It’s my birthday! Today is the day I’ve been looking forward to, all October. 
Before I get into it, I want to genuinely thank everyone that personally reached out to me following the last newsletter. Your kind words and heartfelt wishes truly touched me. It’s been a tough 19 months for us all, so knowing that I have such an amazing community of people who support me through my decisions, means a lot. And to those who aren’t openly speaking out about the challenges you’re silently facing, know that even though the rest of us may not understand what you're going through, we stand with you. Don’t give up. You'll come out on top.
I’m up a little earlier than usual today. It’s peaceful outside and I needed to gather my thoughts and reflect. I realize that I may not feel my best later today, so I wanted to make the most out of the morning. This birthday, even though my second COVID birthday, looks a little different this time around. It’s been two days post surgery and I’ve been recovering. As I write this, I can’t believe that it's the third birthday in a row that I’m sharing my cancer story. I look back over the years, August 2019 in particular, and I can't help but be grateful for where I am today. At this very moment, I’m thankful to have the ability to rest, relax and have some “me time”. Yes, it’s sad that my “me time” came as a result of surgery, but I choose to see the best in this situation. With surgery having been two days before my birthday, I considered it Trillium's gift to me and being wheeled out with no complications whatsoever was nothing short of a blessing. 
The three days leading up to the surgery were exhausting. I spent the time tying loose ends at work, carrying out tech tests, planning for a 3 day event that I will be consulting for next weekend, getting all my groceries ordered, shopping for new pillows for my bed and prepping for the surgery itself. To add to all that, thinking of the recovery process and all the pain I was probably going to be in only made the situation worse. I am not at all good with pain and taking medication in forms of tablets really makes me nervous. I wasn’t necessarily worried about how my body was going to handle the surgery because I trusted my doctors and knew that I could count on them to know what they were doing. It’s just that the thought of pain and taking medication really threw me off, so I’m glad that I’m currently not doing nearly as bad as I thought I would.
It feels strange knowing that I won't be carrying out my usual Starbucks tradition like I normally do on the morning of my birthday. But that’s okay. Mom is here and has been here since the surgery, so missing out on Starbucks doesn’t quite seem a loss after all. In fact, having mom over is a complete win! I gave her advance notice for my expectation of breakfast this morning and she delivered with that ackee and saltfish with fry dumpling request. I can get used to this life of luxury because I mean, breakfast in bed, a clean house, laundry washed and folded and delicious meals throughout the day, then sprinkle in some mother-daughter time on top of that? Listen, say no more! It's like being catered to in your own home. I promise not to take advantage of her kindness but know that she's going to catch me with my feet up and eyes glued to the TV for the next couple of weeks, guaranteed, because I plan on doing the bare minimum. 
Anyways as I close this off, I realize that I don’t have any big plans for 42. I’m choosing to take whatever life hands me, one day at a time. I look forward to a time in the near future when I'm not in constant pain and discomfort and when I can feel like the old me again, both physically and socially. But as for now, I choose to live in the moment without any expectations. Just me, up early in the morning at the crack of dawn, reflecting and taking it all in. 
Happy birthday to me!