Why I'm Thankful
On this Thanksgiving Day, I find myself even more focused than usual on reasons to be thankful for all I have in this life:
I'm thankful to a loving Heavenly Father and for the Gift and the Atonement of his Son, Jesus Christ, through Whom all will gain Eternal Life.
I'm thankful for wonderful children who are a Gift from Above, and most especially for a wonderful wife and soulmate who completes me. I'm nothing without you, Dearest Love.
I'm thankful for living in the greatest country on Earth -- not a perfect country, but the best there is and capable of becoming still greater.
I'm thankful I've had the opportunity to serve my country in what I consider to be the most focused and dedicated group of professionals I know -- the world of Submariners.
I'm thankful that, while I've put down my arms, there are brave men and women who continue to pay the ultimate price to defend our country and our way of life on whatever battlefields may await.
I'm thankful for loving friends and family, who always seem to be available to help one out when you need them. Especially as I work on beating my cancer, the good humor and support of so many has been a bigger help than you could know. I started radiation treatments on Thursday, chemo on Friday, and got a feeding tube implanted in my small intestine on Monday. I've decided that even minor abdominal surgery in conjunction with chemo kind of sucks, but this round of chemo ended Tuesday night, and by this morning I'm back to feeling pretty much normal. My middle child (oldest son, who just turned 18 and made me thankful by scoring a 35 on his ACT so I know that some lucky college will give him a nice scholarship) really wanted to show support for his old man and his chemo by shaving his head. I pointed out that I might not even lose my hair with the minimal amount of chemo I'm doing, but he really seemed to want to do it, so yesterday we did the deed; my father-in-law (right) joined in the fun:
I'm the one in the middle. For you guys who have never gone with this look, it's even worse than what we got in boot camp -- yet strangely freeing. I'm continuing radiation treatments through about Christmas, with another quick round of chemo at the end of that, then between 4 and 8 weeks later I'll get an esophagogastrectomy up in Seattle. A few weeks of recovery from that, maybe another round of chemo, and I expect to be cancer-free by spring. And for that I'll also be thankful.
Update 1224 27 November: I'm also thankful that we can still donate to Project Valour-IT, and can even get some good reading out of our donations by bidding on one of the three excellent books that Team Navy has put up on E-Bay; check them out here, here, and here.