well look at what the cat dragged in

I could just as easily have titled this post, 2017: annus horribilis. It was. Horribilis, with a dollop of Shitibilis, and a heaping spoonful of Assibilis. Good riddance 2017.

All this to say… I’m sorry I’ve been scarce around these parts for, well, an entire year. Writing has always been an escape for me. Cheap therapy. So it’s pretty ironic that in the year I needed this most, the only writing I did was in the form of business communications.

That’s not technically true, I also wrote my dad’s eulogy, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write, also the most rewarding. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Remember how everyone HATED 2016? We lost so many beloved icons from the film and music industry. We had Brexit and, of course, THAT election.

So many people suffered so much heartache. All you need do is Google “2016 worst year ever” to see the plethora of articles and memes proving what a shit year it was.


Well friends, not for me it wasn’t.

For me, 2016 was pretty goddamned awesome. Home and work life were both going great, I rang in my 50th year with an epic trip, and my health was pretty solid after the drama of gall bladder-gate and my exploding head.

As 2016 turned her back to leave me, she offered one final tender kiss goodbye. At the end of December I was offered a promotion to the senior executive team at my organization, a global technology company with over 13,000 employees.

I didn’t dare pinch myself, lest I wake up to find it was a all a dream. Life couldn’t be better.

And then 2017 arrived.


Two weeks in, my family suffered a horrific and traumatic event. The kind of trauma that could cause PTSD. The kind of trauma that requires professional therapy.

I could count on one hand the number of people who know the details of what happened. Despite letting it all hang out in some areas, I am intensely private in others. This was one of those things that I couldn’t bear to hear myself say out loud, the bile rising in the back of my throat every time I tried to form the words.

So 2017 had arrived with a bang, it seemed.

11 weeks later, on March 31st, I learned that something was wrong with my dad. A million tests and specialists later (in actual time, a mere 6 weeks), we got the diagnosis: Stage IV lung cancer, inoperable, incurable, metastasized, spread to his ribs and lymph nodes.

8 weeks after that, my dad was gone, and my mom, sister, husband and I were shells of our former selves, having had to watch this once indestructible, proud man wither away to nothingness.

Annus horribilis, indeed.

6 weeks later, I had to terminate 10 roles on my team because those individuals suddenly found themselves in the wrong location. We had recently opened a shiny new Canadian HQ location 3,000 miles away, and the decision was made that this specific part of the team needed to be based in that office.

We offered relocation packages to anyone interested, and two ultimately accepted the roles and moved, but eight others found themselves without jobs on November 30th.

And I was the Grinch who stole Christmas.

December brought a new round of health challenges for me, resulting in 4 canceled flights. So, on the good news front, I was grounded for all of December, a welcome break.

Did I mention that I took 86 flights in 2017? Given I did no flying during the month of December, that means I made 86 flights in 48 weeks. Now, I’ll admit that I’m not great with the maths, but even I know that’s way too much fucking flying.

Anywayyy, I don’t know what I don’t know yet about what might be wrong with me, so I’m not going to speculate. Suffice to say that removing my gall bladder did not fix me, and my gastrointestinal tract continues to cause me grief.


Other than that, 2017 has been a peach.

How about you? How was your year? Tell me 2017 didn’t hate you too.

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy

59 thoughts on “well look at what the cat dragged in

  1. I am sorry 2017 has been so awful!! I can’t even begin to imagine how all that feels!!
    Sending you a huge huge hug!!

    2017 hated me too, in very different ways, but it was really not a good year!!

    Here’s to 2018 being better!


  2. Very sorry to hear all that, Nancy. Shitpilius, indeed. Losing a parent is always difficult and that alone would have equalled a shit year, but you had shit piled on top of shit on top of more shit. Sounds like you need a real break – maybe a year out or something. Your health is your wealth (mental as well as physical) – you can do nothing without it. Anyway, here’s hoping 2018 will be a whole lot better. Keeping my fingers crossed that the ill health is just a glitch and nothing more. Take care! Jx

    • Thank you, June. I hate whinging, but I legitimately felt like I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through some days. I’m going to try to take a longer vacation in the new year. I know my head’s still not on completely straight, and I need a real disconnect session of at least 2 weeks. Hope things are going well for you. xoxo

  3. It is great to see you back in the blog-o-sphere but my “Like” is really a sorry to see that your dad passed away and there have been too many challenges the past year. Hopefully you are through the worst and life will be less stressful in 2018.🙂

  4. I’m so very sorry to hear all this, Nancy. What an awful year for you, both physically and emotionally. Very sorry for the loss of your father. Most of my complaints for 2017 stem from the farce that has become my country’s political situation, but at least that doesn’t involve my family, so I have no right to complain. May 2018 be one of peace and healing for you. I hope they diagnose your gastrointestinal problem soon and that it can be easily remedied.

