Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hi! It's my birthday!

I'm thirty-nine today!

No, seriously. I really am. I was born in 1975. I'm thirty-nine. I'm not thirty-nine "again" or anything cutesy.

I'm not one to really celebrate my birthday in any major way, but this year? I thought I would share something with you all.

For the last five years or so, I've been terrified of turning forty.

I rarely say this aloud, but when I have the immediate reaction is always, "Oh, please! Forty is nothing! You're fine! Don't be ridiculous! Additional generic comment to indicate my foolishness!"

I'm not afraid of getting older.

I'm afraid of getting cancer.

As I've probably talked about before and am too lazy to check right this second, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was forty. I was sixteen at the time, almost seventeen, and forty seemed like some hazy number so far in the future that I couldn't really fathom it. Not old, but not anything I needed to worry about.

I'm almost there now.

Earlier this year, one of the only people I've been friendly with in my neighborhood was diagnosed. One of my old Girl scout leaders. My favorite radio personality. It's all around us. It's not cured yet.

October is breast cancer awareness month. You either love that or you hate it, in all of it's pink glory. I don't feel strongly either way about the month as a whole, but I have decided that I don't want to fear forty.

I'm doing the best I can to make myself healthy. I do my self-exams. I go to the doctor regularly and the therapist even more regularly. Am I perfect? No. Will I ever be? I certainly hope not.

I have to stop being afraid. I have to stop beating myself up for every single thing. I have to calm down. I have to be okay with me.

If I get cancer, I will deal with it. One day at a time. That's all I can.

I'm going to stop wasting time worrying about it.

Because, you know. Happy Birthday to me.


Unknown said...

Happy Birthday!!!! As a Breast Cancer survivor I will tell you, no word is scarier. I am Cancer free. As far as the Dr's know. I fear Cancer EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Theresa said...

Oh Stephanie, good for you, good for you to take that first step and realize the fear and knowing you need to stop being afraid. Losing the fear will give you room for something good, emotionally. Hugs and happy birthday again!

1Roman said...

Don't waste precious time worrying about cancer. I just got diagnosed with colon cancer but after surgery am cancer free. And I had malignant melanoma at age 26. I'm 51 and expect to lead a long life. If you DO get cancer you will get treated and move on!