grat·i·tude [grat-i-tood] noun. the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful
Dear Family & Friends,
How can a simple dictionary reference ever begin to describe the enormous amount of gratitude that I have in my heart for all of you. The past several weeks have been filled with a mammoth amount of fear equally matched with a colossal amount of kindness and gratitude that I have for all of you. The cards (both hilarious and sentimental), the unexpected gifts left at our front door, flowers, children's drawings, blessed bracelets, unexpected dinners, grocery store gift cards, hand-made blankets, texts, message stones, pictures of me with your children, e-mails, baked goods, vixen costumes (thank you Sue!), edible fruit bouquets, plants, worry dolls, chocolate, crystal bracelets, tear-off emotion sheets (today I picked 'faith'), aromatherapy lamps, pajamas (thanks mom!), stuffed animals, new clothes, etc. The list goes on and on. And behind every one of these items is the love that I feel from all of you. But what most of you don't know is that during the very first cancer diagnosis I had back in 1992, I hardly told a soul about what I was going through. 90% of my co-workers had no idea that I had cancer and was leaving work early every day for 2 months to go have radiation treatments. I swore people to secrecy, took the back stairs into the cancer center so I wouldn't run into anyone and always had the same answer when someone asked the casual question "How are you?" - "Fine." I simply couldn't handle talking about 'it.' The second time I was diagnosed only 4 years later, I told a few more people and opened my emotional door a tad more, but not much. I didn't swear anyone to secrecy but I didn't make any big announcements either. I had a couple of surgeries, was off work for a few days here and there, was 'out sick' for a week and simply went back to work and carried on like usual and as if nothing had really changed in my life. So when cancer diagnosis #3 came two months ago, I made a promise to myself to do things much differently this time around. No more secrets, no more keeping the hundreds of pages of journal entries to myself and swearing close friends and family to secrecy. I made a pact with myself to fully open the door so that I could gain the strength, kindness and love that I needed in order to kick this breast cancer thing once and for all! And may I say, it has most certainly paid off. So, please accept my deepest and most heartwarming thanks and gratitude to YOU, for not only helping me navigate my way through 'round 3' but for helping me dig down deep to 'knockout' and conquer cancer in order to rise above it and the lessons that I've needed to learn.
With love and gratitude,
Yog (AKA, Dee Anne)