What Are You Thankful For?

“What are you thankful for?”

This was the question posed to us last Sunday at the Little Green Church. What am I thankful for? This year, the usual suspects – family, friends, job, the freedom to worship, being an American, good health, and so forth – feel like wholly inadequate responses. I’ve survived three breast biopsies, twenty-two weeks of chemo, an ER visit, one hospital stay for a hosed (as in ZERO) white blood count combined with 102 fever, isolation from family and friends as a result of treatment, nausea, hair loss, rashes on steroids, neuropathy, fatigue and so much more. I played Russian roulette with a trial drug and won.

My breasts are now recycled and put together from other body parts with a little more tweaking to do before they look “normal.” There have been multiple surgeries and scars now live on skin that was once untouched and clear and clean from such roadmaps. But, I am cancer free. One more surgery still waits in my future. But, I am cancer free. Three months after chemo, my hair is only a quarter of an inch long (and definitely no longer red) and some say I look like a middle aged “boy.” But, I am cancer free. I still have difficulty rolling over at night and sleeping on my stomach on these new and improved breasts. But, I am cancer free. I still tire much more easily than before and the effort of fully participating in today’s festivities will probably cost me a nap tomorrow. But, I am cancer free.

Do you hear these words? I am cancer free! Can you feel these words deep in your soul? I AM CANCER FREE! How do you articulate gratitude and thankfulness at being given the gift of your life? How do I answer the question: “What are you thankful for?”

I am thankful that when man said no, God said yes and healed me and gave me back my life. I am thankful for the countless number of family and friends who loved me, sustained me and encouraged me on this incredible journey. I am thankful for the doctors and nurses who were true healers and who were as thrilled about the outcome of treatment as I was. I am thankful for life. I am thankful for health.

I am cancer free.

I am thankful.

©2013. Mary Kyle. All rights reserved.

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