November 22, 2012

THANKSGIVING DAY 2012

I have had one person (I am not going to mention any names here) who mentioned today that this has not been a good Thanksgiving because this has not been a good year for our family.  I am going to go out on a limb and say that that I can think of many things to be thankful for.  It will be a stretch to say I am thankful that I have breast cancer, but I can definitely say that I am thankful that it was caught when it was.  It could have been so much worse.  And for that, I have to be thankful.  In the last 2 1/2 months I have gone through a bilateral mastectomy.  At times after that surgery I was in so much pain that I honestly didn’t know how I was going to go on.  I had issues with taking my pain medication, and I know that made it harder on myself than it needed to be.  But going through this I discovered that the love that my husband has for me was greater than I could have ever imagined.  I also discovered that a long time friendship with Nick’s cousin, Christine, is something that I never want to slip away from me again.  After years of sporadic contact after being close when we were younger, I have found a true friend.  She was here with me and Nick and cared for me physically and mentally, cared for Nick mentally, and showed such love and compassion for our two children that there will never be a way for me to repay her.  A friendship like that is something to be thankful for everyday.

I also have two children to be thankful for.  Beckie and Domenic have stepped up and have been helping out around the house more and taking care of me on top of going to school and Beckie is always working part time.  They have both been a blessing to me and a major source of thankfulness.  I also have my mom to be thankful for.  She has stepped up and has been caregiver to me when Nick had to work and has turned her van into a taxi for the kids to get them to doctor appointments and work when needed.  Without Mom we would have been lost.  So I am very thankful for her.

In addition to the mastectomy, I have gone through another surgery to have a port inserted so that I could have my chemo treatments.  That was another scary day for me. However, I had Nick by my side and holding my hand.  For that, I have to be thankful.  I have so many scars on my body now, but I am thankful for them because it means that I am here to fight another day to be with my family.

One October 4th, my first day of chemo, I was a nervous wreck.  But I had Nick standing there with me, holding my hand, and cheering me on the whole way.  He has cheered me up when I am down, made me laugh…and made me cry with his thoughtfulness and caring. How can I not be thankful for him?  I have lost all of my hair..which as you know, I had a lot of hair!  I feel lost without it.  But I can be thankful that it will grow back.

I have two more months of chemo to go, but I am thankful for this also because it means that it is giving me a better chance of survival.  And for that I have to give a big thanks!  The same goes for the chance of radiation after chemo.  If I have to do it, I will be thankful because it is again increasing my chances for survival.  I am seriously dreading more surgery, but I know that it will help to put me back to the way I was before.  Not exactly, but close.  And for this I am again thankful.

I have had such overwhelming support from so many people.  Family, friends, neighbors, Nick’s co-workers..it has been unbelievable.  And for that, I am thankful.

I hope that I can come out on the other side of this journey and say that I am a better person.  Stronger.  More caring.  Compassionate.  Loving.  And for that, I will again be thankful.

So overall, this Thanksgiving hasn’t gone as I would have planned it, but I was able to be here with my family, and for that…you guessed it…I am thankful.

Love you all!

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