2017 : Done & Dusted

That’s it for another year. Done & dusted.

I’d like to say it was good knowing you 2017, but you’ve not been wonderful. Looking back, it’s been a blur; there have been good and bad times to come from it, but with all of them a stronger resolve for a brighter 2018.

Here are my top 3 in a few categories for this year.


  • Major surgery to remove large bowel & reform stoma (followed by a handful of A&E trips for problems afterwards).
  • Official fibromyalgia diagnosis with the start of physiotherapy & pain management.
  • 2 bad flus and 4+ chest infections, along with a pulled intercostal muscle & cracked rib from all the coughing.

Personal Life

  • Family health problems, especially my father, and then my uncle who’s still in hospital after emergency surgery suffering from abdominal & brain aneurysms.
  • Legal proceedings and raising awareness from a less than satisfactory (understatement) surgery.
  • I lost my job earlier in the year when I found out I needed another operation. Thoughts of future work and finances have been a constant source of anxiety and worry for me.


  • Quorn is a newness for me this year. I tried it because I wanted an easy-to-digest alternative after stoma surgery and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the ‘like chicken’ options in terms of taste, quality, and versatility. Love the stuff!
  • Having never been on a proper holiday before per se, this was a big one for me. Going to Spain made me realise just how much my body appreciates the warmth and struggles with the UK weather!
  • I’ve had my palm read! Okay, so it was by a machine, and I had to put my hand in a statue’s mouth, and the reading was totally wrong, but it still counts.


  • I’m forever grateful for the NHS, who have been there through a lot of my health problems. I have so many annoyances and frustrations with being let down and fobbed off for so many years, and I know I wouldn’t even be in this mess if someone had listened to me at the start, but I also have to appreciate the few supportive surgeons, specialists and doctors I’ve seen more recently. Holding on to the past and the anger doesn’t help move things forward.
  • My parents have been understanding and supportive, and I’m very lucky to have them in my corner. I look after them too, and I love that it’s a two way street so that we can be there for each other.
  • I am grateful for modern technology opening up a whole new world when it comes to health-related information, support and also blogging. I’ve loved blogging this year, as well as reading so much new content from others. I’m grateful for some of the amazing bloggers and other men and women from online groups out there that I’ve ‘met’.


  • I have quite a few, but it’s important to try to reframe what you see as a regret as a learning curve or a stepping stone towards a different path. I do, however, regret my ability to over-stress, to feel guilty and to be negative about myself; I know such overthinking doesn’t help and I know what I could do differently, I just find it far easier to advise others to do such things rather than apply them to myself.

How has your 2017 been? Amazing, awful, a mixed bag? It’s important to take a step back as the year draws to an end to see what’s happened.

So often it can go by in a blur and you skip a lot of the good things, focusing instead on the negatives. A lot of negatives can also been seen in a more positive way (even if it takes a bucket load of effort). We can use our experiences to guide us in the next year when it comes to figuring out what we want, where we want our lives to go, and to work at getting our brains into a more hopeful mindset for the future.



  1. December 29, 2017 / 5:37 pm

    There definitely were some ups and downs in 2017. I’m grateful for the moments of peace during the roughest waters.

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 30, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      That’s true, it does make you more appreciative of the good, peaceful times. I hope you have more of those in 2018! πŸ™‚ xx

      • December 30, 2017 / 5:26 pm

        I hope so too :), thank you!

  2. December 29, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    May 2018 be the year for you and bring your lots luck and happiness! ?

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 31, 2017 / 11:18 am

      Thank you – The same to you!! πŸ™‚

  3. December 29, 2017 / 7:06 pm

    I’m sorry that you have had such a incredibly tough year with your health and all the obstacles that have happened to make the recovery less then smooth.

    I have mixed feelings about the nhs, I have a friend who has just spent a month in hospital, seriously ill who has been treated appallingly by the staff in hospital. They still don’t know what is wrong with her and have given her out of date heparin, at one point told her she had cancer in her lungs and uterus (now they are unsure) the latest idea is that she has had a stroke but they also managed to drop her in hospital resulting in a shattered cheekbone and another spell in itu. My dad had a tumour covering 80% of his liver and they failed to spot it despite doing a biopsy. They told him he was going jaundice because β€œhe must have been drinking heavily” (he wasn’t, he was a professional engineer holding down a high powered job. By the time it was discovered it was too late. I have also been told that I had cancer in my bladder, I’ve had an op, had it all cut out but I had to push my gp so hard to get a referral (I printed off the nice guidelines and thrust it under his nose reminding him of his legal duty to refer).

