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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.

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581 comments on “Bye 2011”

  1. I did so appreciate your post. I’m thankful you shared the good, the bad, and as much of the ugly as you could. Caregivers everywhere will appreciate your thankfulness for us. I am very glad you and your Mom are well. God is so good.

  2. I really enjoyed this! Even though we all knew a bit about what was going on, it was nice to get a very personal account of it from you! (Plus, I’m a nurse…and all things medical intrigue me!)

    So glad that your 2011 was such a positive one! You have some amazing accomplishments and should be very proud of yourself!

    Bravo, Bakerella!

  3. Thank you so much for this post! It is so wonderful of you to share your experience. The pictures of all the medications made me laugh, because i recognize many of those oh so well. My first transplanted kidney started to fail in 2009 after 14 years and was so blessed to have a second transplant by a generous person and their family in 2010. I am so glad everything is going so well, and thank you again for sharing your story. So thankful for those who decide to donate including such loving family members like your mom.

  4. What a year! It was a year of “rooting” for you, I think, as Edie (lifeingrace) would say with a “blooming” year ahead :) I will continue to look forward to your blogging, your creative sharing, and everything else that comes your way that you chose to share with us lucky readers. Happy New Year to you!!!

  5. What a wonderful tribute to the past year.

    Reading about your journey with your kidney transplant made me cry.

    My mom was born with kidney troubles. She had one kidney removed at the age of 20 and her remaining kidney currently functions at 30%. Despite her lifelong health issues, she is strong and has dedicated her life to taking care of elderly horses.

    I thought that if she ever needed a kidney transplant, I could see if I would be a match for her. She thinks that at the age of 60+ years old, she can maintain what she has for the remainder of her life, and hopes to avoid dialysis. She jokes that no one will donate their kidney to an old woman anyway.

    In honor of my mom – and people like yourself – I’ve decided to continue my journey towards bettering my own health and in the year 2013 begin the journey of becoming a live donor. My mom may not need my kidney, but someone does, and I can share :)

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  6. This has nothing to do with this post, but I just google image searched cake pops, and almost the whole first page were pictures from your website. Pop stars and you both.

  7. Your attitude towards life is incredible! I’m amazed at how cheerful and positive you were in the face of such a scary situation. You’re such a role model. Thank you for bringing so much joy to people’s lives through your blog. Here’s to a very healthy and happy 2012!

  8. I just wanted to say that I truly appreciate you sharing your story and allowing us into your life, it means a lot to so many. Wishing 2012 to be full of baking and joy!

  9. Happy New Year to you. Thank you for sharing such an amazing part of your life. I’m sorry that you had to go through all of that. Looking at you, one would never know. God Bless your Mom for being there for you. What a wonderful gift, to have a part of your mom. I hope that you stay well and may God Bless you with much Health.

  10. You are a brave and encouraging. My father had a kidney transplant and my godfather had a heart transplant. As crazy as the transplant process is, I have to be thankful for it because it gave me years with my father that I wouldn’t have had otherwise and I never would have even known my godfather without his new heart. You, your mom and your family have been in my thoughts and I’ve sent positivity your way as I’ve kept up with your blog. May your new year be blessed.

  11. What a beautiful lady your mum is. Inside and out, clearly! As are you. Glad to hear you’re doing well now, wish you all the best for 2012.

  12. Thank you for sharing your year. I began following you around the time you went on dialysis and were awaiting word about whether your mother was a match. I underwent a kidney transplant nearly 8 years ago and I was lucky enough to avoid dialysis. But, at just 30 years old, I worry that I may need another transplant and may need dialysis as well. It’s such a scary and un-fun thing and I appreciate you sharing your story and hope others take it to heart and become donors!

    Cheers to a happy and healthy 2012!

  13. I’ve been a dialysis technician for seven years, and your blog made me feel so appreciated! I love to bake, and follow your page daily. You are an inspiration, and thank you for your kind words about the staff!!!!

  14. I am so glad you are healthy. I had no idea that you had kidney disease! When did you find out, as a kid? That’s amazing that your mom could help :)

  15. Give yourself and your mom and extra hug from us out here in Cali. I am glad you are both ok and hope your next year is wonderful and full of nothing but joy.

