Another week has flown by in the blink of an eye, and I can't believe Thanksgiving is upon us. This past week was busy with more doctors appointments, 2 1/2 days with no heat, and daily 2 mile walks which are making me feel stronger every day. But the most special part of the past week was being able to speak at the school Mike teaches at during their Breast Cancer Awareness Week. Mike's friend and co-worker, Jesse put together an entire week of festivities to help educate the young students all about breast cancer and she asked me to come speak on Friday, along with her mom and grandmother who are both breast cancer survivors.
Although you all know that I am not a shy person, public speaking is definitely outside of my comfort zone...especially when we are talking about 200 high schoolers! Mike gave such a sweet and touching introduction that almost made me lose it right then and there. Thankfully, I held it together and shared my story and the lessons I have learned with all of the students. I stressed the importance of trusting your intuition if you feel that something is wrong, knowing your own body, and becoming your best advocate when it comes to your health. It went really well and the students were completely respectful and attentive while I shared such personal experiences with them.
After the assembly was over, a few students came up to me and said they really appreciated my talk and gave me huge hugs. It was so sweet and I appreciated it so much! When Mike came home from school that day, he gave me this note from a tenth grade student of his...
Dear Mrs. Malley,
I'm writing you this note because I loved your speech at our school about your story on breast cancer. You were very strong for being someone who doesn't really speak in front of groups of people. I was devastated to hear that you have stage IV cancer. I will pray for you as I did for my grandma and mother. You story was very touching and I'm glad to see how strong you are. I have faith in my heart that you'll fight off this battle. Mr. Malley as my teacher is amazing, so I'm sure to you he's an amazing husband. I just wish you'll feel better soon.
That note totally touched my heart and made me so grateful that I did this. I left Kettering High School feeling empowered and uplifted from turning such a sad and tragic situation into a positive one by hopefully helping others through education.
Well, Thanksgiving couldn't come at a better time for me this year. I was in a little emotional funk after feeling so bad for a few weeks and feeling that way makes it hard to see all the blessings that surround us. Thanksgiving is so much more than a day off from work, an excuse to stuff ourselves with yummy food, and watch more football. It is a day that should truly be spent giving thanks for all of the many, many blessings in our lives. I have loved spending time with my family every Thanksgiving - but have I really taken the time to think about how grateful I am for them? How blessed I am to have them in my life? How lucky we are to have endless amount of food, laughter and love surrounding us every holiday? Although this has been the single most difficult year of my life, I know now more than ever, how blessed I am. This Thanksgiving, I will be taking a moment to step back and watch my loving family that surrounds me and I will be thanking God for every single one of them.
There are so many things I am thankful for this year...so many blessings...more than I could ever count, and for that I am grateful. But, I do want to truly thank God for continuing to bless me with another day filled with love and laughter. I want to thank my doctors and medical team for helping me rid my body of this disease and regain my health. I want to thank all of my fellow cancer survivors, especially those that live with this disease each day as I do -thank you for giving me hope and endless amounts of inspiration. Thank you to my friends for your amazing and loyal friendship, for always being there for me, and reminding me of how much I am loved. Thank you to my family, especially Mom, Jeff and Doug - there are just too many things to thank you for...thank you for being the most loving and supportive family I could ever hope for. And to my best friend and husband....where would I even start? Thank you for making me the happiest woman on the planet almost four years ago when I became your wife. Every day since then, whether good or bad, has been an absolute blessing because it was shared with you. Thank you for always telling me I am beautiful - even without hair, without breasts, and with tears streaming down my face. Thank you for making me laugh - every single day. Without fail, you always find a way to crack me up and make me smile, even on the toughest days. Thank you for being my rock, my calm within the storm. Being alone with you is when I feel the safest, the most at peace, and the happiest deep down in my soul. Being your wife is the greatest blessing I could ever have in this life and I thank God for you every single day.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and spend time giving thanks for what matters most in this world. Thank you for all the love and support you have given me each and every day. I truly feel blessed and thankful!
One of the times I feel most thankful is on my morning walks with Mike and the pup. Feeling healthy, breathing in fresh air, and spending time with my boys - can't beat it!
My blog to keep you all