Thanksgiving 2019

We almost always travel for Thanksgiving, but for multiple reasons, we spent Thanksgiving at home this year. It was lovely, and we gained much-needed time in this short break by not spending it on the road.

Becky flew in for a much too brief visit; Uncle Dennis and Aunt Dana, Corey and Diane drove up just in time to eat lunch, spend a few hours chatting over many, many desserts. No, really, we had a lot of desserts: chocolate cheesecake (Dennis's specialty), chocolate birthday cake for Becky, vanilla cheesecake for Diane's birthday, and pumpkin dump cake because Thanksgiving.

Our Thanksgiving holiday included too much eating, two intense games of Nertz, less intense games of dominoes with Addison. Becky was here just long enough to have one quiet morning at Liz's house, mom and dad's, and our home. The adults left the kids at home (isn't it amazing to be able to do that?) and went to see It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood at the theater. The consensus was two thumbs up. If you're interested, here's the article that the movie is based on: Can You Say. . . Hero?

Gifts are my love language (both giving and receiving) so Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are some of my favorite days (holidays?). I love choosing gifts for friends and family. Let's be honest: I also love picking items for myself at a deep discount although I have kept that at a minimum this year. Brian approves.

Family picture - no small feat, but worth it!

In full disclosure, this photo is staged. But only because they stopped sitting together all cozied up when I brought out the camera so I made them pose.

Other than the lovely group of ladies who played such a significant part in my story for those first six months of chemo after my diagnosis, I don't have many friends with cancer. Sadly, that entire support group of friends are no longer with us. There was sweet Vicki, of course, but she is also gone. I just haven't found a community or support group, and I've chosen not to search out cancer groups online.

I say that to tell you I'm not sure how I found B and J online. They both have incredible, positive, grateful spirits. Last Sunday I was excited to see J had posted on her blog, but was then floored as I read the words from her husband that she had passed away. Friday morning I opened Instagram expecting to read my daily dose of encouragement from B (I had actually seen her on Instagram just a few hours prior), only to discover she passed away early Friday morning. 

B was only 30. (J was also very, very young.) We have the exact same ovarian cancer diagnosis. Our treatment plans have been very similar - same insane number of drugs, platinum-resistant they call it. The difference is that B's tumors grew remarkably fast. Science says my tumors should be growing just as rapidly. B was diagnosed three years ago; I was diagnosed almost nine years ago. I often fail to recognize the miracle of living nine years with ovarian cancer. I'm feeling sad this morning, defeated even. I have to choose to not let my mind go down dark paths and choose not to be crippled by fear. This morning I am choosing to be thankful for 9 years, and I am focusing on "the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I'm beginning Advent this morning with hopeful anticipation of what my Lord will do.


Karen said…
I've had the same experience with other patients with my disease and it's jarring and humbling at the same time. I have always been grateful for your example of faith and -- at least outward -- positivity.
Many prayers for you and your family.

Ramsh said…
Oh, Melissa, cancer (well, just life sometimes) is so cruel and unfair. I have been thinking of you and your family. Praying for you.

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