2010: My Greatest Gift
Dec. 15, 2010 7:02 am
Updated: Jan. 7, 2011 6:21 pm
As we approach the end of the year, many of us reflect upon the previous year(s) and ponder where we would be if certain events had not occurred. Our fondest memories involve the emotional interactions with family and friends that impacted and redirected
Most of you know, this previous year was not a good year for me. Health issues have brought me to my knees and made my life... guess what... far, far
better than it has ever been.
You see, this year I rediscovered my family and friends. Old friends returned. New friends showed up. People I may never meet offered prayers and support for my well being. For me, this has been an incredible year of love in which I’ve learned that there is
no such thing as being alone or taken for granted.
Let’s begin right here- on AllRecipes.com. When I was only suspicious that I could have cancer I posted my suspicions with the intent of letting folks know- from a first hand account- what a cancer patient’s life is like. When I posted the confirmation of cancer
on my AR blog, I began receiving well wishes and prayers from many kind people. I didn’t expect this and, honestly, it scared me a little because it was made plain that people wanted to know the story. I felt a responsibility to see the story through and even
made arrangements for another person to finish the story if I could not. (It turns out that Farrah Fawcett beat me to the idea. She had her best friend videotape her story- everything- right to the moment of death. This gift to the world was broadcast on NBC
but it was overwhelmed by the death of Michael Jackson. Thank you, Farrah. Because of you I discovered I had courage to face that demon and that I could face it with dignity.)
Next, are my friends. Some steadfast friends who have known me for a lifetime, Some friends who (I thought) were lost to circumstances and new friends wanting to help. All supporting us through emails, phone calls, cards, letters, visits, prayers and prayer
My kids and grandkids hovered like umbrellas with their support, as well. In the beginning they were nervously cautious about it but got used to the idea that it was OK to talk about it. They were with me before and after the surgery. (I believe their dogs
even sensed I was in trouble.) One granddaughter stayed at our house after the surgery to keep the wound clean and to make sure I took the medicines.
The most wonderful part of this cancer experience I have fully intended to leave until now. This is the most difficult part to express because I have to stop so often to dry my eyes. There is no sadness. Quite the opposite. These wet eyes are from happiness
and pride. Each time I think of something to add, I well up and lose the thought. If this part seems disorganized, you now know why.
As Paul Harvey would always say, "You’re about to hear... the rest... of the story."
This part of my story is not about me but it is a vital part of my healing. It is a tribute to the only person that stood with me through all the bad news, the mental whippings, apprehension, surgery, radiation and depression all the while assuring me that
this was not a battle I would fight alone.
You guessed it!
This is about my wife and the new role she assumed. She became every support function I could possibly need. She has always been a partner and confidant in all things. Suddenly she became a cheerleader, a coach, a nutritionist, a hand to hold when things went
bad, a face that could smile when uncertainty was overwhelming, the rock I leaned on at every doctors appointment, a screaming fan at each bit of good news, a drill instructor when I became despondent, the chauffeur that got me to my appointments on time,
a pharmacist that made sure my medicines were always ready, and a warm comfort every night as I went to sleep. She wore many hats for those eight months and she wore them proudly for me.
What can be said for the wife that gave herself to me so unselfishly? I don’t have the words.
Could I do the same for her? I pray that I will never find out.
In closing, I am very grateful that we have a Cancer Care Center that is so very well educated and trained. Every moment I spent there was a moment of dignity and respect. And they don’t let the patient go even though the treatments are finished. They have
sent out an email announcing they are partnering with the YWCA ( The Y Center) to have remedial physical training for those patients that have completed treatments. This is something I have been trying to set up on my own but finding a trainer and nutritionist
willing to take me on was not possible.
This year I am closing out as the one giftI am most grateful for. It is the year I have been "re-gifted" with life and love.
Could there be anything better?
Merry Christmas All Recipes.com! Thank you for your support.
God bless us all!
God bless the USA!