Birthdays and other Celebrations

February 9, 2012

Today is AA’s birthday.  Ergo, this post is dedicated to her.

In the year 2005, if someone had told me that I was going to have cancer by the time I was 30, I might have believed them.  But I probably would not have believed that AA was going to choose to be the one by my side through everything.

Not because we weren’t crazy about each other, because we were.  Still are.  But that spring, after 3 months of innumerable hours spent in a cramped and smelly van, I think the 6 of us that went on tour that year all separately, secretly and silently vowed to spend less time together.  Also, back then, I would have guessed that my mom or my beau would be the one I wanted to watch over me during such a circumstance.  But when my name was drawn and I was called to be a tribute in The Cancer Games, AA was there… firmly taking my hand, looking at me with determined eyes, promising to take care of me.  And I knew she was the one I wanted to do so.

I could not ask for a fiercer, more generous, more willing, extraordinary soul to accompany me through battle in this arena.

Here’s a shortlist of some of the things she’s done for me so far:  dressed me, fed me, changed bandages, given me medication, helped me in and out of the shower, pulled down my panties so I could pee (Seriously… I couldn’t use my arms at all for the first 48 hours post surgery.  This task is a sign of true friendship.), made room in her home for me, talked me through shot after shot after shot, emptied my drains (Really… that shit was gross.  She was a total trooper.), called doctors, brought me ice packs, brought me heating pads, spent hours in waiting rooms, described my stitches to me in order to give me the courage I needed to look for myself, fed my dog, held me, brushed my hair, prevented me from ever pitying myself, chauffeured me all over the city, offered to shave her head in solidarity, loved me unconditionally.

She lets me lose it when I need to.  She makes me laugh when I need to.

She never lets me stop fighting for my own pursuit of happiness.

And at the end of every day, I know how hard I am going to kick this thing’s ass, because she never lets me doubt myself or my own strength.  But it’s largely her strength that reflects back in me.

Happy Birthday, AA.  I’m very glad you were born.  The world is a better place with you here.

 

And in the vein of celebrations… here are some belated photos from the Boob Voyage party.

Boobie Cupcakes!

it looks like KB was so disturbed she had to walk away

i'm picking which set i want my new boobies to look like

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7 Responses to “Birthdays and other Celebrations”


  1. you are both an inspiration to all of us.

  2. Kathleen Swift Says:

    AA Very happy birthday~~ Bless you for loving and caring for our Gwen~~ you are an angel~

  3. GA Says:

    Sounds like a nurse, well, except for some of the parts like feeding the dog and chauffeuring. Happy Birthday to your excellent caregiver!

  4. Susan Larissa Smith Says:

    Teary eyed and smiling. A wonderful friendship anyone can heal from.

  5. Pablo Says:

    Awww. Funny thing is, she’s never gone through this much trouble for me, and I’m her goddamn brother.

  6. happygirl Says:

    Happy birthday to AA. I’m glad you have such a strong supporter. You are an amazing woman. I am inspired by your story.


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