  16. Oh my god, finally your book is translated in French !!!
    I’ve been waiting for it for ages, I’m soooo happy !

    I wish you a wonderful year, your story is really inspiring, you’re so strong and brave, and your mother too !

    Bonne année !

  17. You are such an inspiring person. It brings tears to my eyes to read how strong you were during this trying time. I won a beautiful cake stand from you in 2010 just in time for my 40th Birthday. You make a difference in people’s lives; even as small as a cake stand for me. Thank you for sharing your gift with us and God Bless you and your mom in the years to come.

  18. I just recently started to follow your blog so I had no idea you had a kidney transplant. I’m happy it all went well and your mom was able to donate to you, she must have felt great being able to help you with a thing like that :) I love the feeling I get from helping someone or even just a kind gesture, I can’t imagine that feeling :) Overall it sounds like you had a nice year, some downs, but that’s normal and makes us cherish the good times more :) Have a great 2012! Can’t wait to see what you do this year! :-D

    <3 Jenny

  19. I LOVE YOU! Thanks for the post. What crazy times. I love reading your blog. I feel privileged that I have been following you for so long and have seen these things in your life unfold. Thanks for sharing them with us all. you are an amazing gal, it comes through in what you write and say. Good bye 2011, and let’s bring on 2012! More pops, less blood and kidneys. :)

  20. You are an absolute inspiration to me and so many others. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  21. God bless you, Bakerella. I have enjoyed you and all your posts so much! You have been a blessing to me!
    Much love to you and your mom.

  22. Thank you so much for sharing so many personal and encouraging stories. Yes, it is definitely encouraging! May God continue to bless you (and your mom–she wrote such a sweet letter on the blog) as you continue on such an amazing journey. Oh, and have you ever thought about a book signing in Germany? I think they even sell your book at the PX in Stuttgart! God bless!

  23. First off-the kidney pops are hysterical XD they make me laugh whenever I see them. Second, I am glad to see you doing so much better-keep it up. I am an organ donor, and I hope you make other people become donors also

  24. It’s so great to see both you and your mom happy and smiling and together in health!

    Thanks for the update – I do like seeing the “behind the scenes” pictures like that – and to know that others take dorky pictures of things that make us giggle. :)

    Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012 and beyond!!!

  25. Thank you for this post. My 4 month old baby has chronic kidney disease and will need a transplant in 2-3 years. It was amazing to read your story and see the pictures. It gives me hope to see someone else go on this journey we started 4 months ago. Thank you. And those kidney cake pops are adorable!

  26. You are so amazing and inspirational! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you have as much success in 2012 as you did in 2011!

  27. I am so gratefully (and a bit tearfully) happy for you, with you, and honored to hear your story, Angie. Thank you! But, more* importantly, YOUR SHOE COLLECTION IS DIVINE!!! And that gorgeous gold-ish blazer in the middle book signing pic? Fabulous, I must find one just like it – do tell where you found it! ;-) For your next trick you should do some fashion consultation especially for baker-bloggers like me. Ree could get in on that, too. I’d be on a plane in five. Especially if it was somewhere warm.

    *Sometimes the more trivial aspects of mundane life can be really great, huh? {{{ hugs }}} xoxo ~ Kristi

  28. You are an inspiration! I needed tissues while reading about your personal experience. Wonderful Mom; wonderful daughter! Thank you for saring such a wonderful, heart felt story.

  29. you have had quite the year Miss Bakerella! You, your mom and your story are very inspiring… thank you for sharing. Here’s to healthy kidneys and a very happy 2012!

  30. I stopped in today looking for some inspiration on treats t make for a friend. I got alittle more inspiration than i bargained for. <3

  31. What a wonderful recap of the year! Of course, for obsessive readers, there wasn’t much “new” news, but it was a pleasure to remind myself what an amazing year you had and how blessed we all are that it turned out as well for you as it did. Happy new year!

