Thursday, July 31, 2008

every year is a gift

In a few days, I will turn 41.

I will be offline, hanging out at one of my favourite places in the world. I am not sure how peaceful it will be (we will be there with four adults, two kids, two puppies and a grown up dog) but I know it will be happy.

Last year my birthday was a very big deal. My friends and co-workers pooled their resources and sent me to BlogHer in Chicago. And there was a whole month of celebration leading up to the day itself. I was celebrating being alive, turning forty and my first clean scan after the metastasis.

This year I am happy to have things be much lower key. I am feeling pretty lucky these days.

In January, I acknowledged to myself that there were two things I really wanted this year, to attend BlogHer in San Francisco and a puppy. Thanks (again) to generosity from others (and the fact that I spoke at BlogHer this year), both of those things have been realized for me.

That’s a lot. And it’s enough.

Especially when I realize that every birthday marks another year that I have been alive in this beautiful world. Another year surrounded by people I love and in which I have the chance to learn and grow and become stronger.

I have been feeling a little off balance lately, tired and frustrated and somewhat overwhelmed. It’s good to have a birthday to remind me again how lucky I am. And with four clean scans now under my belt, I hope to have lots more chances to celebrate my birthday.

Now that’s not to say that I don’t want a little cake with a few candles and some home made cards from my kids (and I did treat myself to a facial before I left for SF). Even a low-key birthday needs to be celebrated.

I'll be back online on August 11th.

Cross-posted to Mothers With Cancer.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Laurie. :)

Angela said...

I found this site a few days ago, I like you. I wish you "cumpleaƱos feliz", this year and many years to come.
Angela from Madrid (Spain)

Kim said...

Happy early birthday, and thanks for reminding us that even without the cancer wake up call, every day is worth celebrating.

Babz Rawls Ivy said...


You know I am a fool for birthdays!

We must get together again...we should meet up somewhere...think of a place and let's make it happen!

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Happy birthday and have a good time away from the blog!

Mom2Amara said...

Happy birthday Laurie! May it be a peaceful, healthy trip to the cottage!

Cindy said...

Happy birthday from a new reader. I know what you mean about the significance of birthdays. Sort of makes you feel a little sorry for those who see them as negatives.

Anonymous said...

I've spent a lot of time in Northern Ontario. We were just there last summer. I always feel at peace camping by a lake! Happy Birthday!

deb said...

there will be plenty of cake once you return to the city!

Anonymous said...

Hello (and Happy Birthday!)

I found your blog while looking up resources for breast cancer patients, and thought you might be interested in a woman who's taken a pretty unique path in her own cancer battle. Meg Gaffney is a nurse, and when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to skip chemotherapy and radiation, and go right to a bilateral mastectomy. But when her plastic surgeon recommended a skin graft surgery to build up new nipples, she decided to incorporate art into her own personal healing process.

For Meg, that means getting nipples tattooed onto her body instead of the graft surgery, and now -- after months of searching for an artist willing to take on her challenge -- she's about to get the work done!

We're 8 parts into a documentary on Meg, which is featured on I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think!

Meg is dynamic, creative, and completely committed to ridding the world of cancer, and her spirit is contagious.

Thanks for your time, and best luck in your own journey!

Katy Widrick
Executive Producer,

Milly said...

Hi, just found your site recently, it's been great to read. Hope you have had a really happy birthday. You're so right about seeing them as a reminder of the good things.

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