Birthdays are hard when you’re at stage 4.

I had convinced myself it would be OK this year. But this is my third potential last one. I hadn’t expected to have so many last birthdays.

The first one was horrendous. I had been in hospital  for the week before with side effects from medication. I’d had an emergency scan that showed some improvement, but my future was very uncertain. I couldn’t see forward and assumed it would be my last. I spent the day in bed crying. I couldn’t understand how no one else understood why I was feeling this way. There were so many things I thought I was going to miss out on. It was a dark place to be.

I was supposed to be positive.

That would help me.

The second one I had just gotten back from a trip to Seattle to see my good friend I was feeling emotional.  We had said our final goodbyes. We cried a lot that last day together. Hopefully we will do it again this September when she comes to visit because I’m still here.

After I left her I cried all the way to Chicago knowing I would never go back to Seattle to visit again. I was on my way to attend an international conference on cancer.

Hoping for answers from someone. Anyone…

I learned so much about my diagnosis. I was doing well but no one could tell me what I really wanted to hear “your going to be Ok, You will live many years and die an old woman in your sleep”. It’s what we all wish for but maybe it’s not something to the forefront of others minds.

That’s what being stage 4 does to your thoughts.

It focuses them not on little worries like what is in the freezer for dinner, should have got my hair done, lose a few pounds. Not that we don’t have those worries too.

We just have the added one of dying before time thrown in on top.

Birthday’s they really are the same as any other day as you get older. But not when your dealing with a diagnosis that is life limiting. They are a stark reminder of another year gone.

A marker of whats been and whats to come.

They are milestones we measure our lives by years turning into decades. As a child excited by the prospect of a party shared with friends. As teens we couldn’t wait to get to eighteen and the freedom it provided.  Our twenties sorting out careers or maybe some travelling. By the time our thirties come we become more settled and consumed with being parents. Balancing our busy lives making sacrifices we don’t begrudge.

Because we know there’s time ahead that will be for us again.

What happens when a cancer diagnosis blindsided us and rips that certain future away. What of all the plans, hopes and dreams ahead…

“Live in the moment” is a motto, that’s banded about like it’s an easy thing to achieve or an easy way to live.

It is not.

We all want to look forward with some degree of certainty about what we will be doing in a few months, years. It’s a natural instinct to plan ahead.

Its reassuring

This year I hadn’t really prepared myself for the Birthday bump. But it came again with a bang. I’m doing well. It shouldn’t be a problem

An emotional roller-coaster pulled up again me the only passenger waiting to board

It’s difficult to explain how it feels. It started off well, a lovely morning walk before the heat got too intense. But as the day wore on the feelings surfaced as strong as the midday sun, is this the last one.

How many more last ones will there be.

If this is it,.. is that it!!

Why does it feel like any other day, but so different? Like the sand is slipping quicker than it should  be through the timer.

Will I ever have another Birthday that I don’t think is the last one.

It’s a reminder to always mark your special occasions. Do something special for a loved one, make a fuss, make them feel special on their Birthday, Christmas Mothers. Fathers Day no one ever knows if it’s the last.  They are all special.

Celebrate, dance, spend time with family and friends.

Time is precious it can all slip away, silently quickly, never repeated

Nothing is Guaranteed