Thanksgiving 2015 was a typical one. Before eating, my very West Indian family gathered around plenty West Indian food and individually spoke about what each one of us was grateful for. I remember my thankful list including my parents , the budding relationship I was in, the growth and strides I was making at work and the loving family I was surrounded by. And although I am DEFINITELY still grateful for these things, my #JesusYear aka 2016 aka the year I Slayed Cancer, DEFINITELY changed my perspective on what I am thankful for. You see, when you literally look at death in the face, your shear appreciation for life changes. Cancer has taught me how to appreciate every.single.day. To me and other cancer survivors and patients, Thanksgiving is EVERYDAY!
I can tangibly see how my breast cancer journey has changed my perspective on life. I am not the same person today, Thanksgiving 2016, as I was this day last year. Consciously giving thanks each day for what I have RIGHT NOW and not worrying about the future is a direct correlation to my diagnosis. Showing gratitude and in particular, the repetitive everyday practice of it, has improved my overall sense of well being especially on the days when I cried and cried…and cried, asking ” why me?’ My everyday gratefulness absolutley got me thru the dark days. In the journey of my greatest fears being blown up and shoved in my face, I found peace in NOT having all the answers but in being grateful for that specific moment and trusting God with the rest.( F A I T H ) When I gave and give thanks for the microscopic and minuscule, I made a place for God to grow within me. I am thankful to cancer for this!!
I have been diligently documenting my #SlayCancer journey since that fateful day in January 2016 when I was diagnosed. Below is a list of SOME things I was thankful for during the past 11 months (in chronological order) taken directly from my journal. Some things may seem obvious and others may come as a shock to you. I only ask that you please read the list and think about the microscopic details in YOUR life that may go unnoticed because of “everyday noise”:
– ” It’s only been 2 weeks but thank you breast cancer for being a significant link that has strengthened my relationship with Mommy. Ive prayed for years to bring us closer…never in a million years would I think BC would be the catalyst. Thank You God!”
– ” I’m so grateful my insurance came thru in the clutch. Now I can definitely move forward with my IVF treatments. Chemo will NOT take away my ability to have children. Eff that!”
– ” Pet scan results came back today and there is NO evidence that the cancer has spread in my body. Relieved isn’t even the word ***twerks while I’m in the chair receiving Venefor intravenously***”
– ” I cant believe Eb, Tara, Steph and Dom cut and shaved their hair to show support to me! I appreciate them so much. I giggled when I saw Tammy collecting money for the Eff Cancer shirts- I didnt even ask her but she did it anyway. sigh..I love my friends, fam and Sorors”
– ” Daddy finally smiled today for the first time since I told him I had breast cancer. Thank You God!”
– ” Yayyyy! I’m so happy Gardy found the flight for me to visit him. I miss my boyfriend so much. So looking forward to a simple hug from him”
– ” These ice chips tho?!?!? Thank God for these mofos. Cuz the metal taste of the chemo in my mouth is THEE WORST!”
– ” Va and I went to church today and the Word was on point. I’m so thankful to have friends I can party with on Saturday ( although that hasn’t happened all year and prob wont go down for a while) and then go to church with on Sunday”
– ” What a blessing today was! Dr. Sharma told me the lymph nodes AND tumor in my breast are both decreasing and responding well to the chemo. THANK YOU GOD!!!
– ” Good times last night with Che and Tammara”
-” Last day of mother-effin CHEMO YALL!!!!! I’m so grateful that Dee and Gardy will be there! Dee has a surprise for me..I wonder what it is? uugh thank God for them.”
– “Dom drove all the way to LI to give me hug. Thank God for my bestfriend!
-” Uuugh I’ve legit slept for 10 hours today and woke up feeling like shit. I have an intense migraine, I’m nauseous and the neuropathy is becoming unbearable….but I WOKE UP! THANK YOU GOD!
-” Yayyyy my homemade mix of coconut oil, cocoa butter, castor oil, aquaphor and aloe vera gel is really helping my radiation burn. Thankfully I read that article Dr. Andrew’s suggested.
Getting diagnosed with breast cancer has given me the extraordinary opportunity to figure out and recognize what is TRULY important in life. My health, family, friends and my overall happiness have always been important to me but facing a difficult illness has blessed me with something more- a chance to step back from the day to day and reflect on what I value most. Having cancer gave me wisdom and a heightened perspective. The holidays can be stressful and for us we have unfortunately experienced stress at a whole new level. I am happy to still be here with my loved ones. I am focusing on being grateful that I am still here to celebrate regardless of side effects, complications and upcoming doctor appointments, scans and tests.. Bottom line: I am here.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING and THANK YOU GOD FOR YOUR CONTINUOUS BLESSINGS IN MY LIFE!!!