Yesterday, I celebrated my 52nd Birthday. I went to dinner with my boyfriend and my kiddo at the same place I celebrated two years ago on my 50th birthday...Texas Roadhouse ( I love a good steak and of course their hot rolls with cinnamon butter. It was beautiful weather and a beautiful day to celebrate. I couldn't help but reflect on how I celebrated my 50th birthday two years ago.
I had never envisioned celebrating my 50th birthday with a "chemo cocktail." I did get to celebrate with my "chemo buddies", oncology nurses, and other cancer patients while getting chemo that day. I brought beautiful cupcakes made by Butterfly Bakery (here in Lincoln) to share with everyone. That night I "Rocked the Bald" in public for the first time when I went to dinner. I remember the steroids kicked in and it was a warm day so I ditched the hat! At this point I didn't care about being bald, I didn't care if others would look at me funny or stare. I was just happy to be "almost done" with chemo (second to last treatment) and to be able to feel well enough to celebrate.
Every day "I get to" celebrate! I get to celebrate the "every day," activities that many of us take for granted...waking up in the morning, taking a hot shower (without needing assistance), working 40 hrs a week, taking my child to and from school....etc. I feel blessed to be able to help my parents with their grocery shopping. I "get to" exercise and focus and giving my body better nutrition. I get to experience life on life's terms.
My child was only 10 when I was diagnosed and went their entire 5th-grade year with me being sick and quite frankly, barely there at times. Fortunately, I had an awesome support system with my friends and family and even some of my child's parents pitched in when I was not able to be fully present.
Today, my child is 13! I "get to" experience the ups and downs of the teen years and the days where I am "annoying" them by encouraging them to take a shower, do their homework, and brush their teeth. I also get to see them thrive! I get to see them audition for a musical and get the lead part! I get to listen to them singing in their room, playing their Ukele, and playing video games when they don't think anyone is listening. I get to hear them laugh, cry, and watch them become their own person and face their own struggles and walk through fear. They are so courageous.
Today, I feel everything more deeply, which proves that I am alive! Last night I sat by my child at my birthday dinner and they leaned their head on my shoulder and held on to my arm for a little bit, I will cherish those moments.
I thank God for allowing me to stay here a little longer and experience life on life's terms. I "get to" learn to Thrive! God isn't finished with me yet.
Today, I celebrate the gift of being present and being alive and thriving!