100th Post

This is an exciting and special day not only because it marks one year since my liver resection surgery, but also because this post number 100 on my blog! Double yippee!

What started out as a way to keep in touch when my husband and I moved to China has turned into a resource for cancer survivors and illness sufferers. Oh and in-between, I chronicled six months of living in France. What a ride!

To commemorate the moment, I wanted to share a few of my favorite and most popular posts. It was really fun to look back. I love how this blog has served as a history of my life.

Thank you for reading.  Here’s to the next 100!

Most popular posts:
Waiting for Hair: The Toll of Chemotherapy and Cancer
For me, losing my hair wasn’t hard — it was the waiting for it to grow back that has been the most challenging.  And for the hair update, click here.

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2014, 2015 & 2016

Living Universal Truths on My Cancerversy
September 1st is my cancerversy and the universe conspired for some incredible things to happen.

Testing My Confidence
My terrifying debut to the french language.

Belgium: More Than Beer and Chocolate
Christmas in Brussels, Bruges and Ghent.

My Night in a Brothel
Spending the night in a 24-hour Asian spa – sketchy or awesome? Both.

 

Favorite posts:

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At the End of the World on Cancer Survivor’s Day

The Ordinary World
My journey through cancer and to the Camino de Santiago.

Lessons Learned in Advocating
Your life depends on not letting your guard down for a moment. Here are some of the important advocating lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Why I’m Kicking Italy to the Curb
Where my obsession with the Camino de Santiago all began.  To read all my Camino posts, click here.

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Holly visits China

Hol(l)y Crap
When one of my best friends visited me in China.

The Adventures of Henri & Moi
Driving a manual car in a foreign country is terrifying.

 

Moments to Remember

So, I’m not even sure where to begin on wrapping up my whole Asian experience. Of course, I had the time of my life. I did and saw things that people dream about. Honestly, before arriving in Asia, I couldn’t even show you on a map where Thailand or Bali was located. Really, the whole experience just blows my mind and often bring tears to my eyes. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would climb the Great Wall or ride an elephant through the jungles of Thailand or take a road trip in Bali or see the shocked faces of school children during a bus ride through the Philippines. These are the moments I will carry with me and talk about for the rest of my life.

Not only did I learn countless things about the world and other cultures, but I learned even more about myself. I realized that I am pretty hardy and adaptable. And that I can hold my own when I’m outside my comfort zone. Also, this experience taught me to dream big. I learned to be able to depend on someone. And that I am a good writer. I learned how to negotiate and not take shit from anyone. I learned to appreciate home. And really, I could go on and on.

And lastly, I can’t even put into words how grateful I am for Fabien inviting me to come with him. We will always share this amazing experience. I often go through our pictures and am thrilled that we have all of these great memories and stories we can share with our children and grandchildren. I don’t want to make you all nauseated and completely embarrass Fabien so I’ll just sum it up by saying that he is really the greatest man that ever lived in the entire universe and I love him so very, very, very much!

Well kids, this is the end of Stacie in Asia. The response, feedback and praise was simply overwhelming. I was stunned overtime I checked my stats and saw that I had over 100 hits a day. You all made me feel very loved and missed. So….as they say in Mandarin, Thai, Balinese and Filipino…..Xie xie, Kop khun kha, Matu suksama, Salamat or simply, THANK YOU!

D-O-N-E

Fabien’s contract in China and with his company was scheduled to end on July 31st. I was freaking out a little thinking that we’d both return to the US without jobs to one of the worst economies in the country. And not to mention the fact that Fabien is a foreigner and even with his excellent experience, that still makes him a challenging candidate. That being said, once we did return to the US Fabien would only have 3 months to find a job before he would be forced to return to France. So, needless to say, we were totally thrilled when we were in the Philippines and he received an email from a Director at his company stating he would like to speak with him about a permanent transfer to the US. From hearing that, I exhaled a little. Our excitement was short-lived when he finally connected with the Director and was told the company would like him to stay in China for 6 months and then transfer to the US. This was deflating because we already began to make plans and had our mind set on being in Michigan for summer camping, Michigan games, the marathon, etc. Plus, we are both mentally done with China. The days following that information were like a rollercoaster. And this was all going on while Fabien’s parents and 4 friends were here and I was playing tour guide. Then, while we were in Macau Fabien’s mom received a phone call from him. On the way back from his farewell lunch he received a call that they would settle for 2 months in China with the transfer happening in October. Big exhale. We’ll take it. If you’re familiar with the Detroit economy and the US Immigration system, you will know that this is truly a miracle.

Even though Fabien has another 2 months to endure, we both decided that I should return home. I’m really, really, really sad that I am leaving him behind, but I am really, really, really excited to get home. I am done with China. Done with hearing people burp, spit, fart and slurp their noodles. Done with the heat. Done with the pollution. Done with the sidewalks being tore up everywhere I go. Done with trying to speak chinese. Done with trying to embrace the culture. Done using squatty potties. Done with everything smelling like a toilet and cigarettes. Done with having to look both ways, ten times when crossing the street. Done with the metro. Done with people staring at me all the time. D-O-N-E. Done. So, I began pricing flights to go home for the 2nd week of August with a brief stop in France to visit Fabien’s family. After a full spreadsheet and checking and rechecking, the cheapest flight I found was leaving Friday, August 6th and by the grace of God, it was a direct 15 hour flight from Hong Kong, so unfortunately, there would be no France for me. But, as I post this, I’m happy to announce that I am home. Home, sweet home.

This also means that my occupation as a blogger will be ending soon. But, before I retire, I plan to write a no holds barred expose on China and, of course, a reflection piece. Stay tuned for 2 more Stacie in Asia blogs, directly from Stacie in North America.