My Birthday Surprise…

I had a great birthday despite a few recent challenges over here. Wait until you see what John got me for my birthday! Read through to end.

While it was a rough start to the week with Jake in the hospital for his lacerated spleen, he is doing well and managed quite a few quiet days at home. He went back to school yesterday! No Gym or band for him for now. He had a good day. So, let me just tell you that hearing “internal bleeding” really takes a mom’s anxiety up a few notches. It is heartbreaking to hear. I managed to calm my mind and heart by thinking “it could be worse, he could be in more pain (pain was badm but pain killers helped)… it could have been worse, he could have hurt his back, neck, head…and so on and so on.” Plus, let’s look on the bright side, they ruled out surgery and his hemoglobin did not drop drastically requiring a transfusion. He will be okay after about 6 weeks. Apparently the ol’ spleen just heals itself.

As for me… I’m feeling a little bit more of my “normal” self right now. I am walking more and not getting as out of breath. Baby steps. I took my first Tamoxifen pill Monday. I was nauseous later in the afternoon and I could not figure out why. Well, it might have been the damn Tamoxifen. Who knows? Yesterday was better, but I’m still scared! It seems that most side effects take weeks or months to develop which makes sense as the drug slowly suppresses hormones. The results are not overnight. BUT, I keep telling myself to have faith over fear. Faith over fear, mind over matter…oh so cliché, but I keep thinking these thoughts. Can I keep it up, though, for the next 5… or 10 years? I know I have to do it. It will be nice to celebrate my next birthday cancer free and healthy! I’m still having a pity party that two milestone birthdays, 40th and 50th were not pleasant for me. I will make up for it somehow!!

My birthday was Saturday. It was quite the average day. I helped Jake with homework and did some laundry. John and I planned to go out for an early dinner while Dziadzi and Gaga stayed with Jake. Earlier in the day, I asked John not to go crazy with roses or balloons and/or anything expensive. I’d rather just have a nice dinner together. Regardless of my request, John disappeared for a couple hours that afternoon to “shop” for my present. We do everything last minute around here, so no surprise that he hadn’t shopped yet! When he came home empty handed, he told me he found something but it wasn’t ready and would be here when we got home from dinner. Very mysterious. So, I made several attempts with 20 questions for clues to what it could be. Hmmmm? Was it big? Was it small? Was it expensive? Does it sparkle? Well, let me tell you that I would never ever have guessed! Stay tuned…

You see we have always either gone on vacation for our birthdays (which land 6 days apart) or we buy what we call a “big ticket” item for the house (think TV, couch, grill, etc.) with maybe some last minute little things thrown in like flowers for me or golf gear for him. That is just the way we have done it over the years. Always a good time and never any complaints. This year we were going to be in Las Vegas from Oct. 6th through 11th. With Jake’s injury we were unable to go. We missed celebrating with my sister and family, but we will reschedule for a later time. Meanwhile, our hearts go out to Las Vegas. #VegasStrong

John and I had a great birthday dinner. I had steak and lobster and oh so many keylime martinis! Delicious. Good times hanging with the hubby. Uber ride there and back. It’s only a 10 minute ride, but who wants to take chances when we would both be drinking? Back home early at maybe 8:00 p.m. John gets down on one knee in our family room and calls me over, takes his sweatshirt off and reveals a bandage covering his heart. Huh? What in the world? OMG. I remove the bandage to reveal a TATTOO. Now, if you know John — You know that he does not have ANY tattoos. Neither do I for that matter (can’t count the two dots i have for radiation treatment 10 years ago, can I?). And… let me tell you, it’s not that we aren’t cool. We are! But, over the years when the topic came up neither of us has ever felt a strong enough connection to any symbol, object, word, animal, design, or photo that made us think, “Yeah, I want that on my arm, leg, chest, back, foot, or butt…  F-O-R-E-V-E-R.“ Until now, apparently!!!! Wow! And, yes, I cried. Note the tattered ribbon representing fighting this fight twice… and, well, Strong? I guess I’m really going to have to live up to that now. Thank you, John.