Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bye 2011

It’s been a year of kidneys and cake pops and I have a heart full of thanks.

This is an extremely long post. And just to warn you up front it involves a couple of pictures of blood and things that might make you cringe a little, so if you’re squeamish about that kind of thing, you probably don’t want to keep reading.

But, if you’re not, and you’re interested – it’s kind of a wrap up of 2011. Not of recipes from the blog, but of some things that made this year special.

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And of course, it involves cake pops. How could it not.

The year started off pretty normal, or rather I was trying to keep things up as normal. But in the back of my mind was the knowledge that my transplanted kidney was starting to fail.

But I was hoping for the best. Hoping to just maintain whatever functioning it had left. Hoping to keep living the status quo.

In February, I had what was supposed to be the beginning of a few more book signings that would take place through the spring.

I started out in San Francisco and as soon as I saw your smiling faces, I managed to forget all about feeling bad. I want to thank you for that.

Because in March I had to cancel the next book signing in Minneapolis.

I couldn’t be there because I was very sick and in the hospital with an infection in my bloodstream and transplanted kidney.

Needless to say, my already weakened kidney could not handle the extra stress and I had to go on dialysis while I was in the hospital.

There are some pics in this post that I normally wouldn’t put out there, but I hope they help someone who might be going through something similar. It’s tough stuff.

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This machine reluctantly became my new best friend. The only thing to keep me from eventually dying.

This was probably the hardest thing for me. I never wanted to go on hemodialysis. Just the thought of being hooked up to a machine and having my blood removed, cleaned and returned to my body, freaked me out. The first time my kidneys failed, I did peritoneal dialysis. It doesn’t involve your blood and it allows you much more freedom. So I was prepared to go on that kind of dialysis again if I had to. But not for an emergency port to be placed for hemodialysis. Peritoneal dialysis requires a scheduled surgery and planning. But hemodialysis doesn’t. So I had a procedure to have a temporary port placed in my chest and by the end of the very same day, I was having my blood move through those tubes on the machine.

Let’s just say my mind was not prepared. The first time I was on the machine, I can’t even describe what it was like. I just felt numb. Numb that it was happening this way. Scared that I didn’t know what would happen next. Upset that I couldn’t stay well for just a little while longer while we waited to see if my mom could be a donor.

But I was also thankful. Thankful that things like this exist. Thankful that even though there isn’t a cure for kidney disease, that there are options for treatment to prolong my life.

Thankful.

But still freaked out.

I was in the hospital for 18 days. And if I hadn’t been there so long, I probably would have come back home and kept baking as if everything was ok.

That was the plan anyway. But then I was there another day and another day and after a while I felt I needed and wanted to share what was going on because I had been absent from the blog so long.

So I wrote this post.

And I was overwhelmed by your comments and thoughts and prayers. I still am. I get teary-eyed even now thinking about it as I write this.

I will forever cherish your words and kindness. I read them while I was hooked up to that machine and it made it all better. Thank you.

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Flowers from new friends made it better, too. Thank you P is for Party, Anna and Blue, TomKat Studio, Pizzazerie, and all the other party planning friends that brightened my stay. I would list you all but I can’t find your letter at the moment. Forgive me. It was so sweet of you all to send flowers, especially since we haven’t even met. Hugs.

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And surprise visitors made it better, too.

Ree, it meant so much to me that you came by to visit. Miss you lots.

Oh and did I mention that while I was in the hospital that I gained 16 pounds in the first two days. Sixteen pounds of fluid that they pumped into me to help fight the infection.

I was miserable and swollen all over, but so happy to see family and friends like Ree, and Julie, Zoe, Danny, Monica, Amy, and Kerry and Robyn who visited during my transplant stay.

So, there were definitely good things mixed in with the bad.

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Like when I got back home, this was waiting for me. A dutch version of Cake Pops!

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And in May, I was able to spend time with friends that were attending Blogher Food. (Photo from kevinandamanda)

Thank you guys for making that a great day. So, fun things happened too while I was still on dialysis. And that helped. A lot.

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This is the clinic where I spent many hours over the next few months. I would get off work and come here four hours a day. Three days a week. And then go home and go to bed because I was still so tired. I have so much respect for the nurses, technicians and staff that work in dialysis clinics. They see a lot of sadness every single day. The beds were always full, unlike this photo I managed to take in between patients arriving. You walk in for your appointment and as soon as someone is done with theirs, they clean the bed, change the sheets, clean and prepare the machine to get ready to connect the next person. It’s a constant cycle of patients, many that were much, much sicker than me, coming here to stay alive. It has to be hard on the people that work there to see that everyday. And especially hard when someone suddenly stops showing up for their appointment because they are in the hospital or even worse.

It was definitely not somewhere I looked forward to going to. On the good side, I was very tired everyday, so I did get to lay down and rest and watch TV – as long as I didn’t get the bed that had the broken TV.

(Warning: Blood stuff coming up next.)

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And then if I got bored, I would take pictures of myself to remember what being on dialysis was like.

Here I’m trying to tell myself how much fun I’m having. Woohoo!

