Tomorrow is my birthday…the big 32. Big? I can hear the sarcastic snort from anyone older than me through my computer. 🙂 I know I’m still young but I feel like this year has
aged me physically and mentally in ways that are difficult to describe. I’ve never been a big birthday celebration person. Most of the time a few friends at a pub and a nice dinner are more than enough. My birthday has always felt like a normal day and I let it pass with a mild interest and add another digit to my age. This year is different. This year I feel very profoundly that we don’t know how many birthdays we will get. That absolutely nothing in this life is guaranteed. My perspective right now is a bit colored by news I received this weekend of a fellow “chemo-cise” exercise partner. She was one of the few women I connected with and was always there with positive encouragement and to ask me how I’m doing. She knows what I’m going through because she had the exact same pathology that I do (down to the same number of affected lymph nodes) and therefore the same treatment. Chemo was finished for her 2 years ago and she was pronounced a “survivor”…on Friday she learned that the cancer was back and had spread to her global lymphatic system and she’ll learn next week whether it had spread further. It is hard to separate her news from my future. I hear a lot of stories on both sides. For some people the cancer goes away and stays away. Others are not as fortunate. The problem is never being able to know for sure which side you’re on.
Yikes, heavy I know. I won’t wallow in this place but the news is fresh and right now it’s pretty consuming especially as I’ve approached my birthday. This past week I have been thinking about how different things are now and all the things that I’ve either learned this year or felt on a deeper level. I’ll list a few of them…
- My God is very real and very present. This isn’t superficial statement…there were days I couldn’t have gotten out of bed but for his grace
- Asking “Why me?” is a tempting but extremely dangerous question…and one that causes an endless spiral and doesn’t have an answer
- Hope is a powerful force. Despair is an equally powerful force. And I have the choice.
- We are surrounded by family, friends and coworkers who have been generous and supportive beyond what we feel like we deserve but are extremely thankful for.
- As a woman I will never define myself by my hair or by my body parts.
- That being said…don’t underestimate the mental benefits of knowing you look good. A little retail therapy and some make up can be trans-formative.
- Our bodies are absolutely amazing and can fight off a lot naturally. Feed them well and keep them strong.
- I never knew “You have a nice shaped head” was a valid compliment 🙂
- Sometimes I have to yell or throw something. No one keeps it together all the time, nor should I have to.
- Nose hairs have a purpose. And if you happen to not have any during allergy season keep some tissues handy.
- I am stronger than I knew…
- …but I need to work harder on allowing myself to be weak and allowing people to help
- Never ever take your health for granted
I think that’s enough for now. Hope y’all had a good weekend.