On Thanksgiving Day 1991, three months after my diagnoses of leukemia, I laid in a hospital bed at GW University Hospital in Washington, D.C.
My spleen was removed the prior day. The procedure was not a treatment for the cancer itself; it was simply to help de-bulk the tumor burden. Five pounds of leukemic cells had clustered in my (normally) two-pound spleen, and it needed to come out.
Though I was out of it, between the drugs and accompanying deliria, I vividly recall the endless cycle of visitors—the family and friends that paid me a visit that cold Thanksgiving Day.
I couldn’t help but feel guilty, that I had put them out, having them trek all the way downtown on that wintry day, separating them from their families and holiday festivities. At the same time, the feeling of gratitude was overwhelming.
There I lay, tired and weak, just a day after major surgery. But I was alive and present, living in the moment. It was a beautiful if not challenging day, full of thankfulness for the amazing support, love and warmth that surrounded my bedside.
I am grateful for your incredible support of n of 1, and for being a valued part of my community. Regardless if you reside in the U.S., or elsewhere in the world, and don’t recognize this particular holiday, I suspect you will connect with the premise of the day, and hopefully my 25-year-old anecdote.
I wish for you the support I have been blessed with throughout my quarter-century journey as a cancer thriver.
May your Thanksgiving and every day be full of peace and gratitude, and the innate healing power you harness as an n of 1.
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