Give thanks in all circumstances

Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts, for making me laugh and expanding my world.

Spring arrived in New England! The blooming flowers and trees fill me with hope for all kinds of wonderful new life and beginnings and made me optimistic about my CT scan.

Today I met with my oncologist to get the results of my CT scan. I have been doing chemo since last August. Plus over the past week, I’ve had problems with my hands and feet that I believe are side effects. My body could use a break.

Normally, I would try to brace myself for bad news. But lately, I have been aiming to embrace ALL of life: the stuff that feels good and is fun, and the stuff that might not feel so wonderful. I want to embrace it, move through it, give thanks for it all.


As with many of my bright ideas, I try them out first on my kids.

Before bed, I generally annoy the kids by asking them to tell me one good thing about their day. I rephrase it as “something that makes you feel good inside when you remember it” and “something that makes you smile” to try to encourage their participation in this activity. They don’t like to share much information with me, and they definitely don’t reflect out loud, but they eventually give in and begrudgingly answer.

Then I move onto asking them about one thing that wasn’t quite so good, or something that could have gone better. Most people don’t like to remember the bad, especially before bed, so this part often feels a little funny, but I also think it is important to face these times and then move on.

You can see why they prefer that their father puts them to bed.

The other night, I lay next to one of the boys and asked him to tell me something good about his day.

“Gymnastics,” was his eventual answer.

“How about something that wasn’t so fun?”

He paused, long enough that I decided to offer a suggestion rather than tease it out of him. “Maybe your coach yelling at you?” He looked at me and I was afraid that tears would follow.

In my new inspiration of embracing it all and giving thanks continually, I decided that I had to help him give thanks for the “not so fun.” So I asked, “Can you find something good in his yelling?”

He thought for a moment, then smiled and said, “His coaching makes me a better gymnast.”

I was really impressed with his ability to see good in something that he didn’t want, that hurt his feelings and made him angry. I can’t get over my own self that fast.

But today at Dana Farber, it was my turn to try, and I vowed that, regardless of the CT results, I would give thanks to God, even as I prayed for smaller (or totally absent) tumors.

I’m so happy to report that all in my abdomen and pelvis is essentially stable. They did see something that looks like a tiny dot in a few places in my lungs but we (including my incredibly smart and very conservative husband) are all comfortable with “watch and wait” on that.

Weirdly, I wasn’t worried. I remained totally in the framework of “giving thanks for all things” and didn’t feel like I had to brace myself. Woo hoo!

Of course, it is still easier to give thanks for that which feels good. And I give thanks always for you. Thank you for helping me to feel better through this whole process. And thank God for this amazing life.

I’m officially on chemo holiday and my next scan is at the end of June!

Sending you love and peace and light and joy,


31 thoughts on “Give thanks in all circumstances

  1. I’m in tears at an office that I’m waiting in 😂. God is good. So happy for all if you!!! 💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃

    Have you seen this. It will make you laugh and cry:

    Adore you and again, so happy!! ❤️

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. YAY!!!!!! Is it bad that I ripped ahead to find the punchline???!?!?! I know, I know. You wrote some amazing stuff and I did go back to read it. And I LOVED it. Really. As your friend, as a parent, as a parent coach. I LOVE your insight and the gift you give your kids by helping them to search for the blessings in the not-so-good. You are so awesome.

    And I am THRILLED that your markers are stable and you are on holiday! Wahoo!

    Love, Jaime

  3. As I was reading your news, it made me tear up and my heart soar with awe and joy all at the same time. I’m so happy for you and grateful to God that He is walking with you. The peace and calmness and joy you feel when you are one with Him is indescribable. You feel so good and it always makes you hungry for more! If you couldn’t tell, yes, I pray for you. Praise Him for the chemo break. I know it will do your body good. Yippeee…..

  4. Happy Chemo Holiday!!!!!! What a wonderful time of year to have a break. So proud of you for your attitude and your always striving to be the best you you can be. Love you!

  5. I’m so glad you get a break from chemo! I read a blog post recently about a man deciding to thank his higher power for his toothache, which sounds ridiculous on the surface, but like your son so wisely concluded, we can almost always find something positive in the negative if we try. At the very least, it improves our outlook.

  6. I’m so glad for you, Marie! You really deserve a break. YAY! And loved reading your words and widsom – as always. xoxoxoxox

  7. Oh, Marie, what a lovely Spring present. I am so glad you are taking a break. I loved what you wrote. I am going to try to embrace the good with the bad. What you said really resonated with me, and helped me in thinking about the loss of my mother. Thanks for all you have done for me dear friend! xxxooo

  8. Great news Marie. Enjoy the break for Spring and hopefully longer. Of course I love your ‘yin and yang’ approach to giving thanks – you are an inspiration as always.

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