  32. Bakerella. You are so wonderful to share your true life with the public. I have followed you for quite some time. I love your positivity and this post was perfect. Thank you for putting yourself out there and showing what your life is like. And you being such an advocate for organ donation. This past August some very good friends of mine lost their 7 month old daughter to liver disease. She never got her new liver. Her parents have started a foundation that is to bring awareness to organ donation. I’d love for you to check it out. http://www.rubyjanefoundation.org/ And thank you again for who you are. Being a public figure you are able to do such good :)

  33. Wow, excellent summary of what dialysis is like and the strange mix of emotions you feel when you leave to get your transplant but SO many people are still there. Your post put me right back 3 years ago when I did dialysis prior to my transplant and you are absolutely right, the transplanted kidney is on your mind day and night. Praying your new kidney lasts many, many years.

  34. Happy New Year Angie! I hope this year brings more happiness and blessings!

  35. What an incredible year! So happy to hear that you are on the road to health. Where would we be without your personality and fantastic talents?

  36. What an absolute honor to read about your 2011 journey. I too face challenges and face them as well and as hard as I can. This was a wonderful tribute to all of those who go through difficulties and who continue on. I pray for continued health and thank you so much for sharing.

  37. Your year in review made me cry. I’m glad that dialysis is over, and you are feeling better.

    And yup, the circle just says Japanese version. I will have to pick up your book in Japanese. It can go with my funky collection of random Japanese craft books.

  38. Wishing you a Happy, Healthy New Year! Thanks for sharing your story :)

  39. Love you, love your blog!!!! So glad you and your mom are doing so well. I will continue to pray for your continued good health and lots of POPS in 2012.

  40. How amazing that you were able to go through all of this with so much grace (and with huge cake pop success!). The picture of you and your mom is my favorite – what a beautiful pair.

    Thank you for your honesty and inspiration. Happy 2012!

  41. Wow, can I just say that with all you’ve been through this year, you are truly inspiring. I love your book and your blog and I look forward to much more this year. Keep up the great work and keep inspiring us.

  42. Sorry to hear you went through so much in 2011 but happy to hear that you will be around in 2012! Love your blog!

  43. Wow! What a year! You have an infectious smile and it’s really nice to see it all throughout this post. What an inspiration! I’m so happy that I found your blog – I think 4 years ago! Best wishes for a happy and very healthy 2012 to you and your mom.

  44. I work in a huge metropolitan hospital in Omaha, Ne. We have dialysis units on site with clinics all over the metro. I have had occasion to visit the units to transport patients that were misplaced to my floor due to a bed shortage. I work oncology, I thought my job was an emotional roller coaster, but the nurses working Dialysis have it so much worse. ‘

    You are a real blessing, I prayed for you daily while you were going thru all of this. I am so thankful you are here with us today, healthy and strong.

    I just had a cousin that had his second transplant right here at the hospital where I work. He’s doing fine, we are are so thankful for him, too. God Bless you!

  45. Must I say that you look awesome. Praise God you are doing so good and thank you for sharing!

  46. Crikey! What a year!! And what an amazing mom you have! That’s quite a story for 2011 and I hope you have a much, much better 2012.

  47. You have been through so much! So glad things have turned around and you can look forward to a healthy and happy 2012!

  48. I read the whole blog post too. It’s so inspirational and all the fear and anxiety that you went through must be so tough.
    I hope you have a less stressful and healthy 2012!

  49. your cake balls are amazing! that Japanese says,” you are one amazing girl” no, just kidding i believe it says cake ball book. i can read everything but that little kanji at th end so i googled it..”book” is the meaning…

  50. Happy New Year, Bakerella! You are such an inspiration, in about 200 different ways. Man. What a year you had (both good and not-so-good). I am SO VERY thankful there’s a YOU in this world. THANK YOU for all the wonderfulness. I hope I get to meet you someday. You and your mom are awesome. :)

  51. You are such an amazing, strong and inspiring person, both in and out of the kitchen! :) Have an amazing and healthy 2012 Bakerella!

