11/21/2011

A Time to Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and sharing the holidays with the people we love or maybe not, LOL!   At our house, we usually host those that can’t make it home.   Some years we have had a full house and some years we’ve had just a few people.   Friends bring friends or someone they know doesn’t have a place to go, we don’t discriminate.  One year, my girlfriend Nick brought the local mailman.  It always makes it more enjoyable and interesting. We have a tradition where we go around the table and say what we are thankful for… The guys all groan, it puts our new guests on the spot and the rest of the “regulars” giggle.  It always ends up being fun and meaningful.  The best thing about an orphan Thanksgiving is there is no drama, complaining, or conflicts.  Everyone is just happy to have a place to come together and usually our dinners last well into the evening.    
Images from www.digsdigs.com
This year Thanksgiving has extra meaning for me. It’s no secret that I have not blogged over the last few months. My creativity and mind has been pre-occupied by something bigger.  As you know my posts started to get less frequent last spring just as I was getting new readers. I was so excited that you took the time to read my blog.  Especially knowing how many amazing bloggers there are out there.  Mine started as a way to communicate with my friends and along the way I met new friends. The one thing I admired about many bloggers was their ability to be truthful and sincere.   I think it’s time I’m honest with all of you. I really struggled over whether I should divulge this because doing so means I am divulging this to some of my friends who will be hearing this for the first time.  But I finally realized, the importance of honesty and how as women we really need to share information.  By sharing information, we can make better and more informed to decisions and assist each other along the way.  It is my hope that I can lend a hand to someone and/or guide them like so many did for me.  The truth of the matter is….in June after having a lumpectomy, I was diagnosed with the early stages of Breast Cancer.
Over the next four months I had two additional surgeries, a whole lot of doctors appointments (14 but who’s counting), two MRI’s, a set of titanium clips and a pair or lovely wires put into my boob.  I went from one doctor to four and a whole lot of second opinions.  The positive news is my cancer was non-invasive and chemo was not required.  However, five weeks of radiation was required.  I am happy to report this Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving is my last day of treatment.  While there are many factors that go into treatment, I won’t bore you with the details now but at some point, I will share with you things that you should look for and how my diagnosis came to be.  Had it not been for four of my friends that had breast cancer, I would still be walking around with BC and going untreated.  It’s so important to trust your instincts and know what questions to ask.  We must be our own advocate and as women share information.  I consider myself very fortunate and extremely lucky.  Especially, since the people I know people had to face far more than me.  Overall, I feel everything happens for a reason, and truly believe my cancer was found because I listened to my inner voice and had an amazing doctor.   I have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.
As you can imagine, I had to take a step back from blogging.  There were so many times I wanted to blog but in the end, I just didn’t have the energy.  I worried about losing my subscribers if I wasn’t blogging regularly. Then I thought, I can’t get caught up in that.  I do have to say I had some faithful readers who have twittered or emailed me.   Especially,  Ms. Katie at  www.goodniteirene.com who has an amazing blog (gorgeous images and has an amazing writing style).  I only wish I could write like her or come up with the adjectives and analogies like she does.  Also, Ms. Karen at http://gardenhomeandparty.com/ who is always so kind and we share a love for gardening. Living in LA we all have our limitations, so I love watching what she does with her small space. I just want to say thank you to you both!   I look forward to getting back to blogging!
I want to thank my family and friends for being so supportive. I also want thank my two roommates from college Laura and Cari for coming to visit me in October.  I know how hard it was for them having families but it meant to the world to me.  It was great to have my East Coast friends meet my West Coast friends.  Some for the first time. It was truly a special and magical weekend for me. Friendship is such an amazing gift and I’m very grateful for the wonderful friends I have. They have been there every step of the way for me with giggles, their kindness, and listening to all my crazy doctor stories.
P1030974
Cari – Laura – Ann in Palos Verdes
Thanksgiving is also about celebrating friends, family, and being there for someone in need.  The holidays can make any of us a little crazy.  May we all be a little kinder and say please and thank you.  Everyone wants to feel appreciated.  It’s time to extend a hand and remember that it’s about giving back and remembering what is most important.  I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for being such loyal and fabulous readers and bloggers. I look forward to a fresh beginning and getting back to blogging. 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
~ Happy Thanksgiving ~




15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your positive attitude about all of this has been an inspiration to those of us who have been through it, know someone who has or needs that extra push to schedule regular check-ups. We miss you guys a ton and are so happy to add something like this to our list of things to be thankful for this year. xo, jen and family

firsttimehalfmarathoner said...

