Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Two weeks ago today I received the best news!! I met with my surgeon for my surgical follow up and found out that my mass was benign. My husband and I breathed a big sigh of relief but we were both still holding our breaths waiting for the results of my five skin biopsies. I knew that my odds of requiring more surgery were high. Of the last 9 skin biopsies I had, 7 of them had been abnormal, 3 were Melanoma and all 7 required surgery. My husband and I were both prepared for the possibility of more surgery.
Within minutes of leaving my appointment I also received the news that all five of my skin biopsies were normal. NORMAL!! I was in shock. The best kind of shock a person can be in. I stood almost paralyzed at the elevators of the cancer center and immediately called my husband to give him the amazing news. I could barely get the words out as tears rolled down my face. I had trouble making a sentence. When my husband finally realized what I was trying to tell him he told me to wait for him in the lobby of the cancer center so he could come and see me. We hugged and cried for about five minutes and I have never experienced such intense emotions. I was shaking. I was overwhelmed. I was grateful. I was smiling. I felt weightless, like an elephant had just been lifted off of my shoulders. After saying goodbye once again to my husband I began texting up a storm to my family and friends. I still couldn’t speak as I was so overcome with emotion. I WILL NEVER FORGET that day.
When I got home I hugged my boys and shared the amazing news with them. It took them a few hours and many questions to realize that these surgeries that had become a part of our new normal had finally stopped…at least for now :). That afternoon beautiful white fluffy snowflakes fell from the sky and the boys and I went outside and just laughed and smiled as they landed on us. It was truly unforgettable.
It has taken me two weeks to write this post as those snowflakes were followed by ice and many more snowflakes that led to my boys having two weeks off from school. I must admit that during those two weeks the boys and I enjoyed some much needed “normal” quality time together. I am grateful to have had this special time with them.
Over the past few months it seemed like we were faced with one hurdle after another. Although these hurdles were much smaller then many people face they were back to back and overwhelming at times. Despite the hurdles I have always known that there was a purpose for my journey and the more hurdles that I faced the more determined I became to use my experience to do something positive.
Each day since receiving the incredible news I have woken up feeling fantastic and truly grateful. The scars that stare back at me in the mirror each morning now remind me of how much I have learned and how strong I have become. I never knew or understand what true gratitude was until I went through this experience. I have always been a glass half full kind of girl and my parents have always told me that “I was born under a lucky star”. I NEVER fully appreciated how lucky I am until now. I officially have two months off before I have to go back for another Melanoma visit or Doctors visit of any kind. I know that my journey is not over and I will continue to be monitored closely. I am sure that there will be more biopsies and procedures in my future but for now I am enjoying this freedom and much needed break!!!
I am grateful for all of the amazing support, love and prayers from my family and friends. There are not enough ways to say thank you to all the people who took the time to hug me, encourage me, pray for me, allow me to vent, sent me texts, messaged me, delivered treats and food…it goes on and on. I am truly blessed with an amazing support system. Thank you to each and every one of you :). You inspire me to stay strong and I am truly grateful.
I am beyond excited to be working on a big fundraiser and gala. I will be sharing many more details soon. Until then, save the date: September 5, 2015. Stay tuned for more exciting details!!
Much love and gratitude,