I have a lot to be thankful for. Especially this year.
I’m a firm believer in being thankful every day, but sometimes that doesn’t happen…you feel down, and just aren’t thinking about it. Thanksgiving helps with that.
I’m thankful for
Sarah. Not only is she the person I’ll be spending the rest of my life with, she has been there for me every second of everything I’ve been going through. She is always positive, doesn’t own a negative bone in her body, and I’ve learned a lot from her and will continue to do so. She has been the only light for me during some dark days.
I don’t know where she draws the power to deal with everything I’ve had going on, but I would absolutely do the same for her. And that’s why I know I’m lucky, and thankful to have her in my life.
My family. Sometimes we don’t get along. Just like any family. But man, this year every single member of my family jumped to be by my side. Going through treatment anywhere else wasn’t an option. I needed to be near my family. Like Gary V. says, Family is the whole game. Without them there’s nothing.
I have taken A LOT for granted during my 30 years, family being one of them. No more.
My friends. When I asked Schmidt, Britt, Mikey, Peter, Amanda, Mandy, Elizabeth and Mike to stand up and do something nobody has ever seen before (#BlameDrewsCancer), they didn’t ask questions. Not once. 24 hour event? No questions. Fundraising? No questions. Phone calls, emails, sponsor seeking? No questions. Put up with me when I was feeling the worst I could possibly feel? No questions. Not ONCE. Louis Gray called me every day. Friends I haven’t heard from in years checked in on me and still do. It’s overwhelming sometimes. I called Micki and CC before I told anyone else about being potentially diagnosed with cancer. They didn’t treat me like a sickly shut-in. They offered their love and support. With no questions asked. They are not only my friends, but are now a part of my family.
My Dr’s and Nurses. I cannot put into words how scared I was. And how scared I still am sometimes. Dr. Solan, and his staff (Ellen the wundernurse especially) would not let me get down. Always moving forward, never looking back….they kept me on the road to recovery. There is so much damage that I’m dealing with now, I sit here wondering “what happened?” almost every hour. But I’ll get back to being ok. I would have never had a shot though without my Dr’s and nurses.
Me: There is a strong chance that I will be diagnosed with a form of cancer. I will gladly help you find my replacement.
Them: No. You’re a part of our family.
That kind of love and support from a company you work for is rare. How about one you haven’t even started working for yet? Absolutely amazing, and I am forever thankful. I’ll be heading out to LA December 8th, and I have some real work to do and some team building to head up.
People I still don’t know personally. That was the big shock this year. People I didn’t even know did things that blew my mind. They helped raise money, reached out to other folks going through cancer to lighten up their day…all because I asked them to. I might not know them personally, but they have made a huge impact, and for that I am thankful.
My health. At the end of the day, if you’re not healthy, what’s the point? Take care of YOU, or you can’t care about anyone else.
Technology and the internet.
I will try harder to say how thankful I am to everyone that I care about more often. And even though I’m not having a Thanksgiving dinner this year with anyone, it doesn’t mean that I’m not extra thankful.
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it"
Out of my twenties.
A cancer survivor.
What the hell happened this year? Well, quite a bit actually.
How can the scariest year of my life ALSO be the most amazing eye opening and rewarding year of my life? It’s freaking weird, yo.
I don’t remember the 70’s. I kinda remember the 80’s - transformers and gobots and stuff. The 90’s was all Nirvana. 2000’s have been the interwebs.
And beating cancer.
For my birthday last year I went to see Zack and Miri make a Porno with my roomies and friends. It was lovely.
But see, I can’t stand birthdays. I don’t know what it is about them. I’ve always viewed birthdays as a way of counting down the days you’ve been in prison or something. Yes, I’m eternal optimist and a private pessimist. It’s an odd mix.
But I could get used to birthdays. I’ve learned over the past 6 months that reflection is a big key to happiness. What’s the point of doing things, experiencing things, and learning things if you don’t ever look back on them fondly and think about them often?
I’m so fast to move move move, I never stand still and think.
So my birthday present to myself today will be to reflect on the past year…not just the cancer ass kicking part over the past 6 months.
I’m going to have an epic thank you/birthday party with my friends when I’m feeling better. Still super tired from last weeks treatment.
The best way to explain how I feel after ever chemo treatment is like getting the flu every other week.
Vomiting, insomnia, sniffles, chills, hot flashes, yuckiness, crappiness, muckyness.
And then after a few days, the fog would lift a bit, and every day after that I’d feel a bit better. Then on my off chemo week I’d take off somewhere else. Not feeling perfect, but feeling good enough.
I have never said no to anything since being diagnosed. I have spoken at both 140 conferneces, NY and LA, I’ve spoken at Blog World, co-emcee’d the LIVESTONG challenge with Ethan, and more stuff that I can’t remember. Blame the chemo brain.
Just now, I feel the fog lifting again. A familiar feeling.
Except this time…
It’s for longer than a week.
Think about all of the stuff we’ve accomplished in the past 6 months together. Now think about the next 6 months where I start to feel like myself again.
We kicked cancer in the nuts, now we’re going for the final blow.
You’ve gotten me through so much, I can’t even begin to verbalize it. I’ll find a way soon as I start feeling better, I promise.
I can’t thank you enough, and you know who you are. Everyone who has tweeted, blamed, donated, shared a story, cried with me on the phone…we’re just getting started.
I get emotional every time I think about those words. I’ve waited to type them for months.
May 20th I sat in front of my Dr. while he told me that my life was about to take a detour. I knew from the phone call that it wasn’t good.
Today, November 2nd, I sat there while he told me I was done.
This was my last treatment. 12 of 12.
12 visits every 2 weeks where I knew walking in that I was about to get my ass kicked. I’d go home and vomit, hate the smell of food. Not wanting people to even touch me or hug me.
But I made it. With your help.
You can call me crazy, or call me stupid…but this whole blaming thing worked. The power of positive energy, the power of distraction, the power of community, the power of support, the power of love. It worked. It made my cancer go away for good.
Treatment alone wasn’t enough, I firmly believe that. There were moments where I could literally feel myself being pulled into depression. Moments that I didn’t want to do this shit anymore. Moments that I was ready to pack it in, never talk to anyone again and be pathetic.
But you wouldn’t let me.
14,077 People Have Blamed my cancer for 34,123 Things.
Fourteen THOUSAND. How many of those people do I actually know? Maybe a few hundred. How amazing is that? 34,123 times, the word cancer was spoken out loud and in a very public place on Twitter.
Cancer can’t hide anymore, we’ve made sure of that. We’ve got to keep the good work going.
I need a vacation badly, just some time to unwind and heal. But our organization Blame Cancer is entering the phases of reality. All of you are helping us form it and shape it.
I just got home from chemo but I wanted to write this and say thank you from the bottom of my heart. For everything.
Cancer has no idea how in trouble it is. Ya see, in 2 weeks, I don’t have to get chemo…so that means my body and brain will be healed that much more. And I’ll recover from the chemo brain and the aches and pains. And I’ll get closer to 100%. We kicked cancers ass while I was about 40%, imagine what we’ll do now.
It’s good to be alive, and it’s good to have all of you as friends.
I love you.
PS. In the coming days/weeks I’ll be personally thanking all of you. It’s time for me to rest up a bit.