Happy St. Patrick's Day! As my dad always said, "If you're lucky enough to be Irish then you're lucky enough!" I am lucky enough to be Irish and thought I would use today's blog to share some of the other things I feel lucky about.
This month marks nine months since I was first diagnosed again and six months since I started treatment. My oncologist told me back in August that he couldn't predict how long I had but if I didn't do anything to treat the disease it could be as short as nine months. So, I feel lucky that I had options for treatment and I'm still here to write about it nine months later. Last week my six-month scans showed that there has been no further progression of the disease in my lungs and so far no progression of the disease in any of my vital organs. I feel really lucky about that.
In the last four weeks I have had several types of tests and refilled a whole whack of prescriptions---all without being out of pocket one dime. I know I pay high taxes to have access to the health care I do but I feel lucky to live in this country. And, while I do pay premiums to have the private insurance coverage that I do, I feel lucky that it covers the very expensive daily and monthly drugs that I need.
I feel lucky to have the extended family that I do, all of whom are spread across the country and around the world so are likely in different states of celebrating our Irish heritage today, but as my son told me this morning---we're all Irish today and all hungover tomorrow!
Speaking of my son, I feel so lucky to have the four children I do. I only gave birth to one and I have joked in the past that I sometimes forget which one, but truth be told I see a little bit of me in all of them and more than that I feel all of them in me all the time. They were all born in my heart and are my inspiration for getting up each day to face whatever is thrown at me. The same goes for my two grandsons and for the yet unborn grandbaby on the way whom I already love to pieces.
I feel lucky for my own family that includes a mother with a heart as big as Ireland and a brother and sister whom I'm lucky enough to also call my friends. I have in-laws that make the circle complete and nieces and nephews (and one adorable great-niece) who make me proud and teach me something every time I talk with them. I was very lucky to have a father who taught me more things in the 42 years we had together than I have room to list here and whose presence I still feel with me every day. He also gave me the best gift I've been lucky enough to receive which was a group of aunts, uncles and cousins who literally made me the person I am today and who make me smile just by the mere sight of their names (thank you email and facebook for that!).
I don't know if I can express how lucky I feel to have the husband I do. He has cried with me through every bit of bad news I've received and cheered with me for all the good news. He never gives up on me even when I push him away and am very hard to love. He's always trying to make me laugh, never likes to let go of my hand and, despite his grumpy mumblings about the Irish, was the first to squirt some green food colouring into his beer yesterday--and I know he did that just for me.
I have best friends I talk to almost every day and lifelong friends who I've known for decades and decades. I have new friends who I met because I was diagnosed with cancer so I feel lucky to see the silver lining in that. I have a support system that grows bigger all the time and I am constantly overwhelmed by people's thoughtfulness, generosity and compassion. I don't think anyone realizes the amazing impact it has every time someone takes a few minutes out of their life to reach out to me, even with just a couple simple sentences and I feel extremely lucky about the frequency with which that happens.
I'm not ashamed to throw in a few superficial, materialistic things I feel lucky for like the Internet, a well-made Caesar, a great pair of black jeans, a good hair-cut, a reliable car and the words 'all-inclusive'.
Finally though, on today, March 17th, 2014, I feel lucky that I have the strength and skills to sit at my desk, with the sun shining in, surrounded by pictures of people and places I love, and write words that may inspire others but definitely contribute to healing me. Is it luck that allows me to do that? I'm not sure. I'll always take luck, but never lean on it. My thoughts about luck are best summed up by this quote from Thomas Jefferson--"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Until next time.....carry on. Slainte!
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