  52. Reading this post touched my heart. When I was just 16 years old (10 years ago), I contracted a deadly strain of E. coli and ended up with liver, pancreas, and kidney failure. I was in the hospital for over a month and had hemodialysis 3 days a week also. I am very squeamish and terrified of blood, so this was a huge challenge for me. I know how stressful those hours and days can be. I remember how freaky that neck catheter is. I remember being scared that I would jar it in the middle of the night and bleed to death. I remember being on that horrible limited diet. It seemed like the only thing I could eat was white bread with mustard on it. Occasionally they’d let me have some lunch meat. To this day, I hate all three of those things because of the memories. When I got the illness, I had just finished a track season at my high school in Arizona. I was used to drinking a TON of water, and to be limited on my water intake was torture. I remember looking like a swollen balloon from all of those annoying “fake” fluids that I couldn’t drink myself. My amazing doctors (who I also grew to love) considered putting me on the donor list, but after 5 weeks of no function at all, my kidneys miraculously started working again. I now have no lasting effects except for extreme empathy for those who go through something similar. Your experience was even scarier! I applaud your positive outlook and courage even when things looked bleak. You’re truly an inspiration! Congrats!! ……and I’m a huge fan of yours! :)

  53. Just before our baby’s 5th birthday we rec’d the devestating news, if we were fortunate enough our child would live to have their kidneys fail, and there were no timetables or answers. I could barely function somedays, nearly a decade later (every day I am grateful for the gift of time) I am sometimes still paralyzed with fear. Dialysis terrifies me, we aren’t there yet, your post helps me so much, you share things I have been afraid to ask anybody, afraid , so very afraid. But your story gives me hope, hope for the kindness out there, hope for life sustaining dialysis, hope for life even if it isn’t what we had envisioned. I need to finish reading your post, I’m not even all the way through the kidney story, but I had to stop and thank you for your courage, for being an earth angel for me, one worried mama.

  54. I am so grateful I found your blog. I log on from time to time just to see how you are doing and check out your latest creations. I own the cake pop book, but I will probably never be able to make one….to me the book is coffee table material! A very elevated art form. You have the ability to reach out and touch your audience, first by your talent but more importantly with your heart. I’m glad to hear you are on the mend and counting your blessings each step of the way….the world needs more positive people……take good care!

  55. The kidney cake pops are adorable and would be a huge hit in my sister’s biology class! They remind me of the Giant Microbes stuffed toys! So glad to hear that you are feeling better; here’s hoping you have an amazing, and hopefully less stressful, 2012!

  56. Thank you for sharing I had no idea all this was going on behind the scenes (from our perspective). I have endometriosis and fibromyalgia at 25 and have been fighting these for several years. Your strength and happiness is contagious, you make me want to fight harder and do more than I do right now. Thank you!

  57. What an awesome post! Praying for you and your mom for continued health and a joyful new year!

  58. May this be the beginning of an even better year for you. Glad to hear you are doing so well!

  59. What an awesome post. May God bless you in 2012!

  60. What a touching year! Best wishes for 2012!

  61. What a roller coaster you have been on this year! That is awesome your mom was a match and just in time too, I will pray that your new kidney is a long-time keeper!
    Happy New Year, 2012 is going to be great!

  62. This just might be the longest blog post I’ve ever read, but what an amazing story! Thank you for sharing! It is so positive and hopeful! I’m so thrilled for your health and success! Wishing you all good things in 2012!

  63. That was such an inspiration! God bless you and your family! I hope and pray that everything just goes up in 2012! Be blessed! I’m going to be beginning my cake pop journey soon. I can just hope that my ideas and designs are as cute as yours! again, BE BLESSED!

  64. Thank you so much for sharing this! I read the whole post and can’t even believe all you have been through! You have been so strong and have remained positive – thank you for that example!

  65. I have been following you for years and have been so inspired by you! I’ve been a NICU nurse for now 29 years so I am used to but never tire of seeings miracles happen. I am so glad you are doing so well and had a miracle yourself! Best wishes and prayful love for 2012!

  66. You are such an unbelievable inspiration to me – from baking to someone whose words lift my spirits and with each visit to your blog it sends me into a buzz of newfound ideas and excitement all thanks to you! Congratulations on your recovery, I’m so happy to see you so happy + healthy!

