30 Day Gratitude Challenge: Week 1

I am grateful to my sons, Josh and Jeff, for understanding that Daddy was broken, but now fixed and for growing up to be such fine, healthy men. Love you, Dad!

I am grateful to Dr. Koons, Dr. Hazen and Dr. Weil and their staffs for the excellent care given to me during treatment for Stage III colon cancer in 1986

Day 7, 30 day gratitude challenge…I am grateful to my medical team:

Dr. Hazen, my oncologist

Dr. Weil, my surgeon

Dr. Koons, my radiation oncologist

Dear Doctors and Staff,

Thank you for your excellent care, knowledge and skills in healing my body of cancer. Dr. Hazen, thank you for making room in your schedule to see me so quickly and for your guidance on treatment and connecting with Dr. Weil at UCI Medical Center. Dr. Weil, thank you for your skill in surgery to remove all the cancer and stitch my plumbing back together in a new but effective way. Dr. Koons, thanks to you and Ruth for the wonderful way in which you cared for me during those many weeks of radiation treatments. Thank you for the breaks that allowed me to heal up so that we could finish. It obviously worked. I am still here 26 years later.

And for all of those whose names I’ve forgotten in your offices and at UCI Medical Center and all my GI docs since who have worked with me to keep a watchful eye out for any signs of the cancer’s return, I am so very grateful!

Blessings to all who care for us!


Day 6, 30 day gratitude challenge…I am grateful for our sons, Jeff and Josh

Dear Josh and Jeff,

I am grateful to you both for being so strong and understanding 26 years ago when I was broken by the surgery and treatments to make we well. Even though you were little, you were mighty!

Jeff, I remember you telling me “I know about you Daddy. I know you are sick and I know you are going to be OK, so don’t worry, Daddy” I am grateful for the power of your vision and that we have lived into your vision for a cancer free life.

Josh, I remember you telling me in the hospital “I can touch you here on your arm, Daddy, because you don’t hurt there. I know I can’t touch your tummy because it’s sore.” I am grateful for your tender heart then and now.

Finally, thank you for all the wonderful memories of our life together. Surfing, teaching you to drive (Jeff) and to drive a stick shift (Josh), Pismo, beach time at Uncle Michael’s and more. I am so very proud to be your Dad. You both have grown into such outstanding men. I couldn’t wish for anything more….except maybe grandkids? LOL

With LOVE and GRATITUDE to you both!


Josh and Jeff…all grown up. I am so proud of you both. Love, Dad

Day 5, 30 day gratitude challenge…I am grateful for Sharon and Eric

I am grateful for the love and friendship of Sharon and Eric, without which I would likely not be here today. Love you guys! RH

Dear Sharon and Eric,

In my cancer journal you are mentioned frequently. Always there to help out, a kind word, a helping hand. But most of all we have such a great history of adventures together, that I never want to give up fighting to stay around to enjoy our next adventures together….our many trips to Pismo with the dune buggies and three wheelers. The many NASCAR events we’ve enjoyed together. Family Christmas gatherings at your home in Madera and many many more.

I am grateful to you for making me feel like a true brother in the family and for teaching me what “family” really means…being there with unconditional love and support when we needed it the most.

Sharon, I don’t know where you get your energy to keep going and going (like the Energizer bunny…LOL), but if I could harness your source of energy, we could light up Vegas for a year.

With love and gratitude,


Day 4, 30 day gratitude challenge

I am grateful for the love, friendship and fellowship of Peggy and Earl. Pictured here, playing train in Tahoe. Miss you Sasha-girl!

Dear Peggy and Earl,

I am grateful to you both for showing me that family is always there for you through thick and thin, good and bad, easy and tough times. I so enjoy being with you; laughing, playing games, eating in and out, going to the movies. I am grateful that we have shared in the lives of  your loving children and that they have raised such wonderful families who we love spending time with.

I am grateful for the many big and small adventures that Earl and I have shared together. Hiking Mt. Whitney twice, white water rafting, kayaking, biking, hiking, playing pool, skiing. Earl is not just “like a brother to me”, I feel he IS my brother. I never really had a relationship with my biological brother, but spending the last 35 years with Earl has taught me what “brotherly love” really is. He is always there with an encouraging word, a joke or a hand-up when I stumble.

I am grateful for the many wonderful memories of our trips, cruises and other adventures together. Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico…I miss going to Club Marena in Mexico. We really had some good times together there. I am especially grateful for your generous hospitality in sharing your Tahoe home with us. Many of my fondest fun memories are of our time together in Tahoe. Looking forward to making many more wonderful and memorable adventures now that we living close by again. Everyday is a new adventure when we’re with you two! I bet you feel the same way? LOL

Thank you!



Day 3, 30 day gratitude challenge

To my loving wife, Patricia:

I know I’ve said it a lot lately and I don’t want it to be any less significant by saying it again, but I am in LOVE with you and I am so very grateful for your LOVE in return. Our life together is so full of adventure, I feel like Indiana Jones. Sometimes we have chosen “wisely” and sometimes we have chosen “poorly”.  But when it comes to the really important things in life….US, our sons, our family, our LIFE…I wouldn’t change a thing and that includes surviving cancer together. It’s been a great 34 years together and I look forward to another 34+…the good Lord willing!

Thank you, my love!


I am grateful for your love!

Day two, 30 day gratitude challenge

To myself,

Dear me,

I am grateful for the strength of my mind, body and spirit. I am grateful that I have learned to live with the physical changes in my body due to the surgeries and cancer treatments. I am grateful that I have NOT allowed these changes to keep me from doing anything I’ve wanted to do, especially surfing, hiking, biking, yoga and being intimate with Patricia.

I am grateful for 57 years (my birthday today!) on the planet and 26 years cancer free. I am grateful for each and everyday I have to love and live and play and work and share my life with friends and family.

Thank you, ME! LOL…Randy

Mark, one of the members of the online community and a fellow colon cancer survivor and ostomate suggested that writing gratitude cards is a great way to elevate your mental state. He challenged those of us in the online community to a “30 day gratitude card challenge.” I accepted and am starting today by writing my gratitudes in my blog and sending the person/s to who I am grateful a link. So here goes….

Dear God,

I am so grateful for your healing touch, the wisdom you provided to the doctors and for keeping me cancer free these past 26 years (and many more, please?)

I am grateful that you never give me more than I can handle and that when I stumble you put people in my life who I trust to lift me up and carry me through the tough patches of life.

I am grateful for how surviving cancer has changed my life for the better. I feel more joy, love and connectedness to the people around me and to the beauty of Your creation, especially the ocean. I am grateful for every wave that breaks on Your shore, especially those with great shape for a long ride. My favorite recent wave was at TierraMar in Carlsbad, when I was out with John and Don. About 5 foot and building on the outer reef, caught it, made the drop, pulled up to trim and rode it, first right, then cut back to the left, up and down the face, then zipped along on the inside reform all the way to shore. Awesome!

I am grateful to you for bringing me together with others like me who have survived cancer and are learning to deal with our physical changes and for giving our loved ones a special vision to see past our physical changes and know that we are still the same person inside that we were before those changes occurred.

I am grateful for your love and the blessing of each and everyday I have to enjoy the love, beauty and wonder in this great wide world of Your creation.

Thank you,

Your child…Randy

2 thoughts on “30 Day Gratitude Challenge: Week 1

  1. I am grateful you are healthy, so faithful, and touching lives with your words. The world needs more people like you!

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