I awoke November 14 and knew I had completed a milestone most never would: I had survived with rare, terminal (stage 4) lung cancer for two years. If you factor in my June diagnosis of a dozen brain metastases, the typical survival rates shrink exponentially.
I enjoyed celebrating my cancerversary. I suppose I could have seen it as the day my life crumbled. And in some ways, that would be accurate. I lost a lot when I gained my diagnosis.
But the fact I’m still alive is like giving cancer the middle finger, even though I’m not normally the vicious “let’s battle cancer!” torch carrier. My fight is quieter and feels much more personal, even if the accounting of my progress and feelings is quite public.
So this Thanksgiving I’m thankful for my loved ones – human, furry, and feathered – and for the chance to spend another year learning to love them even more.