Angela's story: Thank you, cancer
In November 2014, days after mom's third round of chemo, mom and I sat at the Thanksgiving dinner table surrounded by 15 aunts, uncles and cousins. She'd just started wearing her wig. She couldn't eat her favorite sausage stuffing.
But she was there. And for that - I was thankful.
I’m still thankful. And it’s a good thing, because research shows regularly practicing gratitude can have a big impact on your health. Even strengthening the immune system, lowering blood pressure and helping to fight depression.
With that, here are five reasons I’m thankful for cancer:
It’s the one thing I needed most when mom needed me.
When mom and I reminisce about the time I made scrambled eggs after one of her treatments and used vanilla almond milk. Oops.
When after an hour of interrogation, mom’s doctor said he felt like he’d just finished a 20/20 interview. Sorry, not sorry.
When I told mom God couldn't take her from me because we're like a Kit-Kat bar. Bonded together. We can't be broken apart. Yes, I said that.
3. Mom's voice.
When she tells me she wakes up in the middle of the night to check the Daughters Like Us Facebook page to make sure she hasn’t missed a post.
When she tells me how much she loves Daughters Like Us and ME for helping so many people.
When during our nightly chats, she asks me how my day was.
4. Friends and family.
The dear friend from college who helped me bring DLU to life.
The aunts, uncles and cousins who text or call daily just to say I love you.
The ones I can dial when I need a good cry. Or when I need to be told to snap out of it. The ones who say nothing - but I know are always there.
Thank you, cancer for threatening me by trying to take my mom. Thank you, cancer for the daughters like me I now call family.
Thank you, cancer. (But, FYI, I still don’t like you.)