I have a bunch of sad pics too, but I promise you don’t want to see those.

The white bandage near my neck keeps the area where the port is, covered and clean. It would get changed and the area carefully cleaned every time I had a treatment. The big sheet was just to keep my clothes from getting any stains. The port had two lines. One would remove my blood and the other would return it. Good times.

This was a temporary solution though. The area where the port goes in is an extremely high source of infection because there is a direct line to my heart and an opening at the end of the port where you connect for treatment each time. And the area couldn’t get wet, which made taking showers a real pain. I would cover it with these large plastic adhesive sheets which were so big that it made my right arm immobile. If I lifted my arm, it would create a gap in the covering and allow water in. Washing your hair with one hand is hard. And showering each day was filled with worry that I would get it wet and get an infection. And prolong my chance of a transplant.

If I had needed to stay on dialysis permanently, I would have had to have a permanent fistula made in my arm as an access to circulate the blood for hemodialysis. Or either plan a surgery to go on peritoneal dialysis again. So I tried to delay either of those happening as long as I could, waiting on my mom’s test results to all come through and hoping she would be able to donate.

Stressful.

At the clinic, my nurse, TiTi would take care of me each time I came in. She was comforting even though she didn’t talk much. I developed an attachment to her. I didn’t want anyone else to connect me to that machine or clean my dressings. I trusted her and even though I was so happy to leave, I cried with her the last day I left the clinic as she prayed for me. And I felt bad for the patients I was leaving behind. The nameless faces I had seen every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I wanted them to feel better, too. It reminded me how grateful I am for my mom. Many people live the rest of their lives on dialysis. Not everyone is eligible for a transplant or has someone close willing or able to donate.

If you’ve thought about organ donation before, please think about it again and the people laying in those beds. It’s a gift that can help so many.

And if you are already a donor. Thank you. Generosity like yours gave me 19 years of life.

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On the lighter side, during dialysis treatments, I was also trying to finish up a couple of projects for the Cake Pops Kit that came out this year. Not fun when you don’t feel good.

But even though I wanted to be able to do more new pops, I think the rubber duckies and penguins came out pretty darn cute.

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Then, Cake Pops made it onto the iBookstore. I thought this was really cool. Probably because of my love for all things Apple.

By the way, Cake Pops was one of the iBookstore’s top ten Cookbooks in 2011! Crazy! CRA-zeeee!

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I had a recipe published in Betty Crocker’s Big Book of Cupcakes. Thank you, Betty!

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And I also had a recipe published in the book, Home Baked Comfort.

Things like this, and especially all of your emails and messages and comments on the site really made dealing with being sick a lot easier.

By the way, dialysis stinks when it comes to eating, too. Your diet changes drastically because your system is so out of whack. The machine basically does the functioning of your kidney for you. But since it doesn’t do it all day, everyday, you have to be really careful what you eat all the time. I couldn’t eat cake pops. I had to stay away from foods that contain phosphorous and potassium and eat foods with very low sodium. A high phosphorous level can make your bones weak and brittle. Potassium is monitored closely to avoid heart problems, nausea and loss of consciousness. And sodium is avoided to help control fluid retention and blood pressure. That meant no potatoes, no chocolate, no cheese, no milk, no sauces to speak of, no beans, no sandwich meats, no bacon (ugh), no nuts, no ice cream, no orange juice, no bananas. Basically, nothing fun. And because my fluid intake was restricted, I could only have 32 ounces of fluid for the whole day. Boring!

I’m so glad that didn’t last long.

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After a few months on dialysis, we finally found out that my mom was able to be a donor. Such relief and excitement for us both!

And on June 14th, my mom and I both went into surgery. That was the hardest part – knowing we were both being operated on at the same time, but I had complete confidence in the surgeons.

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Especially mine. Because Dr. Larsen performed my first surgery in July of 1992 and again this year. He’s great.

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I don’t know if I could ever put into words how much he means to me, but I am so thankful for him and his talent and kindness over the years. I just want to give him a big hug every time I see him.

The entire staff at Emory is wonderful. Everyone at the transplant clinic and the transplant floor of the hospital. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for taking care of me the last 20 years.

Oh and see that white bandage on my neck in the pic above? Yep, the port is still in.

They leave it in to make sure the kidney works before removing it.

The port isn’t pretty. I made them take a picture of it for me because I never saw it unbandaged.

Scroll by real fast if you get grossed out easily.

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Yuck. And by the way that’s not blood on the port, it’s betadine where they would clean it.

I was so relieved to have this thing out of me.

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And so grateful for my mom. I know she would do anything for me, but I would have never asked her for such a gift. She is amazing and my best friend.

Here’s a story that Emory posted on their blog about us if you’d like to read.

So, A few months after the surgery and still feeling great, I started doing things again.

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I made a new video for the book with this guy. Actually, he made the video. I just did stuff like make silly faces when he wasn’t looking.

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The notecards came out.

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Where Women Cook by Jo Packham came out in October. Thank you Jo for featuring me on the cover with such fantastic company. The book is beautiful and filled with profiles from great women like Ree of The Pioneer Woman, Serena of The Farm Chicks, Sandy of The Reluctant Entertainer, Molly of Orangette, Cheryl of Back in the Day Bakery, Helene of Tartelette, and many more.

