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.

201
Fern said...

Love it :-) Happy New Year!

P.S. the japanese reads “japanese language version” in the circle

January 2, 2012 02:23 AM
202
Nettie said...

You such an Inspiration to me. Your talent and your strenght inspire me. U will be in my thoughts and prayers. I had a very dear MOM like person on Dialysis so I feel as I share something else with you..LOVE U godbless you and thank u so very much..

January 2, 2012 02:28 AM
203
Carey Rhyne said...

Absolutely AMAZING year. So inspirational all you continued to do while sick! Live long and prosper in this new year. :)

January 2, 2012 02:32 AM
204
Barbara said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You truly are a beautiful person inside and out and I am so glad that you (and your Mom) are doing well. You deserve only good things to happen to you……so here’s to an amazing 2012 for you!!

January 2, 2012 02:58 AM
205
Mirauncut said...

Bakerella, you are a sweet gentle soul. Thank you for sharing what you have been through. I hope this year is much more amazing for you and your mum. As long as you have each other everything will be ok. hugs.

January 2, 2012 03:01 AM
206
Kim said...

You are such a beautiful person, inside and out. Wishing you much health and happiness in 2012. Thanks for the inspiration you provide to so many. You are loved girlfriend!

January 2, 2012 03:10 AM
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magdalena vargas said...

Wonderful post. Hope the new year brings you so much joy, happiness, & love :)

January 2, 2012 03:16 AM
208
Tamara said...

I know it sounds crazy since we don’t know each other, but I love you for sharing this with us. When you weren’t blogging (and before we knew what was happening), I’d check your site every day. After a few days, then a week, the two weeks, I started getting very worried. My husband thought I was kooky when I’d talk about you and what might be going on. Yes, I was incredibly worried. When you returned and told us what had been going on, I cried. I was so sad for you but so happy there was hope for your recovery. Every time I check here and I see a new post, I quietly say “yippee!” under my breath.

Guess what I’m trying to say in a babbling-on way is you’ve made a difference in my life, and many more based on these posts. I’m so thankful your health continues to improve. Your Mom is a super duper amazing person to give you an opportunity for another 20+ year run!!!

Wishing you the best 2012 has to offer. May God’s blessings shine down on you today and always!!

January 2, 2012 03:46 AM
209
Donelle said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS POST!! Best Wishes for an amazing 2012!!

January 2, 2012 04:22 AM
210
Giselle said...

I read your story and it’s an amazing one. My mom died just a few years ago from Kidney cancer so your story hit close to home. Although it isn’t the same situation, it was so touching to read your story about you and your mom. What a blessing it was that your mom could do that for you.

I love reading your blog and I saw your cake pop kit in Sams the other day. I got so excited and told my husband that’s one of my blogger people. He laughed and so did I because I really don’t know you. I guess reading someones blog you almost feel like you do know them in a way.

Happy new year! I hope 2012 is filled with lots of happiness and good health.

January 2, 2012 04:27 AM
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Penny said...

Wow, moving stuff Bakerella! I hope 2012 sees you healthy, happy and sharing more of your fantastic cake pop creations! You’re inspirational! Let me know if you ever come to Australia – you can stay at my house! ^_^ I’m a huge fan! Happy New Year! Penny xo

January 2, 2012 04:29 AM
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Eveline van Heijst said...

I hope you’ll have a fantastic 2012.
Eveline.

January 2, 2012 04:29 AM
213
Miss Butterfly said...

What a year you had !!! Your post bring tears and smiles at the same time…You are a real fighter …Wishing you a fantastic year 2012 and keep your big smile on !

January 2, 2012 04:29 AM
214
Sew Create It - Jane said...

What an amazing post of an amazing year! You are an inspiration!

January 2, 2012 04:45 AM
215
Veronika said...

Hello Bakerella!
I just want to say how awesome and full of life you are, you amaze me and make me happy every time I read your blog/posts. I am so happy that everything is okay now and I hope everything will stay that way. :)
Thank you for being such an amazing inspiration!!

January 2, 2012 05:35 AM
216
ruth said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR MY DEAR YOU´RE JUST WONDERFUL!!!

