There I stood putting together the ingredients of my own birthday cake. This was not at all how I’d imagined, planned, or wanted my birthday to go. As I folded the wet ingredients into the dry, thinking this might go down as the lamest birthday in years, I smirked as I thought, at least I’m still here to enjoy the lamest birthday in history.
Why so sour on a day that should have been filled with glee and rainbows? I’m not sure, it was preceded by a long hectic week with chest colds and work and very little sleep. I met with my oncologist earlier in the week. My labs were great, there was nothing that caused concerned when she did her checkup, all good things to hear. I whined about my lack of desire to take tamoxifen as the side effects I was experiencing; hot flashes, night sweats, and achy joints, were the pits. I was reminded that the fatigue from chemo and radiation could last for a few more months.
I talked about the condition of my fingernails. Only about a ¼ of my fingernails are attached to the nail bed, the brittle yellow sections ruined by chemo are just kind of floating above. “Oh yeah, brittle nails and your nailbeds oozing are completely normal after treatment.” Completely normal?
I think that’s when the whole “new normal” concept hit home. I mean I understand/understood that things, that I, would never be the same but I guess I never properly processed how involved that would be.
I never considered missing my fingernails not looking like something off the Hobbit. My idea of looking good and feeling good would be qualified with “for what you’ve been through” for an indeterminable amount of time. My expectations would be expected to be adjusted to lower than I’d like. To get out of taking medications that make me feel wimpy and miserable, I’d have to barter, using my reproductive organs as currency.
So, for my birthday all I wanted was a quiet night and day to myself. Time to rest these weary bones, time to let my mind wander without interruption. Time to unplug, to reconnect, to reevaluate, to reflect, to rejoice. Just a few hours with only myself to take care of.
Yeah, that didn’t happen. I literally did not have one. Single. Solitary. Moment. Even my morning devotional time was interrupted that day.
I was, as they say; in my feelings and feeling some type of way. Then as my kids asked for the eleventy fifth time when my birthday cake was going to be ready,
I thought, chill Khim, you’ll take a “me” day another day, maybe next week, but soon.
That’s when I realized what I’d allowed a hectic week and unfulfilled birthday wishes to cause me to forget.
Hope, faith, and confidence that there is still time for me days. Without hesitation I thought about when my kids are adults with their own kids, I’m going to tell them about how they pestered me because they wanted cake on my birthday. Perspective, my birthday gift this year, I’ve got everything I need.