Day 249…

11.22.12

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!

Today is my historically my favorite of the year.  It is a day where family and friends all gather at my parents house for amazing food, drink and fun.  It’s a day where we watch football.  A day where we are all just happy and thankful to have each other…

This year Thanksgiving takes on a more special meaning to me as it is my first in remission and it has really driven me to reflect on the hardship of the past year that not only I went through, but that my family, friends and support group went through…

No one ever, in any scenario, wants to be told that they have a life threatening illness.  Unfortunately, this past February I was dealt a hand that read exactly as that – stage two Hodgkin’s Disease.  Nine full months later it is still surreal.  I continue to look back at the whole thing and it honestly feels like I’m watching a movie about someone else.  Yes, it is me.  Yes, I know the physical struggle of feeling like utter crap on and off for the better part of 6 months.  Yes, I know first hand the struggle mentally of dealing with, and processing everything that has happened.  But yet it is as if this all happened through the looking glass of life.  Not a day has passed since the fateful day in February when I called my doctor because I found a lump in my neck that I haven’t thought about it.  I’m sure that I will in some capacity have a reminder daily of being sick, of having Hodgkin’s, but at the same time I refuse to let it define who I am and that is why I think I find myself feeling like I’ve watched this happen to someone else…

All of that said, I have a long list of what I’m grateful for this year as I can happily say that I feel great and empowered and confident that I am going to live a long and healthy life and put this year in my rear-view mirror…

I’m grateful for…

My parents and my sister who stood by my every second of everyday and never waivered in their support of me and my fight and who never let doubt enter the conversation.  Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am as a person and likely would not have made it through this battle.  When I think about foundations, it always starts with the three of them and it goes without saying how much I love them…

Riley, my pup.  Amazing to think that a barely more than 1year old puppy could know what to do when her owner got sick, but this dog never, ever left my side.  This dog gave me nothing but love and support when I needed it most.  When I felt so awful that I couldn’t get out of bed or off the couch, she never left me.  For having the endless energy that she has, to harness it and stay by my side is something I could have never known a dog would do.  The meaning mans best friend doesn’t do it justice. She has grown up so much this year and is just a few weeks away from turning 2.  Amazing what a year can do…

My friends…there is so much I could say about all of them.  Each and everyone of them should be thanked and given awards for being the best friends a person could ever ask for.  None of us knew how to handle this situation, yet my friends stepped up in a way that I can never thank enough.  They were there for me to talk, there for me just to say hi, there for me at the hospital, my apartment.  Really anywhere I could think of, they were there with words of encouragement, never believing that together we couldn’t beat this.  They took time out of their lives to check-in, to drop by the apartment, to run at very slow paces in the park so I could get exercise.  They sent cards to lift my spirits, they came for weekly dinner, every single Tuesday.  They just were the best damn friends anyone could ever ask for.  Collectively they are a massive part of my foundation, an extended arm of my family.  They make up a huge part of my heart and my soul and I love them…

My doctors, nurses, and technicians who saved my life.  Not only do I literally owe them my life, but they are the people who never get the full credit that they deserve.  Never in my lifetime have I come across a group of people who have such genuine good in them.  From Dr. Horwitz, to Nisha to Rose (to name a few) to everyone who I met at MSKCC I just can’t even begin to put into words my gratitude to them.  I was never a number, never a case study.  I was always Josh who happened to have a problem, but had a problem that was going to be fixed.  MSKCC is a world class facility and organization that treated me and everyone I saw come in contact with them with the greatest amount of respect.  They yearn to make people better.  They take a vested interest in you.  You become an extension of their lives and their happiness much in the same way that you, the patient want them to be of you.  I’m humbled to have been treated by the team that treated me.  In my mind they should all be given the highest praise the world has to offer.  I’m beyond grateful for them…

My colleagues at Next Street.  When you think about why things happen for a reason, I can’t shake the thought of me finding my way to Next Street as a moment of fate.  We are a small, growing company.  A company that prides itself on helping the underserved and underprivileged.   We work with non-profits, we work with small business, but most importantly, we work with good people and this company is made up of some of the best people I’ve had the honor of working with.  I was only 3months into my job when I was diagnosed.  I worried as to how things would go since I was still new to the company and still getting to know everyone.  I was blown away by the compassion of my fellow co-workers.  They stepped up to fill my position when I was out of the office for treatment.  They made sure I had everything I needed to feel like I was a normal, contributing member of the firm.  They never waivered in their support and belief that I would beat this thing.  For them, I’m extremely grateful…

Lastly, I’m grateful for my readers and this platform to express how I feel.  I’m sure that at times what I’ve written has not been the most resonating or interesting, but this has been the place where I’ve been able to speak from the heart and pour my thoughts and feelings into.  I don’t know everyone that reads my posts, but I do know that no matter what, I feel like each and everyone of you is supportive of me, so I say thank you…

As I end the post for today, I want to wish each of you a happy, loving and safe holiday.  Never forget to be thankful for the people in your lives and never be shy to tell them why you are thankful for them.  Life is too short to not be honest and reflective.  Love you all…

Until next time…

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