Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy 27th to me!

Today is my birthday.
I hit twenty-seven.
And it feels GOOOOOOD.
I have kept thinking of ways to start this post or angles to make it more amusing and somehow explain why each birthday of mine is a milestone, even the seemingly insignificant ones, like 27.
It is certainly not the same feeling as turning thirteen when I was giddy and getting dressed up for cake and presents from my friends. 
The birthday excitement doesn't ring so much to that tune anymore, but there is definitely excitement.
I guess I would call the feeling accomplishment.
When I hit my 25TH birthday after a transplant that nearly took my life, I was celebrating like a rockstar.   
Okay, well, that's exaggerating, a rock star post cancer treatment.
When my doctor called that day I quickly joked that he was calling to wish me a happy birthday. 
He did, of course, help me reach a birthday I may not have. I have celebrated my birthday with my childhood primary care physician all my life because with out him, I wouldn't have had any at all. 
I get an urge with Dr. G and Anna to call them up screaming and celebrating everytime I hit a milestone.
 I don't know if other patients do this, but I am beginning to think I am a little out of the ordinary.
I want them to enjoy my successes as much as my setbacks. 
Dr. G didn't joke back that 25th birthday. The call was not to tell me go party and have a good time enjoy your refreshed cancer free life.
It was to tell me I had relapsed. My cancer returned. That was two years ago today. Every birthday since 24 I have reveled in just having it.
It is different celebrating when you truly believed at some point during the year that you may not age.  
I never moan because I am getting a year older. 
I have yet to freak out because I have met an age but not the goals I dreamed would come along with it.
  I hope I get to an age where I lie and say I am 29, because I have gone too far beyond thirty and would like to go back. 
As it is, I have been hanging on tooth and nail to get to each birthday since twenty-three.     
How do you live up to a celebration of that? How do you celebrate each birthday like it's an accomplishment of surviving. Or how do you celebrate each birthday wondering if its your last?
Who knows what a year can bring?
How about celebrating most days like their your last and not waiting.
I have just made life my one big celebration.
Yes, the best present I have been given through the years is time and the understanding to appreciate its value.
I try never to waste it. 
I give it to those I love and care about.
 I give my time to causes I love in hopes to leave this world better or make illness easier. 
Time is the greatest gift I have been given. 
I don't even need a birthday to celebrate it. 
But today j, x and I still are. We at breakfast by the beach and then played a family air hockey tournament. Ironically we're playing an air hockey game called "hot flash." 
I guess the whole world knows about my hotness problem and has decided to poke fun. Since I woke up this morning, I have just been one big flash.
It must be the "old age."
After this we went to one great condo for our swim gear and an afternoon of bodyboarding. 
I dare say, I couldn't imagine a beter way to spend my day (scratch that. I miss Heather and family, my twin sister, who would have been celebrating our birthday too had she not been in bed trying to prevent preston's birthday from coming).
I think a lot of us are finding enjoyment within the simple things life brings since the recession has taken away our ability to be distracted with wanton consumerism, but I am happy with time.
It's the best gift I have been given. It's free and it's from the heart.
I'll take it.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Hillary, and many, many, many more. May you grow old enough to have to join the Red Hat Old Ladies Society!!


andyson said...

Happy Birthday!

- B

Daria said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Yes do celebrate life ...

Anonymous said...

You go girl!! Loved the pix ... & particularly liked the fact you are going for the gold. Time is the most important thing ... & using it wisely is a great decision.

Hope you are well ... & that you are finding your treatments tollerable.

Know that you are frequently on my mind.