17 March 2010

What a Difference A Year Makes....

Following is my journal entry for March 17, 2009, a year ago today:

Happy damned birthday! Now whose bright idea was it to put cancer in a box and hand it to me as a birthday present, huh? Not funny!!!!!

Suffice it so say, I am not looking forward to what will be a very emotional day. Waking up bitter, cold and lonely does not help. But I have to put on a brave face for all my well-wishers. I wouldn't wish this heavy feeling on them. [WHY ME?!?]

Thank goodness I was greeted by C [my daughter] first thing this morning, bearing presents: lovely earrings and and beautiful silk flowers barrettes for the bandanas and hats. She's so thoughtful! And her birthday card....wow! I don't know if she's just saying that, or if she really meant it. She said that all she is, is because of me. And I don't know whether that's good or bad. She's a wonderful girl -- crazy sometimes, but absolutely awesome! And she hasn't had the easiest of lives, but she's managed to survive and be a great human being despite it all. She's a very strong-willed girl. Thank goodness!

Tonight, I'm having dinner with the kids. Hopefully that will go well. How can it not? It's dinner with C and J [my son]! Hopefully, J will be less angry at me this time. Poor thing.

God! I wish it were another birthday -- like my 30th or something. Well, that was a harsh birthday too, but at least I know what happened. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. And I"m scared today.

I'm scared I won't get well. I'm scared of the pain and the eventual strain this illness will put on my family, friends, and co-workers. I'm scared of the tension it will put on my relationship -- that it may buckle under this pressure. I'm scared I won't live to see my birthday next year. I'm just plain terrified! Ms. B was right. There's a certain feeling of loneliness and solitude about this cancer thing. And no matter how surrounded you are, you can't help but still feel alone and and exposed. I keep clicking my heels and saying "there's no place like home" and nothing happens. Boo!

Happy f*cken birthday, girl! Don't waste a wish today. Make it good.

What a difference a year makes! Last year, I was facing a terrifying prospect of dying. Today, it's as if it didn't happen. Well...yes. It did. But I'm thankful I can refer to it in the past tense. And I'm grateful that I can be here today, sharing the learnings of an extra-ordinary year.

It's a happy birthday indeed!


Karen said...

Have a wonderful birthday, friend! Hope it's just one of many, many more to come!
You're absolutely right: What a difference a year makes!
Stay strong!

P.S. Today is my husband's birthday, too!

ce_squared said...

Happy birthday to your husband, Karen! And thank you for the birthday wishes.


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