Happy Birthday To Me

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Today is my birthday. I feel I did a lot of my celebrating 11 days ago on my cancerversary, but can’t help also remembering that birthday I spent in 2004 in hospital just after my surgery. My post-surgery drains were still attached, but I was allowed out for the day to celebrate. The drains were hooked up and hidden under a loose top and I was all swathed and bandaged, but I was back out in the world for the first time. I felt a bit delicate and vulnerable, but very happy to be alive to celebrate this birthday. The sun shone and everything looked as if it had been imbued with added colour and life.  I really was looking at everything through fresh eyes and with deep gratitude.

I read an interview once with Olivia Newton John, herself a breast cancer survivor, who said she didn’t mind getting older, as each birthday was a gift after cancer. Of course, I see the lines and the signs of ageing creep onto my face with each birthday but instead of lamenting these signs of getting older, I focus on how lucky I am to be here to celebrate another birthay and to have this chance of growing older.

So today I celebrate another year of life and hopefully another year of growing in wisdom and compassion and love. Today I also celebrate friendship and family.  I am so grateful to all of you for those birthday wishes and gifts which I have received. Today I also celebrate new friendships made online which have added to my stock of joy and happiness. Your friendship, support and love are the best gift I could ever have, not just on my birthday, but always.