Birthday’s are milestones in your life. A way to mark time and celebrate life’s achievements. My 16th birthday made way for freedom of the open road, when I obtained my driver’s license. On your 18th birthday your able to sign on the dotted line to protect your country as part of the United States military. The elusive 21st birthday when you can order an alcoholic drink at a bar legally. My personal timeline included marriage by 25 and children by the age of 30. But what comes after that?
I was lucky to find my best friend and soulmate at the age of 19. Our chance meeting one night in a small town in Ohio made way for marriage and kids by my envisioned timeline. Looking back, my desire for children before the age of 30 was a miracle. If I had waited, I would have never had the chance to become a mom. Medical complication to save my life dictated an emergency hysterectomy at the age of 30.
I embraced 30 and beyond with my kids and husband. Each year when my birthday approached I was asked, “What do you want for a birthday? I’m not much of a materialistic person. My favorite requests were a nice dinner out sans kids with my husband, a fun family weekend staycation, or a new purse.
I’ve always lived by the motto” As long as we have a roof over our head, food in our bellies, and we are healthy then I’m happy!” Then Gunner’s diagnosis changed everything. As my 36th birthday approached, Gunner was on a chemo hold because his white blood cell count was to low to proceed. I was once again asked by family and friends, “What do you want for your birthday?” My first thought was CHEMO. Advancing to the next phase of treatment is a double-edged sword. Chemo is what saved Gunner’s life and will keep the leukemia cells gone forever. But the side-effects would make Gunner sick as the chemo continues to zap his immune system. All of the gifts from years past seemed so trivial. When your child is fighting for their life …a night out on the town or a purse seems so insignificant.
As Gunner’s clinic visit approached on September 11. I continued to pray. Thankfully his counts were extremely high. His ANC needed to be 750 to start the Interim Maintenance phase and it was 1940. He was given his first dose of Vincristine and Methotrexate through his port. Now we count down the days until his final day of chemo on September 11, 2017.
I’m thankful for everyday I’ve had this past year with family and friends! But most of all, my birthday wish coming to fruition. I’m ready for the blessings of this next year and appreciate you following along on my journey!