Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes! You had me smiling all day, and last night I was literally in tears with the nice sentiments and words of encouragement. If I didn't respond personally to your post, please accept my apology--it was unintentional--but I think I got to you all. I don't feel deserving, but I graciously and humbly accept your support and love. It means a great deal to me, and you definitely help me stay positive and get through the hard days.
We're spreading out the birthday celebrations. Last night, we gorged ourselves on calamari and lobster. I wore my red wig with a scarf Michael gave me for my birthday, and it looked super cute. (I planned to get a photo, but we were rushing out the door to make our reservation on time and then I was pretty hot--thank you, hot flashes--in the restaurant so as soon as we got in the car I ripped it off.) Tonight, dinner and ice cream cake with the kids. Tomorrow, Apple Hill. I haven't been in years, and I don't know how much I'll be able to do there so I'm definitely prioritizing. I have to make sure to get some apple cider, apple donuts, and an apple pie to bring home!
I feel fine, but my energy level is still quite low. I made several trips downstairs yesterday and then out to dinner, and I was exhausted last night. It's amazing how little activity I can handle. It's nice to be able to go out and enjoy a nice dinner, but it still galls me that that's all I can manage.
I miss dancing terribly. Several of the places I like to go do birthday dances where you take the spotlight and dance with a bunch of different people for a song and I love doing it, but rarely get to--one year I had tendinitis in my shoulders and couldn't lift my hands above my head, one year I had a horrible intestinal flu, and now this. I toyed with the idea of taking the risk and going to tango tonight--we talked it over and weighed the risks of getting sick--but ultimately I decided my energy level is just too low to make it worthwhile. I'd be too frustrated at how little I can actually dance, so it's better to not go at all.
Just two more chemo infusions, then a couple weeks of side effects and recovery. Surgery should be the week of Thanksgiving and radiation should start the week of Christmas. Not ideal, but there are worse things. We can celebrate early if needed. I meet with my radiation oncologist on the 23rd to get more info and the surgeon on the 27th for my pre-op and to finalize my decision on which surgery route I'll take. The tumor, as far as I can tell, is basically gone. It's a matter of how much cancerous tissue there might still be in there vs. healthy tissue (and let's be honest, I don't have a lot of tissue to start with), risk level, etc. I will, of course, report when I know what's going on.
Exciting to watch that countdown get lower and lower and know that I'm getting closer to being done!