• Cheryl

My "First" Birthday

Today is my 48th birthday, and my first birthday since cancer. A lot of cancer survivors count the day they were declared cancer-free as a birthday, and I probably will, too (once I determine exactly which day that is - my lumpectomy anniversary? My last day of treatment? Honestly, I'm not sure). But my BIRTH DAY birthday has been a favorite day of mine to celebrate for years, and considering my last few were kind of tough to swallow as I've inched closer and closer to *GASP!* 50, I'm actually thrilled to have this one.

As the dust has settled since treatment ended and physical therapy wrapped up, the reality - and the gravity - of the whole experience has settled in, and I find myself thinking about things I didn't think about before, and in ways I never would have considered. Like my birthday. I'd always figured the "I'm just glad I'm around for another one!" mentality was reserved for people in their 90s, but I caught myself thinking it a few times the past few weeks. And the fact that I'm now only two years from *GASP!* 50 doesn't bother me anymore; instead, I hope that I get there.

This is true of ALL of us, of course - the old AND the young, the sick AND the healthy. Things happen. As my love says, when it's your time, it's your time, and he's right. I, for one, prefer not to think about it if I can help it, but it's true. I'd rather choose to turn it around and enjoy the moment, and be grateful and happy that I have another moment to enjoy. I have to confess that this was something I didn't really do a whole lot of before my diagnosis. I'm much better about it now. I no longer think in terms of "someday" - if there's something I want to do, I don't wait to do it anymore; I just go do it! And I make a conscious effort every day to appreciate the intangible things - the golden rays of the sunset on the hay fields across the way, the taste of my new favorite Keurig drink (has anyone else discovered the McCafe French Vanilla Latte K-cups??), driving with the windows down, the brand-new season of "Stranger Things" (I mean, who wouldn't appreciate THAT wait being over??).

My 47th year brought a lot of hell, that's for sure. But it also brought so much good that I don't think could have been made clear to me any other way. I can't wait to see what 48 brings to help me grow even more.

My love's birthday gift to me - pink flowers and a beautiful red maple tree! He remembered that red maples are my favorite.


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