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Okay, this was something else really fun and a little unexpected. Say hi to Pop Star Jill in Illinois.

I received an email from Jill’s husband, Luke. They live in Chicago and he explained how much she enjoys the blog and cake pops and wanted to surprise her with a signed book or maybe even a lunch. So I said, sure and if they found themselves all the way in Georgia, then of course, I would go to lunch. Well, he did just that. He told her they were flying somewhere fun for her birthday, but didn’t tell her where until the day they flew. I’m sure when he told her Georgia, she was thrilled. So exciting, right?! But he explained it off by saying they were going to see and stay with some friends for a getaway.

Then, the next day, I was waiting at the restaurant and when the hostess brought Jill to the table, the look on her face was so priceless. And boy was I glad. It would have been a real bummer if she didn’t know who I was. But she did and it was a blast and she had absolutely no idea. We had a great time. I think it was as much fun for me as it was for Luke to surprise his wife. Hi guys. Hope you two are doing great.

And thank you both for such a memorable day.

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These are meds I take twice a day. Everyday. They’re different medicines from the ones they were giving to patients almost 20 years ago, but they still have to give them to suppress my immune system so my body doesn’t try to attack my mom’s kidney as something foreign to my body. That would stink. So I take these medicines to help avoid that.

Even though I feel great now, it’s always on my mind every morning and night.

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By October, I felt good enough to continue with the book signings I had begun back in the spring.

Of course, I had to visit Minneapolis first. It was such a good feeling to be there, seeing all your sweet faces. Happy smiles are like magic.

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After Minneapolis, I visited San Francisco for a book signing and to work on the video for this kit.

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Here’s a clip from the video. Cool.

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While I was there, I visited the FM offices.  They handle ads that show up on my site. They arranged a Halloween cake pop contest with a few bloggers and some of their employees. And man, they did a good job. Very creative and everyone was so sweet. Thank you for having me.

Here’s a slideshow of all the fun.

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I also attended a San Francisco Authors Luncheon with my publisher, Chronicle Books to benefit the National Kidney Foundation. It was so nice of them to donate money and invite me to attend with them.

If I haven’t said it enough before. Chronicle is great. The people. The company. Their books. I love them.

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When I returned home, I had a routine kidney biopsy. Everyone that has a transplant has one at around 5-6 months after surgery.

That’s my new baby. My mom’s kidney. In me.

Kind of unbelievable.

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Kidney biopsies aren’t as bad as they look when you consider the needle they use. Yeah, that thing in the upper right hand corner. Yikes! And I think that’s the new shorter one they started using. Don’t worry. They only go in as far as they need to depending on how much body tissue they have to pass through to reach the kidney. Thankfully, they didn’t have to go too deep.

The test showed everything with the kidney was doing great.

So I felt confident enough to continue on with the book signings. Or kit signings since by this time, those had been released.

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Seeing this poster in the Orlando Barnes & Noble really made me chuckle. Me and Bill Clinton, signing books days apart.

A little birdie told me the secret service was there the day I was, scoping out the place and one of them even bought a book. Maybe it was for Bill. : ) But I doubt it.

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While we were in Orlando, we made it to Disney World for a little while.

The place where dreams come true. Except ours already had.

It was my mom’s first time and my second.

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At most of the book signing cities, we stayed at normal nice hotels. But In Phoenix, we stayed at the nicest or most unique of al the cities. To give you an example, this guy was taking us to our casita in a golf cart. You couldn’t drive to your room by car. To get around the property, which was beautiful by the way, you had to call for someone to come pick you up or walk there. We called. And they would take you to the pool, or one of several restaurants or shopping nearby. Where ever you needed to go. The room was fantastic, too, with a deck, living room, fireplace, and walk in closet. We did not want to leave. Ever.

But we did. And headed out to the next book signing in San Diego.

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While we were there, I received a super invitation from Sarah who follows the blog and came to the book signing in Costa Mesa the previous year. Sarah invited me to come see her world. Sea World, where she works with some of the animals.

Including this amazing, cuddly creature.

I never knew a sloth could be so cute.

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My mom and I made some new friends for sure. We learned a lot, too.

Thank you Sarah for showing us around and sharing your knowledge of these amazing animals.

Here’s a slideshow of some of the fun.

Before leaving San Diego, we decided to stop and get some breakfast at a place called the Hash House.

We ordered just two pancakes.

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Yeah, just two.

We obviously didn’t know what we were doing. I just had to share this pic. I have never seen anything like it.

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After San Diego, I visited Book People in Austin for the last book signing of the year.

I’ll miss seeing all of you guys… until next time that is ; ) . Thank you all for coming out and sharing your love for cake pops. This year would not have been the same without you, whether you made it to a signing, or simply said hi on the blog. I love you guys so much. Big hugs and a little dork wave.

