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Gratitude

This post is long overdue, but what I realized is that every time I wanted to write and thank everyone for the tremendous amount of support, I was still in the middle of a lesson. I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and appreciation for sharing a glimpse of my story that it took my breath away. I would cry tears of joy with every word and message written it really was a lot to absorb. I wanted to thank and hug everyone personally although that would be impossible. I was so thankful that this life event and blog led me to help more women, introduced me to thyroid cancer survivors that I call friends,  to a master surgeon that took great care of me,.. My last post also helped me find answers in my struggle to be a parent that could withstand the struggles teen years are bringing me. I struggled with the vulnerability of my last post because I have always been the helper not he one needing support and help, and maybe world would see into my personal life…But what am I scared of? My answers to that led me to to say… I am so happy that I did write and share. It showed me being vulnerable is okay. Life is messy and we need support and love and if we can help others along the way, well thats a bonus.

Through adversity we learn, and emerge stronger and wiser.  With friends and support we can stay strong. Thats how I feel.  Im no stranger to overcoming adversity but this time my health and body wasn’t keeping up with my mind. I am gaining strength and feeling better everyday but giving myself time to heal in more ways than one. Ironically the symbol for thyroid cancer is a butterfly. Thats how I feel. I’m in getting ready to emerge and fly out of the cocoon. I needed to lose my thyroid to cancer to open my eyes, and give answers to many questions to my long list of health issues, and now realize all that is going right in my life…

Recently a friend gave me a gratitude journal to help in my healing.. Another friend I spoke to on the phone told me to keep a journal of all the things I’m grateful for. Through these last few months sadness had made its way into my life as all my plans for the perfect family, and my career of which I related my my identity and held so much of my security came to a halt to focus on my children and my health. Its as if God wanted take those security blankets away to expose me to a new journey.

I had to stop exercising which I enjoyed to give my body rest, and through debilitating fatigue I now had to revolve my life around my sons new schedule in private school. I had to put all efforts and days into finding him happiness and fulfillment through a variety of programs and hobbies and spending majority of my days with him as he displayed defiance and resistance toward me.

I also had to take a leave of absence from work to regain my health and sanity keeping things together at home. Its been a rollercoaster ride keeping up with the life we created with the busy schedules, home, health, my sons well being and our finances.., and now any extra income from work and my career (my security blanket) had to be given up, which meant part of my identity as well..  My husband and I have done our best to making sure our children don’t go without anything that can help them with there future, and keep them happy in the moment.

I thought I was eating healthy, exercising, doing everything in my power to guide and help my children make the right choices for their future and developing their character.  I didn’t realize my efforts were more controlling than helpful.

When I spoke to some of my closest friends they were surprised at the tone of my voice as I sounded depleted and tired, sad, and negative.  Why am I running a race I can’t win? But what they noticed is a woman that has always been positive in the some of the biggest trials of her life, and always inspired them to do so as well, now sounds unrecognizable..

It seemed as if I lost control over the things that kept me feeling secure, safe and happy. My health , my children, my finances, my career, and my future. All of which I worked very hard to keep in control.

What I didn’t realize is that my efforts were not working and I had see things in a different light.

Life is a long journey of discovery. We don’t always have the answers and every experience good or bad is a chance for growth.

I have been praying and healing, and along with support and prayers from amazing friends and family,  I have discovered that the answers were right in front of me. These trials have all helped my realize more now than ever, what I’m am Grateful for, and what is going right.

These recent trials are not the worst of what I have endured in my life and I am strong. I know that something good always emerges through adversity. I have lived and witnessed that multiple times in my life and this is just a bump in the road.

I learned that hypothyroidism drains your energy and takes a toll on your mental state adding to the negativity. I realized that negative thoughts can take over your life adding to health and relational problems.

I do have one more obstacle to endure and that is taking Radio Active Iodine Treatments starting  on June 21. I will keep my mind and body strong for this and I know that it is minor in comparison to many other forms of radiation.

So I made the decision to live in the moment and enjoy and embrace my new opportunities.

The opportunity to relax and give up it to God. The time to learn more about myself and let go of the things that brought me a false sense of security. The opportunity to explore new talents that could lead to fulfilling my creative side, and discover new career paths when the time comes. The opportunity to take time to explore cooking as a hobby and savor good wholesome nutrional foods to feed me and my family.

The opportunity to show my kids life skills and help them learn independence by earning and working and helping around the house. Not just for my benefit but for theirs. So that some day they will feel the joy of accomplishment and the gift of gratitude as well.

I have embraced time with friends in a way that I savor the moments and conversations, not the places and experiences.

