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Another Birthday, Another Decade & a Question for You

Another birthday has come and gone for me. I’ve now begun the next decade of my life. I won’t tell you which decade, but if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably know or could figure it out if you wanted to and I’m pretty sure no one cares that much to investigate, so my “secret’s” probably safe. Growing older is not something that bothers me much, well, not too much anyway. I fully realize how many young women and men in Cancer-land have not had or will not have the privilege of this thing we call aging. Old age, aging period, now that is a gift. Cancer no way.

It’s now been eleven years since cancer barged into my mother’s life and therefore into mine as well. Cancer made its grand entrance on my birthday no less. It’s a cruel reminder every year and just one more reason to hate the beast, cancer not my birthday. I should have called this post I wrote a while back, “the Uninvited Intruder” instead of the “Uninvited Guest”. That would be oh-so-much-more appropriate. I’ve thought about changing the title, but I haven’t edited old posts I’ve written much for some reason, but I’m not sure what that reason is.

Occasionally I read articles, blog posts, letters and such at various sites (it’s meant to be some sort of good mental exercise or something) in which the author writes to her/his younger self. In these kinds of writings you’re supposed to give that younger version of you some advice, tidbits of wisdom or whatever you want. I have started to write such a piece a few times and then stopped because the truth is; I have no idea what I would tell that girl I was. Not like it matters, but it is interesting to think about.

What would I say to her?

Would I let her in on the cancer secret, my cancer secret, ‘her’ cancer secret?

Keep in mind; in my case as a brca+ person, had I known at a younger age about this cancer thing, I could have possibly done things differently. So the answer for me is a bit more complex, or is it?

So my question to you, my dear readers, is this:

Cancer or no cancer, if you could have a chat with your younger self or write her/him a letter, what would you say?

If applicable, would you tell that young person (you) that cancer was in her/his future some day?

Is knowledge, granted in this case pretend knowledge, always a good thing?

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Jan Hasak

Saturday 28th of February 2015

I don't know frankly if I would tell my younger self that I would have cancer in my forties, and stage IV cancer before I turned sixty. It's not clear if my younger self would have appreciated receiving that type of information, wondering and worrying how it might affect her husband, children and career. It would be overwhelming, to say the least. But now that I am staring down stage IV, I am thankful for each birthday I can celebrate and for witnessing two sons' weddings. Ageing doesn't bother me, as I look on it as a hard-earned badge. Happy birthday, and may you enjoy many more!! xx

Nancy

Monday 2nd of March 2015

Jan, Thank you for the happy birthday wishes, Jan. xx

Mae

Thursday 26th of February 2015

Happy Birthday Nancy! - Belated at this point. It's funny, I'm always trying to channel "Old Mae" asking her what she wants and what is important to her. She never answers or I don't hear her. I make decisions and just guess if it is the right choice. I know my younger self was just as deaf to the future as I am today. I would tell her not to be as stressed and I would tell her to question that one mammogram when someone thought they saw something and in retrospect, they did. I wouldn't know until 7 years later.

Nancy

Thursday 26th of February 2015

Mae, I'm not sure our younger selves would hear or rather, listen to anything we had to say, but still... it's a thought-provoking thing to think about, or at least I think so. That's good advice you would give to your younger self if it were possible to do so. Thanks for sharing.

Rebecca

Friday 20th of February 2015

Nancy,

Happy belated Birthday!!

I recently had two dreams where I, as an adult, interacted with little 6 years old me.

I would allow myself to have a childhood ... to have fantasies, to believe there is no harm in this world, to enjoy innocence. So no, I wouldn't tell my young self anything because I would want to always remember the best years of my life, as a child.

Rebecca

Nancy

Sunday 22nd of February 2015

Rebecca, What an amazing dream. Thanks for sharing that you wouldn't tell your young self about your future cancer. It's an interesting question to mull over. Thank you for the happy birthday wishes too.

Eileen@womaninthehat

Thursday 12th of February 2015

Nancy, a belated happy birthday to you! As for writing something precautionary to my younger self, I wouldn't. People just need to do their lives. If I'd known I was BRCA-2, it would have just added unnecessary anxiety and stress. In this case for me, no news was good news, at least for quite some time. Glad I didn't know the future.

Nancy

Friday 13th of February 2015

Eileen, Thank you for the happy birthday wishes. And thanks for answering my question. I think I would have liked to have known - boy that sounds like bad grammar... Then again, maybe not.

Mandi

Saturday 7th of February 2015

Happy Birthday! I did a letter to my younger self as an effort for an awareness group, but I wouldn't send it if I could. I don't think I would ever want to change my life's path, or hint at the good and the bad coming. Life is better when you experience it as it comes!

Nancy

Sunday 8th of February 2015

Mandi, I bet you wrote an interesting letter to your younger self. It would be really something if we could push that send button wouldn't it? I think I might like to change this one particular path of mine. Oh well, it's not like we can anyway. Still, it's an interesting question. Thanks for adding to the discussion about it.

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