My good friend, Joe, said it better than anyone: “There is something to be thankful for every day, not just one day a year.”

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth"...

“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth” (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thank you, Joe, for keeping this day in perspective. After all, the cynic in me believes that Thanksgiving was devised by the American Turkey Growers Association, or some such lobby. Of course, my cynicism is probably borne by a certain amount of truth

And, to evidence of Joe’s belief, this week has proven what he said. As a cancer patient with a current bile obstruction, I was hoping the doctors could remove the obstruction and place a stent Sunday. However, the doctor at the hospital could not complete the procedure, and suggested I meet with an oncologist for further instructions. Does that sound like someone wanting to avoid being the bearer of bad news and force that role on someone else? Yeah, I thought so, too.

Then, we met with Dr. Jerry on Tuesday and walked away from that meeting with a vastness of hope. Mind you, not the kind of hope that our current acting president offers to those who swallow his Kool-Aid.  But real defining hope.

Just this next week we have a meeting with another gastroenterologist, and low-dose chemo starts Wednesday. So, there is hope.

But, as a cancer patient, my list of things to be thankful for may be slightly different from the average Joe, and they are in no particular order:

  • A loving God who shows me His presence in a soft breeze, a whisper, a slow stream, a beautiful sunset or a quiet room
  • Having choices because they help us to appreciate the array of care that God has for each and every one of us
  • Understanding about “windows and doors,” in that God doesn’t close a door but what he opens a window and what that means to my life right now
  • Seeing brightness every morning through the window next to my bed
  • Having a wonderfully supportive family that is there 100 percent of the time, including my wife who calls me “cancer boy” — and that always makes me smile
  • A growing stable of good, close friends who are enlisted troops to help fight that snotty bastard damien, and they know the best way to win the fight is through humor (God bless each and every one of you)
  • A growing, almost insatiable, need for the emotional satisfaction that a really good song brings to my senses
  • That I can still weep every time I hear Louis Armstrong sing “What a Wonderful World,” or that I can jump up and dance whenever I hear Frankie sing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”
  • Over the years, I was fortunate to travel often, and I have a quiver of vacation memories to last a lifetime
  • In summary, I am thankful that the universe still seems boundless to me, and I can find something to feel good about every single day.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share these with you. God bless you and your families. Be safe in your travels over this holiday weekend.