Over the course of my long cancer journey

I have crossed paths with so many wonderful people who have helped take care of meThank you will never seem like it is enough
But I will try to thank everyone even though it may be toughGod, thank You for Your love and faith in me
And for all the courage and strength that I have neededFor giving me the gift of writing my thoughts on paper
And sharing it with others and hopefully making the world a little bit better

I know that by The Grace of God I am here today
And I am so thankful for every single day

I have learned to let go of grudges and forgive those who have ever hurt me
I have also learned to appreciate every kindness and to be kind to all I meet

Thank you Mom and Dad for raising, guiding, and making me the person I am today
I had an amazing childhood and looking back I know how blessed I was in every way

Mom for always being there, just a phone call away
For sharing my tears, laughter, and triumphs, holding my hand and loving me always

Dad for all the strength, courage, and confidence he instilled in me
For teaching me, in his own quiet way, to respect all those that I meet

My sister for protecting and steering me in the right direction as we grew up
For always admitting I was her sister, giving me unconditional love, and toughening me up

Thank you to my niece, who now has a pink ribbon tattoo, for sending gifts, inspiration, and love
And to all of her and my sister’s friends who prayed for me and sent hugs

My nephew and his wife for the surprise visits, sending me all their love, and a boonie hat
And thank you to my nephew and his fiancé for the pink ribbon tattoos each of them now have

Thank you to my Grandma who is watching over me from heaven
For passing her amazing strength and stubbornness on to me so I would never give in

Thank you to my in-laws for all camouflage bandanas, prayers, and love
And for putting me on the prayer chain and teaching me that those prayers can be enough

My extended family that sent cards, flowers, and much love
And I can’t forget the hat and card that told me to continue being so tough

My best friend for loving me and sending me inspiration every single day
For holding my hand, even from a distance, and being a true friend in every single way

To every friend and family member who wore supportive t-shirts
And those who wore pink bracelets and displayed pink bumper stickers

Thank you to my highly skilled doctors and all the members of my surgical teams
And the contagiously happy man who wheeled me to and from radiology

A huge thank you to my incredible and compassionate oncologist
For sometimes giving me tough love, being caring, strait forward, and always honest

To all the amazing nurses who cared for me, a very heartfelt thank you
For their compassion, kindness, smiles, gentle hands, and everything else that they do

To that one very special nurse who spends her days in same day surgery
She is now a friend of mine and I thank her for taking such good care of me

The radiation therapists who are efficient and ever so considerate
And the radiation nurse who always has a smile that can lift anyone’s spirit

To all those incredible and brave women who battled breast cancer before me
And participated in clinical trials so my doctor would know just how to treat me

I am thankful to my doctor who believed in yearly mammograms after age forty
An early diagnosis has helped me fight so much more and allowed me to write about my journey

My employer for truly being “A Great Place to Work” by genuinely caring for all their employees
And allowing both my husband and myself to adjust our schedules whenever needed

My store manager for giving us the support both my husband and I needed
And for being a kind, compassionate, and generous person who gave numerous pep talks to me

My co-workers for love, hugs, and the daily encouragement I needed
My boss for pre-chemo hugs, keeping me positive, cheering me on, and convincing me I would beat it

Thank you to all the employees of local businesses who so often helped me load my truck
To all the strangers who said prayers for me and the one who asked me for a hug

Thank you to The Cancer Resource Center for all the amazing things that they do
Providing a safe haven and support when days are dark and the nights are too

The weekly support group helped, loved, and supported me with everything
Thank you to all those wonderful women who took me under their wings

To the Director of the Cancer Resource Center
Whose own writings helped inspire me to share my writings with others

To the Director of Client Services at the Cancer Resource Center who does her job so incredibly well
She has a tender heart of gold and helps make the lives of cancer patients a little bit better

To all the women I meet who have already gone through their own cancer journey
For their stories, kind words, and positive spirits that have encouraged me

To all those who still loved me and the ones who laughed with me after my head was bald
And the Cancer Resource Center volunteers who lift spirits and quietly walk the hospital halls

To all my many friends and family who contributed to my hat, scarf, and bandana collection
And all those who believed when I didn’t and nudged me along in the right direction

Those who called, prayed, texted, and posted inspiration on Face Book
And those strangers who performed random acts of kindness without a second thought

My hairdresser for cutting my hair short so I could donate it
And so I wouldn’t be so shocked when I did lose all of it

Thank you to the two wonderful women who are walking in my honor
In the Three Day Walk in October to help raise money to fight breast cancer

To my friend, living in Alaska, I have known since third grade
Thank you for our long friendship, the gifts you have sent, and those gifts you have made

To our dear friend who visits every Wednesday
Thank you for all the projects that are done, the beer that is drank, and renaming the day “Friesday”

My neighbors who every so often stopped and checked on me
And those who gave me t-shirts, books, a chemo bag, blankets, and jewelry

The young man who helped me get my propane tanks filled and loaded in the back of my truck
He left before I could tell him thank you ever so much

To all my customers who said prayers, sent well wishes, and cards
I love and appreciate each and every one of them for having such generous hearts

To the generous man at one booth and the sweet woman at another booth at The New York State Fair
A heartfelt thank you for the “Survivor” t-shirts they both gave me to wear

To the most important person in my life, who I shared my chemo days with
When I stumbled or fell he picked me up, he is the one I’ll spend forever with

A huge thank you and much love to my incredible husband
He has been beside me through everything, always holding my hand

 

Karen M. Fries
August 31, 2012

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