Wednesday, November 21, 2012

There is Always Something to be Thankful About

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't share what I am thankful for on the day before Thanksgiving? 

I am sure most of you can imagine what I am thankful for, since many of us are thankful for the same things- God, family, friends, a home, and our health. Well, today I am being thankful with a bit of a twist.  Last week, I had an “I hate Melanoma” session on my notepad after a particularly rough day. That post hasn’t been published- yet. But today, I want to talk about all the things I am thankful for that, without melanoma, I may have never experienced. It’s tough to be grateful to something as awful as “the beast”, but even the worst of things have a little good.

Since being diagnosed with melanoma, I am thankful for:

-The texts, instant messages, tweets, calls, and emails from family, friends, and acquaintances throughout the last five months.

-The moment, during the days right after my diagnosis, where for the first time in my life, I felt absolutely certain that I, with all my imperfections, am truly loved by God.

-The pauses I now take while playing, laughing, and rolling on the floor with my kids, in order to take in and appreciate the moment.

-The people, near and dear to me daily, who wouldn’t allow me to be anything BUT strong since my diagnosis.

-The appreciation I now have for the fact that I have very little alone time. It is only in those moments, that I allow this beast to get to my very soul and break me down.

-The scar on my neck that I was certain I would take every effort to hide. I am thankful that instead, I love it and wear it as a badge of honor.

-The opportunity to have seen and felt how much I am loved. Most people don’t show this much concern or affection for others until that person has passed from this life. I get to see it while I am still here.

-The fact that so far, I have been lucky with this awful disease. I had surgery and that was the end of my treatment. So many wonderful people young and old, have faced more surgery and very unpleasant treatment.

-It is now MUCH easier for me to tell someone other than my family- I love you, I care about you.   You are special to me.  Why not?

-My realization that life, even mine, really and truly is precious.

-I have even more drive to spread the word to younger people to love themselves for who they already are and stop trying to change.

-My introduction to an amazing community of strong, inspirational, and supportive action takers.  The melanoma community. 

-A great job with GREAT insurance. Below is a picture from the monthly statements I receive.  99% of the total under Amount Billed was incurred in the last 5 months. Take a look at my savings so far. I didn't even have any radiation or chemo.  Thank God for insurance.

-The Starbucks and Einstein Bagels near the MD Anderson Center/ORMC. This way I am able to give myself a treat on each and every visit. Unfortunately, these visits are NOT covered by the great insurance I was speaking about. I am working on it. :)

-I feel like I am making progress in my long going journey to find my voice and place in this life.

Finally- I am grateful for what happened at my ultrasound appointment today.  I did not have to have a biopsy. According to the lady performing the ultrasound, after showing the pictures to the radiology dudes, the area is 3mm wide and too small to be biopsied, so we will have to wait and watch. The last time this area was measured it was over a centimeter wide, which was the reason for concern. It is now 7mm smaller.  I sure hope I am understanding this correctly. As you can see from my use of great medical terminology above- radiology dudes- there is a chance for some miscomprehension.  Unless I hear different, there are three more months until my next CT scan.

As always, thank you for taking time to read.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Until next time, practice safe sun!!!

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