scarThis is the last photo of my scarred belly I’ll inflict on you. I promise. I took this photo this morning, roughly nine months after my surgery. The scar is still a tad angry looking, but it’s getting better every week.

I took this photo because I wanted to post something on Facebook this morning. A bunch of people on my friend list, and probably on yours, too, have been posting daily things for which they’re thankful this month.

Me? I’m thankful for this ugly scar.

I had cancer. Now I have this. In the great scheme of things, it was an excellent trade. I’m thankful for finding the right people to help me make it, as quickly and painlessly as possible.

I’m thankful for the tribe of people who assembled around me the very moment I needed them. I’m thankful for the people who came out of the woodwork to carry me through what could have been a very scary, lonely time. I always assumed that if I ever got really ill, I’d be on my own. I am so thankful for being so very, very wrong.

I’m thankful for strangers. People I’ll probably never meet, who sent good thoughts and prayers and dollars and advice. I’m thankful for feeling, as I drifted off into that drug-induced fog before surgery, that I was being carried by so many loving thoughts.

I’m thankful for food lovingly prepared and delivered to my door, and for 4AM iPhone alarms followed by gentle words to wake me. I’m thankful for pain medication, and clean cotton sheets, and lots of naps.

I’m thankful for not going broke or out of business this year, despite all the reasons I should have, and that somehow, each time I thought I couldn’t possibly make it through yet another setback, I have. I’m thankful for those things that remind me that even when I think I don’t have enough, I have plenty. I’m thankful for skills and creativity that allow me to give to others, even when I have nothing to spare.

Mostly, I’m thankful just to still be here.