Today, I turn 36 years old. It's funny, for some reason, when people ask me how old I am, I often think of myself as 34. It's as though time stopped still for me when I got cancer. But as much as it seems that way, time marches on, and here we are, two years later. Life has gotten more complicated, but at 36 years old, I am every bit as blessed as I was two years ago... And perhaps in some ways, even more.
I am able to see the blessings in my life more clearly. I know now that even through adversity, I am still the same old me. I have seen hard times, and yet, I remain the same girl I always was. Maybe just a little stronger, but still as faithful and optimistic as I was before. That's not to say I don't have my angry or fearful moments, but it's to say that with a lot of work, I am able to rise above them and feel like me again. Challenges did not render me unrecognizable to myself.
I will get another chemo treatment today. When reading my chart last week, my nurse asked me if I wanted to schedule today's appointment for another day. I said no. While it's an odd choice, it's my birthday present to myself. Chemo is the gift that keeps on giving and it's the best chance I have to celebrate a boatload more birthdays. So I love myself enough to give me the gift of the fight. Happy birthday to me. I am worth the side effects!
The truth is, I remember being freaked out about getting older. The thought of being closer to 40 to 30 was once something that would have made me cringe. Rather, these days, I embrace each new age. Grateful to be here to see it, and to enjoy it. Don't fear getting older, folks. Instead, love every second of it because it means you are here and you can! That's my plan. I will savor every grey hair. I will celebrate every wrinkle. I will blow out every extra candle on the cake. Because I am here, and because I can.
Thank you God for my 36th birthday!
Love and light.