  67. thanx for sharing that with us bakerella………………………you sure did have an eventful year………………………as said above ….you are an inspiration………..both you and your mum…………hugz to you both. here’s to a fun filled 2012……..one that hopefully brings you to australia !!!!!!!! (and make sure it’s melbourne you visit)
    happy new year to you

  68. Angie, I don’t even know you, but your words bring me to tears. To see your joy and smile even in the face of death is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Keep livin’ girl! I hope to one day meet you!

  69. Thank you for sharing this with us. I cried while I was reading through it..I’m an RN and until I discovered caking, being a nurse was the only job I know how to do. It was also my first love. I know we touch our patients lives in ways we’ll never know but sharing your story with us is gave me more reasons to keep doing what I do. God Bless you.

  70. I know the feeling. We are just going through it with my sister. Two days before Thanksgiving she lost the second kidney transplant after 13 years. We are all mourning it. It is very inspiring. Hope my sister can find a new kidney soon.

  71. Thank YOU for sharing your year with us. How truly inspirational and just awe-inspiring to think of what you have been through the past year with your dialysis and kidney transplant (and how you’ve always managed to smile and be positive through it all). I am in the “I can’t stand the sight of blood” camp but reading your story, I couldn’t not look at the pictures after what you have been through. To think that so many others go through this, too…it really made me think about what I can do.
    I love your blog and your cake pops. After reading this post, I am going out and buying your cake pops book for all my friends because I want everyone to know you! (I’ve already spread the word about your blog, believe me! This cake pop splurge will just spread the joy around a little more. ;)
    PS Your mother is beautiful…inside and out! What a lovely gift to her daughter. But what a wonderful daughter she has, too. XO

  72. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. Truly an amazing story. Glad to heat all the good news between the Kidney and your book. Many wishes/blessing for you and your family in the New Year!!!

  73. Great post-good times, bad times is what life is about. Thanks for sharing with us. I have been following you since 2007-and I am so glad you are doing better. I feel so bad I missed you in Orlando-it was my day of my daughter’s birthday party-too much to do! Next time or maybe if I am in Atlanta…….

  74. Wow you had a really tough year – thank you for sharing. My thoughts are with you. Thank you so much for replying to my emails about Cake Pops in New Zealand especially when you were going through so much!
    I love your blog and intend to continue reading it well into 2012! :) All the best for the new year :)

  75. i hope you are very healthy in 2012.

    i wsh you butterfly kisses

    take care, claudia

  76. I just cried tears of joy!!! I wish you the best in 2012!

  77. You are such an inspiring person! May you have a happy and healthy new year. :)

  78. I had to skip through the blood part but thank you for posting! I hope everything goes well for you in 2012.

  79. I can’t say enough how grateful I am God sent you my way. You have brought my daughter in law together personally and we are now planning on a new business venture. You have made 17 grandchildren very happy and feel very special ( you know , Cake Pops make you feel so important and happy). My father has Stage IV renal disease and has had to undergo emergency hemodialysis right before Christmas. Now he is three times a week, four hours each time. (Sound familiar?). So, in many, many ways we share are friends. And, I cherish you, your honesty and your creativity.

  80. Keep it up…looking forward to the new year and new cake pops! Great job!

  81. You are a source of inspiration! Happy New Year!

  82. Wow. What a year. May your 2012 have twice the joy and half the sorrows!

  83. I wish you all the best for 2012! And I just want to say; I love Cake Pops.
    Greetings from The Netherlands,
    Naomi

  84. So glad to see you’re doing so well, you’re such an inspiration!! May 2012 bring you and you familu nothing but the best!! Will you be coming up to Canada at all? I’m sure we’d love to have you up here!

    Ps, the circle of text in the picture of the Japanese book says “Japanese Version”!

  85. You are an amazing person who made an amazing journey… wow! thank you so much ;) i hope 2012 is a great year for you! maybe you could come over to england and do some book signings? we’d love to have you!

  86. What a bittersweet year. Here’s to a healthy and cakepop-filled 2012! (And maybe even a book signing in a dinky town like Dayton!)

  87. You amaze me bakerella! I have been amazed by your creativity and constant innovation but this year I have been following your posts even more regularly and you kept me amazed all year long! I wish you an amazing 2012!