    Sorry to be bleak, but, I think when you are sick in this country you need someone with you willing to fight your corner, armed with information, who won’t be fobbed off. I know drs hate patients using the internet but honestly I wonder what they expect, medicine isn’t an exact science and surely more info and heads together to work out what is going in is better then reliance on an individual. I have used dr foster, I have done my homework, read medical journals and found the best people in the field when I (or another family member) has had a medical problem and I am glad that I did.

    I am wishing you all the best for 2018, for a better year and for kindness, consideration, knowledgeable and conscientious professionals treating you and for a brighter year on the whole xx

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 30, 2017 / 3:51 pm

      I just wanted to say firstly I’m so sorry about your friend, your dad & also your own care with the NHS. Don’t get me wrong – I’m the first to speak negatively, and I wholeheartedly agree you need someone to fight your corner, you need to fight it for yourself too, and it’s often you as the patient that needs to diagnose what may be wrong with you and put forward suggestions as to what tests/treatments are needed. I’ve had so many poor experiences with the NHS, and even my uncle who’s still in hospital has been treated dreadfully (he intends to put in a complaint in the hopes they change their ways). I just feel I’m always negative and don’t appreciate the good they can do at times, and that if the NHS wasn’t there things would be harder still. It’s a difficult topic to cover, one for another post perhaps..! I hope your friend gets some answers soon and that things can be treated (correctly).

      Wishing you all the very best for a healthier, happier 2018 Jules! πŸ™‚
      Caz xx

  4. December 29, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    What a great post Caz! You’re honest about your struggles and so positive in your attitude toward them. You’re amazing – thank you for sharing your story. Wishing you a wonderful 2018!

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 30, 2017 / 3:52 pm

      Aw, that is incredibly kind of you to say Terri. Wishing you all the best for a wonderful New Year! πŸ™‚

  5. December 29, 2017 / 11:09 pm

    Brilliant post Caz! My 2017 has definitely felt very up and down, more down, but only because it’s felt so health orientated. I am feeling more positive though and looking forward to 2018! πŸ™‚ Wishing you a wonderful New Year! πŸ™‚ xxx

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 30, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Yes, health stuff can really take over life. I really do hope that the next year can be different for you (and Dizzy!) – a little more time spent on happy times rather than health-related thoughts and events! xx

  6. December 30, 2017 / 12:43 am

    I love your title <3 Simply put… but with oomph πŸ˜‰ I pray 2018 gives you many days of happiness and good health. πŸ™‚

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 30, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Thank you Gail – Here’s to hoping you have a wonderful New Year filled with health & happiness! πŸ™‚

  7. December 30, 2017 / 2:47 am

    Loved the post Caz xx…Such a roller coaster of a year xx…Lets hope 2018 is more of a smoother ride for both of us. Hear Hear re the sun. Im so glad you got away to Spain this year. Thanks for being a wonderful blogger friend xx

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 30, 2017 / 3:58 pm

      Likewise to you! Here’s to a smoother, healthier & happier 2018! πŸ™‚

  8. December 30, 2017 / 6:01 am

    I’m grateful that all the health obstacles of 2017 are now behind you, and I pray that 2018 will bring better days! And sunny Spain! Need more of that for sure πŸ™‚

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 30, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      I think everyone needs more sunshine (it’s definitely on my list if I’m well enough and can afford something cheap). Thank you for a lovely comment! I wish you a wonderful New Year! xx

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 30, 2017 / 5:16 pm

      That’s very kind, thank you. I’ve just replied and answered your questions! πŸ™‚

      • December 30, 2017 / 5:22 pm

        Sure, no problem. I will have to ask someone else to do it instead of you because I want this to spread. I hope you won’t mind. Take care.

