Continuing the gratitude posts today with some quick thoughts on how much difference one year can make.
Last Thanksgiving, we were in Las Vegas (as usual) to celebrate with family. But there was nothing usual about that trip. Don't get me wrong, I was grateful to be there...grateful that I had forced the doctors into letting me go (or maybe I forgot to mention that I was going??), grateful for my dad who paid for the airline ticket so I wouldn't have to sit in the car for 17 hours each way while trying to heal from a 2nd surgery, grateful for family that was there and especially for my "adopted" family that was able to join us.
But, in the back of my mind, my thoughts were swirling. What if this is the last vacation that we take together? I should be making the most of this vacation, but how? I was making an inventory of all the things I was going to miss in my children's lives. What if the treatments don't work? What is going to happen when I start chemo in a couple of weeks? What if the scans never come back clean? (They still haven't...fingers crossed for the upcoming one in December). What's going to happen to my kids? My family? Me????
And to top it all off, I was exhausted during this vacation. I napped quite a bit, I couldn't walk everywhere like I thought. I hadn't even started treatments (other than some surgeries) and already I was feeling the effects of this angry cancer in my body. (Little did I know that this exhaustion was nothing to what I feel on a daily basis now, but at the time, I really did feel "sick." And maybe it was simply because doctors had put that "C" word in my head).
Fast forward to this Thanksgiving. I'm back here, in Vegas with the family. We are ENJOYING every minute of this trip. Food, shows, the gorgeous penthouse we were upgraded to. ENJOYING. EVERY. MINUTE. (This is the view from the "reading room").
And that's what I'm thankful for today...that I am here. That the HORRIBLE last year-plus that I have endured has kept me alive to enjoy another Thanksgiving. That has me looking forward three weeks when we will be off to Hawaii for a return to our annual Christmas vacation, which I have missed desperately throughout all of this.
I am grateful for the doctors/surgeons that I LOVE and that have taken such good care of me. The nurses that laughed with me. The receptionists that always knew me by name and commiserated with me about the teenage boy. My favorite pharmacy gal Megan who literally saved my sanity.
I am grateful that I trusted these people enough to let them do almost anything they wanted to do to my body. And I'm grateful that "Bring. It. On." is actually a good attitude to have and that it served me well.
I am grateful that I survived it ALL. Everything they threw at me.
And as I head out to enjoy yet another amazing meal in Vegas, I will leave you with a thought that I stole from one of my favorite author's Facebook posts this morning: I am grateful for the resilience that comes from having scars!