  88. Thanks for your story in April my daughter who was 25 went in the hospital with a chronic kidney come. And was told she needed to go on dialysis, do 2 days later she was in surgery having a perm cath put in her neck for dialysis, and 1 week later back in for a Fiscula to be put in her ARM, after several more small surgeries another perm cath because the first one failed, she is doing pretty good we are going through the transplant paper work either her brother or Me will be the donor if possible, its good for her to hear about other people that are young and goining through the same thing, good luck I forwarded this to her her name is Ashley, I hope she will write you.

  89. Wow, so inspirational! You are so very strong and positive! I’m sure this post really helped others going through the same thing!

  90. Thank you so much for sharing, we were all praying for you and ta-da the prayers worked!!!! Be well and keep your creations coming, you inspire me!

  91. Thank you for sharing your story with us! I hope 2012 treats you well.

  92. Wow, this is such an inspirational post, you are such a fighter. Your mum is such an angel for donating her kidney to you too, I hope it all works out for you two. The Japanese in the circle says “Nihongobon” or “Japanese (language) edition”. ^^ That’s so amazing Cake Pops is now in Japanese! ^^ Good luck to you and your family for 2012! ^^

  93. You are an incredible woman. God bless you and your family. Thank you for creating such a happy little spot on the internet. It means so much to so many of us, as you can see! All the best in 2012. And many, many happy returns.

  94. I just received your Cake Pop kit in the post today! What an absolute treat and a great way to start 2012!

    Hope the new year brings you everything you hoped for and more!

    Maria xx
    http://www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

  95. THANK YOU for the super long update on your year. Even though it made me cry a little. Happy tears, though! I’m so glad you’re feeling better now and what an amazing thing to share with your mom. Here’s to many healthy happy years with your new kidney!

  96. Such a beautiful story about what you went through this year! It is so good to hear that you are feeling so much better. I also had major surgery this this year (but mine was not life threatening) and can relate to how scary it can be. It is definitely a plus to have good friends and family to help you through the difficult times. You are definitely an inspiration to everyone!!

  97. Love to read your blogs! Thanks for sharing your time and thoughts with us! So glad you are doing so well!

  98. Bravo!
    Have a wonderful 2012.

  99. What an amazing year you have been through! You are truly an inspiration! I wish you all the best for 2012!

  100. Wow! You’ve had a crazy year! You are such an amazing and inspirational person, Angie! I pray that you are blessed greatly in 2012 because you deserve it. So beautiful and talented!

  101. 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!

  102. 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!

  103. 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!

  104. 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…

  105. 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

  106. 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.

  107. 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

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

  109. 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!!!

  110. 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

  111. 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 :)

  112. 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.

  113. 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!!!

  114. 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!

  115. 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!

  116. 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.

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

  118. 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!

  119. 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! = )

  120. 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!!

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

  122. 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!

  123. 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

  124. 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

  125. 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!

  126. 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! :)

  127. 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?

  128. 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!

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

  130. 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!!!

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

  132. 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. :)

  133. 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! :)

  134. 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.

  135. 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

  136. Thanks for sharing !

  137. 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!

  138. 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!

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

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

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

  142. 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!

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

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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!!

  147. 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!

  148. 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 :-)

  149. 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.

  150. 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!

  151. 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.

  152. 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.

  153. 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.

  154. 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.

  155. 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. :)

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

  157. 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!

  158. 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!

  159. 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.

  160. 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

  161. 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

  162. 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!

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

  164. 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!!

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

  166. 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!!

  167. 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!

  168. 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 :)

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

  170. 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!!!!

  171. Many blessings may God prosper you in many ways.

  172. 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! :)

  173. 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!

  174. 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.

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

    Your blogger friend,
    Dina (buttercream bakehouse)

  176. Truly inspirational! Cheers to a great year!

  177. 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 :)

  178. 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!

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

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

  181. 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

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

  183. 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

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

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

  186. 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!!

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

  188. 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 !

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

  190. 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

  191. 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.

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

  193. 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!!

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

  195. 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!

  196. 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.

  197. 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!!

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

  199. 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..

  200. Love it :-) Happy New Year!

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

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