There are some things I don’t want to do this year. Call them birthday resolutions:
I don’t want to say I’m older than I am. Like around October I don’t want to start saying, “I’m 40 years old” for dramatic effect. No. You’re 39. Deal with it and enjoy it.
I want to stop doing that thing where a customer service rep asks me if I want the confirmation number to something, I say yes, and then don’t write it down. I’m only saying yes so this person I don’t know won’t think I’m irresponsible. Say, “No, I don’t want to waste your time and mine while I pretend to write down this number I’m never going to use.”
I want to stop saying “I’m Davey” in response to Jaimie saying “I’m cold.” Or “I’m hungry.” I shouldn’t do that anymore. I’m 40 years old.
I’m not having chemo this week. I pushed it back since we were moving. But you know that feeling you get after you skip the gym for a couple of days? Like all of a sudden walking into Planet Fitness feels like like storming the beaches of Normandy. I see people lifting weights and I’m like, “They’re so brave.” That’s how I currently feel about my chemotherapy.
It’s been a nostalgic week. Not only is my birthday tomorrow, but we moved out of an apartment. It’s impossible not to have the feels when you stand alone in that empty space, trying to remember what it was like when you first moved in. When all you saw was possibility. We hated that apartment but still, so much life had happened there. I thought about the dinners we had, the shows we watched. I thought about watching the Cubs win the World Series I thought about laying on the couch grabbing my stomach as a waves of pain rushed over me. I thought about the weekends getting my NY Times delivered and reading it on the patio. I thought about coming home from the hospital with Adam and Jaimie, the three of us sitting in the living room eating vegetable soup and peanut butter sandwiches. I thought about the squirrels I could see from the window of my office. I thought about the auditions I shot. I thought about the words I wrote. I thought about how we decorated the apartment for Christmas.
And I thought about my last birthday. Jaimie and I had just moved from Charleston and we were going to see a movie but the 7pm shows were sold out. So we bought tickets to the 9pm and I sulked and pouted as we walked about the mall, like a 38 year old man baby. I remember thinking, “Being at the mall on my birthday is the worst thing ever.”
Meanwhile I had cancer growing inside me and I didn’t even know it.
One side effect of this is that I now know I have no idea what is coming, and that with every bad comes some good.
Yes cancer was bad news, but I feel so much closer to my family now. I appreciate feeling good now. I know what I want to do now. And just like I stood in that apartment we hated and remembered the good times, I hope to one day look back at this time in my life and not think about the bad things, but all the gifts this diagnosis has given me.