Bittersweet Birthday Memories

Saturday was my thirty-first birthday.  Normally, I get really excited about my birthday; it’s an excuse for everyone I love to have to celebrate me for the day.  You can be selfish on your birthday and no one can give you any grief.  The day is all about you.  The child in me really enjoys that.

But this year, I felt like my birthday was bitter sweet.  I made it to thirty-one, but would I make it to thirty-two?  What about thirty-five?  How many birthdays did I have left?  How long would I keep the beautiful memories of the day?

To make matters worse, after my radiation treatment on Thursday I became incapable of keeping down anything more than Jell-o, crackers and water.  Everything else would come back up almost the moment I finished eating it.  I was sleeping in between nausea and vomiting, so I was feeling pretty miserable.  In fact, I didn’t get to spend much time with my family that had come in from Utah and New York City.  Instead, I mostly laid around feeling absolutely horrible.

But at least the back pain was going away, right?

The nausea continued all weekend, which put a damper on my party and made my emotions that much more labile.  I would sit around and try to soak in time with people, the sounds and smells, the feeling of a hug from a good friend…I wanted to memorize every moment of everything to get me through the bad times and, if I should fall short of another birthday, to at least remind me what a really great birthday was like.

Depressing, no?

I did soak it up: I had a manicure and pedicure (thanks to my Aunts from NYC), went shopping, had a Karaoke party with my friends and family and had time with the people I loved.  It may not have been perfect (damn nausea!) but it was a good day and it reminded me how loved I am by everyone around me.

Today, I finally started to feel better after my final –yay!– radiation treatment, except for a sore throat I was having.  I tried to ignore it, but it hurt even to move my neck.  When Milo arrived home from work, I actually asked to go to urgent care (if you know me, you know that is a huge deal!) to see someone about the pain.  Good thing I did.  Apparently the vomiting, and perhaps a virus, have caused an ulcer in my throat.  The doctor wrote for some antivirals, told me to skip acids, carbonation and salt and to rest.  So there we have it.  I finally start feeling better only to feel sick.

Here’s to a better birthday next year (because there has to be one, Milo said so.)


8 thoughts on “Bittersweet Birthday Memories

  1. Malika says:

    Congrats on your final radiation round!!!! You’ll kick this ulcer’s ass 🙂 Love you and can’t wait to see you become even more of an inspiration to my old graduating class of nursing students! They will be inspired…if they aren’t already. I’m so proud of you taking on everything with as much grace and love as you do. You could easily just sit at home and be curmudgeonly, but you don’t. You have and always will be a main source of inspiration for me!

  2. So glad you got to enjoy most of the weekend. I had no idea it was your birthday also-havent gotten to do my normal peeking around on FB other than posting pics. Have we ever discussed having the same birthday weekend? I have faith we will be celebrating together for many years to come.

    I know it feels like one setback after another like with the ulcer but that means that you need to celebrate the victories too like finishing radiation.

    With all my travel and guests here, I haven’t gotten a chance to tell you I am running a 10k for cancer in your honor on Saturday. I will send you the info and pictures.

    Love to you and milo, Elana

    • janined23 says:

      I didn’t realize we celebrated the same birthday until you popped up on my Facebook! I thought it was pretty awesome myself 🙂 I can’t believe you’re running a 10K for me! Holy cow! Thanks for that 🙂

  3. Deb says:

    There will be more birthdays…because Milo said so and who knows you better!

  4. Happy Birthday. Wishing you many, many more.

  5. Teresa says:

    Happy belated birthday :0) Sorry you were so sick! But you are right…you should be selfish on that day…whether its your first birthday…or your last. Celebrate life as much as you can. Focus on yourself, do what you can to feel as good as you can girlfriend…keep spirits up and fight like crazy!!!

  6. Carol Spear says:

    And MANY MORE TO COME.Love Aunt Carol

  7. exiledtyke says:

    Really glad you had some good times on your birthday. I’m with Milo on your next birthdays.

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