This entry was written by Jackie Roth, PhD student at Thomas Jefferson University. Jackie was diagnosed with Stage III A breast cancer at the age of 28. Every other Friday, throughout the entire year of 2011, Jackie will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.
To read Jackie’s previous entries, enter “ Jackie Roth” in the search box on this site.
With all of the cold weather lately I’ve been thinking about Spring a lot! Spring brings warm weather, sunshine, flowers, and…my birthday! This past week I celebrated my birthday on the second day of spring.
To celebrate, my family and I went out to brunch. We had a great time and delicious food! After the meal I noticed my mother-in-law sneak away out of the corner of my eye and talk to our waiter. So I knew something was coming! Not too long after, a brownie arrived with not a candle, but a sparkler to wish on! I had a longer time to make a wish because my sparkler would last much longer than the “Happy Birthday song.” The sparkler is nothing compared to the candles that you blow out at the end of the song! So my family and I watched my sparkler fizz away and I made my one big wish🙂
This birthday has turned out to be pretty unique because it represents both a first and a last for me…my last birthday in my 20s and my first birthday as a cancer survivor. This made me really take notice of the new commercials for the American Cancer Society this spring. They have celebrities, such as Celine Dion and Ricky Martin, singing “Happy Birthday.” I know that they are singing to the millions of survivors out there, but I never thought that they would be singing to me at 29.
Right now in my life, I am not thinking like the typical 29-year-old. I do not wonder where the latest trendy restaurant is, or the new hot spot for going out at night. I am not concerned about summer vacations, weddings, or starting a family. I spend my days running in and out of various doctor appointments and the pharmacy just hoping that I can make it everywhere on time. The top three numbers on my speed dial right now are medical oncology, radiation oncology, and plastic surgery. I get up at 6 a.m., and I am in bed just after 9 p.m., definitely not the typical hours of someone in their late 20s! At times, this can make it a little difficult to connect with people my age.
But I know that 29 will most certainly be better than 28, the year in which I was diagnosed. I have no doubts that I will eventually return to the mindset of my late 20s, even if it happens while I am in my 30s! I have almost completed my treatments, with just radiation and reconstruction left to go, and I am really beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel…just in time for spring.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer, how do you feel every time you celebrate a birthday? What do you wish for just before you blow out the candles on your birthday cake? Comment here or on our Facebook page.