I can’t think of a better time than the day before Thanksgiving (I’ll be a little busy cooking on the actual day to post) to acknowledge all of the people I am grateful for, can you? It’s been quite a year—I spent Thanksgiving in the hospital last year and I don’t think I was even able to eat anything that day. Unfortunately my family was subjected to eating in the hospital cafeteria (though the food is pretty good there).

Of course, family comes first. My husband’s last day of work is today. Never would have thought I would be retired before him, though only by a few months; after all, he is four years older than I am! I’ve put him through a lot this past year but I can’t remember him complaining once. He’s my hero, my rock. My three daughters have all managed to fit time into their busy schedules to keep track of and support me and if they can’t be here, they and their families keep in touch via FaceTime. My mother’s nightly 7 p.m. phone calls have kept us connected—she keeps me posted on what she ate for lunch at the Senior Center! My extended family has all been there for me as well (sisters, in-laws).

How could I have managed without all of my friends this past year? They were here for me before my surgery and during my six weeks of recovery after the surgery–and they haven’t given up on me. My “work” friends even surprised me with a turkey dinner (a craving related to being deprived of a Thanksgiving dinner last year) to celebrate my birthday this month!

My doctors, Dr. Seigne, Dr. Ernstoff, Dr. BelBruno, Dr. Homan, and all of the many others who made my surgery and stay at DHMC a success (fingers crossed!) are priceless. I’m so appreciative of the wisdom, albeit it remotely, of Dr. Hammer at the University of Michigan, as well as the willingness of my doctors here to value it.

My writing group has helped me focus on what’s important to me. No paycheck comes from the time I invest in writing, and yet it’s the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life. It’s what I do just for myself, it’s my “dream.” Not come true by any means…especially since I will NOT succeed at NaNoWriMo this year.

Mainly I’m grateful that I am still alive, and cancer-free, after one year, and here to enjoy cooking another Thanksgiving dinner, surrounded by family and friends and food.

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7 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Kathy Rives November 27, 2013 at 11:05 pm Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving, Karen. It was a blessing to read about your thankful heart. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Retirement to Steve! May you both enjoy it!

    God Bless. Kathy 🙂

    Sent from my iPhone


    • kwhalen November 28, 2013 at 8:26 am Reply

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Kathy!

  2. Regis Marie Roy November 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving! Happy to hear you are doing well.

    • kwhalen November 28, 2013 at 8:20 am Reply

      Same to you, Regis! After today I may need to rest–but doing well otherwise!!

  3. Heidi November 28, 2013 at 6:17 am Reply

    When our family does our annual round of the table, saying what we are grateful for, “Karen” will be on my list!

    • kwhalen November 28, 2013 at 8:19 am Reply

      Awwww… sweet! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. And especially to Ted!!

  4. Brenda and Dana November 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm Reply

    Karen, so glad things are looking up. Happy Thanksgiving you and your family.

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