Some friends step up in your time of need…and it isn’t always who you expect.
  • My employers are very supportive.
  • Seemingly little deeds can make a seemingly big difference.
  • Your best friends smile upon you when you aren’t looking.
  • The Carbone Cancer Center at the University of Wisconsin rocks.
  • Dr. Brad Kahl is an excellent physician and has a great staff.
  • You have to win many battles to win the war.
  • I must have left a positive impression on a lot of people in my life.
  • Southern hospitals DO take good care of a Yankee! Thank you St. Thomas Hospital.
  • Some things are not as important as I once thought they were.
  • Cherish the time you have and celebrate life.
  • Visit more with people you love, people you look up to, and people who shaped you.
  • I hate being on medication.
  • Abdominal surgery is difficult to rebound from.
  • It is OK to be scared.
  • Pets make everything better.
  • Scars remind us of where we have been, but they don’t have to dictate where we go.

Selfishly I hope that 2013 is a better year for me. I also hope that 2013 is a year that every one of you will look back upon and say that it was a good year for you. Happy New Year everyone!


4 thoughts on “A Reflection on the Year That Was – 2012

  1. Gary Kilgas says:

    Great comments Rick, You have endured and are the epitome of “if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger”. I think I speak for everyone that we’re thrilled to have you back in your full time leadership role at MSTC!!!

  2. Pat Ealy says:

    Amen, Rick!

  3. Teri Jaeger says:

    Hoo rah Rick!
    I love ya for the awesone words o f inspiration and reflection.

  4. Valarie says:

    Rick, What a wonderful post, everything you said many hit the same spot, except the cancer parts. I have never had cancer or never ever want cancer but know many loved ones including my mom, who had fought breast cancer and cervical cancer twice but with the grace of god she has won the battles of each and is in remission for over a year. God Bless You, my mom and hope for many others as the new year is a much better year for all in the year 2013. You are a friend and I look up to you and you have helped me by being such a inspirational man. You have touched my heart, taught me to never give up, and remind me there is so many others put there that are more worst off that I should consider myself lucky and not be so selfish that I could be in worst shoes then I am in. I feel blessed to have a loving husband, understanding friends, supportive family. I look forward to the New Year and I pray and will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers that the New Years will be everything you wish for and more.
    Hugs and Lots of Love Sending Your Way. ~Valarie of sweetlife

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