What a difference a year makes.
A year ago, I was starting my medical leave. I had a great day at the spa, followed the next day by a trip to New Orleans.
But I’ll take a weekend at home, followed by no tests/possible surgery/low-iodine diet/radiation, over the spa + New Orleans, anytime.
By their nature, birthdays are milestone events. I love, LOVE my birthday, and cancer has only made me appreciate it that much more. I am so, so happy to have made it to my Larry Bird birthday (#33), and to continue to put the last year behind me.
Last year, as you may remember, was the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad year. So January 1 was a milestone; so too was the whole month of March, which marked a year since our second miscarriage and the diagnosis of my thyca recurrence. My birthday last year was a great day, but it was tinged by the uncertainty of what was to come.
It’s an understatement to say that I am — we are — in a wholly different place than 365 days ago. Life isn’t perfect, but it is so much better than it was a year ago, and I can celebrate in one day both making it to #33 AND no longer being the longest-running graduate student in history. We have an adorable, smiley nephew who looks damn good in a Red Sox jersey, are just months away from a new sister-in-law, and have yet another family wedding less than a year from now. I have lots of time to read trashy celebrity sites and to put books on hold at the library. I even made risotto last week!
How does one celebrate marking the passage of such a year? A cap and gown feels insufficient to me. I think sightseeing in DC, followed by a steak cooked in sizzling 500-degree butter, sounds about right.
Those, and lots of smiles for the year to come. This time, I can’t wait.