A Whole Lotta Gratitude

Yesterday was not the best of days. Okay, so given my current circumstances, having a “good” day is tough when you’re on chemotherapy. But my point is, I’ve had better days since starting treatment, and yesterday was not one of them. So far there is no rhyme or reason to it. One day I wake up feeling almost like my old spry self, the next I’m knocked down and confined to a horizintal position again. I’ve given up trying to find sense in any of it.

Lying in bed last night, I started flipping through some of my blog posts from over the last month. I haven’t done that yet. I usually just hit “publish” and move forward. Already, I’ve forgotten so much of what has happened.

The best part about going through it all again though, was re-reading the comments that you all left. The first time around, I read them on my iPhone in a hospital bed, doped up from the procedure of the day. But last night, I went through and read all of the comments again with the perspective of being a month into this journey.

I feel like I haven’t said it enough, so I just want to make sure I make it loud and clear: Thank you. No. Really. Thank you. For the kind words, well wishes, prayers, hopes and encouragement. For the gifts and cards, and the donations. It’s easy for someone in my position to think that they’ve been dealt a shitty hand. Okay, well, I have been dealt a shitty hand. BUT, in some ways I know I am also very lucky to have such a strong and solid base of support from such an amazing group of people – many of whom I’ve never met.

I’m for once at a loss of words on how to express myself through writing. Just know that the love and support shown on this blog means the world to me. I don’t know where I’d be without it. So yup, things certainly do suck sometimes, but there are always, always things to be thankful for.

Today, I am feeling particularly thankful for Janetha and those of you who’ve put hard work into The Great Fundraising Act!

There’s been such a giant response that Janetha and I are now worried her server is going to crash! So the closing time for bidding is now being staggered for each category of items to keep everyone from clicking over all at once at 11pm. Click here to read Janetha’s update.

As y’all know, apart from the fundraiser, I’m working on getting assistance to pay for my drugs. If all goes well, I’ll get the assistance I need and have leftover money from the fundraiser. In this case, I will be donating it directly to the oncology ward at the Moncton Hospital – where I stayed for one month and know could desperately use a few upgrades. I will be blogging about the money and how it is used. This is your chance to give directly to those dealing with cancer and affect people on a very personal level, as opposed to paying for administrative costs associated with charitable organizations.

There are a few other fun things going on too! I’m going to be doing a short radio interview live Monday morning at 6:50am Atlantic Time on CBC Radio in Moncton. If you’re awake, you should be able to stream it here. I’ll be talking about the fundraiser and catastrophic drug coverage, which is sort of a hot issue in my province right now.

Later on Monday, from 1-2pm Eastern Time I’ll be participating in a Twitter chat with Janetha and #fitblog’s Katy to answer questions about the fundraiser and about my whole experience so far. Follow the hashtag #TGFA and come by to chat with us!

And with that, I have just one more thing to ask of you guys – can anyone tell me what this is??

It came in my CSA vegetable box along with what I assume is some lavender…

Today is promising to be a better day, which means I want to use my time wisely by getting back to baking in my kitchen!

Have a great Sunday xoxo


Posted on July 24, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 49 Comments.

  1. Can’t wait to the fundraiser tomorrow! there are some amazing things there. Thinking of you :)

  2. I hope we can blow it out of the water for you tomorrow!

  3. What a lovely, thoughtful post, Susan. As one of the “I don’t know you” group, I found myself wondering why your blog is now on my blog’s must-read list; why it’s important to me to know how you’re doing. I think I figured it out.

    While I haven’t had cancer myself, family and friends have. Some survived and some didn’t; seemingly no rhyme or reason (Except a few *became* their cancer; it became their identity. How could it not overtake them?). The thing is, in the heat of the crisis it’s like having blinders; cancer seems to be the only thing in sight. It’s that “can’t see the forest for the trees” effect.

    With you, my perspective allows me to see the forest; the big picture. You aren’t owning it and therefore it’s not owning you. You are living your life as best you can while doing what is necessary to heal your body and send the cancer packing like the unwelcome, uninvited houseguest it is.

    You are real, you are vibrant and you are hope. Thank YOU.

    • Thank you for this! From the beginning I knew I didn’t want to “become my cancer.” Clearly it’s the biggest thing in my life right now, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the *only* thing in my life. I think it’s important to keep my mind occupied with other things too!