January 2, 2012 05:38 AM
217
Adelya said...

Wow!! I wish you health and happiness and this up coming year! Truly an inspirational story!!!

January 2, 2012 05:42 AM
218
Paulette said...

Such a wonderful and inspirational post. Leaves us all with a feeling that no matter what comes our way we can get through it. May you and your mom have this year and many more to come with blessings of health, happiness and prosperity. Keep up the good work, it instills in all us that behind those grey clouds the light is waiting to shine for us all. We only have to reach for it and believe in ourselves. Hugs Paulette

January 2, 2012 05:46 AM
219
Patti said...

What a story… what a year.. Wishing you the best in 2012

January 2, 2012 06:00 AM
220
Claudia Camorani said...

Mamma mia! You are a real human!!! I’m just new in your blog but i feel like i Know you from months… you are strung, funny and a great bussines woman….I love you, really. Hugs, kisses, light, love and a lot of peace to you!
Claudia

January 2, 2012 06:13 AM
221
Vicky from sweet said...

Wow what an amazing read! You are so brave and all along have a positive outlook. A total inspiration and very heroic woman. X

January 2, 2012 06:24 AM
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cakefairyblog said...

What a great post. You have been so brave and strong and still a smile on your face. What a big year. x

January 2, 2012 06:42 AM
223
Angie said...

Wow! Thankyou so much for sharing your journey. Tears, smiles & warm Fuzzies were felt reading this & it’s been wonderful following you over the last few years. You & your mum deserve all the very best <3 Angel wing hugs & xxxxx you amazing lady!

January 2, 2012 06:43 AM
224
kel said...

Wow, it really has been a huge year for you in so many ways!
Here’s to a great 2012 for you and thank you for inspiring me :)

January 2, 2012 06:47 AM
225
Carmen Pombeiro said...

Truly inspirational! Cheers to a great year!

January 2, 2012 07:02 AM
226
buttercream bakehouse said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing such personal photos. You really are so talented and dedicated to what you do.

Your blogger friend,
Dina (buttercream bakehouse)

January 2, 2012 07:02 AM
227
Petra from Cincinnati said...

I read it all…top to bottom….you are an inspiration! Personally I have made hundreds of cake pops for bakesales, swim teams and birthdays. Thanks for creating something that is so fun and always a conversation starter.

January 2, 2012 07:15 AM
228
Rachel Willen said...

Wow. Thanks for the heart-rendering account of your year. Very inspiring. I too had some shocking and stressful health setbacks this year (a sudden heart attack from a rare condition that effects healthy women…) and dealing with your own mortality is not a “piece of cake” (sorry for the pun!). I hope 2012 is a healthy year for you (and me)with only sweet surprises and sweet successes!

January 2, 2012 07:28 AM
229
Bailey said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog this year and seeing your great creations!! I am so glad that your feeling better!! best wishes for 2012! :)

January 2, 2012 07:42 AM
230
Elizabeth said...

Many blessings may God prosper you in many ways.

January 2, 2012 07:55 AM
231
Yadi said...

This is amazing, is definitely an inspiration for all of us the people that believe that getting a cold is the end of the world. you had so many good and not so good things in 2011 and still remain with a good spirit and faith. CONGRATS!!!! I wish you a New Year full of blessings for u and ur mother!!!!

January 2, 2012 07:58 AM
232
Amy | She Wears Many Hars said...

You’re such an encouragement to so many people Angie. Me included! I’m so glad to call you friend.

January 2, 2012 07:59 AM
233
Denise said...

I’m an RN on a hospital unit that specializes in dialysis patients. Reading your story was so wonderful. I see so much sadness because we usually get the end stage people, so reading about your transplant and coming back off of dialysis was so wonderful it brought tears to my eyes. Your mom is an angel. You’re definitely an inspiration :)

January 2, 2012 08:35 AM
234
movita said...

There’s nothing more to say. I’m in awe. I send you best wishes for 2012 – may it bring you good health, and lots of love and laughter!

