Thankful? For cancer? Not really. But as Americans gather this week to celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to share gifts I found scattered all over cancer’s path. For these treasures, I am grateful.
“Who’s Gail?” My husband asked, handing me another card from this incredible stranger in Flower Mound, Texas. A friend of my sister, she learned about my cancer and sent me many encouraging cards and gifts. I’m thankful for Gail and others like her who showed me the power of compassion, and I vow to pass that gift forward.
“You have three months,” my doctor said. Before my diagnosis, I made an effort to value life. But something changes when you come close to mortality. I understand better now that every minute is precious.
“Cancer was my year off from the world,” a nurse told me. He had gone through treatment, too, and said I’d get through it with a lot of sleep. I still find myself overcome with exhaustion sometimes and, unlike before, I don’t fight it. I am thankful that cancer gave me the sense to take better care of myself.
“I think I’m having a heart attack,” my husband said. It was nearly midnight, and we were still driving home from chemotherapy. We pulled the car to the shoulder and dialed 911. The paramedics told us it was stress-induced anxiety and that when his wife recovered, Gary would, too. That experience reinforced to me how deeply our lives are intertwi