Thanksgiving…

It’s this time of the year where we give thanks for the richness of our lives and for our wonderful family and friends. There is a lot that I am thankful for but this year there is a big shadow clouding my thanks, making me feel a bit bitter. Of course this shadow is my cancer that has turned my life upside down and fills me with fear and sadness. As excited as I am about Thanksgiving and the Holidays approaching, I can’t rid myself of the thought that maybe my Holidays are counted. You always think you will live forever but living with a Stage 4 cancer takes away you carefreeness and for me it gives me more pressure to make everything we do “count”, especially every Holiday to come.

I have been so thankful and grateful for all the help we have had since my diagnosis. First, my parents, then my sister and her husband, and now my in-laws. Everyone has been so helpful, so patient with our boys, and so generous. I really don’t know what I would have done without them and this is bringing us all closer. I am also thankful for all my wonderful friends who have been so so so supportive and encouraging, their constant cheers and notes they send me keep me going and give me courage and strength.

I most thankful for my husband. I simply just love him. I love him so much that almost every time he wraps me up in his comforting, soothing and loving arms, the tears start rolling down my cheeks. I can’t help feeling like I am letting him down. Who gets married without thinking about being with their spouse forever and that they would grow old together. This has always been my vision. I am supposed and want to be his life partner every step of the way. I know that when we got married, it was for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health until death did us apart but I feel it is so unfair that this may come too soon. We are too young to be dealing with this, we were exactly where we wanted to be in our life and now the rug was just pulled from underneath us. I can’t fathom the idea of him being without a wife and my kids without their mommy. When Sebastien asked me if I was going to get better the other night, I asked him why he was asking me this question and his answer was “because I don’t want you to be replaced”, my heart sunk. What I am supposed to say to that? hell yeah I don’t want to be replaced either, I want to be here to love you, care for you and see you grow for a long long time. This is just too heart breaking.

I bet the people around me probably wouldn’t be able to tell how scared and sad I am. Being around people is good because I forget that I have cancer. I don’t want my neuropathy, hand and foot syndrome, the burnt feeling in my mouth and throat, the reflux that burns and wakes me up at night, my bleeding gums, the taste of metal in my mouth, and my failing taste buds to be the center of attention. Nor do I want them to know my fears about the future and next scans, the apprehension of my next chemo, or how hard it is to live with all this. We talk about everything else, as if I didn’t have this cancer and that’s actually good for me, I am not moping around feeling sorry for myself. The down side though is when I find myself alone, I burst into sobs… I don’t want to have cancer I hate it, I just hate it.

So all this to say that as grateful as I am for everything I have, all the love and support I have been given, I can’t help to feel bitter and ungrateful for this cancer. Today is Thanksgiving day and I know it will be filled with love and laughter with my family, my in-laws and my friends and I will forget for a little while what I am going through. I didn’t mean do be a “Debbie Downer” today. I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksging and remind you to count your blessings and be grateful for your health, I always took mine for granted…

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8 thoughts on “Thanksgiving…

  1. Do NOT feel sorry for so honestly expressing your feelings. It makes you human. And if you’re going to blog, your readers don’t want the truth sugar coated. You have to be real. There is not one among us who would not have the same thoughts whirling around in our heads in your shoes. You are so strong and optimistic. That uplifts us all. But there would not be courage without fear. God Bless!
    (PS – always hated the term “DEBBIE downer”. LOL)

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings today as you have on other days as well. You describe exactly everything that I imagine I would feel with a diagnosis of cancer or other horrible life threatening disease. You know as therapists, we can empathize with clients as they describe their situations and it is all the better for us to assist and for them to get the release and reality check that they are precisely where they should be given the situation…and you are. I am sorry that you are going through this (not pity). It is unfair, undeserved and unwarranted. I wish love alone could take this illness away from you, because if the love of your friends and family had that power, yours would be ancient history. I continue to pray for healing for you and for peace through this ordeal. Happy Thanksgiving Rachel to you and your family!

  3. When I am around you I carry on “as usual” as if nothing is wrong. I am NOT in denial about the truth of the situation, I just want you to be able to forget….even for a moment….that you have cancer when we are lost in conversation. I talk to you like I talk to everyone else. I am very matter of fact, and I treat you the same as I treat everyone else. I know you are not the same and you are struggling inside. I want you to know I am struggling too….. with exactly what to say to you. The only way I know how is to talk to you without a filter. So if I complain about something so ridiculous (like the flood in my house) believe me….I know you only WISH that was your problem! I walk away from you every time hoping I didn’t make you sad with the things I say. I don’t know how you are feeling. I can only try to imagine, and when I try to put myself hypothetically in your shoes, I simply can’t. As for today, try to focus on being thankful for the loving husband that you have. Some people have never experienced love like you and Fred. I have a lot of friends that are in terrible marriages and/or have never even gotten married. So you are very fortunate to have that love. And the love of having two gorgeous boys that make you laugh! Some people never get to experience being a mom. That is the most incredible love of all! Happy Thanksgiving to an amazing wife and mother!

  4. When I am around you I carry on “as usual” as if nothing is wrong. I am NOT in denial about the truth of the situation, I just want you to be able to forget….even for a moment….that you have cancer when we are lost in conversation. I talk to you like I talk to everyone else. I am very matter of fact, and I treat you the same as I treat everyone else. I know you are not the same and you are struggling inside. I want you to know I am struggling too….. with exactly what to say to you. The only way I know how is to talk to you is without a filter. So if I complain about something so ridiculous (like the flood in my house) believe me….I know you only WISH that was your problem! I walk away from you every time hoping I didn’t make you sad with the things I say. I don’t know how you are feeling. I can only try to imagine, and when I try to put myself hypothetically in your shoes, I simply can’t. As for today, try to focus on being thankful for the loving husband that you have. Some people have never experienced love like you and Fred. I have a lot of friends that are in terrible marriages and/or have never even gotten married. So you are very fortunate to have that love. And the love of having two gorgeous boys that make you laugh! Some people never get to experience being a mom. That is the most incredible love of all! Happy Thanksgiving to an amazing wife and mother!

  5. Thank you Rachel, for sharing your thoughts and feelings so openly. I have thought many times how strong and brave you are . . . and i still feel that way. Somewhere along my journey I read that bravery isn’t the absence of fear, it is marching on even though you’re afraid. The manner in which you are facing this staggering diagnosis can only be defined as brave. So you go ahead Rachel — cry, scream curses, pound your fists, and when the round has passed look around you. There are layers upon layers of us surrounding you crying, screaming and pounding our fists right along with you! Happy Thanksgiving Rachel! XOXOXOX

  6. You are so strong and resilient, which is exactly why I know you will persevere! At the same time your reality and your willingness to share your feelings, no matter how raw, are reminders to us all how precious this life is. Thank you for being who you are. I cherish every opportunity to spend time with you and your wonderful family! XOXO

  7. I am a bit late with my good wishes for Thanksgiving Rachel.
    Always confused about the dates.

    When I think of your family, a poem of Emily Dickinson comes to mind

    A soft Sea washed around the House
    A Sea of Summer Air
    And rose and fell the magic Planks
    That sailed without a care —
    For Captain was the Butterfly
    For Helmsman was the Bee
    And an entire universe
    For the delighted crew.

    A rough sea has come your way but your love is getting stronger and your journey still aiming towards eternity. After this storm, the summer air will be sweeter and your universe still intact but even more full of stars and wonders.

    You are halfway there girl!!!!! Patience mon ange

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