I could never have gotten through this journey without so many special people in my life. One of the most special of these is my husband, Joe. Cancer can cause a lot of stress in a family and Joe took on the reigns of our household without complaint and he did it well!! Not many husbands could switch gears and single handedly take on four active kid’s schedules, assume housekeeping 101, while also working their day job. He did just that and, in addition, provided me with so much love, support and encouragement through every step of this long journey. He is amazing and I love him so much.
I’ve already talked in previous posts about my wonderful parents, sister and family. They have helped me immensely and mean the world to me. I have always known I have the best parents and I realize it even more after going through cancer. I am also lucky to have THE best sister ever. My sister, Selena, is my best friend and I love her dearly. She also had to run Annie & Isabel by herself and we had our best month in sales to date during that time...so she was busy....in a good way!!!
I want to thank each and every one of you for joining me on this journey and especially for helping me get through each step from surgery #1 ~ to surgery #2 ~ to treatment and isolation. You have all been my biggest cheerleaders and have helped both me and my family tremendously in remaining positive and recognizing the good things that have come from this experience. We were so blessed by all of you in so many different ways:
• We have had dinners brought to our home from friends from the week I was diagnosed until now and that has been a huge blessing. It’s been one BIG thing that we haven’t had to worry about.
• I have received so many beautiful cards in the mail. I never realized how much a card received via snail mail could lift my spirits and make me smile until going through this cancer diagnosis.
• I had one dear friend, Anne, invite me over for a girls chick flick day when I was too tired to do much else but lay on the couch. She treated me to a lunch that met my special diet guidelines and made my day!
|The two of us on a more energetic day!|
• I had numerous families take my children out to do fun things like bowling and going to dinner and plays.
• While I was in isolation, I had several surrogate moms to give my little ones hugs! I know they appreciated that.
· I received this beautiful quilt made by my mother-in-law to comfort me during my recoveries and this banner, made by a friend, to remind me what my job was...to Kick Cancer's Butt!
• I was blessed by two friends who are teachers that had their children write me notes of encouragement. I cried both times because of how wonderful it felt to hear from children who were so thoughtful to reach out and write to me.
• Several times I found fun gifts left on our doorstep to brighten our family’s day (and to fatten me up after losing some weight after surgery).
• My three best friends from high school all got together to come see me. Two of them had to fly in from out of state. We hadn’t been together at one time in over 8 years and while I felt so tired that day….they gave me more energy and laughter than I had had in a long time!
• I received several small little gifts that I wore and used throughout my journey that reminded me to keep up the good fight with a smile on my face.
• I received a prayer blanket from a dear relative who I hadn’t corresponded with in years. It was a special blanket that was prayed on while being made and given a special blessing by the monsignor of their church. I used this on my bed while I was in isolation and it was so comforting.
• We had several families provide rides for our children to and from school and sporting activities
• I'm so amazed at the friendships that we've made through Annie & Isabel from far and near. This gorgeous painting was left on my doorstep, while in isolation, by local realtor and artist Tim Collom. It brought tears to my eyes because it's my family's favorite vacation spot and I've only just met Tim this year. He shared something so precious with me...his gift of art. It will remind me of the love and support of friends as I look at this painting for years to come.
• I had several friends who knew exactly what to do to make me laugh, including this special gift from my friend Amy when I was about to become radioactive. Only from a good nurse friend like Amy can you get a gift in "biohazard wrapping" to lift your spirits.
· Another great friend researched and explained the low iodine diet I was required to do prior to treatment. She helped me get organized and prepare ahead of time which took a huge weight off my shoulders!!
• I received hundreds of notes of encouragement via email and twitter and each and every note boosted me tremendously. Even Real Housewife of New Jersey Teresa Giudice read my story and sent out this thoughtful tweet!
· I received an abundance of flowers to brighten up my days.
|These are only a few of the beautiful arrangements I received|
I don’t share all this with you to brag about all the neat things that were sent our way or were done for me and our family. I share all these things with you to show you how much of an integral part of this journey you all were in helping me win this battle. I have always felt so blessed and lucky to have so many people standing alongside me in this fight against cancer.
When I first blogged about my thyroid cancer diagnosis I said that cancer didn’t stand a chance against me and that I was going to “Kick Cancer’s Butt”. I did Kick Cancer’s Butt but the support that you all provided to me made it so much easier that I would now say that I didn’t kick cancer’s butt but, rather, WE Kicked Cancer’s Butt!!! Thank YOU so much!
So Here Are My Parting Words To You Cancer:
1. Thank you for making me a better person.
2. It has NOT been fun.
3. I have, indeed, Kicked Your Butt!!
4. Now stay away because I have an amazing life to go live.