What it’s really all about…

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I had a birthday recently. There was nothing special about it in terms of the number of candles that might adorn a cake and I didn’t do anything special except enjoy the day, but the fact that it happened was significant. The fact that as far as I can tell I’m healthy and free of cancer is definitely something to celebrate.

Just over two years ago there were no guarantees I’d see another birthday because every investigation seemed to turn up something more worrying than the last. Of course there are never any guarantees, we simply assume the years will keep rolling in and nothing terrible will happen. Then something terrible happens and with luck we wake up and realise how important every moment really is. Even the ones that seem less than awe inspiring, like a trip to the supermarket or being stuck in a traffic jam. When you think your moments may be limited you find ways to make the most of them, including traffic jams!

There have been many special moments so far this year and my birthday brought some more because my son decided that, like the queen, I should be granted a second birthday with a second card, presents and flowers. In an unexpected way it helped erase some of the difficulties of the blighted birthdays, the ones spent in hospital or recovering from surgery. During those birthdays my thoughts were centred on endurance, making my way through whatever had to be endured so that I would see him through his education and hopefully some years beyond.

There are still no guarantees, from here on there never can be but then again, there never were. What matters is that I’m here, I’m happy and I have more time to make life special for those around me. It feels a little safer to make plans, to think about what we might do to celebrate my son’s next birthday in 10 months time. That feeling is a bonus, a subtle, positive change for the better after time placed on hold, living in limbo. Cancer took away so much but it also brought new insights. I no longer let time slip through my fingers, I use it to make memories with those I hold dear. That, for me, is what life is really all about.

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17 thoughts on “What it’s really all about…

  1. Another beautiful piece of writing Tracy I envy you your strength and endurance ,James is your lovely son he loves you very much .Why I complain about my own aches and pains they are no comparison to yours ,I will take a leaf out of your book ,Aunty Linda xxxxxxxx

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    • I’m not sure whether its strength and endurance or plain pig-headedness to be honest. I try to focus all my energy on staying positive and proving to myself that I can master my rather unruly and unreliable body. Hopefully it will continue to work. I’m sorry you’re faced with the aches and pains, and the extra worries you’ve had of late. If I could take them all away for you I would. Keep strong, I’m sending you lots of positivity and a huge hug. Love always, tracy xxxxx

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  2. dear Tracy,

    Happy Birthday! what a gift to have a son that is so amazingly thoughtful, declaring his “queen” mom deserved a second birthday with all the trimmings! I imagine the beauty of the flowers in the photo, and their special meaning, has happily landed into your Mama’s heart, a warm and happy spot you can always visit. I reckon your boy has followed in your footsteps, savoring gratitude and honoring what’s most important in life. another wonderful gift to you!

    much love,

    Karen XOXO

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    • Thank you Karen. He is a sensitive young man, (though he’ll always be my boy 🙂 ). His kindness and compassion have often proven difficult for him – the world can be a cruel place. I spent several years wondering if I should have encouraged him to put himself first more, so he is less likely to be hurt or taken advantage of. We’ve talked about it and although being the way he is brings a degree of vulnerability, he says he’d rather be who he is than someone colder or inconsiderate. I think it’s quite tough for young men these days so I’m glad we have the kind of supportive relationship that we do.

      I hope you’re doing well, I think of you often xoxox

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    • Thanks Maurice. I guess I was destined to pack a lot into my time from a very young age and the habit hasn’t worn off yet! I’ll keep trying 🙂

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  3. What a loving son you have. After cancer, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude when it’s my birthday, even if the celebrating is low-key. I feel so grateful to be alive, knowing I could have been gone. Happy birthday to you! So glad you’re here.

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    • He’s very special for a number of reasons and has survived my cancer shenanigans very well, all things considered. I share the same sentiments you do Eileen, every day is a blessing. I’m glad you’re here too and long may that continue xoxox

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  4. Happy belated birthday! Your son is right – you should be treated like a queen! Enjoy the year and may I wish you nothing but Health, Happiness and Joy for all the years to come!

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    • Thank you Mae. I’m not sure I’m regal enough and probably too shy to be in the public eye all the time but the surprise second birthday was lovely 🙂 You’ve always been an inspiration so I hope we both spend all our days healthy, happy and full of zing 🙂

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