This year Thanksgiving is special because my cancer has deepened my appreciation for life in several ways. One can give thanks to God (as I do) or to the family and friends with whom one shares mutual love and affection (as I recommended for non-believers in my previous Ethical Musings' post, Rethinking Thanksgiving). In either case, I hope that my thoughts on giving thanks will help you to give thanks for the good that you enjoy and that enriches your life.
First, the treatment of my multiple myeloma is progressing very well and I am nearing remission. I am grateful for all of the persons who made this possible: research scientists and their staffs; the healthcare personnel who administer the treatment to me in a highly professional manner complemented with personal caring; and the healthcare the nation provides to its military retirees.
Second, I am similarly grateful for the potential gains to my mobility, comfort, and decreased risk of some of vertebrae collapsing with subsequent irreversible damage to my spinal cord and the adverse effects that entails. The list of personnel involved in this is long, including radiologists, neurosurgeons, wound care specialists, interventionist radiologists, research scientists, and others.
Third, I am thankful to be part of an extended network of family and friends, especially friends and colleagues within the Anglican Communion worldwide and the Episcopal Church in the US. Prayers, best wishes, visits, and other forms of support have helped to buoy my spirit and to support the healing process. The best available scientific research suggests but does not prove that prayer is efficacious. I am especially thankful for my wife of 43 years. She entered into our marriage with no knowledge of what the future might hold. Nevertheless, she has willing supported me with unstinting encouragement, bravely facing she negative development, and willing providing care and assistance as I have needed.
Fourth, I daily appreciate living on a beautiful, semi-tropical island in a very comfortable condo and having the resources to pay for both daily expenses and any costs we incur because of my disease or treatments. In other words, I daily recognize the importance of protecting the environment and the benefits of living in harmony with nature.
For these things, I give thanks to God and to the people involved.
I pray that all of you and your loved ones will have a blessed Thanksgiving.