i am naomi’s sense of utter gratitude.

i am grateful for so many things that i don’t even know where to start.  most of all, i think, i’m grateful just to be me.  and by that i mean grateful for the people in my life — my many incredible friends and family members — without whom i wouldn’t be who i am.  knowing that there are so many people out there willing to put their lives on hold to be there for me — especially walker, who has already changed his life to help me and who i know will continue to take care of me no matter what comes; my parents, who were here the moment i needed them, and will continue to be, for as long as it takes; tim, who helps me get through every day with a listening ear, ready encouragement and brotherly love; and sue, walker’s mom, who has gone way beyond the call of duty in leveraging her connections in the medical world to ensure that i have access to the best, most timely care available.  (did i mention that the neurosurgeon at duke who did ted kennedy’s brain surgery is looking at my MRI this week, thanks to her?!  and that she was able to get my PET scan moved forward by two weeks?  sue, you’re my hero!)

for my education and, as strange as it sounds, organizational skills.  there’s so much to keep track of, to organize, to plan, to stay on top of, to comprehend.  thanks, mom and dad, for making sure that i was prepared to deal with everything life threw my way.

for the fact that i live in a city that is home to one of just a handful of brain tumor centers in the US — that world-class care is at my doorstep, and that my neurosurgeon understands.  that i have the resources to seek second opinions and be really, really sure about my course of treatment before i embark down that path, whatever it may be.

for a job that offers flexibility in allowing me to continue to work from home when i’m able, and for a boss/friend who has provided an unbelievable measure of support, concern and assistance throughout this process.

for all the offers of assistance in both material and immaterial ways.  please know that i will be taking you up on those offers.  it means more than you know to be offered the simplest things — just to sit and talk, to pick up groceries, to unpack boxes, to shuttle my parents from the airport, to give me hugs, to help in any way possible.

i think a lot about the people who don’t have the resources and support that i have, those who experience barriers to care, who don’t have insurance coverage, who don’t speak english as their first language.  my friend jenny suggested that, perhaps, when this is all over, i could advocate for them — help ensure that a few more people in this incomprehensible situation gain access to at least some of the resources and supports that have smoothed my way thus far.  i think it’s a great idea, a way to leverage my own experience and pay it forward.  count me in.

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3 thoughts on “i am naomi’s sense of utter gratitude.

  1. Naomi,
    You’re insights and descriptions are so profound. I marvel that at such a time you’re thinking about others. That’s truely an inspiration! I’m sitting here wishing I had some answers for you or some magic words that would make it all better. (At least ease some of the pain). Know that we are on our knees for you, pleading at heaven’s door for favor and grace for you and those closest to you.
    All my love,
    Auntie Anita

  2. Hi Naomi, just want you to know that I’m thinking about you and know that you are strong enough to get through tomorrow, and the next day, and each day after that. Do you want some company at the hospital while you wait for your tests? Ali and I were talking about visiting you so just let us know when is good for you (if not tomorrow, then maybe some other time). I hope that you are staying positive and I’m glad to hear you have a great support system in your corner. XOXO

  3. I’d love to see you and Ali sometime soon. My procedure tomorrow will actually require general anesthesia, so I don’t think I’d be very good company. 🙂 I might be up for visitors later on in the evening, once I’m out of the OR, though. Maybe you can text me in the afternoon to see how things are looking? I’ll text you Walker’s number right now so you can check in with him if you are thinking about coming by. If it doesn’t happen tomorrow, let’s get together sometime soon.

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