This year has not been easy. Through it all, I’m looking for the sunshine.

Finding Sunshine

It’s not easy to find the sunshine in the last year, but it is there. The hardest part was my diagnosis in February: Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. It was a blow to be sure, coming out of nowhere. I didn’t have the warning signs, the risk factors or any idea that it could be what it is. My doctor was even shocked. It was a blow that left me breathless.

Finding sunshine.

I wouldn’t say I’m a Pollyanna, but I do look for the good things to focus my gratitude on. Like my dog looking for (and finding) the sunny spot to lay down and rest in. It’s warm, comforting, and all consuming. It just is. Gratitude for the things that cast sunshine in life are like that.

I have much to be thankful for this year. Here are some of the things I look back on with gratitude:

Friends and family – their support has been amazing.
Feeling much better – a change in my treatment schedule made this possible.
Mobility – it wasn’t long ago I couldn’t trust myself to drive or go out alone.
My husband – his support and love have been beyond what words can say
My son – “Are you feeling ok, mom?” Not words you want your child to have to say, but grateful his compassionate heart expresses things.
The fundraiser – a sweet friend of mine did a fundraiser that helped us offset some costs.
Meals – many friends and family have brought meals in some of the hardest times.
Helping hands – again, friends and family coming to help us or lend their support for help.
Housekeeper – I am deeply grateful for her help, and realize what a privilege it is to even have her around.
Doctors – without their help, I wouldn’t be here today.
Modern medicine – again, without this I wouldn’t be here.
Nurses – their compassion and good humor make this journey a little less difficult.
Medical staff – ditto
Insurance – we have amazing coverage I am so grateful for.
Prayers and good thoughts – so many have told me I am receiving these. I feel them.
Hair – I didn’t have any just a few months ago.
Love – so many actions, thoughts, tokens of goodwill, and gifts of all kinds. Many tears of gratitude.
A soft place to fall – friends, family, and a bed in a house I love.
Shoulders to cry on – enough said.
Difficult talks – and the friends who are willing to “go there”.
Naps – these are crucial on some days.
Gaining weight – I’ve gained due to my body finally absorbing nutrients. I choose to be grateful.
Sunshine – living in a place where it’s gray a lot of the time, I am grateful to see it when it appears.
Beach – having just visited, I remembered how much I love it.
My dog, Rosie – she’s my little shadow, and stays near when I am not feeling my best. Her nudging nose and kind, probing eyes are always close by.
Coffee and tea – taking time to breathe and inhale.
Knitting – relaxes and centers me while making things for other people. It brings me joy.
Quiet moments – for meditation, prayer, or just thinking.
Reading – an escape to other worlds and my inner self.
Walking – something that is much easier than it was earlier this year.
Eating things I love – need I say more?
Cooking – the kitchen is my zen place.
Writing – having found my voice again, hoping to help others along the way.

Where did you find the sunshine this year?