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The day after the last book signing, I went on a Girl Hunter weekend with my friend Georgia and a bunch of other blogging friends including Cookies and Cups, Bake at 350, Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, Wenderly, She Wears Many Hats, Ivory Hut, Tidy Mom, Cookin Canuck, Georgia, Elana’s Pantry, Family Fresh Cooking, Deliciously Organic and Recipe Girl. We laughed, shot clay pigeons, decorated cookies, learned to fly fish, sat by the campfire and ate way too much.

Georgia is something special and has just recently released her second book, Girl Hunter. It’s a fascinating read that follows her adventures on a quest to find out more about where her food comes from. And it takes her straight to the source. Here’s a video by the talented White on Rice Couple to give you a glimpse of what the book is about. And here’s a great post of our weekend by Georgia.

Check out the book, Girl Hunter if you’re interested in the journey of knowing where your food comes from, too.

Here’s a slideshow of the really great time we had.

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Once back home I received another nice surprise.

Cake Pops, translated in Japanese and another version in French, too. Can anyone tell me what it says in that circle? I’m trés curious.

Well, that’s just a little bit of some of the things from this past year that you didn’t see on the blog.

Thank you for listening. I just had to get that all out and get ready for a brand new year.

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Like I said in the beginning. It’s been a year of kidneys and cake pops.

And my mom and I would like to thank you all for helping make it one we will never forget.

So thank you and here’s to a great 2012 for all of us.

1
PT said...

you have been an inspiration!! you’ve been through so much and yet still have a smile on your face! Wish you the best of luck in everything!

January 1, 2012 10:05 PM
2
jengd said...

What an amazing year! Your strength and positivity through the rough spots is amazing! Congrats on coming through with a huge smile… and I think those kidney pops are a riot! :) Happy 2012!

January 1, 2012 10:09 PM
3
Gregg said...

What a terrific post! Pure inspiration. Well worth the read. Thanks for providing thoughts (and smiles) for us all at the beginning of what’s sure to be a stellar year for us all! Much love to you and your mom (and all)!

January 1, 2012 10:09 PM
4
roseann said...

thank you for sharing, you are an inspiration!

January 1, 2012 10:10 PM
5
caly said...

amazing! Cheers to a healthy & happy new year. You’re an amazing woman as well as your mother <3 I hope you have a great 2012 and I wish you LUCK! xoxo

January 1, 2012 10:11 PM
6
Alicia said...

Thank you for sharing your story again. Blessings in the new year!

January 1, 2012 10:13 PM
7
Debbie Waken said...

SO glad you are doing so well, I wondered where you had been. What a Journey. God Bless

January 1, 2012 10:14 PM
8
Judy said...

Oh, my! I am so glad you are doing well. I hope you and your mother completely recover this year. Best wishes to you both.

January 1, 2012 10:14 PM
9
Jessica @ She Bakes Here said...

Beautiful summary of your year, thanks for sharing all those photos with us. Best of luck to everything in 2012!

January 1, 2012 10:14 PM
10
Liz {Sunny Bug} said...

What a year! You are such an inspiration – not only as an amazing baker and blogger, but also as a woman who is living life and making dreams happen. Best of luck to YOU in 2012!

(btw – my local Paper Source had some of your new products and I can’t wait to go back!}

January 1, 2012 10:15 PM
11
Lauren woods said...

So glad you are doing well…you are a brave soul!!!!!

January 1, 2012 10:15 PM
12
Carrie S said...

Wow! You’ve had quite the year! I have a good friend who underwent a kidney transplant earlier this year (after a failed attempt a year ago), as well. It’s so wonderful to see him healthy again. I’m glad to hear that yours was successful!

My husband says that the Japanese writing under “Bakerella” says Cake Pop Bread. I love the little kidney cake pops!

January 1, 2012 10:16 PM
13
Bronwyn said...

I kinda didnt want your post to end.
You are so inspiring.
Wishing you many fantastic happenings for 2012!!!

January 1, 2012 10:16 PM
14
TheFeministBreeder said...

You’re an amazing inspiration. I’ve been reading since you first began, and look at all the incredible things you’ve done! I had no idea you did it all with a bum kidney, to boot! I was just showing my husband the Cake Pops kits in Target, and was so proud of you. You’re so loved, and for such good reason. Happy 2012 to you and your family.

January 1, 2012 10:17 PM
15
Maria said...

Thank you for sharing your year with us. So happy you and your mom are doing well. Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2012! xoxo

January 1, 2012 10:17 PM
16
Cristin said...

Thanks for sharing your remarkable story. I wish you an amazing year!!!

January 1, 2012 10:17 PM
17
pjmesser said...

What a beautiful post!

sniff, sniff– thank you for sharing

January 1, 2012 10:17 PM
18
Jill Carilli said...

Amazing! I had no idea you had been through all that. Here is wish you health and continued success in 2012. :) xo

January 1, 2012 10:18 PM
19
Marian said...

This is a great recap! You’ve done an amazing job and been through so much. Here is to a wonderful 2012 filled with health :) My uncle did dialysis for many years, got a transplant and didn’t need dialysis til about 15 years later I think. Unfortunately then it went downhill a few years later, but he was in his 70′s. My son also needed dialysis when he was in the NICU last February for a short period of time. Nurses, drs and medicine is so amazing. I’m so glad you’re doing well.

