Gratitude changes everything

Each day is a gift. Even the hard ones.

Some days are hard.  Really hard.  But even on these days there is the opportunity to find gratitude.  (Sometimes you have to look hard.)  This morning, my heart sunk as I scrolled social media and saw that several of my friends spent yesterday in treatment.   What moved me is that they didn’t post about their toxic side effects, long waits or what they were missing out on.  They all posted about what they were thankful for-“caring nurses, warm coffee, oatmeal cookies, family by their side.”  They acknowledged the simple fact that they have access to treatment as something to be grateful for.

Approaching life with gratitude doesn’t change your circumstances.

It changes everything.

I have terrible mouth sores.   7 cancer sores to be exact.  A painful reminder that I’m at the end of my 21 day chemo cycle.  I’m bummed that it hurts to eat as we prepare for Thanksgiving dinner.  (I mean, c’mon!)  But, I choose to focus on the sun shining & our friends like family that traveled from Michigan to spend time together.  I am grateful for time to rest and reflect and give thanks.  Gratitude doesn’t make my mouth hurt less… but it changes my perspective.

We all carry some kind of pain.  Sometimes it weighs us down and is hard to find the thankfulness.   But, we can’t give up on gratitude.   That’s when it has the greatest potential to change our lives.  “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” -Aesop

I’m grateful for each of you- who listen to my story, who support Hope Scarves and who help us change the way people experience cancer.   Each day is a gift… I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with joy and gratitude. And that you find a way to carry this intention with you.

In that way, may our Thanksgiving be never ending.






Growing older is a gift.

Today, I turn 43.

While some cringe at the idea of growing old… I celebrate!   All I want is to get old and wrinkly.

I actually thought I was turning 44.  I was convinced. It took a calculator and a persistent husband to bring me around to the idea that my proper number is 43.   It’s just that my 40th birthday party (which was an epic surprise) seems like much more than 3 years ago.  So, so much has happened since then… cancer progression, trips around the world, radiation, weddings, bad scans, surgeries, good scans, deaths, births.   I guess when you live so intensely the years seems longer.

I wished I was 44 because all I want is to get old.   50 is a big goal for me… 50 and healthy, actually.  If I may be so bold.  44 was just a little closer, but I’ll take 43.  And hold my breath for a moment thinking about what the next seven years toward my goal hold.

Then, I refocus on today.  Today is a day to celebrate!!

And, I have.  Last night my friends turned bookclub into a little surprise party.  Gathered around a cozy fireplace with friends was the perfect way to kick off my birthday weekend.   Today my kids made me birthday breakfast in bed (a MacGregor family tradition).  Then, I spent time on my yoga mat.  The teacher started class in child’s pose with “notice your breath.”  Tears dripped onto my mat as I grounded myself in gratitude.  Lunch with my boys, a little shopping & now a chocolate chip cookie and cup of tea in my favorite coffee shop. Tonight, I am meeting girlfriends to learn circus tricks and then bubbles at the Champagnery.  Tomorrow, dinner with dear friends.  Sunday, I’m hoping to volunteer together as a family.  Birthday’s are all weekend long in my world.  How lucky am I??

Today, and every day I reminded each year is a gift. Even as I live with a disease that is probably going to kill me, I choose to not only live, but to love & laugh and experience the gifts this life brings.

It’s not just about staying alive.  But to truly live.

How do you act on your aliveness?  We have to work with what we are given.  When we accept the things we can’t change and cherish each day, each year, each breath – we find the moments that bring the most joy.

Cheers to being fully alive! Bring on 43.

ps.  Thank you for all the birthday wishes, texts, messages, calls.  I feel all your love and it means so much.

Brittney – Anchorage, AK

Brittany was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 31, just a few days after the arrival of her newborn son. Facing motherhood and cancer simultaneously can be the reality of many women in treatment, and she handles it with strength and grace. Thank you for finding us, Brittany!