FFTFL premiere

FFTFL premiere

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


"Gratitude is not the same as giving thanks. It comes from a deeper place that knows the story could have ended differently, and often does." - Heather Lende

My family has SO much to be grateful for this year. Last Thanksgiving my brother said grace and he asked God to be with all of the doctors, nurses, technicians and aids that were going to be taking care of our mom while she went through her surgery for bladder cancer. She made it through that surgery, where she had a complete hysterectomy and removal of her bladder. That was the first hurdle. Then she began chemotherapy, "just in case." She became so ill, as many chemo patients do, that she really wanted to throw in the towel and take her chances with what might still have been lurking inside her. We all managed to keep her going and got her through her agonizing course of treatment. That was the second hurdle.

Right after finishing her last treatment, Mom was in agony. We got her to the hospital to find out that she had a perforated ulcer and needed emergency surgery, with only a 50-50 chance of coming out of it alive. Thank God she did. She has been doing well ever since. We just continue to pray that her CT scans come back clean. My parents even had colonoscopies this month that turned up nothing. They were told to come back in 5 years, when they are 81. After the prep for this last one, they both said they think they might just take their chances!

Mom, at Relay For Life 2011, the sole reason for our team "Dorothy's Determination"

Now that Mom seems to be on the mend, my dad has been having issues. He's had an irregular heart beat for some time now, but it's gotten worse to where something has to be done. He got through his stress test, so he has no blocked arteries. That means he won't have to endure bypass surgery, thank God. He had a cardiac catheterization and his dr. was able to pinpoint where the irregularity is coming from. Thankfully, it's stemming from only one area. So, on December 15th, he will be going in for an atrial ablation. It's similar to the catheterization, but they go in with electrodes and try to destroy the abnormal heart tissue causing the rhythm disorder. If everything goes well, he'll be home that day.

So, this Thanksgiving, we're still sitting on pins and needles. But we know this year could have turned out SO differently. We'll be grateful to be sitting at the Thanksgiving table once again, all 30 of us, giving thanks to God for all of the many blessings He has bestowed on us this year.
Mom and dad at Mom's 75th birthday party last year.


  1. What a nice photo of your parents! I think it is wonderful that you will share the holiday with 29 family members. Enjoy.

  2. Thanks Michelle! That's just immediate family! I'll have to write a blog about my big Catholic family soon! Happy Thanksgiving to you too!