I first read Laurie’s story on Blogher after she’d responded to The Women at Forty’s Five Questions challenge. I immediately visited her blog, Not Just About Cancer where she talks candidly about “What happens when you are 38 years old, write for a living and are diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.” Laurie’s graciously agreed to share one of her posts with Women at Forty. It was written on August 3, 2007, an hour before she turned forty…
In an hour, I will be forty.
The celebrating began in early July and I have been very, very spoiled.
Life is good and I have more reason for hope than I have had in a long time.
But I would be lying if I did not admit that this birthday is a bit tinged with sadness.
My life, at forty, does not look the way I thought it would. Cancer has irrevocably changed me and the choices I will make. My expectations and aspirations will never again be what they once were.
So, yes, I’m a little sad.
But I have, thus far, defied medical expectations and I am determined that I will continue to do so.
I have a beautiful family and a community of friends who have, in turn, exceeded my expectations of love and friendship.
I am feeling more creative, inspired and confident than I have since childhood.
And it feels like more good things are just around the corner.
I need to indulge this sadness, to give it voice, and as I write, it dissipates.
Tomorrow, we head to one of my favourite places in the world, where I will be reunited with my nine-year old, who I have not seen in almost two weeks (he has been hanging out with his cousins).
I have missed him more than he has missed me (which is as it should be) but I can’t wait to hug him.
I think I am going to have a very good birthday.
I’ll be off line for the next week or so. I have so much to share when I get back, half written posts inspired by my time at the BlogHer conference.
It’s going to be a good year. I can feel it.
Laurie Kingston (pictured right) blogs at Not Just About Cancer. She lives, writes, plays and parents in Ottawa, Canada. Diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to her liver in 2006, Laurie has been officially NED (“no evidence of disease) since June 30, 2007. She will likely remain in treatment for the rest of her life but finds that life to be busy and fulfilling. Laurie is now 42 and hopes to have many, many more birthdays to write about. Her book, Not Done Yet: Living Through Breast Cancer was published in March 2009 by Women’s Press.