I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
As Thanksgiving approaches and we start reflecting on what we’re thankful for, cancer is probably not real high on anyone’s list. But it is on mine, and here’s why.
It was caught early. My cancer hadn’t spread yet so I didn’t need chemotherapy. It was so early stage it wouldn’t have shown up in a self-exam, so I’m also very thankful for digital mammograms.
It gave me a lifelong appreciation of medical professionals. I’m lucky in that I have a wonderful family doctor I’ve seen for more than 15 years, but with mostly annual visits I never gave health care much thought. Getting breast cancer gave me a front-row seat to the medical profession, as my journey involved five surgeries and dozens of visits with a general surgeon, plastic surgeon and oncologist in addition to my doctor. I will always be grateful to them for their skill, humor and compassion. Their nurses and staff, and the hospital nurses who took care of me during my overnight stays, are also high on my gratitude list.
They’re perky. Probably the less said about this one the better; but suffice it to say my plastic surgeon is beyond gifted when it comes to reversing gravity’s effects.
It made me realize how much people care. This one is practically a cancer cliché but think about it. Clichés are trite because they’re overused, but perhaps they’re overused because they’re true. We go through so much of our lives caught up in our routines that we hardly notice the people we care for, and who care for us, until something like cancer happens. Finding yourself surrounded by so much love and care is both humbling and uplifting.
It gave me part of myself back. One of the obvious benefits of cancer is reconnecting with friends and family, but old loves like art and music may reappear in your life as well. In my case, I started writing poetry again. I hadn’t written or published anything for nearly 20 years and I really thought that part of my life was over. I’m so grateful to have it back and I hope I never lose it again.
But enough about me. How about you? What are you thankful for?