Thursday, January 09, 2014



At the beginning of the month, a nice lady named Heather contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in writing a post about gratitude. It was to be part of a series celebrating her journey as an eight-year cancer survivor. I agreed and figured I could come up with something cute about the holiday season. In the aftermath of Nico's three-day hospital stay, of course, I feel like I have a lot more to be thankful for than a nice Christmas (although I'm thankful for that, too).

I am thankful that Nico's asthma flare-up, while scary, wasn't a more serious, life-threatening condition. Sitting with him in the hospital, I was suddenly aware that doing so is some parents' long-term reality. It was a sobering thought.

I am thankful for the medical care that made his condition something manageable and treatable. I cannot imagine trying to raise a severely asthmatic child in a log cabin somewhere.

I am thankful for the competent, compassionate care Nico received from every doctor, nurse, therapist, and tech we encountered at the hospital. Even the food service workers and the housekeeper were kind.

I am thankful for the nurse who got Nico a portable oxygen tank on his second day in the hospital so he could spend an hour in the playroom.

I am thankful for our health insurance. Even with it, we'll likely be paying off bills for six months. Without it, we'd probably be financially crippled.

I am thankful that both MB's workplace and mine were understanding of our need for time off to be with our child, and for the sick leave policies that will keep us from losing three days of income.

I am thankful for the outpouring of support from friends on Twitter and facebook. Sometimes just being heard and acknowledged makes things seem less dire.

I am thankful for my parents, who took care of Elliott every day so I could be at the hospital with Nico.

I am thankful for MB. I cannot imagine a better partner or co-parent.

I am thankful for my bright, beautiful boys and I'm so thankful to have them both under the same roof again.

Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2005 and given 15 months to live. Eight years later, she continues to share her story to build hope and awareness. Learn more about Heather's journey here.

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