January 1, 2012 10:19 PM
20
Tracey in WA said...

Angie, I am so happy for you!!! From the first time we chatted via e-mail to seeing you on Martha, I have been so proud to know you and as a Mom, I can only imagine how your Mom felt being able to help you with a new kidney. One day I hope to meet in person and give you the big hug you deserve. Thank you for all your inspiration, kindness, humor and spunk! You deserve everything grand in 2012!!! XOXO

January 1, 2012 10:19 PM
21
Kelly said...

Love you, love what you do, grateful that you share with us here. Happy New Year! <3

January 1, 2012 10:19 PM
22
Alina said...

You are probably the most fearless person i have seen! you are definitely a baking hero! have a happy new year and many more!!!

January 1, 2012 10:19 PM
23
Gail said...

You are such a blessing to so many. Praying 2012 will continue the good for you and your family. You have a brave soul and I’m thankful to get to read the uplifting and entertaining posts you write.

January 1, 2012 10:19 PM
24
Kim said...

So glad that everything has worked out! God bless you and your mom. I look forward to your 2012 posts :). Take care!

January 1, 2012 10:19 PM
25
Ebony {Sparkling Events & Designs} said...

thank you for sharing your life with us! your strength is amazing!!!

Ebony

January 1, 2012 10:20 PM
26
Linda said...

Thank you for sharing – I asked for and got your Cake Pop book for Christmas. I have followed your blog for a very long time and I wish you continued health and success. You are truly an inspiration in life and in business. All the best to you, your family and your new kidney :) for this New Year and many after

January 1, 2012 10:20 PM
27
Made With Pink said...

Wow! You’ve had an amazing fantastic year! I’m so glad to have been able to follow your blog for yet another year (I’ve been following since the beginning!) You inspired me to start my own blog 2 years ago. Thank you! The baking world wouldn’t be the same without you.

January 1, 2012 10:20 PM
28
Shell said...

What an amazing story. You are such a strong woman and a true inspiration! I hope you continue to be blessed in 2012!

January 1, 2012 10:20 PM
29
Naomi said...

You are so inspiring and amazing! Not only are you crazy talented but such a great person! Love you and your blog so so much!

January 1, 2012 10:21 PM
30
Jen said...

Your story is so touching and so inspirational. Your positive outlook on life and what it throws at you is incredible and I am grateful for having heard your story. So glad you are doing better, you are in my thoughts for a continued sense of strenth and health for 2012 (and beyond!)

January 1, 2012 10:21 PM
31
Cassykins said...

It’s been quite a year for you! I appreciate you sharing it, too. You’re so strong and it really is such an inspiration. My boyfriend’s mom gave me your Cake Pops book for my birthday and I got so excited not only because it was the Cake Pops book, but because it was your book. Reading your blog and knowing some of what you’ve been through just to get to the day you had your book came out made it all the more special to have.

January 1, 2012 10:21 PM
32
Laurie said...

wow. you sure crammed a lot into 2011! happy new year, bakerella! XO

January 1, 2012 10:22 PM
33
Mary C. said...

Your story and your smile light up my life! Wonderful, wonderful you!

January 1, 2012 10:22 PM
34
Kimberly said...

You are an amazing Girlie!!! What a year! Here’s to a new and bright 2012. May you bake away and continue to inspire the rest of us in the blogosphere!

January 1, 2012 10:23 PM
35
Bridget said...

Wow! What a year you have had! I hope 2012 is a little less eventful…health-wise anyway. You and your mom are gorgeous and look a lot alike. I’m sure she was THRILLED to be able to do that for you. I wish you both the best in 2012.

P.S. – If I remember, I’ll have to send my best friend to this post. She could tell you what it says in the circle on the Japanese translation. She speaks and writes it fluently…and she’s not Japanese. It’s amazing!

January 1, 2012 10:23 PM
36
mary fran said...

You are one incredible woman! Thank you for sharing your incredible journey with all of us, it is incredibly inspiring to someone like me who struggles with chronic illness.

Congratulations on all of your success! I hope 2012 is even more incredible (and less medically scary!)

January 1, 2012 10:23 PM
37
Tavia said...

Wow! I have never read your blog, you are impressive!!! Holy cow! For having so many sad parts, that was really uplifting! I hope 2012 brings your hearts desires. God bless you and your Mother.

January 1, 2012 10:23 PM
38
Polly said...

The circle on Japanese version says…“Japanese Version,” surprise! :D Hope you are feeling better and healthy and super successful year 2012!

January 1, 2012 10:23 PM
39
Randi said...

You are such an amazing, strong woman! Thank you for sharing your story :-)

January 1, 2012 10:24 PM
40
Miriam said...

so happy that you are feeling better, keep smiling and prayers for a healthy and happy 2012 for you!

January 1, 2012 10:24 PM
41
April Ockerman said...