  5. Oh Nancy, I was so excited to see that you had posted…and then I read it. 🤤 I am so sorry your year was a shitshow, especially the loss of your Dad so suddenly and unexpectedly. Hugs to you and your family, and I pray that 2018 does a much better job for you. ❤

    2017 started out badly for us, with the loss of Jerry’s Mom in January, and then my Mom in March, but truly, it was a blessing for both of them as they had been suffering different slow deaths for over a year. We took solace in travel for much of the rest of the year, which was the best medicine for us both. All in all, we were blessed and have nothing to complain about, other the political shitshow that has sunk the US to unfathomable lows. I hope you don’t have to work so hard, and get a little writing therapy in 2018! 💕

  6. Oh Nancy! It’s good to see a post from you, yet I am so sorry on so many fronts. I am so very, very sorry to hear that you lost your dad from such a shocking and traumatic disease. I’m sure this alone, without all the other incidents, is still a very painful experience. My dad passed after a long illness in December 2016, and I have said that 2017 was my transitional year and much better. It hasn’t been nearly the struggle that we’d experienced the year before. It sounds like you’ve been through more than any one person or family should withstand in one short year, and yet here you are. I definitely hope that you’ll find answers to your own health issues, and somehow begin to find a way back to feeling hope and optimism again. After all you’ve experienced, it knocks you down pretty badly and it’s hard to imagine feeling strong again. I send a very big hug. I hope you can feel it. ox

    • Debra, this past year tried me like no other. You’re right, this insidious disease was brutal to witness. Mercifully, it was just his final 10 days, upon getting admitted to hospital with pneumonia, that were the worst. Spending 14-16 hours by his bedside those 10 days wore me down in ways I can’t even describe. Horrible, horrible disease. Not only does it rob people of their health/life, but also their dignity. I still get so angry when I think back on what it did to my dad.

      Your hug is gratefully received. I hope you and the family are doing well. …other than that orange-haired buffoon in the WH. (something else that makes me irrationally angry)

      Be well,
      xoxo nancy

      • I sure do hope the best for your family this year, Nancy. It’s going to take a while for you to even begin to heal emotionally, I’d presume. But you will in time. Be patient with yourself, my friend. ox

  7. Welcome back. You’ve been missed. I was recently talking about you with my daughter regarding weight loss journey and the spa near St. George. I figured your career was keeping you very busy, but sounds like you had a lot more on your plate. My sincerest condolences for the loss of your father.
    As to your GI, not sure what you’ve gone through, but perhaps it’s food related. After a bunch of inclusive tests, I’ve had to take things into my own hands and figure out what my issues are. Remember, doctors “practice” medicine 🤔 Hope 2018 is a much better year for you!

    • Thank you for your condolences, Ingrid. It was a very tough time.

      If you ever plan to hit “the spa” :), please do let me know. The Russian Princess and I are always game. Another one opened nearby (also in St. George) that we might want to try to out next time.

      Re: the GI stuff, yes – this last bout, which lasted 2+ weeks (normally only lasts 24-72 hours), sent me to the E.R. and then a high CT Scan and a high priority colonoscopy. They took several biopsies, but I seem to recall (in my sedative stupor) the GI specialist telling me after the procedure that he didn’t see anything “remarkable”. This after the radiologist said he did see a number of abnormalities with the CT. Anyway, I won’t hear anything from the GI Spec until the week of Jan 8th as his office is closed. In the meantime, I’ve now resolved to no longer take “we don’t see anything wrong; have some metamucil” as the answer. I’ll see a naturopath, get allergy testing done, etc.

      I also watched a documentary “What the Health” the other night. It’s all about the perils of a meat-based diet (diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc.) and the power of a plant based diet to reverse many of those things. I’m going to give it a try for a couple of weeks and see if I feel a difference.

      How have you taken things into your own hands? I’ll take any advice you can offer.

      • Gosh, so sorry you’ve had to endure all those tests, but I can relate. I did my own version of “Whole 30” to see what triggers my pain. I also use a “Paleo diet” as a rough guideline, but leave out any pork and a lot of fats. I personally believe we were meant to eat a small amount of meat, but not today’s drug loaded up animals. I think that’s the real problem along with Monsanto and all they do. Thus, it’s finding “clean” foods and no dairy of any kind for me.
        I’ll be in Lake Havasu City Jan, Feb and Mar. So if you visit Las Vegas, give me a shout out and feel free to email me anytime.

      • Ingrid, if you haven’t yet, watch What the Health (and/or Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead). I was shocked to learn about the link between meet and diabetes (note, NOT sugar/carbs and diabetes, but meat). I was also angered to have it confirmed that $$$ is driving the American Cancer Society to recommend meals including processed meats (a known carcinogen) on their website; as does the American Diabetes Assoc and the Susan B Komen foundation. Def worth a watch – especially when you see how sick people virtually reversed their diagnoses and got themselves off a plethora of drugs when moving to plant-based.

        Net/net – I agree. I’m not going to be militant about never eating meat, but the 80/20 rule should apply, I think. I look at the “Blue Zone” folks – those 5 areas of the world with the most centenarians living healthy lives, and they are generally plant based, with meat about 4 times/month, and about the size of a deck of cards.

