Happy Birthday

It is my birthday. I am now a 29 year old with myeloma. This time last year, I was just a normal 28 year old. Normalish. Today, well, really tomorrow when I wake up, marks my first birthday with myeloma and this depresses me.

I have always been one who enjoys the birthday. A three day celebration that is all about me; what’s not to like? More people contact you than normal, you get post that is not a bill and if you are lucky, you may get some actual presents to open. Some people may not care about the birthdays, but I do. It’s My Day and I just absolutely, positively, love me. I am fabulous. I am awesome. I am great.

Your average person, after a certain age, may worry about getting older on their birthday, look back on what they have and haven’t achieved, and review what they have and haven’t got and come up wanting. I hear this makes people feel blue, so they get drunk. I don’t really feel like that is a concern for me anymore. Life as a 28 year old changed that.

Last autumn, I looked ahead at this birthday and saw it as a target date. A date by which time, this chapter would be over. I have known for a while that this would not be the case, but that has not prevented me from thinking about it a teeny, teeny, little bit, as my birth date drew closer. I am not where I thought I would be, where I want to be, and my birthday is a reminder of that.

I am now 29. I would imagine most people hitting 29 would be worried about reaching 30. Not me, I just keep thinking, how many more of these have I got? Not as many as I thought when I turned 28, and that is the sad truth. This is not where I thought I would be, not where I want to be, and my birthday is a horrible reminder of that.

Of course, I know all of this everyday, just because it is the 24 May doesn’t mean I have had an epiphany. No way. Today is just a big fat reminder about it all; the passing of time and preciousness of the time left.

Happy Birthday!

All that said, it would be absolutely inconceivable for me to spend my birthday wallowing in self pity. I will not let My Myeloma ruin My Day. I am stronger than that, at least, I hope I am. So, no more self pity today. When I awake, I have a busy day ahead of me, celebrating my birth, as I have done every year before this one. I will see people and I will smile. I have been very clear with myself that this must happen and I have designed the good times so that I do not have time to entertain the bad thoughts. If my celebrations happen to roll into the bank holiday weekend, which they will, then so be it. My birthday is pretty much the definition of organised fun and I am forcing myself to have fun. My logic behind this is simple really, if my future birthdays are numbered, I’d be better off having fun during them than the alternative. No matter how bittersweet I may find it. It makes perfect sense. It should do mind you, for I am now, officially, older and wiser. Just look at my birth certificate.


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7 thoughts on “Happy Birthday

  1. Terri J says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMMA! My daughter Sara celebrated her 33 birthday 2 weeks after her diagnoses last year. It was what I would call a forced happy birthday before we even new the totality of treatment. This years birthday was 6 months after transplant & much happier for the fact that she has come so far in 1 year. Now she also gets to celebrate rebirth day ( the day she was reborn with her stem cell transplant)which will be in August. You will get there Emma . Think of this setback as a hiccup. Go have some drinks & as much cake as you want.

  2. Deborah says:

    Happy Birthday Emma, it s my daughters birthday too. Each birthday, mine or someone close to me is even more special now. I wish I had your address so I could send you a card and present. I will have to put up with sending you a virtual gentle hug and a picture of good health.. I hope you can enjoy today and have the teensiest bit of alcohol, a big slice of birthday cake and just do one reckless thing after all it is your special day.

  3. Happy birthday. I’m going to be 40 in a few weeks. It’s customary to resent being 40, go into denial, be perpetually 39 etc. Not me. I’m going to relish it. I MADE IT! And I’ll think the same every year from now on. And so should you. Birthdays are achievements – the last year has been hard, and not as any of us would choose it, but you have come through it. So go celebrate.

  4. Helen says:

    Happy Birthday Emma! As ever, you rock. I hope any bitter moments are very fleeting in comparison to the sweet extra-long weekend, and that you have lots of fun sticking up two fingers at myeloma xx

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EMMA!!! enjoy, savor, and wring every ounce of fun and festivity out of YOUR holiday week-end, do it with gusto, and slam the door in the face of your myeloma. i hold my two middle fingers up like lights that glows at a concert, singing the birthday song for you in my heart. and the most important question – what kind of CAKE are you having?!

    much love, XOXO,

    karen, TC

  6. shantax2 says:

    Hi Emma, happy belated birthday. I am as you one of the thousands living with Myeloma.
    I was diagnosed on 25 July 2007 Have had several sets of chemo treatment and a stem cell transplant. I have up days and down days but thankfully more up than down. I just want to say that we cant choose what life throws at us but just have to grab it by the b—s and live thru it.
    Hope you have many more birthdays.

    Regards: Terry

  7. Wishing that this is the worst birthday you have to go through and all the others are much, much happier and healthier… and who says we can have only one birthday party a year? Have your 1/2 year birthday party, or the Party For The Fun of It… my daughter’s birthday is the day after Christmas so we used to celebrate it again in July… she liked that! Hugs!!

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