At last, my birthday weekend is here. I have been awaiting my birthday with dreaded anticipation. I had one heck of a year. So have a lot of my friends. We toasted to the fact that there are better years to come. However, in really thinking about toasting away my 38th year with a "better luck next time" attitude, I thought about what this latter statement infers. The year of my breast cancer journey. I decided that rather than remember the bad, I choose to honor the good. That being said, here is what I have learned and what has inspired me this year:
My kids are strong. My kids have endured seeing their mommy suffer. Their mommy has had a seizure in public. Their mommy has had six rounds of chemo that turned her skin a lovely shade of gray. Their mommy lost her hair and came to their school with no hair and even with tube attached to her body after her mastectomy. Still, they are not embarrassed. They just hug me and remind me every once and a while that they do not want to see my scar. They make me laugh every day. And they have grown so much this year, I am just glad to be a part of it.
I have fantastic friends. I cannot say enough about what my friends mean to me. They all had their part to play. Something they were good at. Something I needed them for. I made new friends and re-discovered old friends too. I learned to lean on my friends. I discovered that my colleagues and Steve's colleagues are truly some of the most special people I know.
I have a wonderful family. My mom and dad are mine and Steve's rocks. Mom was always at chemo with me. Dad was always at the house helping out. I got to see a lot of Darin and Kelly, who visited from Portland whenever possible. Both of them are wonderful sounding boards and also did all of my medical research for me. Steve's family was in constant contact, "checking in". Tom (and Liz) made sure our remodel went smoothly. And I had constant support from, aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family from all over the country, and even from Iraq and Australia.
There are good people in the world. And I am not just talking about nice neighbors. I am talking about new friends who just took a chance to sent me an email. Parents from the kids' school arranging a card tree. I am talking about San Diego United Futbol League arranging dinners for us for months in a row. Another soccer parent arranging meals from her school and Steve's school at the onset of chemo. These dinners were not just any dinners, they were five course meals with special touches, like home-made cookies, cakes and muffins. Cards and notes arrived almost daily from anonymous senders. The neighbors took the kids to school EVERY day. Amazing. All of you.
I am a valuable employee. I know my craft. I know my donors. There is nothing like being out of the office for a while to help you realize how much you like your job and how well you do your job. I have a new found confidence that I hope is going to lead to a great year.
I love to write. Writing in this blog has me hooked.
I know how to be a good friend, now. I know what to say. I know what to do. I want my friends to know that I think of them all of the time.
I love my husband. After this year, I know we can make it through anything. I heard this song today, and it really inspired this blog entry.
I am strong. Enough said.
I want to live. There is no time like the present. Really. No, really, really.
It goes without saying that I did not enjoy all of my 38th year. I DID learn and was reminded of more in this past year than most people learn in a lifetime. I am lucky for that. So, why the dreaded anticipation of my birthday? I am afraid emotion may get the best of me. I do not know that I am ready for that. But, I hope just to keep moving along and deal with it as it comes. Isn't that the only way?