Two Birthday Wishes: Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I am 34-years old today. Wow?!? I suppose being another year older beats the alternative, right? I’m celebrating my birthday in a much more low-key fashion than I did last year: I’m out in Denver right now visiting my paternal grandparents. Last year’s craziness precluded me from making a visit so it’s good to be back out west spending good quality time with grandparents who have provided me with so many fond childhood memories (...and who introduced me to New York City and Big Sky, Montana!) We just finished a big breakfast at Lucille's Creole Kitchen and tonight we're doing a wine tasting and having dinner with a couple good family friends at my favorite French restaurant in Denver, Le Central. Last year when I blew out the candles at my “33 and Cancer-Free” birthday bash, I had two wishes for my next birthday: 1. That I would be healthy and 2. That I would be in love, preferably with someone who was in love with me as well. (Over the years, I have found that it generally feels better that way.) Hmmm…what’s that old saying – one out of two ain’t bad?

The good news is that I am, as far as anyone knows, a healthy 34-year old today. My mind, body, and soul have rebounded well from last year’s warfare and I’m proud to report that I’m probably in as good of shape as I’ve ever been in. My (sprint) triathlon training is going well (and so is my fundraising as I've already reached 50% of my goal) and I’m looking forward to being out in San Diego in seven short weeks with some of my best friends, who have all done so much for me over the past year and a half, to finish the race and declare victory over stupid cancer.

The less than great news is that I’m not in love…yet! And so the search for true, lasting love continues. But that’s okay. At press time, there a couple of interesting prospects and so I remain optimistic that sooner or later I will meet my “media naranjo,” which, loosely translated, means my perfect other half. That is, if I haven’t already yet! The truth is that I’ve had more romantic interests -- and even fleeting love -- during my diagnosis, treatment, and first year post-treatment than many gals in my position could hope for. And, if nothing else, it sure has made life interesting. So, I’d like to take a moment to thank the men that have been in and out of my life over the past year and a half and whom, up to this point, I’ve only made casual reference to on this blog. So, here goes: I’d like to thank Mike (last seen in "Wine & Cheese") for making me laugh (so much!) and letting me freak out (a few times…) during the very dark, scary early days of my diagnosis and treatment. And, frankly, for getting out of the way once he realized the situation I faced was way above his pay grade, so to speak. I’d like to thank James for asking me out on a date while I had a wig on my head (that green Ella Ross shirt of mine strikes again!). I never anticipated being asked out during treatment and our brunch date was very fun (and yummy!). James called about two weeks after our first date to check in and I received his voicemail while laying in the hospital bed recuperating from my hysterectomy. I never returned his call because 1. he waited two weeks to call, which I took as a sign that he just wasn’t that into me, and 2. because, how would I answer the question, “So, what have you been up to?” Hmmm. ”Ummm…well…actually, James, I’m recovering from my total hysterectomy. How ‘bout you?” I decided that at that point in my treatment, I should just focus on getting better and not wondering whether some guy was going to call back for another date. But being asked out by a younger, pretty cute martial arts fighter/wine importer provided a fun high during treatment, so I’m happy we met. And finally, I need to thank Dave (a.k.a. my favorite Excel geek) for taking a chance on a gal with a bald head who had just finished chemo and who had just been through the most challenging year of her life. While we both agree now that we aren’t a long-term love match, we certainly had some fun times racing (or crawling, as the case may be) up and down 95 to see each other over the past nine months. I, for one, am left with many happy memories, including a couple of fun oyster roasts, some Richmond black tie events (incomparable people watching!), many great runs on the GW Parkway, fun dinners with his family and our Alexandria and Richmond friends, a special Valentine’s Day weekend in Charlottesville, and much, much more. My relationship with Dave helped me get my groove back following treatment and for that, I am more grateful than anyone can imagine. And the good news is that we’re still friends (…and he just gave me the most awesome birthday gift: a triathlon training mix for my iPod!!!), which as anyone who knows me knows, is not something I generally believe in being following a break-up. And speaking of break-ups, thanks also to a whole bunch of former beaus who sent sweet emails, notes, and even took me out on (platonic) dates during treatment, including everyone’s favorite texter, Hot Marine, who really did turn out to be a good guy in the end (to be friends with, not to date). Oh, and lest I forget to thank the very dreamy Dr. A for not only helping save my life along side my beloved Dr. E but for providing such good eye candy, as well as really good actual candy, during his visits to my IP chemo treatments. He has no idea how exciting his 30-minute drop-ins were to a young cancer patient who was temporarily out of the dating world. Or, perhaps he did know? Regardless, my heart skipped a beat every time he came in the room, which was another great complementary therapy to help fight the big C.

So, what is my wish on this birthday? Of course, I can’t tell you or it won’t come true! Ha. Though I will say that if your guess is the same as last year’s wish, you’re probably not too far off track. After you’ve had an illness like mine you realize, there really is nothing more important in life than your health and the people with whom you can share life’s ups and downs. And, so, if I all have for the rest of my days is good health and the love of my family and friends (and, hopefully, my media naranjo!), I will be a lucky girl!

Thanks to everyone for all of the wonderful birthday wishes. Until next time, be well.


  1. Happy Birthday!! So sad that I couldn't make it to Denver to celebrate with you but am so glad I got to see you a couple weeks ago. Way to go with the training - keep it up!

  2. I am enjoying The Groove being back!