January 2, 2012 08:44 AM
235
koren lynch said...

so glad to hear things are better for you and your health I know how nasty that catheter is my dad had one and now has the fistula in his arm. i=I love your year in review I did not relize you did soo much this year and while being on dyalisis I know that was hard. I know your prob looking forward to 2012 and the bright new and exciting things waiting to happen. hoping that you will make it to baltimore area so I can meet you and have my book signed. my kids love flipping thru it amd looking at all the wonderful cake pops to pick out there favorites! looking forward to more bakarella this coming year!! thank you for all the wonderful recipes and pops!!

January 2, 2012 08:50 AM
236
Louise Basgall said...

Here’s hoping that 2012 is a wonderful year for you. You are such an inspiration with both your talent and your courage.

January 2, 2012 08:58 AM
237
Trina said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are an inspiration to all of us for your amazing, upbeat attitude. I read your blog faithfully and almost feel like I’ve come to know you. I certainly have worried about you and eagerly awaited each update on how you were doing. May God watch over you and keep makin’ those cake pops!!

January 2, 2012 09:10 AM
238
Theresa said...

Happy New Year, Angie!! Your strength and positivity are inspirational. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2012 :)

January 2, 2012 09:21 AM
239
Kara said...

Thank you very much for sharing your story. My dad had a heart transplant this past year and it changed his life and all of ours as well in such an amazing way. I still can’t believe the gift that was given to my family. Hope you and your mom have a blessed 2012!

January 2, 2012 09:21 AM
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Baker Bettie said...

You are such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story with us. It is amazing how the internet connects this big world to each other and lets us see the incredible kindness of others.

So glad you are doing well. You look beautiful. Cheers to 2012 and making it the best year yet!

Love, Bettie

January 2, 2012 09:24 AM
241
backcountrybelle said...

I loved your post, you brought me smiles, joy and tears reading the trials and triumphs you experienced throughout 2011. You have been blessed and I think sharing your story will be an inspiration and a source of comfort too many. I have enjoyed your blog all year long and will continue to follow along with excitement to see what beautiful things 2012 brings.

Wishing you and your mom continued heath and happiness!
xoxo DeEtte aka BackCountryBelle

January 2, 2012 09:27 AM
242
Molly said...

You are an amazing woman and an inspiration to all. We pray for you and your mom that life gets back to normal. Congrats on your success in your business and your life.

January 2, 2012 09:34 AM
243
Carolyn F said...

Thank you for sharing your year with us. You are such an inspiration for life! I love your blog and all the wonderful things you post even when it has nothing to do with baking. You rock! I wish you tons of happiness and continued health in the New Year and for many years to come! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got going on in 2012!

January 2, 2012 09:36 AM
244
Helena Mouta said...

Thank you, Angie! Your posts always make me smile, even if sometimes it is a sad smile. I am grateful that you can keep making our days brighter with all that you share with us. You are a beautiful person, inside and out, and have a mother to match! Have a wonderful 2012! If it should, by any chance, bring you to Portugal, I’ll try my hardest to go meet you wherever you may be!

January 2, 2012 09:38 AM
245
Lisa David said...

You are an amazing woman, you have accomplished so much.

January 2, 2012 09:44 AM
246
Leighann said...

I’m so happy for all the great things that happened for you in s 2011…. thank you for sharing about your kidney transplant. It’s such an inspiration to see you back and healthy. My 5 yr-old daughter was looking at your post over my shoulder and asked about your port. I told her your kidney was sick and the doctors helped you. She wants to know if you have beads? Beads of Courage is a program used with kids who are sick. Our son has a major heart defect – actually several – and he has a strand of beads measuring 25 ft. long. I thought it was cute she wanted to know if you had some too.
Hoping you have a wonderful 2012…. without kidney problems. :)

January 2, 2012 09:47 AM
247
Liz said...

A wonderful story. Bless your Mom,Moms are great,they never stop loving.
Happy for you. God Bless you and have a healthy New Year.

January 2, 2012 09:50 AM
248
Bethany said...

Bakerella, I love you so much. I love you for your recipes, projects, endless creativity and inspiration, but above all, your attitude. I’ve never once heard you complain on this blog, for all you’ve been through this year, and that is an inspiration. You deserve all the success in the world, and I know you will continue to have it. Have a truly wonderful year.

