What a year... Just 1 year ago this beautiful woman (my Mom) was diagnosed with stage 2 and Stage 3 breast cancer.  She didn't know it at the time but over the next 12 months she would be tested in every way possible. 

Starting last December through most of February she underwent chemotherapy, which once the anti-nausea medication was regulated wasn't all that bad... Then the clot... During the last month or so of Chemotherapy she developed a blood clot in her lower leg which meant that she would now need to administer shots into her abdomen in order to ensure that the clot would slowly shrink and not move through out her bloodstream into her heart causing a heart attack.  Once the clot was taken care of, she started in on the Radiation, during which her skin was exposed to such high levels of radiation that the skin begin to turn red and soreness that came along with it was worse than any sunburn could cause.   But soon relief would come, or so we thought. 

In mid to late may, she completed her radiation and was given a clean bill of health (a true Blessing from God), however she had been having some heart palpitations and was concerned that something was wrong, however her doctors stated that it was just a side effect of the chemotherapy and radiation. 

Three months later, she went back to the doctor for her first PET scan which helps to show if any further cancer is contained within the body.  The doctor reviewed the scan and stated that he saw something that was suspicious and wanted to take a biopsy within two weeks.  After a few phone calls and after the initial panic, she decided to get a second and even third opinon which came back as negative due to it's minimal size and she was told not to worry but that they would keep an eye on it during the next PET scan, which is scheduled for the end of December 2007.  Meanwhile the doctors decided to take a chest x-ray in order plan for the removal of her chemotherapy port, and it was the reading of this x-ray that would bring on her next trial. 

When the doctor read the x-ray they could not believe what they saw, the port had actually broken and the bottom half of the port was lodged in one of her heart's ventricles (remember the palpitations... this is most likely why she was having them.)  Needless to say she was admitted into the hospital within 2 days (not sure why they took so long) for what was going to be open heart surgery. 

Based on conversations with my Mom, the thought of going through this surgery was worse than the thought of having to go back through chemotherapy and radiation again.   Well, God Blessed her again by providing the best heart surgeon in Orlando Florida.  He, based upon additional x-rays, found that there was a chance that he would not need to do a conventional open heart surgery but instead spread two of her ribs apart as far as possible and go in through them, which is exactly what he did. 

She is now 3 weeks post-op and recovering well (although she did get strep throat the day she left the hospital).  She is exercising (riding a recumbent bicycle about 4 miles each day) and growing stronger each and every day.  

The Lord has blessed her; She knows it, acknowledges it, and gives Him the Praise and Thanks that only He deserves for it.

I tell you all of this right now, because I believe that God wants it to be told right now.  We're quickly coming up to a national holiday coincidentally called "Thanksgiving" and although we should be giving "Thanks" to God everyday for all that He blesses us with, my belief is that many of us get too busy in our day to day activities that we rarely make time to give our family and friends thanks let alone to God, the Creator of all things. 

So if you get nothing else from this positing, take time this coming Thursday and reflect on what God has blessed you with over the past year, and give Him Thanks!

As for me, I'll be thanking God for many things one of which is my Mom, the Bravest and Most Thankful Woman I know!

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