  9. December 30, 2017 / 5:01 pm

    With all the ups and downs that a year entails, I always look to the new year with hope. You have definitely had some tough spots this year! I hope all turns for the better in 2018! I had a bowel resect 8 years ago (followed by two more surgeries to fix related complications). Now I can say those surgeries were life changing, for the better!! I can now eat without pain and have traveled to countries I would never had been able to survive before the surgery πŸ™‚ Please hang in there and know that better days await you! Happy New Year!

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 30, 2017 / 5:18 pm

      I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much, but it’s really heartening to hear how it’s changed your life for the better now (and hopefully it meant you were able to eat a delicious Christmas dinner!) Thank you so much for sharing that and for such encouraging words – wishing you all the very best for a healthy, happy 2018 also! πŸ™‚
      Caz x

      • December 31, 2017 / 5:29 pm

        Happy New Year to you as well πŸ™‚

  10. Natalie | Surviving life's hurdles
    December 30, 2017 / 6:03 pm

    Caz you have achieved so much this year! Most people couldn’t even imagine navigating all the obstacles you have. Let’s hope that your health goes easier on you next year but whatever happens I know you will keep going and keep moving forward and you inspire me to do the same! Wishing you the best for 2018 xx

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 31, 2017 / 11:19 am

      Thank you so much Nat, I appreciate all of your kindness & support. I truly hope 2018 is a healthier, happier one for you too – we can do this! πŸ™‚
      Caz xx

  11. December 30, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    ugh the flu is terrible!!! Type A is going around my house right now, and there’s coughing and sneezing and germs and it’s terrible. I’m done with winter at this point πŸ™‚

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 31, 2017 / 11:20 am

      Oh dear, I’m sorry you’re all ill too, it’s rubbish isn’t it, especially when Christmas & NY are times when you want to relax and enjoy what you can. I hope you’re feeling better soon! xx

  12. December 30, 2017 / 10:58 pm

    I have had some ups and downs in 2017. Life has been good at times and not so good others. I am glad you are dealing with your health situations. I am learning more about Stoma’s as you go along. Thank you for your friendship!

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 31, 2017 / 11:21 am

      I think it’s a case of taking the good with the bad, and hoping for less of the latter! Thank you for such a lovely comment and for your friendship also – wishing you the very best for a healthy, happy 2018 Tony! x

  13. December 31, 2017 / 12:14 am

    I’m so glad you have the sort of family where you and your parents can count on each other like that. <3 I'm fortunate enough to have parents like that, too, but I've known so many people who can't say the same and it's always broken my heart to see. A great family and support system can really make a difference during the hard times. I hope your new year winds up being an amazing one. <3

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 31, 2017 / 11:22 am

      I’m glad you have supportive parents also, and agree that it can make such a difference. Thank you for the fab comment – wishing you all the best for a wonderful New Year! πŸ™‚

  14. December 31, 2017 / 9:28 am

    It’s great to take the approach of looking at regrets as learning curves. I’m glad you were able to take some time out and enjoy a holiday in Spain.

    Here’s to a better and healthier 2018!

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 31, 2017 / 11:22 am

      Learning curves, and laughing at what you can because otherwise you’d end up crying! Thank you – The same to you, I hope 2018 can be a happy, healthy one for you! πŸ™‚

  15. December 31, 2017 / 9:40 am

    I’m sorry you’ve had a rough 2017. But at least it’s all in the past now. Here’s wishing you a healthy and prosperous 2018. xx

    • InvisiblyMe
      December 31, 2017 / 10:18 am

      Thank you! The same to you – I hope you have a bright, happy 2018! πŸ™‚ x

  16. January 1, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    Wishing you a Happy New Year and happy blogging in 2018!

  17. January 2, 2018 / 12:11 am

    Definitely some ups and downs in 2017, but it was one of the better years in recent memory, and I’m grateful for that.

  18. January 4, 2018 / 4:52 am

    Hope 2018 is brighter, easier and filled with more hope and laughs.

    • January 4, 2018 / 5:09 am

      Thank you! The same to you and your family πŸ™‚

  19. January 5, 2018 / 2:52 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had so many health issues in 2017, I really hope that 2018 is kinder to you in that respect. I love that you try to find all the positives amongst the lows, that’s something I’m trying to work on right now too. Thanks for sharing x

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