Be grateful for what you have in your life. What you have right now is just what you’re supposed to have, be happy with it and don’t look for something else. Be here now, this is what you’re supposed to be doing. The biggest mistake would be if you didn’t learn from it.
So it’s Thanksgiving 2010 and I’m trying to figure out what I’m most thankful for this year. It’s complicated, because there’s a lot I’m NOT thankful for this year, and I can’t be dishonest about that. But today is a day of thanks, so I guess I’ll focus on the good stuff.
Most of all, I’m thankful for my kids.
I didn’t have kids until I was 39 and 41 respectively, and it completely transformed my life. It felt like I literally fell in love with them when they were born. It’s not what I had expected, it was way more intense and way more obsessive. I would daydream about them when I wasn’t with them, I would wonder what they were doing (come on, they were infants, 60% of the time they were sleeping and the rest of the time they were eating, pooping, gazing at their hands and babbling, but yes, I wondered what they were doing).
As they grew and started to develop their own personas, I fell in love all over again. They both have such strong and developed personalities. Both are astounding to me, I’m so impressed at how self-confident they are, how sure of themselves they are, how smart, how funny, how quirky, how happy. During this whole crazy year of breast cancer, friends always ask, “How are the kids doing?” and I have to say, they’re doing just fine.
During the worst of the chemo, they would bring me right back to reality. Kids at their age are so self-absorbed (it’s their right, they’re SUPPOSED to be self absorbed at this age) and their constant demands for rides to their friends houses, for sleepovers, for $20.00, for food and for attention…..pulled me out of some of my worst funks during chemo.
They’re curious about the illness which makes it easier for me. If they’d been all scared and hesitant to discuss, it would have been harder, but since they wanted to know, I told them details. My favorite conversations were the discussions about losing my hair. They were both really into it – they thought it would be so cool and kept telling me that I should wear “cool hats” although I never really figured out where I was supposed to find said “cool hats.”
Then one time my son and I were alone in the car after my first chemo was done but my hair hadn’t come out yet, and he said to me,”Maybe you’ll be the 1 in a million who doesn’t lose her hair,” and I knew then that he knew what we were all in for.
It was pretty much the sweetest thing he’d ever said to me, ’cause he really meant it, and in that optimistic 12 1/2 year old way, thought that maybe we’d miraculously avoid it. I didn’t pull any punches, just told him as kindly but firmly as I could, that all of my hair was going to come out, but that I was prepared and it would be fine. And it was.
The other things I’m most thankful for this year, are friends and family. I have the best friends. They make me laugh. They let me cry. They listen. They bring me home-cooked meals that are way better than anything I can cook, and send me flowers, cards and chocolates. They each, in their own way, deal with my medical procedures. Some of them want explicit details, some just want the top-line, but all of them ask, listen and encourage me.
And last of all, today I’m thankful that my almost 13 year old son (his birthday is in December) is feeling a bit better. He’s been up since 2:00 a.m. last night, throwing up with a fever of 101. It sort of messed up our Thanksgiving so only my husband and daughter were able to go to the family dinner (I can’t drive because of the Vicodin and one of us has to stay home with my son), but when they all come home later today, we’re going to watch the movie “ELF” together and laugh ourselves silly (Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?).
I’m thankful that I felt good enough myself, that at 2:00 a.m, when my son announced that he was throwing up, I could get up and help him. Poor kid. Also grateful that I found some ginger ale in the house for him, since water just seems to come back up. Wow, a plethora of gratitude today.
I’m recuperating nicely and getting used to this crazy expander in my chest (feels like a metal vise is over my ribs) and will just have to have patience until it’s out in February when they can swap it for the real implants. It’s a pretty creepy procedure and I’m still not sure how much I want to go into detail on here, but I’m okay today.
So……Happy Thanksgiving. We’ll probably get our Christmas tree this weekend. Enjoy the time with family, eat lots of turkey and stuffing and sleep well.