When I was growing up, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Thanksgiving. I was a picky eater. I focused on the fact that I didn’t like the food. If you don’t really like vegetables and you’re not into turkey, good old T-giving can be a tough day. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized what an incredible day it really is. I’m happy to say that now that I consider myself quite the foodie, I absolutely love all the delicious food I get to stuff my face with BUT I love even more to have a day that’s specifically dedicated to giving thanks. It’s a day focused on being grateful for all you have and to be with those you love and reflect on all that you have together.
Since being diagnosed, I have found true strength when I count my blessings. When I consciously think about all the things that I do have in life, no matter how hard the day, my mindset is always helped. It helps ground me and helps put things into a necessary perspective. So today in honor of this amazing day that is completely dedicated to being thankful, I am going to list out everything I feel so lucky to have in my life.
I am thankful for…
- My Michael
- My family
- My Phoebe
- My friends
- My incredible doctors (especially Dr. Mandy & Dr. D)
- The most amazing and caring nurses (especially Andrea, Rachel, Margo, Deb, Kristen!)
- To be a patient at the most amazing cancer institute in the world— Dana Farer
- To have a job
- Having a roof over my head
- Having food to eat everyday
- Being an American
- Living in New England
- Being a Patriots Fan
- Being able to practice yoga
- Sharing a home I love with a person I love
- My under desk bicycle
- Having a safe car
- Fresh flowers
- Queen B
- T-Swift, in particular, “Shake It Off”
- One Direction
- The ability to opening my mind to alternative ways of thinking
- Clothes & Shoes that I love
- A working pancreas
- Good food and being able to eat it!
- Buffalo chicken
- Strawberry strudels
- Being in remission
- Having hair again
- Soft, fuzzy pajamas
- Last but certainly not least, I am thankful for this blog and most importantly thankful for all the supportive and wonderful people that have followed my journey. I’m thankful that you’re part of my life and thankful for everything your support has provided me throughout a challenging portion of my life.
I hope you all have a beautiful day, and remember to truly give thanks to all that you have in your life. Even if you’re going through a tough time, try to think of at least one thing that you can feel true gratitude for — whether that is as important as another human being in your life or as simple as being able to have a glass of wine. Whatever it is you’re thankful for, be truly thankful, down to your core.
Happy Thanksgiving, loves!
Lots of love & light,
Yesterday my best friend Brittany’s Meme passed away. Yesterday I was reminded, yet again, of the importance of remembering that each day with those we love is a gift. Yesterday I was reminded of how beautiful and important friendships can be.
Brittany is more than a best friend, she’s a sister. I met Brittany when we were 5 years old in kindergarten and she asked me for my fruit roll-up. A rarity in my household, I swiftly denied trading for whatever snack she had. Since that moment, we’ve been by each other’s side. Throughout my childhood, The Piet’s, were my second family. I had a trundle bed in Britt’s room as I slept there so often. I went on almost every family camping trip and even a family trip to Disney when we were 16. I was at holiday’s and parties. Sometimes, to Mr. & Mrs. Piet, it probably felt like I was there more than I was my own home!! They already have four girls, but they opened their home to me and made me their 5th daughter. And that love was not just with her immediate family, but with her extended family as well. I gained aunts, uncles, cousins and two amazing grandmothers. How lucky I was to have this extended family in my life. My own family and grandparents are incredible enough, then I got blessed with this second set of family as well!
Meme was kind, gentle and full of love. Her smile was one that would wrap around you like a bear hug (that is, if she wasn’t giving you an actual bear hug!) She was truly a beautiful soul here on this earth and I know she will continue to be one eternally. Most of all, her family was her everything and I am so grateful that I was able to be an honorary member of that family.
I will forever remember her sweet eyes, lively laugh, caring nature and sweet demeanor.
To my Piet family, I can’t thank you enough for making me part of your family and allowing me to have known this remarkable woman. I am here for you and I love you all from the bottom of my heart.
All my love,
There’s not too much that takes my breath away but these little boys just did. They show that true friendship is a bond like no other and one that can help make even the worst of times better. My friends have helped me so much this past year, whether it was being a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen to my worries, a visit while I was stuck in the hospital bed, making me laugh while I was down or even creating a video montage of about 10 of my closest friends dancing to a song that I love (yes, they really did that!). I wouldn’t been able to get through this experience without the love of my best friends. True friendship is such a rare and beautiful thing and these boys are an amazing reminder of just how powerful simply being a good friend can be.
Happy weekend everyone!
For eleven months, all I’ve been dreaming of is getting my life back— in particular, going back to work and being able to have a drink. I’ve said it time and time again, and that time is finally here. And it’s really, really….weird. Going back to work last week was overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. I was so thrilled to be back in the “real” world (however I’d argue that my life has been pretty real this past year) but I had forgotten that the real world isn’t exactly what I had cracked it up to be. Back to cube land, back to meetings, back to traffic, back to getting up early and getting home late, back to work clothes and no pajamas. I had gotten very used to my life revolving around cancer, revolving around being as healthy as I could be, focusing solely on myself and getting better. My days were lonely and boring but in a way, I had grown accustomed to it. So getting back into the grind of working is proving to be more difficult than I had expected. Everything just feels different. Physically, the day tires me out much more than it ever has and since I’m still going through chemo, there’s things like achey-ness and headaches that I have to learn how to just push through. What’s more is that my mindset has shifted so much from where I was a year ago. I feel so lucky to be here, so grateful to be alive and able to go to work. However, this feeling like I’ve been given a second chance at life is a bit overwhelming. I want to make a difference in the world and help other people as so many people have helped me. Instead, I do social media for a company that makes billions of dollars a year, so in reality I’m just helping the rich get richer. I am so grateful to still have a job but I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around going back to a work life where nothing has changed while everything in my life has changed so drastically.
The beauty, however, of the working world is the pure bliss that the weekends give you. After one short week, I was quickly reminded of just how rewarding a Friday night on the couch with a glass of red wine feels. Wait, wine?!?! Yup! I am able to have some drinks again and it feels ahhhh-mazing! Saturday night we went to a bar for Mike’s birthday with a bunch of friends. As I was dancing around in the bathroom while I got ready, I realized how excited I was to go “out.” How just the act of doing my hair and makeup, something I’ve often complained about in the past, was making me so genuinely happy. I hadn’t gotten to go out like a normal 25 year old in almost a year and that night, I was getting to do that. It was SO fun to have fun.
The past week and a half has been a whirlwind of old experiences with a new attitude. And that attitude is gratitude. Gratitude that i’ve made it this far. Gratitude that I was able to go back to work, to have a drink with friends, to workout at the gym, to exercise at all, to eat normally again…that I’m able to have a life again. i’ve still got a long road ahead of me and a lot of work to do but I’ve come a long way. I’ve got myself a new normal and I’m just going to have to get used to it.