This month I turned 39 and I feel fine. In fact, I feel better than fine - I feel amazing! 39 has always been my lucky number (since my birthday is on 3/9) and this year I feel really lucky, as it is looking quite likely that I'll make it to 40 CANCER FREE! (This is a rarity both among many brca1 positive women and the women in my family.)
I started this blog 6 months ago to follow my journey to 40 and already my life has moved in directions I never expected. I've always been fascinated by how sometimes seemingly inconsequential moments can impact and change your life direction, and how in one short year, your life can change in ways you never could have imagined. I'm feeling hopeful and optimistic about the year ahead. My health and career are both on an upward swing, and while I recognize I don't know what variables might throw me off track, this is my Before 40 Bucket List:
1. Get my cholesterol down and credit score up. An old colleague of mine who experienced some pretty significant trauma used to joke that the stages of grief, you know as in the one from your Psych 101 class D.A.B.D.A. (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) excluded the stage of irresponsible credit card spending. For me, it presented in a different way, mostly just being forgetful about paying bills on time, even when I did have the resources to pay them. So I'm trying to fix all that and be on top of my shit. Also, in addition to all of the other exciting things in my genes, I've inherited high cholesterol. So I've been trying to take control of that too by actively making better food decisions and following a "plant strong diet".
2. Take my puppies out for a walk on the beach. I have a very fond memory of feeling totally at peace while nursing my daughter at the beach. Topless beaches just make sense and I would like to go to one with my natural (and in many ways imperfect breasts) while I still can.
3. Make something out of my blog. I'm really proud of this blog and would love to see it reach a broader audience and have it published somewhere. Or at the very least, I would love to know Angelina Jolie read the two entries I wrote about her.
4. Make my house a home. We moved into our current house almost three years ago, and at the time I was so overwhelmed by adjusting to life with a new baby, that I never got my act together to make our house look good. I swear I spent more time decorating dorm rooms with urban outfitters candles than I have making my first real house with my kids look good. The most tragic part is that we have a gorgeous wrap around porch that is currently piled high with crappy plastic toys. I want to get a nice set of lawn furniture so I can enjoy my urban oasis this summer, particularly while I'm recovering from my surgery.
5. Travel. In addition to everything else happening this year, it is also my 10 year wedding anniversary and the year my daughters will turn 3 and 8. I had always hoped to go to Paris for our 10 year anniversary. I've never been, and I ache to visit the Louvre. On the other hand, I apparently once told my older daughter that when she was 8 and her sister was 3, we would go to Disney. So I would like to find a way to make either of those trips happen.
6. To arrive at 40 with a significantly lower risk of cancer.