My intention was to do a 2018 recap in December, then at the beginning of January, but the number one lesson I’ve learned this year is that things don’t always go as planned. I have to be honest, 2018 was the worst year of my life. There are many reasons for saying this, but the main reason is getting a breast cancer diagnosis.

But in fear of sounding too whiney, 2018 brought good things too. Luckily! In this post, I’ll sum up what happened this year, good and bad.

Going back to work didn’t go as planned

I started 2018 where 2017 left off, by staying home in maternity leave with our youngest son. I went back to work in March, but only a few days later we were told that the company I worked for was acquired by another company. Naturally, major changes came because of this and a few positions were discontinued, including mine.

For many years I worked as a production manager in Norway’s largest translation agency. I loved it, but after 17 years, first as a project manager and then as a production manager, deep down inside I knew it would be good for me to do something else. Something more creative, preferably fashion and handbag-related which is my biggest passion in life. Suddenly I was forced to! But still, I was shocked and sad to leave my job this way. It was challenging in many ways.

When the negotiations for a severance package were done I started the process of finding out what I wanted to do next and to look for another job. But all that work was put on hold later on when I got the cancer diagnosis.

A walk in the park with my baby boy in a Bugaboo stroller. Wearing a black outfit with camel leather Converse, black Gucci belt and a red Chanel Boy bag.

Girls trip to Paris

In June I went to Paris with one of my best friends. We had planned this trip for a long time and saved up money for shopping. It’s hard to explain our excitement – a girls’ trip to Paris! Without kids! Without husbands! Just us two girls with no other plans than walking the streets of Paris, sipping wine at cafés while people-watching, and of course shopping.

Yes, we were on a Chanel mission! I had saved up for my dream bag and luckily I found it at Chanel’s flagship boutique at 31, Rue Cambon. Score! You can read more about that here. And here is the unboxing (the birth!) of my new Chanel Gabrielle bag.

You’ll find a summary of our 4 day trip to Paris here. And if you’re interested in restaurant reviews, I made a post about that here.

Chanel Gabrielle medium hobo in black and beige.

People watching at Café de Flore.

Chanel Gabrielle medium hobo in black and beige.

My Gabby is born!

Family holidays

Speaking of trips abroad, I was lucky enough to have two more holidays in 2018. This time with my family.

In May we traveled to Malaga for a week. Malaga is one of my favorite cities in Spain, here you can combine both beach and city life. I wrote a few blog posts about this holiday. Here and here you can read more about what we did and here is a post about great food and drink in Malaga.

In July went on a beach holiday to Vodice, Croatia for two weeks. It was here I got the test results back and got the cancer diagnosis, so I didn’t write any blog posts about this trip. At the time I had enough on my mind and this holiday suddenly felt too personal to share. I could pretend everything was OK and write an idyllic blog post, but it didn’t feel right.

Red maxi dress in the streets of Malaga

In the streets of Malaga.

Getting breast cancer

I noticed a lump in my breast in June and it was confirmed it was breast cancer in July. This was a huge shock and the last thing I was expecting. Who does anyway? Especially not when you’re only 38. Also, the timing couldn’t be worse because of other personal reasons. In October I chose to share my breast cancer story, you can read all about it here.

A short update: after 5 months of chemotherapy, I’m having my very last treatment on Monday, January 28. Thank God! Because my body and mind are quite messed up at this point, especially the last couple of months have been very hard.

The chemo has eaten me up in many ways. It has given me fatigue, depression and an itchy rash. It has taken away my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes, pretty much my whole identity. Just to mention a few things.

Luckily, there are good days as well, and on those days I try to do nice and normal things that make me happy.

The next step is surgery, which will be in a few weeks. I’ll write an update on how everything is going later on if I’m up to it. Meanwhile, there’ll be more fashion and handbag-related posts as this still is, and always will be, a fashion blog!

Dressing up and bringing a nice coffee makes the chemotherapy a bit easier.

Happy birthday to me

My 39th birthday was on October 6. Luckily it was a good day chemo-wise and I had a wonderful time with my family. Just hanging out, eating cake and having a glass of bubbles was perfect. Also, fall is a lovely time of the year and probably my favorite season when it comes to putting outfits together. Here you can take a closer look at my casual birthday look.

Chunky knit over a maxi dress with Celine Box bag.

November and December

I must admit that the last two months of 2018 could have been better. They were a mix of good and bad, but looking back I think of this period as quite tough and depressing. I started to feel the side effects of chemo pretty badly, I was exhausted. In addition, other personal things happened that made me worry even more.

We were supposed to travel to the Seychelles with my parents-in-law for the Christmas holiday, but we had to cancel because the doctors didn’t allow me to go. Of course, that was very disappointing, but we’ll take the trip later on when I’m all better. Instead, we celebrated Christmas at home. Very low key, but very cozy and relaxing.

And to top it all off, I ended the year with a broken toe! Just what I needed!

I don’t mean to come across as a bitter old lady, but 2018 was the worst year of my life. There’s only a certain amount of adversity a person can take.

But the best thing about 2018? How wonderful and supportive my family and friends are. I feel incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful people around, both in real life and online. To all of you: you are amazing! Your love and support have helped me more than words can describe. Thank you for holding my hand through this difficult year.

Christmas at home with my boys.

12 Comments on 2018 recap: the worst year of my life

  1. hi! im cindy, 29, from singapore. one of my friend showed me your blog. just wanna let you know that ive got breast cancer too and just finished the chemo treatment. i’ll be doing double mastectomy in a month’s time with a reconstruction. just wanna wish you all the best, speedy recovery and you got this! stay brave and strong !

    • Thanks for your support and for sharing your story, Cindy! You’re so young and brave, keep up the positive vibes! We are at the same stage of the treatment it seems. Lots of best wishes to you

  2. Kjære tøffe, Anne Mari ❤️
    Du skriver så godt! Takk for ærlighet, åpenhet og sårbarhet. Jeg heier på deg!
    Lykke til med operasjon. Håper at 2019 vil bli et godt år for deg og dere! 🙏🏼🙏🏼
    Klem fra Kate

    • Tusen takk for utrolig fine ord, Kate! Så hyggelig å høre at du liker det jeg har delt.❤️ Var ikke lett å være åpen i starten, det var skummelt, men er glad for å ha valgt det nå. Spesielt hvis jeg kan hjelpe andre, og at jeg har fått så mange fine tilbakemeldinger! Håper 2019 blir et godt år for deg og dine også❤️ Klem

  3. Så tøft av deg å sette ord på det og skrive om det Anne Mari. Det er trist å se at du må gjennom dette. Det er nok vanskelig å være sterk alltid når man har det vondt og er redd.. Jeg ønsker deg alt godt i det nye året og håper 2019 bringer gode nyheter og håp og lykke 😊

    Hilsen fra Christina, gamlenaboen i nr 83

    • Hei Christina, tusen takk for hyggelig og fin tilbakemelding! Nei, det har ikke vært et lett år, og 2019 har heller ikke begynt så bra, men er sikker på at det bedrer seg utover våren! Håper du har det fint og at 2019 blir et bra år for deg og dine❤️ klem fra gamlenaboen i 81

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