On this day on which we are traditionally expected to enumerate the things for which we are thankful, I'm thankful most of all for being alive and functional (physically and mentally) and able to write these words.
From my childhood in the tenements and housing projects of the Bronx, including the abuse (physical, verbal, and emotional) my mother and I endured at the hands of my stepfather, through my mother's death just before my fifteenth birthday, through dropping out of college at age twenty (I did eventually go back), through being diagnosed HIV positive in 1994, and most recently through being unexpectedly diagnosed with colon cancer, it sometimes feels as if my life has been an uninterrupted succession of blows. But I have weathered them and am still standing, and have realized that I am a much stronger person than I had ever imagined I could be. I have even achieved my adolescent dreams of being a writer and being loved, so I suppose I could even count myself lucky. I definitely count myself as grateful.
I'm also grateful to everyone who sent their good wishes for my speedy recovery and return to health, both privately and via this blog. The outpouring of support has been very heartening and moving. I still have a long road to travel--although the removal of the tumor from my colon was successful, the cancer has spread to my liver, so once I recover from my colon surgery (which they tell me I am doing much more quickly than expected), I will need to start chemotherapy, which is a very frightening prospect. But this ordeal has reminded me that many people care about me, and the knowledge that I am not alone will help me stay strong.
Thank you all, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.