I Got Another Birthday

I am working on my birthday. I am leaning over my computer in a nicely decorated boardroom at the Sheraton hotel in Tampa, while one of VenueQuest’s clients and all their respective association members hold their meetings, discussions, roundtables and speaker panels throughout the hotel meeting space. But that’s okay with me…I am happy to have gotten a birthday.

Plenty of people in their thirties, and especially those in their forties, look upon birthdays as mile markers to old age and the loss of something they wish they could have back. That’s a pretty depressing perspective. Some are mourning the loss of youth in general. Some look back fondly on days of spontaneous freewheeling lifestyles, to body sizes and fitness levels they secretly know they will never experience again, to a time when they had more hair, less wrinkles and unlimited stores of energy. Again, why look back? You probably won’t find anything back there that will make you feel better about today.

But I know that I am truly celebrating this birthday as a gift all of it’s very own. I GOT another birthday. And while I never really doubted that I would survive my adventure with cancer, I have to respect that I only survived thanks to the abilities of my doctors to use the science, technology and resources at hand in 2010 to confidently overcome the beast. This was not a disease my own immune system would have eventually defeated. This is a disease that would have killed me dead. And so for that, I am grateful to be given another year, and will celebrate every forthcoming birthday as another gift, another mile marker toward living a complete, fulfilled and happy life. I will be spending the weekend with my little man Dominic, and my lovely Angela in Orlando. They are meeting me at the conclusion of this conference and we are taking a three day family retreat to Mickey Town.

5 thoughts on “I Got Another Birthday

  1. Mom says:

    Happy Birthday Dan!
    Disney is a such wonderful, memorable and fun place to celebrate your birthday where “all of our” wishes come true! Love you so much! Sending big Mama Bear and Papa Bear hug’s!

  2. Megan says:

    Happy Birthday Dan! That was a great blog entry – I hope you three have a great time at Disney! Have fun celebrating!!! You are such an inspiration.

  3. Sonya McMichael says:

    Congratulations and happy birthday! Have a WONDERFUL time at Disney, and we’re all so blessed to call you our friends. Safe travels, and looking forward to seeing pictures!

  4. Adele Bashi says:

    Hell Dan, I am so glad you are in remission and that the stem cell transplant worked. I am not sure if you remember me but Adrian my son that is now 13 had Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is also like you in remission. You can use that word and be proud to REMISSION!! He had his port taken out a month ago and is no longer on any meds. He is getting back to what you call normal. He gets scans an blood work every 3 months. His last scans also came clean. I always think about and pray for you just like my son that you both will be free from the beast for the rest of your lives. You have both faught and beat the battle. Now it is back to where you left off before this beast took over. Remember this is only a part of your life not your entire life and there is a cure. You and Adrain are survivors, that is what his Oncologist tells him. He was 12 when he was diagonsed and I can not beleive a year has past. Now like you I am glad to celebrate his birthdays. Like you said I do not think back but only think about today and really do not care about tomorrow. I only think about what we can control and that is the present.

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