You Say It’s Your Birthday…

sunsetWe went to the beach on Sunday and it was gorgeous — not too cold, not at all crowded, really, it was absolutely gorgeous. I got to watch Barrett watch his first sunset into the ocean — the way the sun just suddenly dips down like the ocean is swallowing it up is so amazing the first time you see it and just as amazing the however many times I’ve seen it too. And I was feeling pretty great and thinking “ha ha, I’m going to be a whole year older tomorrow, take that Fate, you can’t slow me down with your stupid cancer, I’m still going to keep having birthdays and getting older and YOU can’t stop me!” And I may have even done some fist shaking and triumphant laughing, it’s all a bit of a blur now.

Then, two hours later, after a nice dinner at the cutest little pizza parlor in Manzanita, I came down with a fever. Not just any fever, one of those volcano lava alternating with freezing ice bones alternating with volcano lava on the inside/ice sheet on the outside and then vice versa fevers. I probably don’t need to tell you that chemotherapy patients aren’t really allowed to get fevers. We are under strict instructions to go immediately to the ER with a fever over 100.5. I won’t get into why, but getting another year older was starting to look dodgy.

I would not recommend shaking one’s fist at fate.

But we didn’t have a thermometer at the hotel, so we couldn’t say FOR SURE that I had a fever of 100.5+. And I really really didn’t want to drive back to Portland to the ER where they would definitely place me as an inpatient where I would definitely have had to spend my birthday (if the fever didn’t get me first). If we didn’t have a thermometer to PROVE I had a fever there was no way I was going in. Possibly I wasn’t nearly as hot as I thought I was.

At 1 a.m. my fever broke in a great big gush causing the necessity of a complete costume change. We headed home in the a.m. and my fever only spiked once during my birthday (which is sort of funny because I just felt a tiny bit warm and it was 100.1, who knows what it was when I actually thought I felt hot). But I made it to my birthday which is all to the good and I didn’t even have to spend time at the hospital.

I will not be shaking my fist at Fate over that though. Just quietly chuckling to myself maybe.

cookieDid not make it on a bakery crawl, but so many treats came my way that it wasn’t even necessary starting with the hand delivered cupcakes from my cousin Chris last week who’s mother gave him cupcake delivering instructions (and scared the pants off me when she e-mailed me and her name came up Grandma Ryan and I thought it was a message from Beyond from my Grandma Ryan who I’d temporarily forgotten didn’t even go by Grandma Ryan when she was alive, she went by Grandma Gert, but then I figured it out and realized that of course it was my Aunt Janet who has been Grandma Ryan to my cousins’ children for a good portion of my life and, in fact, I’m related to a good many Grandma Ryans as my family seems to be trying for world domination by sheernumbers, if not actual military skill). cup cakesThen there were the Restorative Cookies that Barrett baked me to heal me from my fever (oatmeal chocolate chip) and more cupcakes were delivered by Cupcake Jones from my Aunt Jane and her girls. Plus, we had gorgeous leftover Tiramisu Tart Something Great and Crunchy That I Can’t Remember the Name of Cake that Jone baked me and brought to Portland Kidlit Drinks Night on Friday.

lipstouch_clovertwigSo I stayed home mostly and ate treats and read the fabulous books Barrett bought me — Laini‘s Lips Touch Three Times and Johanna‘s illustrated Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage. I highly recommend both. I think they may have been restorative too. Plus, we got copies of Janet‘s book The Great Lakes and if you look inside (you should buy your own copy to see for yourself in real live print) you will see that it was dedicated to Barrett and I. V. exciting.

The Great Lakes by Janet Piehl

And I got to read all sorts of lovely birthday messages via e-mail and on facebook from all of you!

Overall, it was a great, if somewhat dramatic, birthday.

And I still have three days of birthday week left! It all ends Thursday and then back to chemo where I’m hoping the nurses are not reading my blog and if they are, they’re thinking “that Bridget and her not coming in when she should, what larks” instead of “how are we going to keep this stupid girl alive if she doesn’t come in when she’s so obviously supposed to.”

Love to you all,


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  1. Bridget, have you started into Li[s Touch? I read two of the three and find it quite wonderful!
    Glad you are feeling better. The chocolate cookie looks scrumptious.

  2. I’m glad you got the Great Lakes book so soon! It came out just in time! I hope the rest of your birthday week is less dramatic but equally full of treats.

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