Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is a day filled with some of my most loved things; family, food and shopping! While I am always thankful for my family, this year I feel especially thankful for my mama. It has been a year full of struggles for her and I finally feel as if we can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
A brief back story for those of you that may not know me on a personal level. Back in August of 2017 my mama woke up with a really swollen lymph node under her arm. She went to the doctor and was told that it was probably an infection and they administered IV antibiotics. When that did not fix the problem, she had a biopsy and the lymph node was removed for testing. At this point they believed that she had lymphoma of some kind.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and she still did not have results. You should probably know that I am a pretty impatient person. I know I was driving her crazy calling her every hour asking if she had heard results from the doctor. I could not understand what in the devil was taking so long! FINALLY, the doctor called and told her that she had something that he did not really understand enough to explain and that he would schedule her with a hematologist/oncologist to review, but that she did not have lymphoma. (Yeah, it is comforting when the doctor hasn’t heard of it.)
On one hand I wanted to be excited because it wasn’t lymphoma but on the other, the unknown is frightening! I went with her and my dad to the doctors appointment and she was officially diagnosed with Amyloidosis. I linked you to a page that can explain this disease further. This disease is pretty rare and only about 4,500 a year are diagnosed with it. I feel like I am a pro at explaining it at this point, but it is so complicated the link is probably best.
My mama has had a year filled with tests, scans, chemo and a stem cell transplant. She has been sick with nausea and stomach issues from where the amyloid impacted her GI tract both before and after the transplant. Food does not taste very good at times and even when she gets a craving for something it doesn’t quite taste like she hoped. But even with all of that she will still get up sometimes, cook a huge meal and call me after work to come and have dinner so I don’t have to cook when I get off. I can’t even begin to tell you all how much my mama amazes me with her strength and giving heart. I will always be extremely grateful that God blessed me with her as my mama.
Thanksgiving is a family affair. I have a pretty big family and we all live very close to each other. My brother and sister in law have 6 children (3 biological and 3 adopted, I will write about that story one day soon!). My sister has 3 cute kids and I have 2, but my oldest is 22 so she isn’t really a kid anymore. Typically, my uncle, cousin and Mamaw come too, so it is a full house.
We take our food very seriously at Thanksgiving. My mama has always made the dressing for as long as I can remember. And this year, she is making one and I am making one too. Even though I followed her recipe to the letter, for some reason I bet hers will still taste slightly better. What is it about your mamas food that makes it better than when you make it? Haha! 😉
- A pone of cornbread, staled for a day or two
- 4-5 leftover biscuits, staled for a day or two
- 3-4 pieces of stale loaf bread
- Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Dressing Mix (One 14 oz bag)
- 1/2 lb high quality breakfast sausage (I buy mine here)
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1/2-3/4 stick of butter
- 1/4-1/2 cup of onion, chopped (put as much or as little as you personally like)
- 1/4-1/2 cup of celery, chopped (put as much or as little as you personally like)
- 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 32 oz carton of Swanson Chicken Broth (or you can make your own broth)
- Poultry Seasoning (to taste)
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)