I love Thanksgiving. As a holiday, I mean. (Two words: pumpkin pie. Two more: yeah, baby!)
However, as an act, the actual giving of thanks, well, I tend to like it in theory a lot more than I manage to accomplish it in practice. I wish that weren't the case, but too often it is.
This year, though, helped me a little bit in the whole "being thankful" department. Granted, that was after it threw me first into the "being scared I was going to die" department, but hey, go with what works, I guess. And the truth is, I don't think I'd ever given much deep thought to how thankful I am simply to exist, to be alive, until cancer forced me to realize the unwelcome fact that someday I won't be. Cancer may not be the thing that kills me, but something will. And there's nothing I can do about it.
I know that probably sounds both morbid and cliche, but oh well. It's still true. That's what makes me so grateful every time I slow down enough to notice that yes, I am in fact still breathing and what a miraculous gift that is.
Also, when I look back on this year, it seems like every horrible thing that happened opened a door to something good. Here's a few examples of what I mean:
Finding out I had cancer = horrible.
Friends and family who rallied around me, held me, prayed for me, encouraged me = wonderful.
Losing my hair = horrible.
Finding out to my surprise that I actually like how I look with short hair when it started to grow back = pretty cool.
Chemotherapy = HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE.
Friends who sat with me during treatments and parents who cared for me after each one = AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME.
I could go on. And since it IS Thanksgiving Day, I will! I'm thankful that my cancer symptoms waited to flare up until after I'd returned from Thailand; just a week sooner, and I might have had to be treated in a Bangkok hospital, awfully far from friends and family. I'm thankful for the doctor and nurses who took care of me and never made me feel like just another number, and never rushed through spending time with me to answer questions and concerns. I'm thankful for the countless people (even some strangers) who told me I looked beautiful even when I had no hair, barely any eyebrows, and just a handful of lonely eyelashes left. Though I still can't run as I used to, I'm thankful that I can run at all.
And I'm so, so thankful that I'm in remission.
I don't know what the future holds and I confess I still get scared. My CT scan is in a few weeks and I don't know what I'll do if, God forbid, anything turns up. But today, I'm working on being thankful. And you know what? It's not nearly as hard as I thought. After all, there is so much for me to be thankful for. Amen.
With kisses, hugs, and lots of thanksgiving love from the frogg princess...