© 2011 . All rights reserved. Daisy in a Fence

Looking Back and Giving Thanks

The turkey is still thawing, the pies are baking, but yesterday was November 22, and it was a thanksgiving day for me.

November 22, 2010. I was alone in my bedroom when the phone rang. Though it was still morning my husband was in charge of my grandmother’s memorial service, so he had gone ahead to the church to see that everything there was in order. I was expecting test results, but when the voice on the phone said “The doctor would like for you to come in to the office this afternoon” I knew a bad day was about to get worse.

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since my husband and I left my grandmother’s graveside in order to meet with that doctor. The 365 days since the word “cancer” became attached to my existence have brought struggles and difficulties that I expected, and even greater blessings and joys that I did not expect.

I could list some of the obviously unpleasant pieces of the story. The waiting. Surgery. Recovery. External radiation. Effects of radiated intestinal system. A unexpectedly miserable two hour experience with full bladder and an internal radiation cylinder while physicist did some “study” to calculate radiation doses. Chemotherapy. Bald head. Compromised immune system. Fuzzy memory…or maybe I already had that, I can’t remember. Tiredness. The list is long, and some items are too silly or personal to share, but surprisingly most of these things have already become distant memories. Of all of them, there is one that is firmly embedded in my mind and stands out clearly as the worst. It was the absolute dread and sadness of sharing the news with my family.

2010 had already had its struggles. My husband had lost his father in April. My mom was bitten by a rattlesnake in June, my brother died unexpectedly later that month. Grandmother had fought the MRSA infection that hospitalized her in June, but she was weary, and now the day had come to lay her to rest.

Didn’t the day have enough sorrow for my family, without me adding to it? It seemed unfair to add this worry.

My husband and I made the calls. We had the talks. We shared the news. We added uncertainty into lives that were already unsettled by loss.

I am grateful for the strength and resilience my family has shown since that day and for all the unexpected joys I have experienced. We will eat turkey and pie tomorrow, but yesterday was a special day of thanksgiving for me. So many, from near and far away, have touched my life this year. November 22 was a day for remembering each of you. I have been blessed by your caring. And I am thankful.




  1. Connie Chrane
    Posted 23 Nov ’11 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    What a blessing that I found your post this morning. Congratulations on all the battles you have conquered this year… I wish you hadn’t had to face them but you have done it with such grace! You have been a great example and encouragement to so many of us as you have done it and shared it with us through modern technology! Thank you for who you are and what you have meant to me for so many years… I’m glad we have reconnected and hope to continue our visits more frequently. I pray that this next year is a healthy one with many new blessings showered on you. I love you!

    • Posted 26 Nov ’11 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Connie. From the first day I was a new girl in a new school you have been there for me. I was thankful for you then and I am still thankful today.

  2. Joy
    Posted 24 Nov ’11 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Laura for your courage and your example

    • Posted 26 Nov ’11 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      I appreciate your prayers and encouragement all along the way. Thank you for journeying with me!

  3. Posted 10 Jan ’12 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Your writing about cancer has really touched me. Our family is keeping your family in our prayers. May 2012 be full of blessings and good news.

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