  4. I love that you’re cooking and back in the kitchen, as there’s no place like home!
    There will be ups and there will be downs. Through it all there will be support and a network of people–online and off–that will help you to get through it all. Tomorrow shall be epic and I have no doubt it will be life-changing for you and for others. For that, I am grateful as well.

  5. I am also one of the not known group, but you have become a part of my day. I look forward to your blogs in hopes that you have had a great day and that you are doing happy things. You don’t need to thank us, as we need to thank you for sharing all of this with us. It must be difficult to put in writing…………. but it helps us understand what ‘cancer’ is all about from someone who can put it into words.

  6. Susan the yellow flower is dill flower, it goes well with onions and making pickles!
    The bottom is indeed lavender, best stored at front of fridge and only washed when using (grows moldy easy when wet :)

  7. Hey susan ,

    Sorry to hear that yesterday was not one of your better days. I ve been keeping track of your journey via the blog and am willing for good news for you hun .

    ps/ that yellow flower, is a dill plant that has flowered . I saw some at the farmers market in my city on friday but I thought once the dill flowered it was no good?
    I made a massive potato salad with fresh dill yesterday , wish i could send you some :)

  8. Hi Susan,
    I wanted to let you know that I think about you all the time and hope you are doing well! I think you are an amazing person, even though I don’t really know you:)
    I am making cookies for your fundraiser and hope they raise loads for either your expenses or the oncology ward.

    Cancer has affected a few of my family members and close friends. I knew I had to help when I read Janetha’s post:) I hope you have a great day today:)

    I was also going to comment that the yellow flowers are from a dill plant. I think you can still use them for pickling. My grandmother’s pickles always had the flowered part of the dill plant in the jar and they were tasty!

  9. Hi Susan,
    I just recently started reading your blog which I found through How Sweet Eats. I started reading and I couldn’t stop. See, right now my aunt has cancer. She has breast, colon, and a tumor in her groin. She isn’t doing well, and it is rather disheartening. Somehow your blog makes me feel better. I can’t explain it and won’t try. Keep fighting, I think the fight is just as much mental as it is physical so keep as positive as you can because it can only help you :)

  10. Looking forward to the TGFA tomorrow! I am sure it will be a great success! I was sorry to read that you were not feeling well yesterday. I know I only just started following and do not really know you but I wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and have been praying for you. It brought a smile to my face to see that you are feeling better today and I hope that you can enjoy a relaxing day at home baking :)

  11. I’m excited for TGFA! I agree, I think gratitude – even when you’ve been dealt a crappy hand – it the only way to play it. Doesn’t mean you won’t be angry or pissed or scared, but it means that you are aware of the bigger picture and are also grateful for the little things (for me, it was when my mom made me meals and stuck them in the freezer before she went back home, and when my aunt sent me an XBox. Random but awesome!).

    Hope you’re having a good weekend. And I’m sure you knew this but lavender is excellent for reducing stress and relaxation! You can make a little satchel of it or put some in essential oils to help during the stressful periods. I always bring my essential oil bottle with me to the doctor’s office.

  12. I am so excited for tomorrow. What an honor. And we know you are thankful, thats your nature and thats why we love you. You are selfess. Congrats on the radio interview too!

    not sure what that flower is. Looks pretty though.

  13. I’m sorry yesterday was a bad day for you. But tomorrow is going to be awesome <3

  14. We love you Suz!

  15. Susan,
    I, like some of the others who’ve left messages, check daily to see what kind of day you’ve had. I’m always rooting for you, and almost feel like you’re family. In fact, I did find out that you are related to a friend of mine! Maybe that’s why I felt such a connection. I’m so sorry you’ve been having some blah days, and I do hope they don’t get too, too bad. I’m really looking forward to the fundraiser and hope you get enough to cover everything you need. Who knew our Medicare didn’t cover all the costs? As if the diagnosis weren’t bad enough, it’s terrible that patients have to deal with this added stress. I think this is something we need to bring up in the Legislature. Some good, home cooking will certainly pick up your spirits and it must be heaven to be back in your own bed. I look forward to pics of your baking on your ‘good’ days. I felt so helpless not being able to do anything for you, so this latest blog makes me feel better about that. Know that you have lots of people rooting for you and sending you positive energy. Let’s hope your good days far outnumber the bad. ?Also, I wanted to say that I love the new haircut! It looks really cute on you! Take care. :)

  16. you are amazing/wonderful/awesome.

