This morning Rich rolled over and asked me what it felt like to be a half a century old now (granted he has known for a few years now!) and the first thing I could say was, “Lucky.” But I really meant blessed. I was so sick on my birthday last year, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to my 50th birthday. Yet, I was surrounded by family yesterday as I rang in my 50th lap around the sun! This time I had hair…I could breathe, and there weren’t tears about cancer and what could happen. I just had a good time.
Tim flew in on Saturday afternoon and it was fun to watch the UFC fights by his side for the first time in quite awhile. It is so much more fun watching fights with him as he is a UFC walking encyclopedia . We have watched the fights together for over a decade so I have missed it so much with him away! Joe, Michelle, and their dogs, Moose & Jenna, drove up on Sunday afternoon. I got to spoil my family with Valentine’s Day gifts and spend the day playing board games and working on some of my photography class assignments. It was great having some people willing to let me practice with them! I will post some photos later of those. I literally unplugged while everyone was here so had to spend a lot of today catching up on work, thanking friends, etc. I had not been getting much sleep at night because of the steroids I was on. I could fall asleep, but if anything woke me up, I was unable to go back to sleep. I was already in my icky phase of my chemo round and the lack of sleep wasn’t helping. However, we all crashed Sunday night and slept hard…all 6 of us…and even the dogs didn’t make a peep. Of course if I had to go outside and it was -26 degrees F, I wouldn’t be too anxious to do that either! With a solid 8 hours of sleep under my belt, I started my 50th birthday well rested. It was wonderful. We had another day full of board games and more photo challenges. This one was to make frozen bubbles. Joe was awesome as he stood out in the -30 windchill with me trying to blow bubbles. The night before he was helping me try to capture light painting with flashlights. These are all things that I am still working on and are hard enough to capture with a cell phone versus an DSLR camera in manual mode, as was the assignment. We ordered dinner from Texas Roadhouse and after that and cake was eaten, it was time for everyone to head home. I am so very blessed to have such a fabulous family who was willing to travel to Nebraska during two record-breaking cold days to spend the day in the house with me. I had a great time playing games (although Rich keeps pointing out that I was the only person who didn’t win a game this weekend – I blame it on chemo brain).
I want to thank everyone for the wonderful wishes. I was overcome by all the birthday wishes….which started the night before my birthday from my friends in Kuala Lumpur and then the Philippines and Japan. I have beautiful flowers from Kathy Martz, Kathy Truddell, Jane West, Adrienne Howard, Fiona Macklon, and some from Rich as well! I remember when we lived in East Grand Forks, Minnesota (that is WAAAAAY up north for those of you who don’t know) and I was turning 30. Rich had a bunch of flowers and the boys were really little. He was standing outside in the cold…kinda like it is here now…and came into my chorus rehearsal to surprise me. I was a Sweet Adeline at the time…singing women’s barbershop music. He came into the warm building and all the flowers promptly wilted and died because they had flash frozen in the extreme cold. These Nebraska florists had it going on! They had everything double wrapped at a minimum and my house looks amazing with all the cheery colors! Thank you so much! Michelle Krueger made me sunflower cupcakes that weren’t only delicious, but totally adorable as well! Definitely a hit! Other stalwart friends braved the cold and dropped off gifts….Erika Campbell and Susan Ferguson! Can I tell you how hard it is to not just grab you and give you each a big, fierce hug? You all better start getting ready for it…because it’s gonna happen one of these days and I might just squeeze you pretty hard. I miss it so much. Susan brought some board games over with a little plastic trophy for the winner to have when they won the game. Oh, why hadn’t I thought of that? My kids are in their 20’s and were fighting over the trophy. Ridiculous! I had packages from friends and family to open….I can’t thank you all enough for thinking of me! I truly was overwhelmed…and the cards! My sons were amazed at the stack of cards! To say that I felt loved was really an understatement. Thank you everyone.
I was able to talk to very briefly with my parents on my birthday. They live in Houston and were without power and cell service for over 24 hours. It got down to 52 degrees in their house! My brother lives 10 minutes away from them and he didn’t have power or water but had cell service, as he had a different carrier. I finally got to catch up with them this morning after their electricity was restored and they were thawing out in their own home. I had been worried about them all Monday as I had no way of contacting them. Sounds like all is well with them now, but Craig, my brother, managed to have a pipe burst in his house, so he will still be roughing it without water for a few more days. What a crazy weather system hitting our country! They implemented rolling blackouts here to help conserve energy for the other 14 states that are in our power grid. When the windchill is -40 and they decide to cut your power off for an hour at a time, it made me a bit nervous. Lily didn’t have school due to the cold today but we had power restored and spent our day bundled up with the heat turned down as the power company asked of us. We’ll all be complaining of it being too hot before we know it.
So what’s the next goal? Sheesh….we actually planned to go on an Alaskan cruise in July. Booked it and everything. However, there is now a snafu with Canada not allowing cruise ships in their ports until February of 2022. Since we were sailing out of Vancouver, that is an issue. They have 6 months to figure it out…but in case that doesn’t happen, I am thinking my next goal will just be our 30th anniversary. It’s a big year for me! I turned 50 and I have my 30th wedding anniversary in August. By then I will have been on at least one more different treatment regimens, if not two, so I am curious to see how things will be going in 6 months with my health. Until then, I will just keep plugging along and hope the weather warms enough to resume some walks with Tallinn again. We are both missing it!