Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving thanks



It's not what we have in our life, but who we have in our life that counts."

j.m. laurence


This Thanksgiving, as our family counts our blessings, we have so much for which to be thankful: For the strength to fight cancer and tolerate the treatment...for the courage to face this daunting challenge....for the hope and optimism to beat this disease...for the skill and knowledge of the doctors and the compassion of nurses. But above all, our gratitude runs deepest for all of the love and support we have received from our friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and many others, including people we've never met before.


Over the past six months, these caring people have provided Karen with a daily infusion that's far more powerful than any of the drugs that have flowed from her IV bag during chemotherapy. Their generous infusion of support counteracts the fear of cancer and the sick fog of chemotherapy. Their care and concern is a kind of anti-toxin -- a remedy that nurtures Karen's spirit and has sustained all of us during these past months. Indeed, the support of those who love you is a cure itself.

A year from now, when we think back to this time, our memories won't be of the diagnosis or the treatment, but rather, it will be of the many simple acts of kindness, friendship and love that have been repeated every day along this "journey", including:

  • Soft blankets and a hand-woven prayer shawl -- gifts from Karen's friends -- have provided warmth and comfort during long chemo sessions.

  • Over three dozen family, friends, colleagues and neighbors have provided gift cards and meals -- from homemade soups to roast chicken with mashed potatoes. From slow-cooked ribs to Turkey Tetrazzini. From chicken Marsala to Cuban chicken. From Mexican lasagna to meatballs made from a friend's secret family recipe. Some meals arrive with bottles of wine and even dog biscuits for Caramel. Every dish was special -- not only for its unique flavors and the talent of the cooks, but because of the time, energy, care and thoughtfulness that went into preparing and delivering them.

  • Friends and family have bought Karen a myriad of hats and scarves -- colorful, fun, practical, whimsical and too many to count. They allow Karen to make a fashion statement every day and keep her bare head warm as the weather gets colder.

  • Other friends have sent over their "cleaning lady" to help with household chores -- a generous gesture and a big help for me since my job forced me to travel almost every week.

  • With 16 rounds of chemo -- all in Philadelphia -- we were fortunate to have a reliable group of friends who drove Karen to many of her treatments and spent nearly a day at the Penn breast cancer center with Karen as she met with her doctor and received her infusion.

  • Care packages filled with lotions and other soothing items, books, magazines and CDs to help make each day a little easier.

  • And a steady stream of flowers, phone calls, emails and cards -- enough to fill a shopping bag -- continue to arrive with words of encouragement, support and offers of prayers.

These are simple acts that have had a powerful impact on us -- especially Karen.

This past year has been a long and often difficult one. But it has been made easier because of all that our friends and family have shared with us. It's difficult to imagine getting through this without such incredible support. I recently came across a fitting Turkish proverb, "No road is long with good company." Battling cancer is often a long road, but with good company -- friends, family, co-workers and neighbors -- that road is made shorter and less bumpy.

Thank you!



15 comments:

  1. That is a very nice reason for thanks-giving. I am happy that your wife is confident about the treatments and I am proud of you, your family and friends for the great suppot you people are providing to Karen. My best wishes for yur wife to get well soon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Shevonne Jayasinghe (shevonne@bizymoms.com)January 26, 2010 at 11:43 AM

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    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello.

    Please read how IVF medications led to my breast cancer and how a breast cancer study using genetic testing to check estrogen metabolism is saving my life.

    Please share my story with all women who have used or are considering IVF, HRT and anyone with estrogen positive breast cancer.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 陳哲毓念阿彌陀佛往生西方極樂世界April 14, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    阿彌陀佛 無相佈施


    不要吃五辛(葷菜,在古代宗教指的是一些食用後會影響性情、慾望的植
    物,主要有五種葷菜,合稱五葷,佛家與道家所指有異。

    近代則訛稱含有動物性成分的餐飲食物為「葷菜」,事實上這在古代是稱
    之為腥。所謂「葷腥」即這兩類的合稱。 葷菜
    維基百科,自由的百科全書
    (重定向自五辛) 佛家五葷

    在佛家另稱為五辛,五種辛味之菜。根據《楞嚴經》記載,佛家五葷為大
    蒜、小蒜、興渠、慈蔥、茖蔥;五葷生啖增恚,使人易怒;熟食發淫,令
    人多慾。[1]

    《本草備要》註解云:「慈蔥,冬蔥也;茖蔥,山蔥也;興渠,西域菜,云
    即中國之荽。」

    興渠另說為洋蔥。) 肉 蛋 奶?!











    念楞嚴經 *∞窮盡相關 消去無關 證據 時效 念阿彌陀佛往生西方極樂世界











    我想製造自己的行為反作用力
    不婚 不生子女 生生世世不當老師








    log 二0.3010 三0.47710.48 五0.6990 七0.8451 .85
    root 二1.414 1.41 三1.732 1.73五 2.236 2.24七 2.646
    =>十3.16 π∈Q' 一點八1.34

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi! My name is Melissa & I wanted to correspond with you privately, if you could please email me: blossominglilly@gmail.com Thank You!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Brian, thanks for sharing your experience with us. Through our work at the Cancer Support Community, we know patients hope for a treatment that will bring them back to normalcy. But, we also know the transition is easier said than done and most women experience some form of distress due to their disease. Now women touched by breast cancer can ban together to help patients and survivors of tomorrow get though the emotional struggle of breast cancer from diagnosis to survivorship. Learn more and join at http://www.breastcancerregistry.org.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The case of Karen reminds me the case of sister's disease and everything we had to confront to tackle the situation which was very hard for us, so I understand people whose relatives suffer cancer.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am thankful to you for sharing you experience with us. You have such a nice blog site. I got good information to read here.... Good job! Keep posting...

    Regards
    Alexa

    ReplyDelete
  9. Help fund Dr. Tuohy's breast cancer vaccine! This vaccine may prevent the majority of future breast cancer cases. Thanks for the help!
    http://breastcancerbydrruddy.com/2010/12/19/playing-with-fire-the-breast-cancer-vaccine/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello,

    If you are interested in breast cancer treatments and preventions, please take a look at this link: http://breastcancerbydrruddy.com/. There are great articles you'd love to read! It goes over the Breast Health and Healing Foundation as well as the breast cancer virus and vaccine. The vaccine may be a great help to breast cancer patients as well as the healthy. Prevention includes the food you eat, the amount of exercise you get, and the destructive things you must avoid such as HRT, birth control pills, alcohol, and cigarettes. Thanks for reading!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great website, looks very clean and organized. Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  12. thanks giving is one special occasion in everyone's life. I love that day.
    Nice sharing.
    breast cancer treatment

    ReplyDelete
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  14. Really family and friend support are the main wealth at the time of being
    breast cancer
    patient in any stage. There are many drugs on this cancer and therapy are also for preventing this unbearable cancer.

    ReplyDelete