You truly are an inspiration. I know it has been quite a year for you and you are still smiling. Thank you for all your do and turning on my love for cake bites :) It has been a great side business for me and I love seeing the new things you come up with. Sending you much love and blessings for the new year and much more success and renewed health. God bless you and thank you :)
http://www.facebook.com/aprilstastytreats

January 1, 2012 10:24 PM
42
Christina DeJesus said...

Know you are soooooo loved !!!!

Moodylicious

January 1, 2012 10:24 PM
43
Gail said...

Love you and your blog. You are amazing, especially how you smile through everything! May God continue to bless you and your mom and may 2012 be a year of joy and health for both of you.

Happy New Year!

Gail

January 1, 2012 10:25 PM
44
Mandi C. said...

So blessed by reading a recap on your year; praying for you to have many, many more to come! Happy 2012!

January 1, 2012 10:25 PM
45
Jen said...

What a whirlwind of a year for you! I am so glad to hear that you are doing (and feeling!) better, and look forward to what 2012 has in store!

January 1, 2012 10:25 PM
46
Amy said...

You are SO AWESOME and SO BRAVE. I wish you nothing but joy and happiness and more success!

I have registered myself to be a donor…and it is no joke that you were the first person I thought of when I signed up. I always knew I would donate if a family member needed it, but if I can I should do it now!!!

;-)

January 1, 2012 10:25 PM
47
Laurie said...

You look great!! My best wishes to you and your Mom for a blessed and healthy new year. You are a very talented and lovely lady. I thank God for His continual watch over you.

January 1, 2012 10:25 PM
48
Melanie said...

I am in tears after reading how your year went with your health. My father-in-law had his second transplant in August 1998, and had previously been on hemodialysis for about eight years.

I wish you the best of health and success in 2012! You deserve it!

January 1, 2012 10:25 PM
49
Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing an insight to your year. Blessings and wishes for a great healthy New Year. Much love to you and your family. xoxoxo

January 1, 2012 10:26 PM
50
Shannon said...

You are amazing! I’m a huge fan of yours and I wish nothing but the very best in your health and all you do. Happy New Year to you :o)

January 1, 2012 10:27 PM
51
Kimiko said...

Thank you for sharing so much with us, I really enjoyed reading this post and I’m very glad to know that you’re doing much better now. I’m sure 2012 will be a great one!
P.S.: I know some Japanese, so in that little circle next to “CAKE POPS,” the first 3 characters read: ni-hon-go, which means Japanese (nihon) language (go). I just don’t know the last character, but it probably means Japanese language version or something similar. :)

January 1, 2012 10:27 PM
52
Texasphotochick said...

I hope your 2012 is awesome. And thank you for sharing your cake pops with the world because they rock.

January 1, 2012 10:27 PM
53
Gail said...

What a wonderful story… thank you for sharing all of that! I didn’t know that all happened to you this year – I’m touched by your story, photos, and beauty.

Prayers for you for 2012 for continued health, and happiness!

January 1, 2012 10:27 PM
54
Amanda said...

You are so beautiful, girl! Loved this recap. May 2012 be your best year yet! Hope to see you again soon, and remember to always stay FIERCE! ;) xoxo

January 1, 2012 10:27 PM
55
Laura said...

You are such an inspiration to me. I was diagnosed in 2003 with Berger’s disease. Thankfully my kidneys are still hanging in there and I haven’t had to undergo dialysis yet. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it truly gives me hope. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012!

January 1, 2012 10:28 PM
56
Dinna said...

You are so strong! an example for people out there who are going through the same thing. I hope you have a great 2012!

January 1, 2012 10:28 PM
57
Elizabeth said...

So happy things worked out well. I remember being worried from your long absence and praying super hard for you and your mom. May you be even more blessed in the new year! I look forward to baking along with your blog in 2012!!

January 1, 2012 10:28 PM
58
Heather said...

I appreciate you sharing your story. I am a nephrology nurse practitioner. I make rounds in our dialysis clinics and see patients in hospital and office as well. Your story is touching and an inspiration to everyone! I wish you the very best! God is Good :D

January 1, 2012 10:28 PM
59
Maryanne said...

I’ve been reading for the past 2 years or so and LOVE the cake pops, as well as the other recipes.. I’m so glad your transplant was so successful and you’re doing well. you and your mom look like sisters! take care and Happy New Year :)

January 1, 2012 10:28 PM
60
Melissa T said...

You are truly and amazing woman. I am so happy that everything is working out for you. This post brought tears to my eyes not only from what you had to endure this year but that you have triumphed over all the obstacles that have been put in front of you and your family. You guys are still in my thoughts and prayers.

January 1, 2012 10:29 PM
61
patty said...

Missed you and glad you are better!

January 1, 2012 10:29 PM
62
Becky Gomez said...

I’ve liked your blog and sites since the moment I discovered them. I never knew that you were going through anything like this, but I appreciate your courage and commend you on your honesty. This is why people connect with you and love you. You are brave, beautiful, blessed, and so talented. Congratulations…on life, and all its journeys. Last year I started giving the New Year “themes”…2011 was The Year of Magic & Miracles {yours included!} and 2012 is The Year of Cheer & Triumph! Happy New Year, Bakerella…and all your fans! Love you!!