January 2, 2012 09:50 AM
249
Marie Warda said...

How blessed you are to have such supportive people in your life. I appreciate you giving back so much to your faithful followers and will keep you in my prayers and thoughts for a wonderful, healthy and rejection free new year.

January 2, 2012 09:52 AM
250
Lisa David said...

You are an inspiration to all of us. I started to read your blog when I found a recipe for chocolate zucchine cupcake in a Betty Crocker magazine and now I am hooked, not only for your amazing recipes but for the blogs about your life and what you have been going through and what you have accomplished despite it all.
My mom has been on hemodialysis for almost 10 years now. She has battled breast cancer and an severe gastrointestinal infection that almost took her away from us. Three days a week, on my way to work I drop her off a the clinic when she says she goes to work, although at much less pay. I admire her courage and strength. Even though a transplant is not in the future, she still has a brilliant outlook.
I wish all the best to you, your mom and your new kidney. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

January 2, 2012 09:53 AM
251
Marilyn said...

Wow! I just don’t know what to say, you are truly an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been a follower for about 6 months and knew you had some kidney issues, but had no idea how severe. You are a miracle and a true inspiration! Happy New Year and I will pray for good health for you in 2012!

January 2, 2012 09:55 AM
252
Mauryn said...

Not only are you talented, but you’re also one amazing woman! I’m reading you from Italy and have been following your blog for a few years now…since back when you were able to reply to each and every comment. And now to see the success you’ve achieved and the obstacles you’ve overcome makes me really happy for you. All the best for 2012 and beyond!

PS: The circle says “Japanese language version” or something to that effect…I don’t recognize the last character.

January 2, 2012 10:05 AM
253
Lori from Port Perry said...

Bakerella!!!!!! Thank you for the look back on your year…what ban amazing journey. But amidst all the struggles look at how large you are living life. I have cousins who share your mom and your story, one donating a kidney to the other. Theybsent out address change cards announcing that Sidney the Kidney has moved residence from John to David and is now happily living life with his new host…it really is a miracle. I still have that card and it happened over 15 years ago and both are doing well. Happy 2012…everything is just how it should be. Enjoy your healthy days and wake up with thanks.
Lori from Port Perry :-)

January 2, 2012 10:08 AM
254
Beth D. said...

You look amazing! Hard to believe everything you’ve been through this past year. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Looking forward to hearing all about more great things to come in 2012!

January 2, 2012 10:09 AM
255
Janny said...

I’m new to your blog, so didn’t know the whole story, but WOW! So much strength in you and your mom (BTW, she looks great!!!).
I hope the next year is full of great health, and a Canadian Book signing?? :) Would be lovely to see you up here. It’s really not as cold as it looks, I promise.
Happy New Year!!

January 2, 2012 10:12 AM
256
Michele said...

Wow. Wow. And Wow. What an inspiration you are. As I was reading (every word) I just kept saying to myself that I have a lot to be grateful for, and that, compared to yours, my troubles are very minimal. Bless you and your mom! Thank you for sharing. Wow.

January 2, 2012 10:18 AM
257
Eileen said...

Wonderful to read that you are doing so well. Thank you for sharing your inspiring life story. You look radient and so does you mother. Wishing you both continued health and forfillment in this new year. Happy 2012.

January 2, 2012 10:20 AM
258
Allison said...

What a wonderful gift from your mother. Blessings on you both as you enjoy this new year together. God bless you!

January 2, 2012 10:23 AM
259
Carolina said...

Dear Bakerella, I have followed you for a couple of months now, I bought your book in Amazon and had it shipped to Venezuela, where I am from, I just love it!!!!
You are so incredibly inspiring and so unbelievably brave!!! You obviously have a gift, the gift of spreading joy wherever you go. I could have never, not in a million years, had that wonderful smile at the hospital!
Thank you for sharing this story with us, it’s certainly uplifting and full of hope.
God bless you and you mom, you’re such an example! May 2012 be full of health, success and of course cake pops!

January 2, 2012 10:24 AM
260
Anonymous said...

I am going to echo what everyone has said. You are an amazing woman and a true inspiration! Big hugs!

