We celebrated Thanksgiving 2014 with the Sherwood Seven --Matt, Gayle, Abbie, Sarah, Garret, Hannah, and Emma. We have so many great memories with them, ever since our first Thanksgiving with Matt and Gayle in 2004! We had just moved to Oregon two months prior and Gayle invited us to her home for the holiday. It became our tradition. Every year we have been together except for 2010 when we were in Sedona. This year, the kids stood up with Matt and Gayle before we ate to wish cheers and say that they were grateful for Dan. He probably felt funny in the spotlight, but cherished the moment, I am sure. It was so sweet. When we met the kids, Garret was close to Raine's age. It has been amazing to watch them all grow up and become awesome young adults.
And, most importantly, the food was complete awesomeness. Dan was post chemo beyond three weeks, his brain swelling symptoms had abated, and he was relieved and ready for football and plenty of delicious savory food.
We spent Black Friday at St. Vincent's for his 2nd chemo round. We both worked on our books and a friend, Brad, came by for company. He brought us snacks and coffee, too, for which I was SO grateful--It's the little things, people! (The cafes in the hospital were all closed for the holiday, so there is ONE weekend we are now aware of where a major hospital in Portland does not provide coffee services. Oh my.) I ended up snoozing most of the day away in the recliner next to Dan. He kept teasing the nurses not to plug anything into me. And when they were finishing up with him and another family (we were the last ones) at the end of the day, he joked that he could just leave me there for the night. I woke up just in time to know that the delightful sound I heard was that of everyone laughing at something my husband said.
We ended November by doing the first Shine a Light event in Carlton, OR. Dan, Raine, and I went to Upper Park and lit two candles. I had informational materials, flashlights, and wristbands to share but with little time to spread word prior to the event, and Dan's hospital stay changing the date, it was just us. We missed the other family that came out to join us but it was still special. We had a moment as a family that is written on my heart and I loved seeing all of the photos that everyone shared across the continent in thought of Dan and others who have been affected by Lung Cancer. Dan has been wearing his LCA band ever since, and when I see it, I think of this night. Thank you to all of you who participated.
December began pretty quietly as we adjusted to our new normalcy again with Dan's brain swelling under control and finding our rhythm again, I guess, if there is one. I have found us focusing on Raine, trying to work and get household stuff done here and there--paperwork, cleaning, errands, etc. We've had some beautiful moments as the mornings have grown colder and our community here in Carlton has warmed up with holiday festivities and continued support for us. We are so grateful.