Thursday, November 26, 2009

No, This is Not an Amex Ad

As you can see, I made a happy plate at our little Thanksgiving today! Boy does food taste better when chemo isn't the cocktail on the table. This time last year I had just had my first Tax-ALL the week of Thanksgiving and I still couldn't really taste the food from the first flight of chemo cocktails. Not to mention, the first week of Tax-ALL was probably one of the hardest weeks of my life. So so sore. I was a pretty good sport until after lunch, and then I pretty much went to bed for the weekend to put myself (and everyone else) out of my misery. The day after was really about the blackest Friday I've ever had. I was not very thankful and didn't even feel good enough to feel bad about that.

This year, not only was my plate happy, but my tastebuds are still dancing, in a Conga line with the thousand thankful thoughts parading through my head.

TGTWNACW: Thank God Thanksgiving Was NOT a chemo week. I can't tell you how thankful I was to sit at our Feast this year, with everything that has gone on in the past year. I know I could not see forward to this Thanksgiving last year. I know that is the point when I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do this. I feel a little like the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who never quite knew what he had in himself until Gandalf chose him to go on an adventure with the dwarves and he went "there and back again". I didn't not know I had it in me to get from point A: last Thanksgiving, to point B: today. And yet here I am! A tiny part of me is pleasantly surprised with myself. Who knew?! But for real I know God is the one and the reason I supped at point B today. With a thankful heart!

I am thankful that I got to taste the amazing Rachel Ray turkey we have made for the past three years. It is seriously the most Yum-O turkey ever.

I am thankful that my little girl was home from college to do her traditional part of the turkey prep, by dancing around our kitchen with "Feathers" before we buttered him up to get him into the pan, and then gave him a few glasses of white wine to make the ride a happy one.
I am thankful for the amazing team work Dave and I have in pulling off such a fabulous feast. Last year we just made the turkey and all my tennis buds brought us a bounty of sides, which was so fantastic of them. This year Dave and I made stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese shells, cranberry sauce, apple pie, green stuff, puppy chow. So much fun. And so delish.

I am thankful for the Thanksgiving mix we listened to while we cooked and feasted.

I am thankful we watched my favorite Thanksgiving movie, Pieces of April, while the turkey cooked. I love this tradition.

I am thankful for the family time around our candlelit dinner table, feasting away, fearless in the face of the subsequent food coma we all happily fell into.

I am thankful for couches to become rooted in during food coma. And our big screen TV. And the internet, that has allowed Mikey and I to catch up on Glee this Thanksgiving break. Glee makes me gleeful.

I am thankful that my Mum drove from Indy to have Thanksgiving with us, and a few friends as well, graced our home and presence throughout the day.

Speaking of my Mum, I am thankful about the update I have to report. Sorry it has taken me this long to get to it. Things have been spinning so fast it has been really impossible for me to sit still enough to process my thoughts and get them in writing where I can figure out what they are.

The news we got from the breast surgeon was about as good as it gets, not that it's going to be a ride in the park, but it was really the best news I had conjured up in my hopeful imagination. The Doc staged her at a 0, which is really good. Means we caught it really, really early. It was a cluster of cancer cells in a duct. But they had not gone invasive yet, so that was more really good news. Mine was invasive and aggressive and there is where the double mastectomy and chemo came into play. Thank God my Mum does not have to deal with chemo. The Doc gave her an option of a mastectomy or a lumpectomy and radiation. I was hoping hard against a mastectomy for my Mum, and was so relieved when she chose the lumpectomy/radiation route. The Doc said they were equal options according to my Mum's details and that she wouldn't get any bonus points for the mastectomy anyway. So Out Damn Spot it is. On December 8th. Then she will have about a month to recover before she starts up with the radiation. It will be 33 times, on Mondays - Fridays, for almost 7 weeks. Then, God willing she will be done with cancer. Please pray for my Mum's healing, and health, and for all the Little Red Door and Medicaid issues all work out to cover her medical expenses.

I am thankful for the Little Red Door Cancer Agency that provided her the free mammogram screening which found the cancer at this early stage where the prognosis is excellent for my Mum.

I am thankful for the irony of the fact that my Mum found this cancer via a mammogram the very same week the new guidelines came out basically dissing mammograms. I AM NOT THANKFUL ABOUT THE NEW GUIDELINES. If I had not found my own damn spot, I would not be scheduled for my first mammogram for 6 more years. I would not be here typing this if those guidelines were the gatekeepers to early diagnosis which led to my excellent prognosis.

I am thankful to still be around to know and love on my redheads as teenagers. They have grown into the most lovely/loving peeps. I really dig my kids.

I am thankful for my MacBook and the gift of writing to help me process all the cancer and chemo crap.

I am thankful for a late night followed by sleeping in.

I am thankful for the cup of coffee my hub will have waiting for me when I do rise and try to shine tomorrow.

I am thankful I have the whole weekend ahead of me still. And I have all of my redheads all weekend long.

I am thankful that on Monday I will have my second-to-last chemo cocktail!
I am thankful for all my fam and friends who have helped carry me to point B via prayer.

I am so very thankful. And about as happy as my plate.

Cheers and love,


Anonymous said...

Aww, great grateful post! I'm thankful for you, Julie Evans!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Julie, great attitude of gratitude!
Me too! So much to be thankful for...all the time.
Glad all your little taste buds were working good this Thanksgiving.
Will look for the blog on today's herceptin.
We prayed for you today,
Becky E and Chuckee

After Wave said...

"My tastebuds are still dancing, in a Conga line with the thousand thankful thoughts parading through my head."
Best line! You should be a food journalist.

Btw mom, that pic of me and feathers (haha, that grammar was just for you), was private...

Anonymous said...

I love this post! :)