First and foremost, I'm thankful that I am almost tumor free. For someone with an extremely rare cancer for which there is no conventional treatment, that's pretty nifty. I have Dr. Georgiades and his wonderful staff to thank for that.
I'm thankful for my circle of friends and family who have been with me through the good and the bad. Knowing that I'm not alone is the best healing agent of all. You know who you are, and I can never thank you enough.
I'm thankful for my medical team - conventional and alternative - and I hope that someday they can meet each other.
I'm thankful that this country will see new leadership soon, and in these difficult times, we need leadership.
I'm thankful for my home, my job and the incredible support my company has given me, my slightly neurotic dog, whom I love to pieces, Bruce Springsteen's upcoming new album and tour, and all the little things, like soy ice cream and snow days.
I'm thankful for my faith and my spiritual journey - one which leads me to amazing places and people who take my breath away with their wisdom and relevance.
And I'm also thankful for the perspective that cancer has given me. I have experienced many angles of cancer:
You are cancer free / You have metastasis and will need systemic treatment for the time that you have left;
We're going to treat this like every other invasive breast cancer, so you will need 8 rounds of chemotherapy / There is no chemotherapy that will work for your type of cancer;
Maybe radiation is an option / You have too many tumors for radiation;
We've removed part of your lung already, and we'll operate again if we need to / Your tumors are inoperable;
We're sorry and we wish you the best of luck / We can ablate all 8 of your remaining metastatic tumors.
These experiences have given me a window into a disease that allows me to relate to just about any cancer survivor. Although it's been a rough road, I think that this perspective is a gift, and I'm grateful for it.
Lastly, I'm thankful for this very moment and the potential of the next.
CANcer + HEALth = CAN HEAL