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Today I am one year cancer- free. Let me just say that again, in CAPS, if you don’t mind. TODAY, I AM ONE YEAR CANCER-FREE.

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Some people count their first year of ‘cancer-free-ness’ from the day that their treatment ends. My way of thinking is that one year ago today was my breast surgery. It’s the day that I woke up with cancer in my body – and went to sleep without it.

Last year, my surgery was two days before Thanksgiving. It marked the end of a whirlwind month that started with a mammography that detected the lump, included the biopsy that confirmed it as cancer, and required numerous other check-ins: with my dentist, neurologist, dermotologist, gynocologist and psychiatrist. It was the first month of what would be a pretty harrowing year.

I spent last Thanksgiving in my pajamas; tired and scared. Truthfully, it was hard to have a lot of gratitude. As I recall, I managed to use the old “it could be worse” way of thinking to muster up the energy to give thanks for what I had. Of course, I was thankful for my family and friends.

This year, I am more thankful than ever for everyone and everything in my life. But make no mistake: cancer is not a gift. In fact, it’s more like a box full of shit. But like all of life’s trials and tribs, you can learn from it. You can find a silver living. You can find ways to make changes in your life that you never thought possible. You can fall down and pick yourself up. You can be a little more grateful and a lot more positive.

I am sure over the next four weeks I will have a lot of memories of last year’s holiday season. As I come to the end of my treatment, and to this year of blogging about it, I hope you’ll indulge me in a few more posts. I need to take every opportunity I can to thank you all for being part of my life.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!