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.
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.