Again, in no particular order, I will forever be grateful for:
- All my Evergreen (and Lake Washington School District) staff that shared their sick leave with me. I ran out of my own sick leave in December of 2012. On the advice of all my doctors (and my own common sense), it was necessary to stay out of the building through June, 2013, and again this fall during radiation and after my recent surgery. (Let's be honest, middle schools are a hotbed of germs, and you know what? There's no prize at the end for working too hard and running myself down). I can never return the favor to these people, nor can I express my level of gratitude for the opportunity to get healthy while not worrying about losing my benefits.
- All of those friends who volunteered to drive me to radiation every day, and to those random doctor appointments/scans when Keith was out of town. You made the process so much less lonely and it was great to have a friendly face there.
- My daughter's 5th grade year went by in a blur. There are so many families who made sure that her last year of elementary school was smooth and enjoyable and that she could participate in all the activities that she wanted to. I could do an entire post on ALL the things she did and places she went and the people at the heart of taking care of her. It truly does take a village, and some day I'm going to owe so many sleepovers and favors! I tear up every time I think about this amazing group of people.
- My friend who put together the care calendar so friends/family/neighbors/ could sign up to deliver us groceries as well as meals for the family several times a week. And to EVERYONE that did sign up. This small gesture of love relieved so much stress in our lives. Some of you signed up multiple times! A certain neighbor saved me every chemo week with homemade soup just for me! The friends from far away who called in pizza delivery. And those that sent gift cards instead so we could use as we needed. Especially the Subway cards...which I made Keith pick up for me every week during chemo.
- Several people deserve love for organizing fundraisers to support me throughout this process. Online and in person fundraisers were held, and the money raised was MUCH NEEDED to make a dent in the rising tide of medical bills. The students who attended and performed, their families who donated, friends, family, my dad's coworkers, random community members...everyone who donated in person or anonymously. Cannot express my gratitude enough!
- Our soccer family for seeing us through this process and always being supportive! It's the teenage boy's last year with this team and I will be sad to not see these people every week.
- The friends at work who organized the students into making a GIANT book of love, full of quotes, pictures, drawings, reading recommendations, poems, handwritten notes, and just a lot of love from my Evergreen family. It was completed and presented at just the right time last spring to keep me going during a pretty dark time.
- The wonderful friends who made sure we had a place to be last Christmas Eve. No one had any idea how I'd be right after that first round of chemo (other than REALLY depressed about not being in Hawaii), but they took care of all us and made the entire evening easy and full of love. I'd offer to return the favor this year, but they'll have to come to Hawaii to take me up on it.
- My dear friend who took charge of making sure Pantry Packs continued running smoothly. I will never be able to repay the favor for how she jumped in and made many things happen. Tearing up again...
Again, just some thoughts that come to my chemo-addled brain right now. So many people taking care of us, so little time to say thanks. Stay tuned this week for more!