Just a few more days until Thanksgiving……..and while I’ve always loved Thanksgiving…….this holiday has taken on an even more significant meaning to me over the past few years. Thanksgiving 2020 marks three years since I finished up my chemo. So much has happened in those three years……I went on to complete radiation and get a clean bill of health. Every cancer patient’s favorite three letters are NED – No Evidence of Disease! I’m overjoyed to say that I have continued to show no evidence of disease since then! Praise God!
That’s not to say that there haven’t been some hiccups along the way……but all in all, I have done exceptionally well.
Thanksgiving of 2017 was definitely one to celebrate. I was more than thankful to have twelve rounds of chemo in my rear view mirror. Mostly, I wanted to be able to taste all the food I loved again! 🙂 I remember whining a bit that year because I was struggling with some mouth sores. It didn’t take my mom long to put me in check……and remind me how blessed I had been through all my treatments. She was right – but I was still not happy about the mouth sores!
Celebrating Thanksgiving that year was very humbling for me. I didn’t have to look far to realize just how blessed I had been, and that I had oh, so much, to be thankful for. Thankful to have half of my treatments behind me…….thankful to have survived chemo with minimal collateral damage……thankful to have been blessed with the support of friends and family…….thankful for AHHHmazing doctors and nurses…….thankful to live in such close proximity to a world class cancer center…..thankful for friends and folks I didn’t even know praying for me…..and thankful that God had healed me and allowed me the privilege to still be here.
I’ve struggled some this year with lymphedema in my left arm and breast. Along with that came a bout with cellulitis – but my doctors reacted quickly, got me in PT right away and later had me outfitted for an in-home lymphedema pump that I use daily for an hour of lymphatic massage. I had been doing really well until the last few weeks, and it flared up again……so I’m back in PT several times a week from now until the first of the year…….wearing that dang compression sleeve every day…….and a different compression sleeve at night…….and still doing the 60 minutes lymphatic massage an hour each day. It’s hard to believe that removing one dang lymph node has caused all these problems. Well, honestly, radiation did a number on my lymph nodes as well. In the grand scheme of things, I’ll take the excess lymphatic fluid over cancer ANY day!
So this week, as I celebrate my 3rd “anniversary” of completing chemo…..I have much to be thankful for! 2020 has been a most unusual year – and mostly we are all quick to list off the many ways that 2020 has sucked……and it definitely has…….but there’s been a lot of good things about 2020 as well. I know for us, the pandemic forced us to slow down and spent much more time TOGETHER at home, which has been really nice! We’ve had to be creative about how we do things and it’s forced us to think outside the box! I challenge each of you to focus on the good that 2020 has brought into your life.
I pray that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy time with your family and friends that are like family!
Here’s a link to my 2017 Thanksgiving post…….
Colossians 3:15-17 The Message
15-17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.