January 1, 2012 10:29 PM
63
Missy said...

You are such an inspiration Angie! I credit you all the time when I make my pops (Pop Goes the Cake). I am so happy you and your Mom are doing so well. I’m so happy my friend showed me your blog years ago. Keep up the wonderful work! I hope you come to Chicago again soon! I missed you last time. Big Hugs!!

January 1, 2012 10:29 PM
64
Tara said...

I’m so thankful I don’t cringe from blood and stuff because what a wonderful post. You are truly wonderful with an amazing and contagious smile and outlook. I wish you continued health, happiness and success always.

January 1, 2012 10:30 PM
65
Cindy said...

A great and successful and blessed year for you and those you touch. Thank you!
The circle does indeed say “Japanese Version”. My hubby is an expert Japanese translator and interpreter. He is practically Japanese…..except he is not. ;) Best to you in the coming year.

January 1, 2012 10:30 PM
66
Cookbook Queen said...

What an eventful year you’ve had…and I am so thankful you made it through in good health!! It meant so much to me that I got to meet you this year, Angie!!

The fact that you do so much for others, while going through so many struggles of your own says a lot. I look up to you not only because of the wonderful stuff you create, but because of your character. You’re one of a kind.

Hope we meet again in 2012!! xoxo

January 1, 2012 10:30 PM
67
JulieD said...

Happy New Year, Angie. You had an amazing year and thank you for sharing your journey with us. Hugs to you and your Mom! I hope I get to see you in 2012 and I agree, I hope 2012 is great for all of us! xoxo

January 1, 2012 10:30 PM
68
Franki said...

WOW–what a year. You are an inspiration and your cake pops are making people everywhere happy. Happy New Year!

January 1, 2012 10:31 PM
69
Annette said...

Thank You for sharing all of this!! You are brave and courageous beyond measure! Yay for Mom’s! Yay for great doctors! Yay for YOU! God is Great! May 2012 be filled with even more blessings for you!

January 1, 2012 10:31 PM
70
Dawn said...

You, my dear, are truly amazing, and are *such* an inspiration to so many people, in *so* many ways! You deserve 2012 to be a year of rewards for all of the struggles you endured in 2011. Plain and simple!

Dawn :)

January 1, 2012 10:32 PM
71
Sue Abrahamse said...

I wish you a wonderful healthy year ahead…take care of yourself and know you are surrounded by so much love:)

January 1, 2012 10:32 PM
72
Amy said...

FANTASTIC post!! I can’t imagine how long it took for you to put it all together but thank you for sharing it all with us.
You’re amazing!!
Oh, and the Emory article was great too!!

January 1, 2012 10:33 PM
73
Pamela said...

You are simply amazing! I’m so happy you’re doing so well. You are an inspiration to many, including me!! xoxo

January 1, 2012 10:33 PM
74
bakerella said...

Thank you guys. I was nervous about putting this post up, but I’m so glad I did.

And Polly and Kimiko – thanks for the translation. Funny. I wouldn’t think they would need to add in Japanese that it was a Japanese version.

January 1, 2012 10:33 PM
75
Christine Rosen said...

You are simply inspirational. The silly little blips in my day are nothing. Thank you for sharing your story so selflessly. God bless you!!!

January 1, 2012 10:34 PM
76
Melanie M said...

Amazing story! So very touching. Happy New Year!!!

January 1, 2012 10:34 PM
77
Kimberly said...

Thank you for being such an inspiration both in and out of the kitchen!
Wishing you a very Healthy and Happy New Year!

January 1, 2012 10:34 PM
78
Emma said...

WOW Girl! What a journey for you (and your mom) in 2011! You are such an inspiration. You had me wiping away a few tears while reading your post. Cheers to a bright new year full of wonderful things, good health, great family and friends! xo – Em

January 1, 2012 10:34 PM
79
Zoe said...

You are an amazing woman, and thank you so much for sharing!
I hope you stay incredibly healthy and strong, and I wish all the best for you in 2012. Happy new year!! xx

January 1, 2012 10:34 PM
80
Kristen said...

What an amazing year!! I am so happy that it ended on a happy note. Best of luck to you & yours for 2012!! I look forward to seeing all your newest creations. :-)

January 1, 2012 10:35 PM
81
Beth said...

Wow! You are an amazing person. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad to hear that your good health is on the rise again. I sincerely hope that 2012 brings you health, wealth and cheer. Your mother sounds like a special person too. I am an organ donor and on the bone marrow donor list. Stories like yours need to be shared so more people will sign up to be a donor too. Thanks Bakerella! Love you!

January 1, 2012 10:35 PM
82
Airene said...

I missed your posts! Your journey to recovery really touched my heart :) Anyway, the word in that circie simply means ‘Japanese version’ and the words within the ribbon says ‘A book on Cake Pops’. Looking forward to more of your posts and have a blessed 2012!

January 1, 2012 10:35 PM
83
Jill from Illinois said...

Thank You for sharing all of this with us!!!! You are an amazing and very talented person. May 2012 be a blessed and happy year for you with all of your dreams coming true!!! Thank you for making my dream come true and taking time out in your busy schedule to do what you did, I am still on cloud nine from that day!!! You’re the GREATEST!!!!