I have embraced my home as my haven, a place for family, friends, conversation,- not as a pit stop to sleep and eat and constantly and leave.

I have realized that my discovery  of thyroid cancer led me to discover a lifetime of aliments that can now be controlled and am looking forward to living and feeling better than I ever have.

I am grateful my cancer is curable and I have a second chance to start over and do things differently.

I am grateful for my husband. My better half, and that I have discovered a side to our relationship that is sweeter than any other time on our lives.

And last but not least, I have had the opportunity to let go, and realize I can’t control everything. As much as I want my kids to have all the opportunities I missed. Its their journey. They need to learn from mistakes. I can only guide them but can’t control the outcome. I hope that I planted some good seeds and will always support them. But they need to own their failures and accomplishments to truly have fulfillment.  My son is doing amazing and has shown signs of a leader in helping friends overcome challenges. He is ready to face public high school and even if he experiences challenges again, they are his to experience, learn from, and grow stronger. I will embrace that with love and support -not control.

I have written so much to be grateful in my journal daily (thank you Jodi);).  Mostly stuff I know but when written, reminds me of all thats right and all that I have been given. For that I am truly grateful.

There is no time like the present to be grateful for the good in our lives. Gratitude opens our eyes and heart to living with peace, happiness, and satisfaction in the present moment. Through tough times if we try we can find much to be grateful for. The choice is ours.

I read this recently and it seems appropriate to share now:

Savor What’s Going Right. “We think too much about what goes wrong and not enough about what goes right in our lives.”

A Special Thanks to:

All my amazing friends, neighbors and community for weeks of amazing meals to nourish my family and help me rest. My special friend April for taking the lead and organizing a meal train, and always being a supportive friend through the years I can count on. My special circle of friends in Alpharetta, you bring so much joy to my life.

My mother for her help during surgery with love, doing our laundry, and her delicious bone broth soup. My Mother in-law for taking time to spend a week with us to help and support our kids. My sister Karla for hopping on a flight to see me right away- that means so much to me. My Aunts are my prayer warriors I love you, thank you Tia Jossy and Tia Baica for your visit.

Friends that sent flowers, books, and cards , they lit up my days and gave me hope., my clients for missing me and reaching out with support, Van Michael Salon for all your support and understanding and embracing me with welcome arms and assurance I have a place to work if I would like to return when ready.

My childhood girlfriends that are more like my sisters Jodi, Maria, Danielle, and Dina for taking time to visit me in short notice and giving me the gift of laughter, food and reminiscing.. Its like we never missed a beat the last 30 years. My old high school friends and acquaintances for so much support in your messages and prayers…

My fellow LAX families for all your help with carpool. My daughter’s other mothers Carlene and Maria for loving my girl and taking her everywhere she needs to go. My daughters small group leaders in Inside Out and Young Life for being such a positive influence in her life. And her amazing friends, I am so proud of all of you for your hearts for serving and being genuine friends. I know she’s in good hands.

My jersey girl Sara for always supporting me and giving me a piece of home close by. My students from the past for all your messages of support and gratitude for the inspiration I gave to you, and now you give back to me.

My life long friend Gina Shiflet for giving me years of inspiration and speaking words of wisdom and healing into my life. My old friends and clients in NJ that I haven’t spoken to in years for reaching out with support and love. My old friend Chaz for always making me smile and always taking time out to spend with me. My old friend and roomate Naomi for making time to come to Alpharetta and visit with me, I so enjoyed our time catching up and reminiscing…

My new friends that are thyroid cancer survivors for your continuous support and advice and always checking on me. My couples small group for all your support , my church for helping me raise my amazing children, lessons about life and inspiration. My Lighthouse Family- your support means so much to me..

Kimberly Brock and all the ladies and fellow artists at  Tinderbox Writers for helping me discover new talents, inspiration, and support. My naturopath Alane at Nutritionally Yours,  my friend Jodi at Lettuce Massage, you have given me so much support with your wealth of knowledge in womens health and well being, and your  years of support… This time your counsel, positive thinking, nutritional support and a friendship  have helped me heal. You have a gift for helping women and I am lucky to have you as a lifelong friend and coach. Our family counselor and coach Edward Clark author of From Here to Serenity, your wisdom has helped us grow in so many ways..

My husband for being my best friend and taking over many of the morning and driving responsibilities so I can rest, and supporting me in all my efforts to heal and discover new paths. My children you are my greatest accomplishments and treasures, I love you more than words can express.

My savior for opening my eyes to overcoming adversity once more. I am stronger and wiser.

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