The time of year has arrived that has many of us recalling the things that we are thankful for. There are a lot of things on my list. The thing is, a lot of those things are possible and increased in value because of one specific thing I am thankful for. Those who know me or have read my posts before can guess what that is I'm sure. (I'm not afraid to guess that every cancer survivor has a list somewhat like mine)
I am thankful that my cancer was caught early.
Because. It was much easier to treat. I underwent the biopsy that confirmed that I had cancer. I had a lumpectomy followed by radiation treatments. Put in a couple of sentences it is made to sound easy- it wasn't- but it was easier.
Because. I am still here. I am still able to spend time with my family. We have always been a close family, caring for each other, looking out for each other, always having each other's back. Even though my cancer was in 2008 and I'm fine now- I will forever in my memory see the expression on my brother's face when he found out. It is not fun when you are having to realize and admit that we are not immortal or invincible. I'm thankful that I am still a target for family teasing and hugs. That I'm getting to see the next generation being born. I can still visit with family, talk with them over the phone, online or in person. Laughing, discussing, educating, continuing on with life...together.
Because. I am still here. I am getting to see what a fine young man my son has-and continues- to become. We get to laugh and joke and deal with the every day things. We get to explore the virtual worlds in video games and the real world and its happenings. I can still work on that process of growing old with my husband. Continue with all of those plans that we tend to make and that bucket list that is ever growing.
Because. I am still here. I can take those long walks in the woods, listening to the wildlife and birds around me. I can feel the leaves and grass underfoot. I can watch the ripples dance across the pond and see the trees dancing in the breeze as I watch clouds drift past, their reflections sailing across the surface of the pond. Hearing and seeing the fish as they break water jumping for a meal. Hear the deer blowing in the distance of running away if I get too close for comfort. Seeing the beauty of wildlife as they move about in the woods. This time of year I'm enjoying the variety of colors painting the landscape, should we get snow this year that blanket of white will change the scenery entirely as will spring and the new life that comes with it.
Because. I am still here. I can go places. I can visit the local ones, the parks, the museums, the stores. I can walk without worries, seeing and exploring. I can go alone, or with friends. I can when time and finances allow wander off a little farther. Enjoying the differences, sights, sounds and feelings.
Because. I am still here. I can still enjoy the company of friends and the solitude of my walks. I can work. I can play. I can dream. I can attempt to do everything that I possibly can to help others find themselves in the same place. Survivor.
Because-- the list is longer. But I won't drag it out. I'm thankful for being a survivor. I'm thankful that I have people who support me in my Relay activities. I'm thankful that over the course of time more and more people are surviving cancer. We can do this.... we can work together to change the statistics. We can win -- finish the fight. We can beat cancer ....together. And knowing that, makes me thankful.
Join me? Join my team or create your own. Participate, donate, help those who are fighting win, help those who have won..help others. So they can say the things that they are thankful for and one of those be they are a survivor.