I have always been a pretty positive person, but in the last few months have been reminded just how important an “attitude of gratitude” really is in life.
As I told you in my last post (two months ago) our daughter Sherry had undergone emergency surgery to remove a cancerous mass in her colon. The cancer was Stage 4 and had been there for at least three years. We were overwhelmed because there had been no symptoms and no warning.
The surgeon is confident he was able to remove all of the cancer and is very pleased with her progress. Her oncologist is being very aggressive with her chemo; starting her treatments just a few weeks after the surgery. Sherry knows there is a long road in front of her with the chemo and radiation and having to deal with a colostomy bag for 7-8 months. But the doctors tell us she has youth on her side and have been so impressed with her positive attitude.
It could have been very easy for Sherry to slip into an attitude of “poor me” vs. an “attitude of gratitude.” Her Daddy and I are so proud of the way she has reacted to such an overwhelming situation. She is a daily inspiration to me with her positive attitude and wonderful sense of humor, even . . .
- When I forgot to check her robe pocket and almost washed her iPod (that has over 12,000 songs in it). Obviously I’m a little out of practice at this “Mom” stuff.
- When she was getting hooked up for her first “at home” chemo treatment and putting on the sterile gown, mask and gloves said, “Oh, I didn’t know we got to play dress up.”
- When two nurses took her vitals and come up with a blood pressure reading of 88/54 and made four attempts to get blood. She remained cheerful as the nurses had her lying down, sitting up, leaning over, on her side, but finally got the blood they needed. Sherry joked maybe she should try standing on her head next time!
- When I see her smile although she is hurting and I know she doesn’t feel like smiling.
- When she jokes about countless little things throughout each day that could just as easily have been complaints.
- When I see her do just what the doctors order every day. Especially when she worked so hard during a chemo week so she could attend a party her friends threw for her (just for a short time). Good medicine for her as you can see in the photo above.
I know there are many moments of fear and frustration, but her “attitude of gratitude” allows her to view her glass as half full. So today, I am taking a page out of Sherry’s book with a few gratitude’s of my own.
- I am grateful for friends, loved ones, and family who have demonstrated such incredible generosity and have been there for Sherry (and for our family) whether next door or 2000 miles away. Their kindness has been unbelievable and we will never forget how they have embraced our daughter and surrounded her with their love and prayers.
- I am grateful to Sherry’s wonderful friends and former high school classmates for being such nice people and sticking with her during this difficult time.
- I am grateful for technology like the internet, where I can communicate easily, quickly and for practically no cost.
- I am grateful for being well enough, physically and mentally, that I can care for my daughter so she can concentrate on getting well.
- I am grateful for fun, laughter and prayers that help us get through tough times.
- I am grateful for the surgeon and oncologist for the knowledge and skills they utilized to remove the cancer and give her the treatment she needs.
- I am grateful knowing I can rely on a God that is always with me to supply comfort, strength and healing.
We all have a choice every single day to view challenges as an opportunity or impassable roadblocks. To view the glass half-empty or half-full. To live with an “attitude of gratitude” that will make a huge difference in our lives.
Ending on a Positive Note: I thank God for Sherry’s inspiration during this rough time. I am so blessed that both Sherry and Stacy were such sweet, loving little girls that grew up to be loving, caring individuals with an “attitude of gratitude.”
NOTE: March is National Colorectal Cancer Month! The most powerful prevention for this type of cancer is a colonoscopy, so if you are 50+ be sure to follow your doctor’s screening recommendations.