Hurrah – I made it to 48!

September 14, 2011

A couple of days ago a friend I met when we were both having cancer treatment last year wrote (the translation is mine):

 “It was my birthday on Friday. I was 48. It was really strange because previously when I’ve celebrated my birthday it has always been with a little sadness about being a year older. It wasn’t like that at all this year. I was happy that I had become a year older. A feeling I take with me into my new year”.

It was so weird to read that because it reflected EXACTLY my own feelings. I could have written it myself. The only difference is that it is my birthday today, 5 days later, but even our age is the same!

My life is a lot different today than it was one year ago when I was at the very lowest ebb in my cancer treatment. I spent my 47th birthday in hospital, seriously ill with septicaemia thanks to having a compromised immune system due to the chemo.  As I wrote at the time it was a special day thanks to my husband and kids who pulled out all the stops to spoil me. Looking back though, it was probably far from a happy day for them, and I feel sad that my children had that experience, though proud of how they dealt with it.

At the time I wasn’t thinking about how I would want to celebrate my 48th birthday a year later. My main focus was getting through each day and the furthest I dared think about was the end of treatment. Today is a lot different than last year’s birthday. Normality has returned. I feel great, so great that I am going to be running a marathon in 11 days! My family are so unconcerned about me that my husband is off at a conference in the USA (but sweetly battled his jetlag to give me a birthday call first thing this morning). My son is away at boarding school this year, but left me a card with a sweet message and called me during his break this morning. My daughter and I had a special breakfast together and when she gets home from school we’re off to have a girly time of it with shopping, dinner and a movie. I might have been the centre of an overwhelming wave of love and attention last year, but boy do I prefer this kind of unconcerned normality!

So Happy Birthday to Me! And if you would like to celebrate with me that I made it to 48, you could always give a donation to my fundraising campaign;-) http://www.betternow.org/en/project/projectskirstenejlskov

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