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Dealing with Thanksgiving, Family, Turkey and Cancer

Map of Tulsa, Oklahoma

With Thanksgiving around the corner, most people are planning their holiday menu, and preparing their homes for loved ones.

Normally, I would be mapping out my Black Friday route and preparing my list for the biggest shopping day of the year. This year will be quite different for my family and me.

While most Americans on Thanksgiving will feast on turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, I will have the luxury of indulging in all the broth I can consume because I will undergo laparoscopic surgery 24 hours before the holiday.

Holiday Procedure Calls for New Plans

Last month, my oncologist informed me that there was “something” that showed up on
my CT scans. After an MRI, I was given the option of waiting until something “noticeable” shows up, or undergo a “scope.” Being the aggressive person that I am, I chose the scope.

During this procedure, my surgeon will probe around my abdomen with a laparoscope to look out for any unusual findings.

I felt discouraged about not being able to relax with family, but I was determined not to let the diagnosis ruin my holiday. So I decided to bring the family with me!

My procedure will be performed about 12 hours from home in Tulsa, Okla. I booked airline tickets for my husband and kids, and informed them they would
be vacationing for Thanksgiving this year.

Believe it or not, my mother was eager to join us, and also booked a flight.

A planner by nature, I began to find activities for my children while I was in the hospital. The first day in town we will dine at the Cheescake Factory, which is one of my Tulsa favorites. This is significant to me because this dinner will be “The Last Supper” for me before I’m allowed to eat again.

My children are super excited about their Thanksgiving vacation because they get to fly the friendly skies and collect airplane wings.

While I’m resting and recuperating, my family will be on excursions to the aquarium, America’s Incredible Pizza Company in Tulsa, miniature golf and the

Right now, I’m in the process of soliciting friends to complete my holiday shopping for me on Black Friday.

Always Be Ready

This holiday vacation is yet another reminder that I will always have to deal with cancer. You must remember to never let cancer dominate your life. Cancer is not cheap, nor is it convenient.

As a cancer patient, you must always be ready to improvise and change your traditions. For some, it isn’t always practical to pack bags and bring the entire family along for a procedure, but it worked for me.

If you foresee undergoing a procedure around the holidays, I suggest celebrating early. Turn your cooking duties over to someone else, and enjoy the time with family and friends.

Kasie Coleman, Contributing Writer to Asbestos.com & Mesothelioma Survivor

Kasie Coleman is a wife and mother of two boys. She was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma on July 1, 2010. From that day on, she decided to fight and win her battle with cancer. Today she is the proud owner of Sugarbelle, a neighborhood cupcake bakery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Read More

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