January 2, 2012 10:28 AM
261
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. said...

incredible post! I am so honored to know you. You are beyond amazing. Here is to a wonderful 2012

January 2, 2012 10:31 AM
262
sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more said...

What a year of ups and downs! You made it through with a smile, thanks for sharing.

January 2, 2012 10:33 AM
263
Judy said...

Awwwww!!! You are seriously the cutest thing ever! Your enthusiasm and joy for life come through loud and clear. Happy New Year, and I hope this year is more about Cake Pops and less about kidneys for you!

January 2, 2012 10:40 AM
264
Linda said...

Your warmth and humor shine through in all you write. Thank you for sharing your journey through dialysis and transplant; it will benefit so many people. Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2012!

January 2, 2012 10:45 AM
265
bonnie said...

Thanks for sharing !

January 2, 2012 10:57 AM
266
Tracey A said...

OH! OH! OH! I am soooo glad to hear from you and your story.I cried! I know how emotional it was for you to remember all of that stuff. My Tom went through all that (do you remember me talking about him, 4rth kidney transplant recipient?) Anyway, way to go, little lady! I am praying for you! I remember the shunts and all. I live in San Diego and would love to meet you, your tough spirit and your creativity. I have your book. Love it. But you made my day, knowing that you are doing so well and look so great. What God can do is a beautiful miracle and blessing. XXXXXOOOO Tracey

January 2, 2012 11:00 AM
267
Lisa said...

Thank you for sharing your life! You are an amazing woman (even though I only met you once at your book signing in Bellevue, WA). You are an inspiration to move on regardless of the hard times you had with your kidneys. I had cancer at a young age, and I learned quickly to enjoy life during it’s lowest moments. Congrats to you on an amazing year with your cake pops. My friends are amazed with my cake pops and I am not a cook or creative baker by any means. Looking forward to your blog in 2012.

January 2, 2012 11:26 AM
268
DessertForTwo said...

I so enjoyed reading this post! One of the best wrap-ups of 2011. You’re so inspiring and know that LOTS of people around the world that you’ve never met pray for you & your health :)

Happy Happy Happy New Year, gorgeous lady! :)

January 2, 2012 11:30 AM
269
yvonnew said...

Angie -
You are such an inspiration and such a spark of light. Your blog entry made me cry and smile at the same time. Your mom is wonderful and so was your first donor. I wish you much continued success, good health and happiness. You are an inspiration to so very many. :)

January 2, 2012 11:46 AM
270
Mary said...

YOU ARE INCREDIBLE! Best of HEALTH, HAPPINESS, and PROSPERITY to you throughout 2012 and beyond! I love your posts and your creativity! AWESOME!

January 2, 2012 11:47 AM
271
Carolyn B. said...

Wow, you are an inspiration!!! I am an ICU nurse in a transplant unit in Central Florida. We take care of pre and post transplant patients (kidneys, livers and pancreas). Sometimes it is a bit depressing to see how sick people become up to the point of needing a transplant, especially knowing that one day, my niece, who is a type I diabetic, might have a kidney and pancreas transplant in her future. Everyone deals with things so differently though and it’s an inspiration to see someone like you take such joy in life and be so strong and productive and be someone who doesn’t let your health issues debilitate you!! I am in love with your kidney cake pops!!!! I bring treats in to work all the time (they are my taste testers :), so I think I will be making those and maybe some liver shaped pops in the near future!!! Good luck to you and all of your endeavors….you are truly an inspiration!!!

January 2, 2012 11:50 AM
272
Mary G (Baby Cakes) said...

You are such an inspiration, both in life and in cake pop land. Blessings on you in 2012.

January 2, 2012 11:56 AM
273
Bernice S said...

It’s been wonderful getting to know you. Thank you for sharing that blog. Your positivity and ever-present smile is an inspiration. I had bought your book at Cost-co in early 2011 and have enjoyed trying different cakepops – some look close to the pics, and others not quite. But, it’s fun to try and no matter what, they all taste delicious! Thank you for your inspirational story. We’re having our first baby in the spring and I look forward to making cakepops for him/her for all the occasions. :) Looking forward to your creativity in 2012!

