Today is Thanksgiving Day, a day in which Americans honor their Pilgrim ancestors at Plymouth and give thanks for all the good in their lives. It is a time where families gather to enjoy (or fight), eat good food and watch football. At the end of the day, it is all “back to normal.”
I fit right into those adhering to the normal rights and rituals of Thanksgiving for 62 years of my life, until I had a rude awakening. It was on Tuesday, November 22, 2016, two days before Thanksgiving, that I was officially diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer and began treatment. My life has not been the same since.
That Thanksgiving was a blur for me. I went through the motions, but my heart was not in it. Instead, I was still reeling from the shock of learning I had cancer, wondering how long I had left to live. My goal was to live to see the next Thanksgiving.
During the following year, I went through all the emotions that one could imagine having to deal with all that came with cancer and treatments. Ups and downs, I had it all. But I had a great team of Doctors and Nurses working together to keep me alive.
Over the first year, somewhere along the way, something happened. I stopped thinking about my future. Instead, each morning when I awoke, I greeted the day as a day to be savored and enjoyed. If it were to be my last day, fine. I will have gone out on a good note.
Friends and family became much more important to me. Those who I did not really care for, I just elected not to have anything to do with them. Why let them “bring me down?”
Thanksgiving Day is now a “rebirth” for me. It is something to really look forward to and to enjoy beyond the food and football. Each year, it begins the “rest of my life.”
Today, three years after diagnosis, I am in partial remission. The cancer has been stopped through various medications, though it still exists in my body. My outlook for living is a guess, but people in the same condition as I am can live ten to fifteen years or longer with the new treatments.
My heartfelt thanks and gratitude go out to my wonderful team of Doctors and Nurses that make each visit and treatment so easy on me.
I also give the same heartfelt thanks and gratitude to friends and family who have offered so much incredible support when I am down.
And I give heartfelt thanks to Mark and the other moderators here who have had to deal with me during the hard times when I would “go off” for no rational reason, usually when the medications got too much to handle.
Finally, I give thanks to all of my wonderful on-line Disqus friends here and at other websites who have offered their own support and cheer, pulling me through both the best of times and the worst of times.
Wishing you all the best for Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season. May you have such wonderful times and pleasant memories as I will have and enjoy.
And again………my Heartfelt Thanks and Gratitude for everything!