I’m Still Here!

Last Saturday I turned 72. I can’t believe it! I am without a doubt the luckiest gal in the world. 

A few months after turning 70 I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer and given about 6 months to live. Fortunately, the Universe had other plans. I was put in touch with an incredible gynecological oncologist/ surgeon who had a plan. I had two surgeries, a year of aggressive chemotherapy, and a lot of help from an incredible medical team, my loving family, and some wonderful friends. And two years later I am still fighting the good fight! The Universe has been very kind to me. I thank G-d and the powers that be that I was able celebrate another year!

No, I am not in remission. I never got there. All the cancer was removed along with multiple internal body parts, but, my type of reoccurring cancer means that it will definitely return. So, I will spend the rest of my life on and off chemotherapy. In fact, I knew that was a possibility from the beginning. But, I’m okay with that. Because every day I’m still alive is cherished. I take nothing for granted. And amazingly, I was able to celebrate two more birthdays from the time I was diagnosed.

My 71st was reached during isolation and the height of the pandemic. I stood on the second floor of my condo building and my precious grandchildren sang to me loudly from down below, counting by twos until they reached 71, and finally finished their birthday song. 

I wore a chemo cap because I was totally bald, and very, very frail. My grand daughter shouted up to me, “Grandma when you get sad that you don’t have any hair, just imagine that you do. And then you will have hair in your imagination!” 

Leave it to a child to make things so clear. The power of a child’s mind is so pure and filled with magical wisdom. It’s all about attitude. From that moment on I just put on my chemo hat and pretended I had hair! It worked every time! 

My son came up that day fully masked and gloved to protect me due to my weakened immune system from all the chemotherapy. He brought me my favorite dinner and my traditional birthday carvel cake. The children made me cards and brought other goodies. Pandemic or not, cancer or not, I was over the moon from their love and because I was still alive.

And this year I’m elated too. I got to spend my birthday with my family. I’m currently off chemo, I’ve had my two covid vaccines, and so have my grown children. And I’ve returned to a normal weight. No more protein drinks forced on me by my doctor. In fact, once I stopped chemo and stopped vomiting, I got my taste sensation back and ate to my heart’s content. To the point where I now need to lose some pandemic pounds. It doesn’t take very long to pack on those pounds does it? 🙀

This birthday I am so very grateful! At 70 I was worried about getting old. At 72 I’m just thankful for a chance to get old. Bring on old age. I welcome you! 

Even though my cancer antigen numbers are starting to go up again, I’m doing great. And when the numbers reach 100 I’ll start back on chemo. But not today. Today I rejoice. My hair grew back and it’s wild and wonderfully wavy and gray! 

So bring on the gray, the wrinkles, and whatever comes with living life. I’ll take it all and be grateful. Happy 72nd birthday to moi! 🎂

What is Old?

It’s pouring outside. Thundering, lightning and going crazy outdoors… especially in front of my condo! Needless to say because of inclement weather I didn’t take my mid morning walk. Instead, I switched on the TV and flipped through the stations and had a second cup of half caff.
I discovered a “Murder She Wrote” marathon was in progress. In the 80’s and early 90’s I used to love that show and looked forward each week to a fun cozy mystery with a female protagonist at the helm. I loved that she was ALWAYS the smartest person in the room. However, I thought Angela Lansbury was an old lady back then. I was so wrong!

Today when I looked at her character that isn’t at all who I saw! Yes, she was a woman over 50, but her back was perfectly straight, she had a fabulous figure, and she ran around in heels with ease and grace. Like a youthful dancer might move. So I googled the marvelous actress who today is an impressive 95. That would have made her only 60 when that notable series began. And I would have been a young woman of 37.

At age 72, I am seeing things quite differently. Ms. Lansbury now looks young and vibrant to me on the show. And then it hit me!! I thought the actress Angela Lansbury was an old lady when she played the character Jessica Fletcher because society conditioned us to think that women over 50 were old . She was not old! In fact, she was 12 years younger than I am now. And while society may think I’m old, I still feel like a cool girl inside. I still love rock music, I’m still protesting for equality, and I’m very much the creative soul I’ve always been. So what determines being OLD? A date on the calendar or a person’s spirit? What constitutes youthfulness?

I suppose age is all relative isn’t it?
Perhaps Agatha Christie’s, Miss Marple wasn’t that old either.
My conclusion for today? NEVER underestimate the deductive reasoning skills and cleverness of an intelligent woman over 60! We are still pretty awesome! ❤️💪✌️❤️ And because of our years of gained wisdom, WE ARE ALWAYS THE SMARTEST PEOPLE IN THE ROOM! 😉✌️❤️