Friday, November 23, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and family. For those of you who aren’t versed in American culture, this is a time of year when families get together and feast on roast turkey and pumpkin pie. You’re also supposed to be thinking about all the things that you’re thankful for.

I’ve been thankful about a lot of things, before and after cancer, but since it’s Thanksgiving, I’ve compiled a list of things that I’m particularly thankful for this very moment (in no particular order).

1) I’m thankful that I’m not an Arab woman living in Saudi Arabia. I just heard on the news this morning that a 19-year-old Saudi Arabian woman who was gang-raped has been sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in jail. She was punished for being raped. I can’t imagine living in a society like that.

2) I’m thankful that I have two healthy, happy kids. I have too many friends who can’t have babies or whose children have been diagnosed with all manner of ailments. I think about how lucky I am almost every day.

3) I’m thankful that I have cancer and not my kids or Tony. Having cancer is no fun, but I don’t know how I’d handle watching my kids go through cancer treatment. And I’d rather deal with cancer myself than watch Tony do it. Plus, he has more earning power than I do, so after I die, he can provide for the kids. I’m not sure I could do the same if he were to die. Definitely not on a teacher’s or journalist’s salary. Yes, ever the pragmatist.

4) I’m thankful that I have such kind and clever friends. I’ve heard stories of people with cancer whose friends drop them or distance themselves. Most of my friends have gotten even more generous, kind, thoughtful, and fun. I’ve even made new friends or reconnected with long-lost friends since cancer. There’s nothing like the threat of never seeing someone again to make you want to get to know that person.

5) I’m thankful that someone is cooking me a Thanksgiving meal tonight. Can’t wait! I’ve been good all week, eating almost nothing but raw veggies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The only cooked stuff I’ve eaten is brown rice, organic brown bread, and beans. Plus, I’ve run 20 kilometers this week. I think I can make a teeny exception and have a bit of roast turkey tonight. I’m so excited! (I’m only doing this because I’ve just had chemo yesterday, and I assume the chemo will keep the negative effects of meat and sugar in check. That’s my rationale.)


TW said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too!
Thought of you tonight as I sat through Strauss at the Symphony. Really very calming and wonderful...I nearly dozed off from the effects of jetlag towards the end but I couldn't help but think whether music has any effect on cancer or at least will promote some healthy alpha waves that will overwhelm the bad cells. See...I'm deliriously jetlagged, but you're right. Your cancer makes me think of you in life and makes me thankful and has made a huge difference to my life. That you forgot to be thankful for, that somehow your cancer has acted as a catalyst to promote thought in people. We've all learned a little, smiled a little, cried a little and felt thankful for what we have since reading your blog. So happy thanksgiving my dear.

Enjoy the trytophan induced slumber.

Jin said...

one of the things I'm most thankful for, without a doubt, is that I was able to read an entry on your blog from today (which, actually may be yesterday for you with the time difference, but in any case...), because it means you're alive and still doing well!

Shin said...

TW, thanks for all your comments on my Blog. You say I've had an impact on your life. You have no idea what that means to me. It's something I've thought about a lot in recent years, and even more now that I have cancer. I've been meaning to write about it in my Blog, so I'll do that soon.

Anonymous said...

Did you feel like something was missing in your life before you got diagnosed with cancer? Did you feel that you had something left to do in life (rather than just living day to day), rather than stay alive? Maybe I'm not making myself so clear. If you had what you thought you always wanted, but still wanted more, but didn't quite know what, or why? kgy

I'm interested. I feel like something is missing in my life (I always have done), but I don't quite know what, and I'm hoping it's not beating death which I know is ineveitable one day, but if I got told tomorrow I might die, maybe I'd reavaluate my life, but maybe not? !!
Just a thought ...............

Anonymous said...

Do you ever feel really selfish? Do you feel like, I wish this was happening to her cos she smokes, she leads such an unhealthy life, here's me being so good? I would, if I were you. You lead an amazingly healthy life now, and I know that you are doing it to stay alive for your family.

Do you feel like I did when I was pregnant, and it was I just want to be really bad for one day, and have 10 cigarettes and a bottle of champagne, but you know that you can't. You know that you have to be this unselfish person, and it sucks.

However, you will be okay one day, positive about that.!!


Anonymous said...

It's a shame, but yet again the computer has got the better of me because I wanted to add this comment to Shin's latest post, but somehow I wasn't able to.

I'd just like to say that as a non- cancer patient, I accompanied Shin to Chemo. It was such a great experience. Shin is so organised, and she knows more than the Drs probably on some levels. She is bossing the nurses around teling them "no, surely I need this much in my drip, this week, not this much, my records show, and after talking to the Dr last week....) - this is how all cancer patients should be. I was really delighted with Shin's detailed notebook about the drugs she'd been given and any side effects, the dosages, and the recommended dosages for the next time - she even had to remind the nurses to take her weight -- (she'd lost some on a veggie diet).

I think that we should have a first base cancer society ( I woud personally donate money to it) where we teach people to be more vocal about what they want. Shin has been an inspiration to us all, and I'd like to keep the good work up. We shouldn't just sit there and take it. We should all be so well informed so that when we get cancer, the first thing we get from hospital is a leaflet, telling us to contact someone who can help us improve our lives, and get the best out of cancer treatment. Then we have a crew of people infoming those cancer patients and advising them about their next best steps.

Just a thought, after a few glasses of wine............