So Much To Be Thankful For

I’m late. I haven’t blogged for nearly a month. Sorry, I know I should be more diligent.

I think I have to thank God for it because that means I must be quite busy which means I must be able to do more things now.

25 November, Thanksgiving, marked my 5th month post-op. November’s usually my “highlight” month because it’s my birthday and also my Little B’s birthday (which translates to “VERY BUSY!”).

Little B’s birthday turned out to be 3 celebrations, with one round involving her cousins (and my first attempt at a 3D cake), one round in school, and finally her actual birthday party at The Polliwogs. You would think it’s fun but by the time her Polliwogs party came around, she asked me where we were going on the morning of the party. “We’re going to your party, baby,” I replied. “Oh…” she said, thinking hard. “Thank you Mummy?”

She had birthday burnout – and all she wanted to do at Polliwogs was climb, slide, shoot balls, so the birthday party sort of happened without her (but really, she didn’t mind).

Little B having her birthday celebration at school with Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes

I think we had the most fun at school – she just loved having her friends sing her Happy Birthday, even though she refused to eat her Elmo or Cookie Monster cupcake (but everybody else ate theirs, so at least Mummy was gratified her hard work and Grandma’s fondant Cookie Monster eyes did not go to waste…).

For my birthday, Husband snuck me away to a “secret island hideout“. It was our first time and it turned out to be really fun and most French! It was funny reading the signs in English and Francais and recalling the disastrous French 101 lessons we used to have at ELLE, trying to pronounce “European” “uh-oh-pay-en”. I have great admiration for French women – they really have an awesome measure of grace, no matter how large or small they are. Watching all the brown little kids of all ages trooping to their trapeze exercise made me miss my three Bs terribly. So, if circumstances allow, we’ll definitely bring them the next round.

I have much to be thankful for. Some days I forget I ever had cancer. Even though I still can’t sit in one spot longer than 3 hours without abdominal cramps, I count myself blessed that I can sit at all, and it just takes 30 minutes of walking around for the symptoms to go away.

I’m thankful I can exercise – it boosts my circulation and I feel my wounds are healing faster and faster, plus I am feeling stronger and stronger. That I can actually run 20 minutes without collapsing or rolling down a hill is something of a miracle to me. I have not run on tarmac since 1998 when I got pregnant with Big B. (Treadmills don’t count, though I appreciate them on rainy days.)

I am thankful for the school holidays, and thankful that I wake up every morning now to the sounds of my 11-year-old who hasn’t had a piano teacher in 5 years, playing Canon in D by Pachebel, from a score he downloaded on his iPad.

Monkey faces at the Zoo with Big B and Little B

I’m grateful for the increasing interesting conversations my Little B and I have, which reveal the way her mind works, and gives me hope she’ll fulfill the purpose God created her for.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to hang out with Middle B as she hurtles toward pre-teendom, still being allowed to ferry her to her various classes as we discuss the existential significance of Taylor Swift songs.

Middle B and one of her expertly decorated cupcakes for sale.

I felt all this especially today, when I recalled the days I sat in a windowless office twiddling my thumbs thinking about how, for the sake of a paycheck, I’d sold away my children’s childhood years and my chances of being there as they grew up.

My favourite book says “All things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Through what has been a frightening and painful experience, God has shown me the things I used to take for granted, and given me back an appetite for the little things I should appreciate.

Most of all, I thrive knowing that nothing happens without God’s permission and no matter what, He’s making it all come together for me. I may not see it yet, but it’s a promise I know He will keep.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. PC
    Nov 27, 2010 @ 01:21:42

    Hey Theresa,

    Happy birthday! Your Elmo cupcakes look good! Definitely worth the effort spent decorating them!


  2. Gene
    Nov 27, 2010 @ 02:02:16

    Happy Birthday to you… and yes, it’s a worthwhile thing to be thankful for every second we have on this planet


  3. Ros
    Nov 29, 2010 @ 21:12:57

    Happy belated(?) birthday! Your kids are adorable. πŸ™‚


  4. Jo
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 18:10:00

    Hi there, happen to come across your blog and really thanks for sharing and hope you are getting better each day!

    pardon me, if you don’t mind may i check with you how is Dr Andrew Khoo stitching skill (as in is it fine and will not be that obvious after a period of time)?

    thanks and will appreciate your sharing.



    • threezframe
      Dec 04, 2010 @ 02:04:43

      Hi Jo, Dr Khoo’s priority for me was to make sure that my reconstructed breast was as “equal” in shape and size as my left breast. His stitching is very fine, especially in the breast area. For the abdominal area, he had to compromise because I have scoliosis so my hips and the flesh around them are not quite even or level. So my scars there are a little less pretty than I would have liked but, oh well, I know he did his best. Dr Khoo, being an aesthetics surgeon, has also given me a bunch of scar therapies (creams, plus this thing I wear like sticky tape over my scars to press them down as I’m prone to keloids). With time the scars will fade.

      Hope this helps! Theresa


  5. Jo
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 17:10:00

    Hi there, Thanks alot and really appreciate your detail sharing.

    btw i want to tell you you look really great and if you didn’t share your story i am sure no one will ever know what you had went through, sincerely, you look great!

    Thanks again and all the best to you!


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