Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanks and Giving

At this time of year, we all start thinking about the things we're thankful for. Yesterday after dinner, Jason's Grandma wanted us to all name three things we were thankful for. We ate in different rooms, so I didn't get to hear everyone's but for the most part, we were all thankful for friends, family, good health - the normal things. Jason's aunt was thankful for her job (so was her husband lol) and thankful that they had a good check up at the doctor this week. She's pregnant!! Due in July, so not very far along at all. They are hoping for a boy this time. That is really something to be thankful for!! One cousin was thankful for her boyfriend (oh, to be 13 again) and another was thankful for friends, family and love.

When it got to be my turn, I just couldn't put it all into words. I mean, I can - I'm thankful for three and a half years of Cole being cancer free. I'm thankful for continued clear scans and good hearing tests. I'm thankful for 6 month check ups instead of three since that means our odds are better. But those are the things I'm thankful for every single day, not just once a year when we're eating like pigs. Every single day - I'm thankful for those things. Every single minute. I recently reconnected with a good friend from high school. We were catching up and I told her all about Cole. She, in turn, told me about her bout with breast cancer. It's everywhere. I probably couldn't name five people that I knew personally that had battled cancer - five years ago. And now it would take me more than five minutes to name just the kids we've known that aren't here anymore. I hate it.

I was giving Cole his shot last night (he has to have one every single night) and again, it bled and left a bruise. It's not enough that he wasn't growing for so long. It's not enough that he went through all he did. It's not enough that he still isn't as strong as a 'normal' 7 year old. It's not enough that people actually turn around in Walmart to look at him, after seeing the thin hair he has. It's not enough that he can't play sports with much success. It's not enough that he's repeating the first grade because of the difficulties he has due to radiation on his sweet head. None of that is enough - we have to stick him with a needle every single night and three out of seven times a week - it bleeds and he's bruised. I hate that. He does such a good job at it though - he can press the button that turns the pen on, he can turn the knob to set the dosage, he can sit patiently while I slowly count to ten. He waits a second to see if it's bleeding and then he's off - running around playing for a few more minutes before bed. But it's not enough.

I just wish it were easier on him. I hope one Thanksgiving when he's asked what he's thankful for he'll say something besides his toys and Buzz Lightyear - but that he'll also be thankful he's alive and well. Thankful that he's strong and growing and that he made it through such a tough battle for such a little kid. I hope he'll understand how lucky he is and not see all the things he can't do. I struggle with that - I still see the things he can't do - things he's left out of because he can't do it. I hope he'll realize how brave he was and how strong he is today. Sometimes we get so frustrated with his other behaviors (he's testing us a ton lately) that we overlook what we really have to be thankful for. As much as he drives me crazy when he pouts over having to watch tv in his room instead of on the big tv in the living room - I'm still so very thankful for every single second of his life. Even the ones where he's making me crazy. Even the ones where he's being such a boy and wiping his nose on his sleeve. Even the ones where he's pouting because we're not going to McDonald's again. Even the ones where he's watching Spongebob, again and again and again.

So overall I'm thankful for all those things - clear scans, no hearing loss, growth hormones that work. I'm so very thankful that God blessed us with a sweet boy. A boy who will have challenges all his life - but who I hope will overcome every single one of them and be the wonderful man we knew he would be the minutes he was born. Even when he's driving us nuts and we have to send him to his room - we're blessed he's here and he has a room to be sent to.

So - when you're thinking about all the things you're thankful for - be thankful for your healthy kids and all the healthy kids in your life. The kids that play in your yard, the kids that walk by your house on their way home from school, the kids that will be all over the mall this weekend getting on your nerves - be thankful they are all healthy.
And if you feel like being generous - go here and check out the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign. It kicked off this week and while you're shopping this net month, you'll see:

This sign is everywhere this time of year. It's in stores that are taking part in this campaign. The give a portion of their sales to St. Jude. You can click on the link above and go to their site to see what stores are participating, or you can donate, or you can buy merchandise that shows your Thanks and Giving. I know the economy stinks right now. I know that we don't have much money to give to St. Jude right now. I know most people don't right now. But, if you happen to be out Christmas shopping - and see that logo - know that you are helping. You're helping my sweet boy!!! You're helping someone else's sweet boy or girl, too.

Anyway, I didn't mean to turn this into a 'go give to St. Jude' blog post - it just seemed to be the natural course of things, at least when I'm talking about Cole and cancer. Anyway - be thankful for everything you have. Be thankful for the things you don't have (like a child battling cancer through the holidays), be thankful that you haven't had to tell anyone about St. Jude.

Thanks for reading!!



3QTGUYS said...

Oh, Lisa. You are too sweet. You are precious, and so is that Cole of yours!

Yes, you DO have TONS to be thankful for! And, yes, you are right.....I bet there quite a few things he CAN NOT do, but there are so many Moms out there that just WISH they could have a "he's driving me crazy" moment!

Yes, you ARE blessed. And you ARE a blessing to others!

renee said...

Okay, I really needed to read this. sort of puts a lot in perspective.

Michelle said...

Lisa, that was beautiful.

I am thankful to have such a wonderful friend.


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