  17. Looks like dill to me. Does it smell like dill?

  18. I’m glad to hear you are playing in the kitchen today! glad you’re feeling better today, and hope it continues into tomorrow – big day! I’m excited for tomorrow and the awesome power of this community.

    big hugs!

  19. Karen Strickland

    Hi Susan! Glad you are feeling better today…only somewhat selfishly since I can’t wait to see what you are cooking and I’m hoping you will blog about it :) I’m off tomorrow and plan to check in often…I also plan to listen to your radio broadcast while doing my morning run. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  20. Can’t wait for the auction tomorrow!! So amazing how many ppl have come together or this and I think its awesome you plan to donate whatever is left over!

  21. I just found your blog through CaitlinHTP’s blog and I have to say that I am amazed at your eloquence in writing and your courage in speaking to all of us about your illness. You are officially in my Google reader now, but you are also officially in my heart. Stay strong, keep writing, and know that we out here in the interwebs are pulling for you!

    PS — The first item is dill flower! Just got some in my own CSA cooler this week and cannot wait to use it.

  22. I’m praying for you, Susan!

  23. Thats DILL!!! delicious!

  24. Hi Susan, Yay for good days :-) I’ll be checking out the TGFA for sure tomorrow and if I can’t buy anything through bidding, I’ll donate directly. It’s so great that you have such an expansive support system.

    Also, concerning the catastrophic drug coverage issue, it is great that you are doing a radio interview, the more that people know, the more they are empowered. When I was researching the other day I was shocked that NB and PEI do not cover their residents. It saddened me, when you are sick, the last thing in the world you want to worry about is money, you need to concentrate on getting better. I know you don’t know me from Joe but I’m so proud of you. Yay for invoking change!

    Good luck tomorrow and I am sure TGFA will be an astounding success!


  25. Hi Susan! I read about The Great Fundraising Act on other blogs, and I just wanted to come lend some support. You’re so amazing and strong – you CAN fight this! :)

  26. I often don’t reread my posts either and when I was writing a post about my divorce (a throwback’ from my old blog), I reread the posts I wa pulling contents from and the comments ad wow, it’s mind-blowing right? I am so glad you feel the support and love, it truly is so hard to put into words. Sometimes you don’t even have to. Like now. Perfecty written. Hugs!

  27. haha, obviously a glut of dill weed flowers in the local CSAs! :-)

    I’m so excited for TGFA- I can’t wait to see how much this community can help <3

    Also, is there a good direct link for Katy's tweetup other than Twitter with the TGFA hashtag? I know she's used 3rd party hosts and that seems to be faster? And will you be posting the information if the server crashes ie a Plan B? Because if it does, Janetha's site will be in the cyberuda triangle… let us know.

    Glad today was a better one for you :-)

  28. I’m so amazed by every single one of your posts. You’re so eloquent, and continue to write during the not so fun times. I’m so excited for TGFA, and I know that the blogging community will be incredible as always. I don’t know you personally, but I think of you often, and I hope for good days for you, Susan! Sending lots of love and good vibes. :)

  29. Sending a big hug to you!

  30. Big Hug from NC! And yes, you do not know me but your honest posts make me feel like I have a little glimpse into your life and thank you for sharing inspiration and hard days with us. Looking forward to bidding tomorrow.

  31. I’m glad today was a good one….here’s to many more!

  32. I just found your blog through healthytippingpoint.com and I am so glad that I did! I was also just diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on June 7, 2011 and it was such a scary time! Reading your posts and thoughts helps me as I am dealing with my own crazy moments. I blog about my life and experiences at http://www.dwellonthepossibilities.com. So glad to hear that you are having a good day today on the crazy ride that chemo is. I just completed treatment 3 on Friday and hopefully only have 5 more to go. Here is to beating this disease!!
    Much Love,

  33. Tomorrow is going to be a wonderful day. Lots of positive thoughts coming your way from Ottawa. I remember reading one of your tweets about being on CBC tomorrow morning – have fun on the radio!!!! You’re a star :)

