If you’re still looking for great gift ideas, consider supporting one of these local organizations. They’re both amazing and support cancer warriors.

Also, if you’re looking for gift ideas for me, I’ll take one if everything.

Giving Thanks, and All That Jazz

This year, Thanksgiving was alright. Not much talk about cancer, but lots of love to spread around.

We have a tradition on Thanksgiving, I take my niece and nephew home with us and I spoil them to no end. We’ve done theatre shows, movies, bouncy trampoline places and so many other fun things. This year, I get my niece and nephew again, and I’m doing my best to spoil them rotten.

It’s so normal. All of it.

Normal is good.

What a difference one year can make. Or two weeks.

Last year at this time, I was in a different job, I was bald and I had just finished chemotherapy. Mastectomies were scheduled for December 15th and most of my Christmas shopping was done. This year, I’ve barely started gift shopping, I have a good head of thick hockey hair (determined to have a nice flow by the end of Beckham’s season), and I’ve just finished my last reconstruction surgery. Whew! It’s been a whirlwind.

Last night, I was in a funk and feeling sorry for myself. It was one of those nights where nothing had gone the way I wanted, and I spent the evening prepping food for the upcoming feast.

There are days that I still sit and cry, wondering if I’ll end up on the dying end of survival statistics. Those days are fewer and far between, but they’re no less painful.

Two weeks ago I had this final surgery. My surgeon is amazing and did a phenomenal job putting my body together. The flip side to successful reconstruction is that none (truly, none!) of my old clothes fit. I was forced to go shopping this last weekend to find a few things to wear, but I loathe all things shopping. Still being medically compromised, all I see is germs and I swear every person shopping must have been ill.

In prepping for the most Thankful day of the year, I’m reminded to be more positive in my self-talk. I’m taking this year one day at a time.

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Post Op

Unbelievable that it’s been 4 days since I was under the knife. Day one was pretty excruciating, day two wasn’t much better, day three the bruising really started to settle but day 4? I’m feeling awesome.

My chest feels heavy from the fat grafting, and I can’t quite do a side plank yet, but I’m mostly just tired.

One day at a time.

Just a Little More

Sometimes, very, very rarely, I’m at a loss for words. Tonight is one if those times.

Just one more surgery and I’ve completed it all, right? No more countdowns, no more packing for the hospital stay or arranging childcare. Tomorrow will seal the deal.

My students wished me love and luck today, and I got hugs from so many of the people that I love… but this space, right here, this is so hard.

Every surgery carries an incredible weight and all the questions that come with it. Will I make it this time? Will they find something while I’m under? Will I wake up? Will this be my last cancer surgery? Will I make it out?

I’m quickly whisked into reality after every question. It’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. But if it’s not, I want to say goodbye. To all of my people. For all of the love. I’m so thankful for all of you. You’ve given me so much courage. And love and hope. I’m surrounded by so much good. I have felt it all.

At the beginning of this journey, I had no idea what the outcome was going to be. I had no idea that I would invite so many people into my life. I never imagined the impact all of them would have on me. This. This is all I need. This makes me feel complete.

If my day is today, tomorrow or the next day, I’ve done my best, I’ve tried my hardest and I’ve lived. Every single day I’ve lived.

This last year, Ive learned about the kind of love that matters. The kind that I’m so thankful to have felt.

I’m scared for tomorrow, and that’s ok. It’ll all be just fine.