Getting Better at Celebrating

My husband and I recently had our 9th wedding anniversary.

Our wedding was magical. It was beautiful, romantic– everything went smoothly. Our only regret was that we didn’t actually eat dinner that night because we were too busy dancing and laughing the night away. Our photographer was amazing, and I still go to look at our wedding pictures regularly. If it was socially appropriate for me to wear my wedding dress I’d wear it all the time. It had pockets! And so began my obsession with dresses with pockets– but I digress…

On our anniversary we went out to dinner– ate at one of our favorite Portland restaurants, Le Pigeon. We said all the things you say on an anniversary with someone you love.

But there were things going through my head that I didn’t say, too. I thought:

  • “9 years is so close to 10. What if I don’t make it to 10? Please, let us have so many more anniversaries.”
  • “I’m so sorry my body is trying to ruin our life.”
  • “I hate cancer for making me think this crap on our anniversary.”

Etc… I was unable to “snap out” of this mindset on our anniversary day. Similar to how I felt on my birthday— the day seemed bittersweet.

BUT- I am happy to report I DID snap out of it and was able to surprise my husband with a bigger and better celebration 🎉

Our family was making the trip to the east coast the following week — while the home base was in Massachusetts, I was able to sneak 1 night in New York City with my husband. We were there for just about 24 hours, but it was such a special trip for so many reasons.

To really celebrate our anniversary in a happy and memorable way I channeled all the YOLO there is, and got us Hamilton tickets on Broadway in New York. I was trying to surprise him, but I also didn’t want him to make plans for us that night, so kept dropping hints, and it’s possible I gave it away.

It was Ah-Mazing, to no one’s surprise. So powerful, and beautiful.

We also exercised! (If I say it like that, does it sound like an anniversary activity?? Ok– it wasn’t really, but we did it anyway.) At home I have a Peloton spin bike– I love it. I work out so much harder with it than I used to when I went to the gym by myself. It’s motivating, has given me a broader sense of community, and has a convenience factor that can’t be beat. I was able to coordinate doing my 300th ride in the studio, front row, with my husband and friends who were there, too. It was SO FUN.

This is my husband and I with the instructor, Kendall Toole, after our ride. These shirts my husband and I are wearing were made by some of my Pelo-friends after my diagnosis as part of a fundraiser — all of the proceeds of that fundraiser were donated to oligo research. I didn’t realize this until we were at the ride, but Kendall used to be a boxer– so she really liked our shirts 🙂

Our New York foray was not without it’s own drama, however. Since it’d been about…. I don’t know– 5 months or so since my last near death experience, it was time for us to have another. We were on the hunt for a rooftop bar before the show, but kept striking out. The first one we got to was closed for a private event. The second one was open, but the elevator wasn’t working and the lights started to flicker in the building lobby… so we headed out to keep looking. On the street there were a bunch of fire trucks– but no one was looking that concerned… as we walked down the sidewalk, directly across the street from us we heard a LOUD Boom, then saw rocks and debris and scaffolding flying into the air. We ducked and dodged into a doorway until things settled and then we ran down the block to get away. It turned out to be a manhole explosion- you can see news coverage of it here. It was intense– and we were so so thankful no one was killed, and that we were OK. If we had been 20 feet to the right this would have been a very different story. Just thinking about it is raising my heart rate up! After the adrenaline de-escalated, and we got several blocks away, we did end up finding an open and accessible rooftop bar, where we could celebrate being alive now together– all the things we had told each other before, but without the undertones of that self-pity garbage I couldn’t put away during our dinner the week before.

You never know what life will bring– cancer or no. Live it up with the people you love!

2 thoughts on “Getting Better at Celebrating

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