        Fascinating stuff. Willing to give it a try. (And agree with you on dairy, but I have a feeling the 80/20 will apply here to, especially as it relates to cheese!)

      • Dr. Oz also did a special on this subject and had the guys from ‘What the Health’ on his show. Interesting stuff. I’ll be Googling “Blue Zone”. In the end, we need to take responsibility for our health and dissect all the info out there. And the 80/20 rule is perfect and pretty much what I follow… I’m good 80% of the time and bad 20% 😁

  8. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I hope your health improves and 2018 is much better for you.

    On paper my 2017 was good but a couple of things made it a year I would rather forget. Nothing like as bad as your year though.

  9. I can’t even imagine what you went through losing your dad. My dad has a terminal illness, but so far he seems to be doing OK and I find myself living in denial about the fact that he will become worse, get dementia, and eventually pass. I can’t even think about it — I don’t know how you lived through it.

    I can also relate to having a mystery medical condition with no definite answer – it’s so frustrating and worrisome. I hope your GI doc has some answers for you soon!

    Hang in there!

    • Thank you Jana. I’m going to test how my diet impacts my situation. Planning to go plant-based for a couple of weeks and see if there is a difference. If there is, it might mean saying goodbye to cheese and meat for a while. 😥

      So sorry to hear about your dad. Cherish him while you can. xoxo

  10. There simply aren’t any words I can use to soften the blow of the year you had. You have clearly been through hell and come out the other end – battered, bruised, but still intact.

    I send you healing vibes, and my very best wishes that 2018 is kinder and gentler with you and your family. You need it and deserve it.

  11. What a shitty year indeed, Nancy. 😦 I was so sorry to hear about your dad and now to learn there was an earlier horrible event and the added trauma of layoffs in your team (because it really is a trauma for all involved) makes me doubly so. Sadly I can commiserate on all fronts. Ugh. For me 2016 sucked, 2017 has been really hard and as always I am hopeful for the new year. Raising my glass to you tonight in a toast to happier days! Reading some of the comments about better eating and GI issues and liking where you are going with them. You might want to take a look at “The Abascal Way” by Kathy Abascal, I started following her guidelines in the spring and wow, the change in how I feel is pretty amazing. Good luck!

    • Thank you so much for the tip. I’m not afraid to try anything at this point. If someone said I needed to drink my own urine during a full moon, I’d probably try that. That’s how much I’m ready for this issue to be over. Can’t wait to check it out.

      Here’s to a much kinder 2018 for us both. Hugs. xoxo

  12. Nancy, first of all my deepest condolences. My wife, too, lost her dad in March and her mom 3 years ago. She is still not fully recovered from those 2 shocks. Rushing halfway across the world and trying to provide long-distance comfort is a horrible thing.

    I hope things are better for you in 2018.

    • Thank you very much for your words of comfort. My condolences to your wife. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to lose an immediate family member and be thousands of miles away.

      I am grateful that I got the full support from my employer to spend time with my dad, including his final 10 days in hospital. I only really went home to sleep and shower. It gives me peace knowing my dad died surrounded by his loving family.

  13. Huge condolences… a sucky year indeed. Mine was better but I’ve also disappeared from the blogosphere as far as Everyday Asia is concerned, consumed by work and other distractions. Though have managed to keep Whisky Lady alive and kicking. However we adopted a new kitten from a shelter two days ago who is a little bundle of furry purry joy. Simple pleasures in life.

  14. Oh Nance, what a fucking shocker. I am so sorry your family had to go through what sounds like something pretty horrific, and the losing your dad 😦 And poor health 😦 I have noticed just from Facey updates that you have been working a shitload and have hoped that hasn’t meant your are burning that candle at both ends…but sounds like maybe there’s a bit of that going on because your a fierce determined one and must keep swimming, I know. I hope despite all that you’ve enjoyed the new job? And that the health issues are resolved ASAP. Hang in there, friend. I’m thinking of you xx

    • Work has been great, and incredibly rewarding… I just felt for the first 8 months that I was not delivering my best because of the crap from Jan and then the stuff with my dad. I knew my head wasn’t working right, making everything that much harder. I’m so incredibly grateful for the most supportive boss in the world. He pushed me to take time off, both in January and July but I felt like I couldn’t be even more absent from work, so here I am. I hope to take a couple of weeks (with huge hopes to get to Perth, WA for my cousin’s wedding). Will see if I can make that happen.
      Thanks for your loving support. It means the world. xoxo

  15. Oh Nancy. I am so sorry you had to endure all this trauma and loss last year. Sometimes when we think it can’t get worse, it does. A few days before Christmas my sister aptly designated 2017 Annus Horribilis, just the way you did. She got a phone call at 1 a.m. from the police that their summer house (one hour away from where they live) was in flames. A total loss. As if losing four close relatives, including our dad and my hubby, hadn’t been enough. I couldn’t give the boot to 2017 soon enough. Let’s hope 2018 will shape up more to our liking, including that your health issue will soon be resolved. Thinking of you and sending a huge HUG your way.

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