Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What to do when you want to have a great birthday

You'd think that at age 26, I would know what kind of things to do to make sure my own birthday is off the charts. So, I'm going to put together a tutorial. You know me, so you know that this is totally my thing.

  1. You should probably start off the festivities the night before. Preferably, someone has planned a fun surprise that you weren't expecting. They tell you on your birthday eve about how marvelous it's going to be, and you lie awake much of the night anticipating the fun. Hypothetically, let's say that this surprise is a chipmunk. In your car. One who has made it his home and intends to stay. Aren't you lucky? You get to lie awake all night thinking about how cute it is that he's chewed stuffing out of your seats, left presents everywhere, marked up the dashboard in every way possible - and tried to dig a tunnel to freedom in the carpet. Isn't nature grand? Having a handy husband will come in...well...handy, today, as you'll wake up and find he's taken initiative to remove that surprise from your life. Possibly in a manner that gives you the willies, but that's not important right now. It's more important that it's your birthday! Yay! 
  2. Birthdays for adults are slightly different than those for children. Clearly. Having a birthday isn't an excuse for getting out of your responsibilities. But, just for fun, since it's your birthday, how about you add some new responsibilities? Like get a job! On your birthday! A 6 AM job! Your favorite! HAPPY BIRTHDAY (I am positive I just used up three lifetimes of exclamation marks in one line)!
  3. I know the fun keeps rolling in, and you're not sure you can handle more of it, but...don't worry - you can always handle more. You've had a couple health issues that you want to get checked out, so why not get a clean bill of health from your doctor for your birthday? What could be better? And even if it's not nothing - it's probably just an abscess (Men or women who are squeamish about lady topics, stop reading now). I'm sure it's an abscess. It just got a bit infected when the baby stopped being interested in that side...No biggie. Little syringe action, possibly minor surgery. You'll be good as new in a bit. 

Oh, the things we tell ourselves...or maybe that's just me.

Since that doctor's visit, when my extremely competent and kind doctor told me that she didn't want to alarm me, but it looked bad, I've had a slew of tests, scans, prods, and pokes. The verdict is clear. I have stage IV cancer, which is obviously a serious thing. It probably started during or before my most recent pregnancy, and the hormones and growth patterns inherent to that state sped up the cancer process.

No one was at fault, but it was not the best birthday. I had a much better celebration over the weekend when my in-laws were in town and Adam made chocolate cake.

Moral of the story: Take care of yourself. Do your self-exams, even if you're in your early twenties. You know when something's wrong. Get your yearly pap test. All these things are horrible, truly, but you will never regret doing them. You may not be in any high risk group, you may avoid processed food like the plague, you may have breastfed specifically because it lowers your risk of breast cancer when you're young, but you are not immune. Some one is that statistic. Take care of yourself.

P.S. I truly appreciate all your kind words, your support, and especially your prayers on behalf of my family and me. I will probably dedicate a post to this eventually (one that isn't quite so dark), but I have felt so buoyed up and full of peace and I know it's because of all the wonderful people I have in my life who are pulling for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will try to do some calling of people and stuff, but it might be a little while.

P.P.S. I hope this post isn't too whiny. It was just such a series of unfortunate events. Lemony Snicket and I should get together FOR SURE. And I do actually like my new job. It has been a blessing to be able to feel productive and get my mind of things without having to send my kids away. Every morning I earn some money from the comfort of my bedroom and do something that is completely un-cancer-related.


Laura said...

You are amazing, and I will say a prayer and wish on a dandelion for you. I will also resolve to stop whining for a least one day in honor of the fact that you just wrote quite possibly the most non-whiney post full of stuff that would probably incapacitate me (okay, not probably, but definitely). Baltimore is rooting for Bonnie.

r o y a l said...

Dude, you have an amazing ability to coherently, lemony snicket-ly write about this.
And you and your family are in my prayers, and I'll dandelion wish like laura too.

brittney said...

As my fellow Londoners have already said, this is so well said. And San Francisco for Bonnie also.

mom said...

I still chuckle when I think of the chipmunk story--and I kind of did the whole time we were cleaning the car--not the run-of-the-mill problem.

Glad you still like your job.

And so sorry that you have to deal with the much bigger trial of cancer. You have so many praying and fasting for you. You are a wonderful woman that many love.

Anne Burnett said...

We're in. Bryan,TX for Bonnie, too.

Scoresbys said...

So glad I found your blog. I think your next birthday should include a cotton candy machine, balloons, and pony rides. You know Bloomington is All in!

Kristine said...

I have to say that that sounds like the worst birthday ever! Although the chipmunk story is pretty funny--probably because I didn't have to clean it up. I hope it's all taken care of now. And here's hoping next year's birthday is a thousand times better.