Friday, May 1, 2015

On Gratitude, and Chemo, Round 6

As I finish up Round 6 of chemo recovery (OK, I am really only 1/5 done with recovery, but whatever), I have been thinking today about all the things I'm grateful for. I feel like sharing.

* I am grateful I was guided to move to my parent's house before this adventure started.
* I am grateful I contracted pneumonia, since that was what got me to the doctor to find out about lymphoma.
* I am grateful I had lymphoma, which is a relatively easy cancer to treat (I've heard some stories from some amazing women about the brutal treatments they survived for other kinds of cancer).
* I am grateful I tolerated the treatments relatively well, and that I didn't end up in the hospital for some crazy complication.
* I am grateful I had 10 good days during every 21 day cycle.
* I am grateful that I gained the confidence to appear in public mostly-bald and that I (mostly) quit worrying what other people thought when they saw me.
* I am grateful for all the hats and scarves that were gifted to me that keep my head warm in over-air-conditioned buildings.
* I am grateful for the healing power of prayer, and for all the friends who prayed for me and supported me - from the nurse at Urgent Care when I was first diagnosed, to my high school biology teacher (whose influence, by the way, was the reason I studied biology in college), to friends from BYU and Boston, to friends (and even acquaintances) I met only a month before I was diagnosed, to my new co-workers who have known me for even less time, to my family... And this especially knowing that some of you prayed for me even while you were going through your own heart-wrenching challenges.
* I am grateful for the flowers friends and family sent me to bring my heart a little happiness.
* I am grateful for visits from friends on chemo days and days-after, and for the little gifts of encouragement that reminded me all would be well in the near future.
My Wall of Encouragement made my bedroom more cheery.
* I am grateful for protein shakes and protein bars and lemon ice cubes and the willpower to (mostly) avoid cookies and candy and sorbet during prednisone days.
* I am grateful for angel parents who support me emotionally and by making meals, taking me to doctor appointments, making sure I have what I need on bad days, and all the other little things that make a difference.
* I am grateful for a winter with no snow.
* I am grateful to live close to the Phoenix temple, and for all the fabulous people I've met there, and for the peace, healing, and revelation that come from being in a holy place.
* I am grateful that my hair is growing back (already! even though I had one more round of chemo two days after I noticed! Apparently my hair is as stubborn as I am and has decided that we're close enough to done, so it's time for things to get back to normal, by golly.)
* I am grateful to have been blessed with the gift of optimism.
* I am grateful for my work - because it's fun, because it reminds me that my Heavenly Father is watching over me, and because it distracts me from how I feel on the blah days.
* I am grateful for those who have called or texted or sent gifts of encouragement or asked me how I'm doing and really wanted to know.
* I am grateful for all the random things I've learned during this adventure, some of which are profound and some of which are silly, but all of which are now a part of me.
* I am grateful for the emails I get from my niece that make me laugh.
* I am grateful for the scriptures and the spiritual strength they have provided me.
* I am grateful for grace.
* I am grateful for a considerate benefits coordinator at my cancer center who, when she realized my benefits reset today, set me up with a totally legitimate and awesome perk that covered my deductible for the (otherwise expensive) white blood cell stimulation shot I needed.
* I am grateful I have good medical professionals to provide me with good medical care, and for the administrative staff who are always cheerful.
* I am grateful for my friends who take me on walks and listen to me talk.
* I am grateful for my friends and family who have offered me places to stay during my travels to Utah and to help with my upcoming move.
* I am grateful for miracles.
* I am grateful that even though I would normally feel lousy today, I am so happy to be on my last round of recovery that the happiness is masking some of the lousiness.

That's not all of it, but it's enough for now. :-)

I couldn't have done this alone, so thank you to anyone who played even a small part in my recovery. Seriously.

1 comment:

  1. I have learned much from all you are sharing through writing. Thank you for your example of optimism, faith and gratitude! You are in prayers...