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My Birthday

25 Oct

Annababy

Today is my birthday. It is bittersweet for me because I am still thinking about my friend ‘B’ from my last blog. Yesterday, for my job, I had to go to the place I met ‘B’ and it brought tears to my eyes thinking about all that transpired there. I walked in with a heavy heart thinking I was walking in healthy this time, while he walked out just days before with his news. It’s really a lot of emotions. One thing I know about ‘B’ is he really knew how to live. Cancer was not the only obstacle he faced in life. He was in the Vietnam War, he was a POW, he had a stroke prior to his cancer diagnosis…so much, and he constantly told me to ‘not sweat the small stuff’ and to hold my kids close. It’s so simple yet we ask for so much, don’t we?

hospitalGrowing up my family was always big on celebrating birthdays. Not necessarily with huge parties, but always recognizing the day and making you feel special. Part of that I think, is when we came from the Philippines when I was two, we didn’t have any other family here. Anytime we could celebrate each other, we did. Birthdays for me post cancer have taken even more meaning; every time I do a Relay for Life Walk, I see T-shirts and signs saying Happy Birthday and they always make me cry. The American Cancer Society’s saying is ‘Creating More Birthdays.’ Yes, it is just a day, but to me, it’s now a day to remember the past and to look forward with hope for the future. It’s also a day I get to re-evaluate my bucket list. When I was younger I had some outrageous dreams and goals many of which I have been able to achieve. Today, I still of course have some crazy dreams that I pray will happen, but my focus is more on the simple. Taking my cue from ‘B’:

  • Don’t sweat the small stuffphoto courtesy of Leanna Vite Photography
  • Open your heart and love people. Yes it hurts more when you hurt, but it’s worth it
  • Don’t take things too seriously, laugh more (even if it’s at yourself)
  • Take more risks
  • Do what you can do, and let go of the rest
  • Listen to people’s stories before judging
  • Be kind, smile often
  • Be a hero
  • Party like it’s 1999 (just kidding…not really)

I also finally have some good news to share…my blood work that I have been waiting for for the first time is CLEAN!! My doctor who’s usually even keeled and calm shouted, ‘I have good news!’ the minute I said ‘hello’. He said my levels are undetectable and then said, see you in a year. A YEAR!! I have been checked every three to six months for the past 5 years and now he says, ‘it’s over, see you next year.’  I’m ecstatic and finally kind of able to take a step back and breathe. So today, I wear one of my favorite red/burgundy lipsticks of all time, Lancôme L’Absolu’ Rouge lipstick in Merlot. I love it because the formula is creamy and not drying, second, the color is a deeper red so my lips are not shouting ‘I’M HERE!’, and third, it’s my birthday and I love a good Merlot. Let’s celebrate life, CHEERS!

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16 Responses to “My Birthday”

  1. Jo Heroux October 25, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    What a birthday gift smiling ear to ear!

    Your friend left you an amazing gift of love and a great outlook and regardless of the number of days we get here in this life, being able to love through them is all we need.

    Big hugs and another happy birthday! Celebrate!

    • Anna October 25, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

      Thank you Jo, it’s been a crazy emotional week. Just going to try to enjoy life every day 🙂

  2. beverlydiehl October 25, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Happy, happy, HAPPY birthday, such great news. May you enjoy many more, though it is not happy news for your friend B.

    • Anna October 26, 2013 at 10:09 am #

      Thank you!

  3. Judy Janke October 25, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNA!!!!! It is Judy, ( Mrs. B. ) I am so thrilled that your blood work is CLEAN, PRAISE GOD!!! You are a very caring person and thought full to remember my B. He loves you very much and is so happy that you are his friend for life. ME TOO!!!! No matter what happens, let’s keep in touch. Life is short, like B says, (don’t sweat the small stuff). No matter how long we have on this earth let’s live, laugh and love! Miss ya girl!!!

    • Anna October 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

      I love you guys! Yes, please let’s keep in touch! Keep me posted on things, tell B I love him.

  4. Grace October 26, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    WONDERFUL news!! Cheers to you, awesome woman, for your courage and strength and renewed sense of wholeness! I am blessed, thankful and proud to know you, dear friend 🙂

    • Anna October 26, 2013 at 9:59 am #

      Thanks Grace, love you!

  5. Pat Yeakey October 26, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    Thankful! Thankful! Thankful!

  6. Pat Yeakey October 26, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    AND……….Happy (late) Birthday, sweet Anna!!!!!!

    • Anna October 26, 2013 at 10:36 am #

      Thanks Pat! Still trying to digest the info!:)

  7. jannajones73 October 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

    So excited for you Anna on your blood work! Just thrilled! So sorry about B. I read your title of that blog and new it was about him, I immediately thought “Oh no, something isn’t good with her friend from radiation.” Thank you for sharing him and his amazing outlook with us. He is an inspiration. I recently found out that my cancer may be coming back and am about to start the diet so that I can have a full body radioactive iodine scan on November 8th. I just keep saying to myself, “it is what it is.” Happy Birthday! – JJ

    • Anna October 26, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      Hi Janna! Thank you! It has been such a crazy and highly emotional week. I will absolutely be praying for you, not just for a clean test, but also to get through the diet (I know how challenging that is). Stay positive…life comes one day at a time 💗

      • jannajones73 October 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

        Thank you so much for the prayers Anna! I will be praying for B and his family as well. That diet is something else, I don’t cope well without cheese, lol. I am doing my best to take things one day at a time and thankfully have a wonderful support system of friends and family that are doing their best to keep me distracted until the testing is over and my results are back.

  8. Carole October 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Anna, what wonderful news! And an even better birthday present! I’m thrilled for you! Your “taking a cue from ‘B'” list is spot on. Thank you!!

    • Anna October 27, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

      Thanks Carole!

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