Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Reasons to Give Thanks

"Let's resolve to have a good Thanksgiving".... Aspazia, I couldn't agree more! Today I had the chance to observe a teenage cancer “retreat” at the hospital. The theme of the retreat was “Reasons to Give Thanks,” and the main therapeutic activity involved making a list of all the things that you are thankful for. It was an extremely emotional experience to listen to these kids, most of whom are grateful just to be alive this Thanksgiving, to sputter off long lists of things that have brought them joy this year. They spoke of various physicians and nurses, and being thankful for their kindness and expertise, they spoke of being thankful for different chemo drugs, for radiation therapy. And they spoke of the seemingly trivial things: movies that they could watch over and over again, receiving cards from classmates. It’s amazing how sweet simple pleasures can seem when such big facets of your world are falling apart. My patients never fail to inspire me, and remind me how much I have to be thankful for. So, here’s my list, some of my reasons for giving thanks this year…..

Starbucks' Vanilla Lattes
Lavender scented bubble bath
Spa Days
A good bottle of Pinot Noir
Gerber daisies
My amazing patients!!!
Godiva truffles
Tae Bo
Flannel sheets
The smell of a wood burning stove
Calling out of work for a “mental health day”
Philadelphia Story, Casablanca, Breakfast at Tiffany's
Compliments from strangers
The snooze button on the alarm
College sweatshirts
The little art gallery on the corner of my block
Music boxes
The smell of snow
The birth control patch
Longwood Gardens
Lucinda Williams’ “beautifully flawed voice”
Cindy Sheehan
Broken in blue jeans
The arrival gate at JFK
Handel, Bach, Beethoven
Google Scholar
Free night and weekend minutes
“Tuesdays With Morrie”
The Fruit and Vegetable Market on Sundays
“End of chemo” parties
Drive-in movie theaters
The “to be or not to be” soliloquy
Deferring college loans
Stain stick
The George Forman grill
Ear muffs
Maybeline “Great Lash” Mascara
Christmas lights
Sail boats
Margarita glasses
Community Theatre
Ben and Jerry's Phish Food
Runner's high
The New York Skyline
Swing dancing
Martini and Manicure night at the bar
The New York Times online
The brilliance of Jonathan Larson
Coming home
Post it notes
Roe v. Wade
Peppermint patties
“Le Petit Prince”
New England Clam chowder
Stem Cell Transplants
Cape May in the winter
Vanilla Scented Candles
Friends who are like family
English Bulldogs
Sidewalk chalk
The lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center
Clean Mammograms
Another day to say Amen.....