While we give thanks for what we have–family, friends, a roof over our heads and food in our bellies—in our house this year, we’re even more thankful for what we’re about to have. Because of what we’ve been given: a new lease on life. Not once. But twice. And when I say we, I mean Danny. Which through transference, also means me. By marriage. Remember that part of the vows that goes “in sickness and in health?” That part of the lease.
The first lease was taken out just over a year ago when Danny was officially proclaimed in remission from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after six long months of treatment. Recovery from treatment ended less than nine months ago, which is when it genuinely felt real. The survival rates for Lymphoma have doubled over the past 25 years because of the advances in chemotherapy, radiation and stem-cell transplantation which give Danny a great prognosis to be able to declare himself “cured” in five years!
The second lease was taken out exactly one week ago when Danny had a fairly new surgical procedure known as Lumbar Disc Replacement. Not your ordinary back surgery. So new, his surgery was played on a big screen in the surgical center auditorium for visiting doctors around the world to watch and learn from. Danny now has a hunk of titanium where one of his discs used to be. In just five more weeks, he will be completely recovered from surgery and able to do things he hasn’t been able to do since his 20’s when he first injured himself. Almost 20 years he has suffered, often out of commission one week out of every month since we first married eight years ago. He’s promised me that the monthly back spasms starting around the same time we got married have nothing to do with the proverbial “ball and chain,” if that’s what you’re thinking. So there.
As happenstance would have it, Danny turns 40 this Friday. The big 4-0. The convergence of his new lease on life with a possible mid-life crisis might have other wives worried. But, not me. I know what’s most on Danny’s mind is the prospect of being the husband and father he wants to be. He dreams of rolling around on the floor with Reagan, tossing her up in the air, teaching her to snowboard and father-daughter dances. He woos me with the promise of taking on additional responsibilities around the house to give me more of a break. Just the idea of Danny cleaning bathtubs and toilets, hanging shelves and laying tile has me all weak in the knees. He throws around tackling my “500-tasks-long Honey-do list” like it’s an aphrodisiac. Tip for all the men reading this: IT IS.
And finally, in just a few short months Danny should be cleared medically by the FAA to return to flying for Frontier Airlines again. We are thankful that this day is so near after two very difficult years of struggling physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Here’s to a bright and healthy 2010!