Given that Thanksgiving is this week I am trying to practice an attitude of gratitude. I'm currently in a bit of a tamoxifen slump (tired, achy, tight muscles, not sleeping through the night), but I find that documenting all I am thankful for will at least keep my spirits up.
Without further ado, here is what I'll be saying at the Thanksgiving table that I am thankful for.
Modern Medicine. I complain and curse a lot (A LOT) about tamoxifen. But, the more I research and the more I find out how recent all of the developments to breast cancer treatment are the more I have to be grateful for. I mean tamoxifen has only been around for 40 years. It's only in the past couple of years that they have increased the length of treatment from 5 to 10 years because they have seen that large of a benefit from extended treatment. As long as I'm not hot flashing, I'm thankful for it.
Modern medicine also helped bring so much joy into my family, in the perfect little being that is my niece. It helps fill my cell phone with photos; it helps my parents engage anyone who makes eye contact to hear about their new grandbaby; it completes my brother and his fiance's family.She has replaced cancer and the Patriots as top family discussions. It's awesome.
Access to healthcare. I don't care about your political beliefs. If your a cancer survivor you know how important it is for everyone in the country to have access to healthcare. And high quality health care at that. Living in Massachusetts you sometimes forget that the rest of the country doesn't have access to the same level of care that we have here (and my bias is showing). It's heartbreaking for me to read all the stories of those who have perished from breast cancer because they didn't have access. I hope in the coming years there are fewer of these stories.
My co-survivors. My support system. My cheerleaders who still support me in all I do. Those who listen thoughtfully to my frustrations. Those who celebrate with me for every survivorversary and encourage me to celebrate in whatever way I want. Those who keep pushing me to move out of my comfort zone. And those who always have time to look at pictures, eat cookies and share laughs.
My mom's mashed potatoes. Listen, my love of this particular food is well documented. I am so excited to eat my weight in them this year. I can't wait.
Happy Thanksgiving. Giving thanks will make you happy. How great is that?