I had lots of friends send me wishes via facebook, and so I wanted to make sure I said thank you.
My thank you post turned out to be pretty long, long enough in fact to become a blog post. So here you go, this is a straight copy & paste job!
Thank all for the lovely wishes. I've been having a great day so far - the kids made me a banner, blew up some balloons and made cupcakes. I finished the book I was reading (that was due today). We went to the library and the grocery store. Now we are getting ready to head out to Miss M's softball game, where we'll eat pizza and enjoy our cupcakes. It's not fancy, but it will be a good birthday dinner none-the-less.
Now, for the serious part.
I'm 37 years old. I can't lie, I wasn't sure that I'd see 37. I didn't share this widely at the time, but when I was diagnosed, based on my specific cancer, age, and treatment, the statistics said that there was a 27% chance that I would be alive in 5 years. That's really hard to hear.
While I know I'm not a statistic, and it didn't feel like a dramatic death sentence, it still felt like a punch in the gut to hear. I never thought "when I'm 37," it has been "If I get to 37."
I know sometimes when I say things like that to Eric, it is hard for him to hear. I never said it to be depressing or dramatic, but it just what was for me.
It was hard for quite some time for me to plan in the future. I'm sure it was a defense mechanism, but I stopped thinking about long term plans. I stopped thinking about how I would spend retirement, or what I would do after all the kids left the house. That was hard to do. Because thinking about it would always end with my brain coming back to that 27%.
So I focused on doing. Doing things (when I could, when I was able to).
But I'm here. I'm 37. And that tightness in my chest feels a little less tight. I'm starting to just be more, instead of doing things, instead of just filling the time.
I know that none of us really knows what tomorrow brings. And I know some of you are dealing with a lot more than what I do. But it was still hard. And felt like a heavy burden to carry.
I'm glad I'm turning 37 today. It is a birthday that some of my friends didn't get to celebrate. But I'm here. I've got great friends and family. I'm here. I'm living. And I'm working on being. And I'm working on worrying a bit less. And I'm working on trying to just enjoy the here and now instead of letting the little things nag me or the big fears consume me.
So, happy birthday to me. And happy unbirthday to all of you, who helped me get here through love and support and humor and all the many ways you are blessings in my life.
And an extra shout out to the husband Eric - my rock, my protector, the guy who would walk through fire for me. And my mom Ellyn, who never makes me feel bad when I have to call her crying, who has supported me always and has always been there for me.
So here we go. This is 37.