My mother would be appalled.
Despite many years of her training, I’m still not good about writing thank-you notes.
Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, any gifts-received event, it’s the same story. I start with good intentions to dash off quick notes, but that rarely works out.
I rationalize this uncivilized behavior by noting I have usually already said “thanks” verbally, and that’s good enough.
Of course, the truth is I’m an incorrigible procrastinator and a little lazy. By the time I roust myself to write a proper thank-you note, it seems too late.
This doesn’t mean I don’t feel gratitude. I certainly do, especially this time of year, when giving thanks is a big deal. It even has its own holiday, as you might have heard.
This has been a trying year for me and my family. But it also has been a hopeful year with many reasons to be thankful.
For one thing, I’m still alive. Not to be melodramatic about it, but there were times since I was diagnosed 15 months ago with multiple myeloma, which is a type of blood cancer, that I wondered how much time I had left.
While generally upbeat when reporting on my health, at times I felt deeply tired of feeling crummy, tired of pain and the side effects of medications. Those feelings have faded away, for which I’m thankful.
The truth is, I’m doing very well, much better than at the start of this process and even six months ago. Blood tests show my body is recovering from chemotherapy and other treatments targeting my cancer, which is in remission.
I expect to be around a good long time. My back is still messed up, but I feel good, and I’m getting better all the time.
I am grateful for the medical professionals at UCHealth who worked hard to get me to this point. Apparently, all that poking and prodding paid off. Thank you.
And I’m grateful to the friends, colleagues and people I don’t even know who have been so kind and encouraging to me. Thanks for the cards, gifts, meals, prayers and uplifting messages.
Thanks to the Coloradoan newsroom management (and Coloradoan readers) for keeping me employed. This year would have been a lot harder without your support.
I’m grateful for having met numerous fellow cancer patients during this adventure. There are a lot of us.
The positive attitude and fighting spirit many bring to the challenge are inspiring to those of us who are not as strong. Thank you for showing us the way.
And thank you to my family, especially my wife, Lisa, for your unwavering love, tenacity and patience. I truly don’t know what I would do without you.
So, there you go. This is certainly the longest thank-you note I’ve ever written, and it’s somewhat timely. If I missed anyone, I’ll hit you next time.
Because I’m not done feeling grateful for all the helpers who come my way and the gifts they bring. I think my mother would be OK with that sentiment.
Kevin Duggan is a senior columnist and reporter.
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