We’ve been talking a lot about being grateful here at Cancer Services. And as you might expect, the objects of our gratitude vary from person to person. But the most common response is the naming of a loved one. Someone who brightens our day, makes us laugh and offers just what we need when we need it.
Thursday is Thanksgiving Day. Iâ€™m grateful for the gifts of donors who share their bounty to brighten anotherâ€™s day. Iâ€™m grateful for the cancer patient who comes with a twinkle in his eye to share the latest joke and make me laugh. And Iâ€™m grateful for the wise and generous volunteers who know how to help when it is needed most.
by Gail Hamm, program director
This morning I was chatting with one of our clients who is a long-term cancer survivor with severe lasting side effects from the treatment. He is grateful that he is alive but his life has been changed forever. One of those changes is that he is nourished through a feeding tube. What I take for grantedâ€¦that I can swallow without difficulty, that I can meet a friend for a cup of coffee, that I will gather with family for Thanksgivingâ€¦the joy of shared community through food, is not what he experiences. Those pleasant times of camaraderie over food are gone forever.
In spite of these losses, my friend tries to avoid isolation. His story has helped others come to terms with their losses and appreciate life. Is it easy? No. Would he wish that life were different for him? Absolutely. But he keeps coming back to Cancer Services because he is making a difference in othersâ€™ lives. He gives others hope. For that, I am grateful.