2008 was a year full of things for me, too.
My signature says some of it.
I'm still new with Dx and a bit of info overload, but this site has helped a lot...
I went on a major get "re-fit" program about 12 months ago...working out with weights and other stuff...in the midst of the early pain...only to get floored a few weeks ago with Dx.
And, I found out I'm going to be a grandfather in March (any day now)...so...go figure
I agree...life is a very, very precious thing. Living it the best is important.
Merry Christmas and all the best in the upcoming year.