  34. I also “didn’t know you” before I heard about you via other blogs and the awesome auction that’s being held in your honor, but I am now following your journey and wishing you all the very best! Keep your head up, keep fighting, and keep smiling (when you can). Being in the hospital is no fun, I know — but everyone there has the best of intentions for you and, just think, when you beat this thing then you will appreciate all the more your wonderful, ‘ordinary’ everyday life. :)

  35. Stumbled across your blog today through the blog “Peas and Thank You”. I started blogging last year and am amazed at the sense of community that comes along with it. You have a lot of fellow bloggers sending positive thoughts and prayers your way, myself included!

  36. I see that your question has been answered about the yellow (Dill) flower already :) The Great Fundraising Act has been incredibly popular. I made a necklace/earring set and contacted Janetha last week and she told me she couldn’t accept any more donations, it was already overwhelming! Of course I was at once sad and happy, I wanted to donate but I was so happy to hear the amount of response! You are loved! Instead of donating, how about you send me your address and I’ll send the necklace/earrings to you? Pretty things makes us feel good! Let me know.

  37. Hi Susan! I’ve recently in the past 6 months or so been obsessed with foodblogs. I came across your blog from another blogger who had posted regarding the auction about a week or so ago.
    Since then, I’ve been catching up on your life and your recipes. I am in awe at how strong you are and your outlook that you have chosen for your current stage (for lack of a better word) in life. It’s given me inspiration to be less “accepting” of things that happen that I did not want/expect to happen in life. We obviously cannot predict our paths in life, but we can make daily decisions that impact the rest of our day or week or year; and it’s important to keep this in mind. You have chosen to not accept your cancer and I hope it gets the hint and chooses to not accept you :)
    I have a friend’s daughter who wears a bracelet that says: F*&% CANCER! for her grandmother. So you go do that! lol
    You’re in my prayers Susan and I pray for a remission and that you will be financially able to get the treatments/drugs that you need.

  38. Hi Susan,
    I don’t know you, but came here after reading about your story on another blog. I’m a Dutch girl, and although I’m psysically very far away, your story feels close to me; it hurts me that you have to go through this and at the same time your outlook inspires me so much. I know you will beat this 100% and will come out of this so much wiser and even stronger. This blog will inspire many, many others, never forget the power of sharing…
    I really hope this comment isn’t too strange, I just really wanted to let you know you’re in my thoughts every day. I will continue to follow your story and sending you lots of strength, courage, hope and positive energy all the way from Europe (so you know this must be powerful!!)

    Good luck on this road, thinking of you!!

  39. Hi Susan

    I read about your situation through Peanut Butter Fingers and seeing as how you have just been diagnosed with what I just beat made me really want to comment. I’m 24 years old and I had a large mass in my neck for about 3 months. I finally went in to get it checked out I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma the end of April of this year after a biopsy in my neck. I was told I would have to complete 6 months of chemotherapy, possibly following radiation afterwards. Turns out after only 2 months of chemotherapy, I was scanned again and had a complete response and I’m just now starting 2 weeks of radiation today. So don’t get too wrapped up in the numbers they tell you, because things can change a lot. I just wanted to let you know I’ve been there and if there are ever any questions at all that you have, please feel free to contact me. I had someone who had also been there and I can’t tell you how helpful it was to hear advice straight from them. I have so much to say about everything you’re going through but we could be here awhile. Would love to hear from you, take care of yourself :)

  40. These type of activies are the reason I love social media. I am so happy they are raising money for you, and for cancer in general. We did a similiar auction for a friend of ours on social media who had to have surgery because of cancer and it’s such a gratifying feeing knowing that with the help of others, you can change someone else’s life, you know?

    I’m so happy for you and to be apart of this!!

  41. I am pretty sure that it is dill … dill buttermilk biscuits sound good!

  42. I love the social media world! I’m tweeting out to all my followers about the fundraiser, and I hope it brings in a lot of funds to help you out!

  43. I work in a community garden and even though people told you this.. I will again.. it looks like the flower on the top of the dill plant! We made pickles with the kids in the garden today and used it!

  1. Pingback: The Great Fundraising Act « My Bizzy Kitchen

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