Annie,
That was very courageous of you to share something so personal with everyone. Thank God you are doing so well. I really enjoyed the description of your Thanksgiving holidays. I remember when Nicole brought us to LA, and you were SO hospitable to us..opening your home to us, and you hadn't even met all of us before! When I think of that trip, my one and only trip to the West Coast, the memory of your home is always the first one I remember. Your Thanksgiving story reminded me of this. Take care of yourself, and keep going with this blog..great stuff. All the best, Keara

Rosie said...

Annie Girl, you are so positive and strong that there was no way you could not share this! There is always a reason for things to happen and your reason is so that you can educate and help others! we love your blog because you are so confident and knowledable about what you write - this one from the heart.

you are amazing and i am so happy this chapter in your journey is coming to an end!

Karen said...

Oh Ann! I just returned from a trip and was so thrilled to see your name on my email, knowing you had a new post for me to read.
I am so inspired by your strength and am thrilled that the worst of this terrible disease is hopefully over. Your story reminds all of us that what it all comes down to is 'right now' (the friends, family, love and good health, or the near loss of said health) is what matters.
We share common interests in charming homes, welcoming gardens and the comforts of home, but at the end of the day it is the ability to keep balance and priorities in our lives. You have clearly managed that and while we all miss you, I'm so happy to you took the time to take care.

I will keep your blog-friendship in my heart this Thanksgiving. You were so kind to mention me and it means a lot to me to have made a new "friend".
Best of this season to you!
xo,
Karen

Anonymous said...

Ann, such a moving article. I am in awe of you every day! I am so glad we could be there for you. Love, Laura

Peggy and Fritz said...

I'm overwhelmed by your comments and there are no words to describe how much they mean. Jen, Keara, Rosie, Karen and Laura - thank you so much! xo

katie said...

{tears streaming down my effed up, over-laser'ed face-but that's a whole different-post}
sweetest ann, i squealed when i saw your post this morning! so silly happy my girl was back blogging her sassy self away. oh how i missed you-
i am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. damn you cancer! i've been swimming in it all summer and fall long with my aunt and it's the ugliest thing i've ever come up against.
i'm so grateful to hear your great news.
you make me very hopeful and thankful.
what a wonderful way to start this week of thanksgiving.
such kind words my way.....i'm sorry for the pestering....bizarre how i've been having those weird dreams of you all this time, huh?
so much love,
katie

Peggy and Fritz said...

Katie you always make me laugh. Guess I need to see that post LOL! Now if you only taught classes in the South Bay to help me loose the 12 lbs from all of this. My friends said but don't worry! I said, "Easy for you! You don't get weighed in every week at radiation or everytime you go to the doctor or hospital." I told the doctors they need to burn those scales. Women need to feel good about themselves at a time like this. LOL. At least if you taught classes up here I'd have no excuses, I'd have to see your blog post every day hee hee. Thanks so much for your comments and sending warm thoughts for your aunt. xo

MaryBeth said...

Thanksgiving will be extra special for you this year.

Peggy and Fritz said...

Thank you Mary Beth!

quintessence said...

Oh Ann - I feel like Karen - I was so pleased to see a comment from you the other day and hopped over to see what you were doing and found this!! You are an inspiration!! I have had several friends go through the same and thankfully all are thriving and doing well - I'm sure it will be the same for you. Wishing you an especially wonderful Thanksgiving this year - sending you extra positive karma and big hugs!

Peggy and Fritz said...

Stacey,
You're such a sweetheart - thank you. I really hope the next time I am in CT - we get to meet. Thanks so much for your comments and you have NO idea how much I love reading your blog. Even though my comments have been sparce - I still read it daily. xo

eddieross said...

Annie,
Thank you for sharing this story! We are so glad you are doing better. What an amazing gift to have during this time of year. There is so much to be thankful for.
Here's to your complete health!
xo E + J

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Ann,
Clearly I am not getting around to reading enough blogs on my roll these days and I feel so awful that it has taken me this long to read this and reach out and send you well wishes!

It was a year ago Thanksgiving that we "found" eachother in blogworld over tossed nuts on the table...remember? LOL! Then there was that odd coincidence that your blog name is my husband's parents name!!!

Be sure to let us know if you come back to blogging. For now I wish you the Merriest Christmas ever!
xo,
~R

Peggy and Fritz said...

Thank you Eddie and Jaithon :) and Rebecca how could I forget - I still giggle over it and do you know I couldn't find the acorns this year and found them a week after Thanksgiving. Thanks for stopping by. I'm behind on reading but I keep them all on my reader until I read everyone. Wishing you all a Happy Holiday. xo

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