Medical updates first! Radiation prep went well. It was me and the 80 year olds on the day before Thanksgiving. I was admittedly pretty down heading into the appointment. We were supposed to hit the road for Galena first thing that morning, but now that it’s over (and thanks to some hilarious & well timed texts from my Benny, aka my good friend Keylon) I’m glad we got the appointment over with. Barium was a perfect appetizer for turkey after all. I only got stuck twice for the IV, so that’s a win. The nurse brought in the “good with veins” nurse after taking a look at my arms. She was so sweet. She saw all my bruises from the hospital and was talking a little trash about those failed attempts which the competitive side of me appreciated. Unfortunately she failed on her first try, but after she got the second one, she admitted that she got a little cocky when going in on attempt #1, I loved her even more. πŸ™‚ We sat and talked for awhile after. The nurses at Loyola are seriously the greatest thing ever. 

During radiation you lay in these molds of your body each time to ensure it all hits the same place every time. To form the molds they poured these chemicals into a bag and then I laid on them – they reacted in such a way that they inflate to mold but also get really warm. Best spa treatment ever! After the scans I got my three tattoos too. #phoebe

We hit the road for Galena right from the hospital and enjoyed an incredible 5 day reprieve from doctors & worries. The home my family rented was amazing, although it is clear we’ve been binging too much on Fixer Upper as we drooled over their fireplace & wood accent wall. 

My brother & sister in law, Kev and Erica, bought the entire family matching Champion sweatshirts last Thanksgiving as a throwback to our youth. We added to it this year with matching pajama pants. Nothing like seeing 11 humans lounging in the same attire! Makes for comfy memories & great pictures. We sure enjoyed the massive amounts of food, the 5 foot tall bonfire built by the boys, the laughter (Uno never fails, swipy swap is a new rule & neither Luther Vandross singing One Shining Moment or Donny Osmond in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat have anything on a Conrad production featuring Anna with the dance moves & Kevers on the broom guitar) and the care of family this holiday. Our hearts are full & thankful! Here  are some of my favorites pictures from the trip:

‘Family’ photo with my brother Chris:Sibling pics:Chris would wear his Cubs shirt, smh:Boys pics:

Girls pics:

We are so thankful for the retreat this trip was. On the surface, it’s hard to be thankful for anything right now but take away the wifi, the doctors, the appointments, the worries & life sure became easier, if only for a few days. Trust me when I say, we have *so* much to be thankful for, starting with all of you that have shown us so much love the past few weeks. Thankful for our families and friends who have carried us every step of the way. Thankful for Yelp & CDW who have shown us so much compassion. So many people say how strong we are, but that’s only because of the support you’ve given us.  

And on an ending note, I am especially thankful for this guy. I may be the one dealing with the physical side of this but I’m not sure that’s any easier than a husband having to watch his wife go through it all, especially considering the added circumstances. I appreciate him in so many new ways for what we’ve gone through in the past month.  I hate that this is our story but I’m thankful we are tackling the story together. 

Hope you all had an incredible Thanksgiving! And now, it is officially Christmas time!! πŸŽ„So much love to all of you. We are grateful for our army!! ❀️

PS: You all remember my zamboni (aka zambeefy) ride at the Hawks game from October, yes?! We were walking downtown Galena and saw this lego set in the window of a store. Amazing, right?! Constructed by yours truly, under the supervision my Pops & Kevers & the scrutiny of the Von, who laughed at my use of the pictures. Psh. 

PPS: I forgot to highlight one of the best moments of the weekend. We had 4 cars venturing back to different parts of the Chi-land today. We all went on our way and somehow ended up at the same Culver’s, about an hour into the trip, unplanned. Great minds think alike! 

3 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. These photos are a fantastic! What a beautiful place and what a great way to spend Thanksgiving. Keep finding the things to be grateful for and let’s count on you all doing Thanksgiving together again next year with this all behind you.

    I gotta say, Bethany, you are looking mighty cute for all that you’ve been through. So happy to see you smiling. That photo of you and Kevin is one to frame. Congrats on the closing of your house and good luck with the big move tomorrow. xoxo


  2. You are truly an inspiration Bethany! And an amazing writer! Keep fighting…you blow me away with your strength and positive spin on everything that comes your way. And Kevin…what an awesome husband!


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