What 2013 Gave Me

I never would have described myself as a glass-half-full sort of person before this year. Not because I was a negative, glass-half-empty sort of person before but because I have never experienced something so unique or scary or enlightening or profound as I have in 2013. Something happened to me that I had no control over at all. There was nothing I could do to stop it or change it. The only thing I could choose was how I was going to live with it. And LIVE WITH IT is EXACTLY what I did. I crashed head-on into a lemon tree this year, but I’ve figured out how to make some damn good lemonade.

Here is my 2013, the bad, the good and the really, really, really good.

  • I got a tattoo on my leg.



  • I graduated from FIDM, and made some really bad ass shit.



  • I went to Disneyland with my sisters.
  • IMG_1955I got diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and had to move back to Washington.


  • I fell madly in love.


  • I rocked a bald head.


  • I got a new car.


  • I experienced what it’s like to be trapped in your own body and have no control over your movements and actions or the ability to speak or function normally and had this tube shoved down my nose via leukoencephalopathy, fuck you very much methotrexate.


  • I redecorated my bedroom and got a badass TV.


  • I spoke at two cancer benefit events


  • I bonded with my family


  • I went to some dark places. (but I only threw up once)

IMG_3179IMG_2836 I turned 21IMG_36291544333_10201859397141280_805774888_n

  • I missed my best friends.


  • I went to my first Seahawks game, sat in the Red Zone at met Russell Wilson!


  • And I gained a new sense of community. I experienced the kindness and compassion of family, friends, acquaintances and strangers. I learned more than I ever could have expected.

Getting cancer is horrible, but getting through it is amazing. I don’t know if other people can see it the way that I do, but in the end, I gained so much more than I lost this year, and a lot of it wouldn’t have happened without Leukemia. Life happens, whether you want it to or not and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches, and enjoy what you can with the people you love. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me, supported me, prayed for me, thought of me, donated blood, donated money, done anything for me or my family or cancer research. I may not have responded at times, but I have appreciated everything that has been done for me so greatly and I hope that everyone who has tried to support me knows that.

2013, I’m not sad to see you go, but you were good to me. Overall, you were good to me.






3 thoughts on “What 2013 Gave Me

  1. This. is. amazing. holy. shit.


    I love all the photos.

    It’s crazy what can change in one year. BIG, positive changes are going to happen in 2014 and I can’t wait to see where life takes you K!

  2. Katherine what a beautifully written summary of 2013. You have endured more than most people in a lifetime. But most importantly you survived! Learning about your journey and never having the opportunity to meet you (but I know we will some day) gives us all inspiration to live each day to the fullest. I am grateful for you and Kelsey’s paths to cross and grateful for the future that your friendship holds. Your darkness has become your light and that light will be an inspiration to many more. May 2014 be all dream and more. Hugs, Dina Holland.

  3. Kathy, I was diagnosed w/ Leukemia in Oct ’13. I try to read as many fellow Sista-Warrior Survivor blogs as possible, since diagnosed, and I muuuuuuust tell you how much I absolutely enjoy yours! First, your way w/ words is refreshing. Second, your perspective is truly enlightening and inspiring! I just wanted to send my strength, love, and light your way! Keep writing. There is power in your words!

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