January 2, 2012 11:58 AM
274
Angela in KY said...

Such an honest and inspiring post. As my sister in law said yesterday after a very unhealthy year…..”It has been an incredible year.” God has brought you through it and how much more incredible is that?

January 2, 2012 12:05 PM
275
Tanya K. Moyer said...

I am somewhat new to your blog, so I didn’t know the scope of your story. Thank you for sharing your year and I am so glad your health is better! Praying for a healthy and wonderful 2012 for you!! Thank you for your blog…it is filled with such inspiration! I enjoy reading it! :)

January 2, 2012 12:19 PM
276
Jane said...

I, too, read this top to bottom in one sitting. You have a great talent for many things – esp writing. Thank you for sharing your year w/ us. I know you will inspire someone that is out there going through or about to go through the same situation w/ their kidneys.

Wishing you and your mom and healthy happy New Year 2012. Much love sent to you both!

January 2, 2012 12:25 PM
277
Anonymous said...

Your positive attitude is amazing! You deserve every success you have. I’m so impressed by all you have done this year. I can only imagine what will come this year! Congrats and thanks for sharing your world with us

January 2, 2012 12:34 PM
278
RehabRN said...

Hi Angie!

So glad all turned out well. If I ever could go back in time, I’d be a transplant nurse. As a rehab nurse I have taken care of several transplant patients (more than a few with new kidneys) and every single one of them amazed me. One even got his transplant on his birthday. We called it “the birthday present”.

Hope you get many, many years from your mom’s kidney.

And yes, I am on the donor list (for bone marrow and on my driver’s license). I hope your post gets more of your readers to do the same. That list really IS life to someone waiting.

Happy 2012! Hope to see you on tour one of these days.

RehabRN

January 2, 2012 12:41 PM
279
Taryn Layton said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I’m a nursing student/baking lover who loved the hospital pics and cake pop pics equally :) And the kidney cake pops, genius! I might have to whip some up for a study session one of these days. I’m so glad you are doing well!…and what a wonderful blessing to have an amazing mother to share a life-saving part of her with you :) Happy 2012!

January 2, 2012 12:41 PM
280
Tania said...

So inspiring :) I wish you all the best today and everyday! God Bless..

January 2, 2012 12:50 PM
281
Connie said...

Thank you for reminding me to be grateful for every day and the good health of my children! I am so blessed, sometimes this time of year we forget the real things to be be grateful for are people. I am so happy you are doing better and thanks for another wonderful year reading your blog! HAPPY 2012!!

January 2, 2012 01:18 PM
282
Laura said...

Getting a kidney transplant and yet still having the time to do all the other things you did this past year . . . you truly are amazing! I hope that your recovery went/is going well and hope your 2012 is a good one! = )

January 2, 2012 01:22 PM
283
Phyllis said...

Bakerella-I doubt if I am alone when I say that I thought your life was just one “Good Thing after another”…and I’m ashamed to admit that, but don’t think too poorly of me. It has become another reality that you were tested by the only one that still matters~~GOD! You are a strong and worthy woman and your Mom is pretty KOOL, too. Best wishes for 2012~~Luck~~Love and Prosperity!

January 2, 2012 01:23 PM
284
Grace said...

Happy new year! I cried as I read, this post touched my heart.

January 2, 2012 01:24 PM
285
Lucie Mewes said...

Yee-haw! What a year!
I received my new liver 1/15/11, just before I died. Last night I was sorting photos: so sick.
The Rose Parade Donate Life float, this post, tears of thanks, hope and prayer. So many people are still waiting.

You always write with a great perspective. It is thrilling to me that your books are doing so well.

January 2, 2012 01:30 PM
286
Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing the events of the last year. Your pictures tell the story as much as your written word. Your compassion and love for others shines through. I have enjoyed following your blog and the beautiful photos of your creations. May you, and your mom, have a wonderful New Year!

January 2, 2012 01:30 PM
287
Jeanne said...

Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. I know you might have been hesitant..too personal, too graphic. However there are so many people in our lives who have or will enounter this issue at some point…possibly even ourselves. Seeing your explanations and hearing your words helps us understand what others go through especially when we’re afraid to ask. Wishing you a whole lifetime and more of perfect health.