January 1, 2012 10:36 PM
84
trisha said...

This was just great. I am so happy for you. You have inspired so many people and that the meaning of truly being alive! Happy New Year

January 1, 2012 10:36 PM
85
Karen said...

Reading this, I found myself understanding every single part of your story! My dad was diagnosed with renal failure in April this year and has been through every single step as you, except transplantation. Fingers crossed for a donor soon! You are such an inspiration!! I love all of your ideas and have tried many of them :) would love for you to do a book signing in Michigan!! Wishing you continued health and inspiration in 2012!! Happy new year!!

January 1, 2012 10:36 PM
86
Sunny said...

You are so sweet! I’m so glad that you are feeling better. I just have to add that my two year old Bella LOVES my Cake Pop book. It usually ends up on her book shelf because she always steals it. She could look at it for hours. Thanks for bringing so much joy to us!

January 1, 2012 10:36 PM
87
marisol mostacero said...

I JUST CANT SEEM TO STOP THE TEARS EVEN AFTER FINISHING READING BUT ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION YOU HAVE TAUGHT US TO NEVER GIVE UP WHEN THINGS GET BAD BUT TO BE POSITIVE , THANK YOU AND I WISH YOU THE BEST IN 2012 AND THE YEARS AHEAD…… :)

January 1, 2012 10:38 PM
88
Tracey Sebastian said...

Such an incredible and inspiring story Angie! So glad to see that you and your mom are doing well. Much love and light to you in 2012 and the next 19 yrs!

January 1, 2012 10:38 PM
89
Rachel said...

This is the first time I have read the blog on this site. What an inspirational story. My father is in kidney failure, and your post has inspired me to get tested to see if I am a match, and even if I can’t donate to him, since I am in good health donating to a stranger. Thank you for sharing your story.

January 1, 2012 10:39 PM
90
Ramona said...

Ditto!! – You and your mom are so beautiful, you look more like sisters. Your life and story are absolutely amazing, and your talent is God given to be sure. You are such an inspiration to others in a lot of ways. For me, to be happy and so grateful when faced with life and death. You are just incredible. I look forward to 2012 and your imagination in 2012. Best wishes for a great year to you and your mom.

January 1, 2012 10:39 PM
91
Dana said...

I thought this was a great post! What a year you’ve had, here is to a very healthy and creative 2012!

January 1, 2012 10:39 PM
92
I'm At Home Baking said...

What an awesome post, thank you for sharing!

January 1, 2012 10:40 PM
93
Cathare said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing ideas and creations with all of us. I love to browse on your website, every chance I get. You are truly an inspiration. I love the book! My prayers go out to you and your mom for a wonderful happy healthy new year! You can be sure I will be reminding my friends and family on the extreme importance of being an organ donor.

January 1, 2012 10:40 PM
94
marla said...

You are beautiful inside and out. Angie, thank you for sharing your journey with us. It is important for people to learn about this kind of stuff with such honest & open reflections.
The bond you have with your mom is like no other. You both shine & sparkle bright. Beautiful women.
I feel so blessed to know you. May you have a happy & healthy 2012 & way beyond.
Hope to catch up with you again for realz soon :) xxoo

January 1, 2012 10:40 PM
95
chitownmom said...

Thank you for sharing this inspirational story! I feel like I experienced it right along with you. My husband received a kidney from his brother one month ago. He had been on hemodialysis since March. Before his experience we had no idea how difficult dialysis is on the patient and their families. I’m sure your story will bring some much needed attention to the need for organ donation as so many people don’t have the happy ending that you and I have been able to enjoy. I wish you continued health and happiness!

January 1, 2012 10:41 PM
96
LolaBellaDelights said...

Wow!!!!!!! A magnifique and inspirational woman. After reading this even allowed me to learn things about dialysis hat I was unaware. Giving me a better view and understanding of this life process, that’s helps me to see things in a different way. Thanks for sharing and be an inspirational woman, entrepreneur and a fighter woman that helps us to move and achieve everything that we want an fight for life. May the Lord continue blessing you, your mom, & your staff. Keep that big contagious smile…xoxo

January 1, 2012 10:41 PM
97
Tara said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a personal story!! You are an inspiration to many!!

January 1, 2012 10:42 PM
98
Monica said...

Your post made me cry. I’ve been thru much of this- except I was the living donor. I gave a kidney to my then-husband (sadly, this was not something that bonded us forever, it gave him the idea that he should leave the marriage and “live it up” in case he dies young…..) I know what the fears and stress and anxiety about all this does to someone. God bless you, and your family and everyone who supports you. I hope you have a long life of excellent health and continue your positive message. You are an inspiration :)

January 1, 2012 10:42 PM
99
Kim said...

Best wishes in 2012 to you and your mom!! Your both amazing!!

January 1, 2012 10:42 PM
100
Lauren from Baklust said...

I read the whole thing top to bottom. Wonderfully written. You are such an inspiration!

January 1, 2012 10:42 PM
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