Yes, it is my birthday today. I am 58 and feeling great! While I haven’t always been one to celebrate birthdays in a big way, this year it’s different. Felice and I were talking at lunch today. I’m pretty sure we both believed that I would be around for this birthday, but neither of us had any dream or vision that I would feel this good, so while every day is a special day, and every birthday is special – this one has a different feel than any I can recall. But the celebration is more a sense of renewed excitement about tomorrow. The one gift which I cherish, is of course the one that can’t be bought – good health. I am happy to share that all of labs were ‘perfectly normal’ and my cancer marker dropped from 3 weeks ago! I am now waiting to confirm when I get to go to Houston next and have scans. The labs are a critical factor, the marker movement is positive, but having scans will give us a much better picture of where I’m at.
While I celebrate being 58 and feeling great, I can’t dismiss how fortunate I’ve been to find myself in this position, so I have some birthday wishes for all of you.
#1 – If you aren’t in a habit of having regular checkups, pick up the phone tomorrow and schedule one.
#2 – Have your blood work done regularly, monitor it, ask questions when anything is not normal.
#3 – Create a ‘hit by a bus plan’. It’s the one thing that created great angst for me immediately when I was diagnosed. I’m a reasonably organized person, but I hold the keys to a lot of information that would create a lot of anxiety for Felice and my family if I were hit by a bus. Most people probably have their legal estate docs in place, but if you don’t – do it!
Passwords – even if you use a password keeper, does your spouse, significant other or whoever would be dealing with your estate & household matters know how to access it? If you don’t use a password keeper, consider downloading one from your App Store, get your passwords up to date.
Start creating a log of things that need to be dealt with around the house, who you turn to for those things. Creating a continuing log for anything that has the potential to be overlooked – tax items, private investments to name a couple.
These are just some of the practical things that everybody needs to have organized, none of us know when that ‘bus’ might cross the median – you get the point!
Of course many of you do all these things above, but if I can encourage someone that isn’t to take some action; it will be a sliver of a silver lining from this surreal nightmare that we have been living through. My most important wish for you is to celebrate today – every day is a special day, don’t wait for a birthday to celebrate. When you live with a cloud in the background, you realize that so many of the things that people get caught up in are just not important. Today matters. Yesterday is in the rear view and doesn’t matter anymore and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Take the trip. Worry less. Don’t waste time on things that you just don’t give a shit about, and don’t waste time on the things you can’t control.
And do as I did today – Eat the cake :-).
Thanks to all of you that wished me a happy birthday today through your phone calls, text messages, facebook posts, and emails. I truly appreciate and thrive from all the positivity that comes from you all!
Mike. #ShaneStrong. #cancersucks