PS: And woot woot on Bill Clinton!

January 2, 2012 01:33 PM
288
TidyMom said...

You are such an inspiration in so many ways Angie!!

One of my highlights of 2011 was spending our Girl Hunter weekend together with you and all of the other amazing girls!!

Here’s to a much healthier and amazing 2012!!!

January 2, 2012 01:35 PM
289
Shannon said...

You really are amazing. To have gone through all of that, and in every pic, you’re smiling. You really are a beautiful person inside and out, and my wish for you is that 2012 is your biggest and best (and healthiest!) year ever.

January 2, 2012 01:39 PM
290
Dana Niemeier said...

I always read your posts and have followed you this year! Whew! What a year. So glad you are doing well and that you and your mom have recovered beautifully. May this year bring you happiness and prosperity along with wonderful unexpected blessings! I hope to meet you someday :)

January 2, 2012 01:42 PM
291
Laura said...

An amazing year for you. Wonderfully written article. I had a friend that gave her husband a kidney one year ago the end of december and remember the months of testing and hoping she could be a downer. I am a huge advocate of spreading the word to be a doner if you can

January 2, 2012 02:00 PM
292
SMITH BITES said...

meeting you in Atlanta was one of the highlights of my year Angie . . . i do have to confess though, that last Christmas (2010) our family activity on Christmas Eve was making your cake pops . . . i purchased the book, read the instructions, picked out the character we wanted to make (reindeer) and purchased all the necessary ingredients . . . i swore i’d write a post complete w/pics of the event because our reindeer turned out looking more like roadkill . . . we have never laughed so hard in our lives at the mess we’d made . . . but boy, did we have fun!! and we now know that i takes far more talent than any of us have to make a cake pop!!! happy new year Angie . . . 2012 is gonna be great!!!

January 2, 2012 02:05 PM
293
Stoich91 said...

Tears of joy for you! :D Happy New Year, and many, many more Ms. Amazing Bakerella!

January 2, 2012 02:07 PM
294
lori lucas said...

What a fun post. It was wonderful seeing all those (well almost all!!!) pics. I am so glad you are doing better. You look absolutely wonderful. And your mom…WOW!! She is just beautiful. I have no doubt you help more people than you will ever know! Here’s to a great 2012! Lori Lucas

January 2, 2012 02:16 PM
295
blue j said...

Bakerella, I read regularly but post rarely… I thank you so much for your blog, the fun you share, and the inspiration you give. Hugs to you, and thank you for sharing your year in review.

January 2, 2012 02:25 PM
296
Odette said...

Thank you! What an inspiring story you share. Your smile throughout it all is just amazing. You must be superwoman! It saddens me that people are suffering with illnesses and disease and going through what you have & worse. You made me realize my broken leg, which will have me off my feet ’till summer, is nothing but a mere inconvenience. I wish you the best. Here’s to a healthy 2012!! <3

January 2, 2012 02:51 PM
297
Anonymous said...

Awesome post! Happy 2012! hope its even better than 2011!. Maybe this year I will get my book signed…. I live in the same town and imagine myself running into you in Cake Art or something and not having my book handy…

January 2, 2012 02:56 PM
298
steph said...

bakerella, you are such an inspiration and such an amazing person. this is more than a blog about baking and other cute things. this is a place where there is a real sense of community and caring. here’s to a wonderful 2012 and keep the wonderful posts coming!

January 2, 2012 03:02 PM
299
Susie Hamilton said...

Really thankful you spent the time and energy to chronicle your journey. As a 21 year survivor of breast cancer, I know how great it feels to get through a year like you have had and to look forward to being healthy for the coming year. May 2012 be filled with healthy blessings and a few new cake pops too!

January 2, 2012 03:03 PM
300
Melissa said...

I am crying. Thank you for sharing your story and photos. My husband was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer in 2009, I feel the same way about his doctor as you do about yours. I cried when he told us he was leaving. We know that if the cancer comes back, we will be travelling to Wichita.

I wish you (and your mom) a happy, healthy 2012!

January 2, 2012 03:08 PM
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