I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. My husband. My kids. My family. But as I prepare to get my ovaries removed and undergo a hysterectomy in exactly one week from today — it is my mother, who died 11 years ago, whom I am thankful for the most.

My mom passed away from ovarian cancer when I was 25. Before I was married. Before I had children. And today, as I was chopping onions to add to the stuffing, I remembered something I wrote on this blog seven months ago and it seemed so very perfect I had to share the sentiment of it again today:

I am thankful for all the gifts my mother gave me in her life. But now, I am aware of another precious gift she’s given me: by dying so young, she may have given life to me twice. If she didn’t pass away so young, I would never have known I was at increased risk; I would never have gotten tested. My kids may have lost their mom.

And, by the way, I am also thankful for my period, which I got yesterday, for the last time.

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