Cheerful. Thankful. Either of them fits the holiday, in my opinion.
It's been quite a roller coaster in the year since last Thanksgiving. A year ago, I was training in the gym regularly, I had more energy overall, and the cancer was more in control. Yet, I have plenty of reasons to be cheerful or thankful.
First of all, I'm still on the good side of the dirt. My health might not be where I'd choose it to be, but I'm still alive and kicking. I just talked to my boss at Sugarbush and I'm planning to ski this coming Saturday. A few weeks ago, just being able to ski was in doubt. It won't be easy, but I'll be out there.
Thanksgiving tomorrow will be a fairly quiet affair. Last year, I was in PA for Thanksgiving, celebrating with my brother, sister and uncle, and my uncle's extended "family". This year, it will be my wife, my son, and my wife's parents. That's it. My sister-in-law is sick,so that cuts down on the crowd. But, I'm healthy enough to cook for the people who will be there and I can still afford to put together dinner for a crowd. I'll do so gladly.
I'm still employed. At this time last year, I was on the verge of losing my job and I was struggling to find a new job. It took a while to find a new job, and things haven't gone quite as expected at that new job in my first year. At the same time, I had to tell a new employer that I had cancer and they've been accommodating of the situation. I'm still getting paid, I can afford to pay my bills, and I'm thankful that I'm employed.
I'm thankful for the friends in my life. In the past year, the people at my gym bound together and did a fundraiser for my wife and me, to help offset our travel costs for my cancer treatments. We haven't had to travel a lot recently, so that money is set aside, waiting for the next time that we need it. I'm thankful for the friends in my life, including the handful of readers that read this blog. I know that I'm lucky to have the friends that I do, and I never take them for granted. It's interesting how people react to a cancer diagnosis at times. I've had people who have disappeared from my life since my diagnosis. Others simply ignore that aspect of my life. But, for the most part, my friends are actively engaged with me, concerned for my health, and they've been there if I've needed them. That's something I never take for granted.
I'm thankful for my children. My daughter is currently finishing up a semester in Spain. She's had a great adventure there this fall. My son recently started a new job and it seems to be going well. I'm proud to call both of them my children.
Lastly, I've got my wife. Her life has been made tremendously more difficult by the cancer. I rarely drive any more and my wife has gladly stepped up to do the driving that I don't do any more. She is cooking dinner more often, often cooking two meals when my stomach isn't up for the regularly scheduled dinner. She never complains, even though I know it's a burden on her. If our roles were reversed, I can only hope that I'd be there for her the way she's been there for me. Having her by my side makes all of this tolerable. I don't know where I'd be without her.
There you go. As we approach Thanksgiving day, I have many reasons to be cheerful and thankful. Despite the cancer, I still consider myself to be a very lucky man.