I am thankful, I’m tough and I’m winning.

It has been over a year since I underwent a nine-hour surgery and completed chemotherapy and radiation treatment for throat cancer. It has not been a picnic by any means; I have had to deal with paralyzed lats in my left shoulder (caused by a severing of the cranial nerve during surgery), a paralyzed vocal chord (I sound like the Godfather when I speak and learning to swallow again has been an adventure), and a gastronomy feeding port that is still in my stomach. Recently, probably due to the radiation treatments, my thyroid gland quit working and I went through a couple of months of total fatigue that got so bad I couldn’t even get out of bed (it has since been resolved with hormone supplements).

But I am thankful.

I’m alive.

I realize how tough I really am (it’s easy to doubt that when you’re ill).

And I’m winning.

I feel better than I have in a very long time and I’m meeting life and living head-on. Small things that I never thought about before are now very important to me.

Thanksgiving Day is tomorrow. Be thankful for all that you have.