Monday, December 25, 2006

My Christmas Thanks

Thanksgiving is the usual day for thanks, but my favorite holiday is Christmas and that is when I reflect on what I am thankful for.

I am thankful that Jim is with me. His dementia with his end-stage liver disease is severe, but even though he is not lucid enough to know it is Christmas, he knows me and loves me. I pray he can somehow recover at least some of his abilities, and for Christmas, I ask all my friends to say a short prayer/wish for the same thing.

I am thankful for Max, Ennis, and Lily. I am thankful that Max is in remission, and even though he is failing with his CRF, he is still just happy to be here. I am thankful that Ennis is starting to respond well to Levemir, and that Lily is finally putting some weight back on.

I am thankful that even though I lost Bailey this year, he was an incredibly gentle soul who will have a place in my heart forever.

I am thankful for the handful of local friends who have been helping me with Jim. They stay with him to make sure he is safe while I do necessary chores outside of the house. Of them all, the best is Liza, who calls or comes over almost every day to check us out. If I had a daughter, I would want her to be Liza.

I am thankful that I am now calling myself a breast cancer survivor. I have my final surgery in February, and hope to be completely recovered from all the treatments by mid-2007. It would be nice to get full feeling back in my fingers and toes.

I am thankful for the dozens and dozens of friends I have on the FDMB. People who help me find information to deal with some of my daily challenges, and those who support me with hugs and PMs of encouragement. I especially appreciate those who have lost beloved furries recently who take the time and effort to reach out to me. I don't want to name names, because I would certainly leave someone important out. But you know who you are, and please take this as a very personal and heartful thank you.

I am thankful for my brother Les and his wife Donna in TX who are my rocks. They are ready to come help me whenever I have the need. I am thankful for Annie from Harrisburg who came to help me during my 2nd mastectomy and Betty from FL who came to help me while Jim was "dying" in ICU. I can't even get close to the emotions I feel about their help and concern.

I am thankful for Patrick, the young man from a private-duty organization who stays with Jim 4 nights a week. Jim and Patrick have formed a special bond, and I can't imagine going through this without Patrick.

You all are my gifts, and I envision you all wearing brightly colored bows on my mantle this morning. Thank you so very very much!


{Steve Rapaport} said...

Thinking of you and Jim, and amazed at your strength.

I am also amazed that the caregivers and doctors continue to prefer to be part of the problem, not part of the solution. Glad you have the courage to go on and find someone who supports your simple determination.

I can understand Jim's need to be where he's well cared for, and so can you. Others will too.

Annie said...

Merry Christmas, Via.

We have been thinking of you and praying for strength and wisdom as you care for yourself and Jim. It is wonderful to hear that you have healed from the radiation burns and are now seeing yourself as a breast cancer survivor! We will pray for the feeling to come back in the toes and fingers now.

Christmas is all about God's love for us, and His love is given to us to share. You show that love to Jim and all those that touch your life, whether near or far, every day. And, that is a very inspiring message to all of us this Christmas. Thank you for your friendship and kindness.

Our love, Annie, Doug, Rudy, Tiger, and Ashley

Laura C. said...

What a wonderful message. I know I haven't been as attentive as others, but you have been in my prayers and thoughts and if only I knew better ways to connect, I would do so. I speak about you to others of PASBO who knew you so well and I know they all have you in their thoughts as well. Maybe we can all pray strong enough to help Jim and you have some quality time together again.

What a long road this has all been for you. You may have wonderful friends and family, but you, my dear, are the one with the will and the strength to get this far.

Have a Holy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year....

Laura C.

Fairydragonfly said...

Wishing you all the best in 2007. You are such an inspiration to so many of us.

Sheree, Nem and Kiwi

Alice said...

Sending lots of hugs and best wishes for the new year.


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