Monday, November 16, 2009


Today is my birthday. Everyone who saw me today, or knows me on Facebook, has been WELL aware of this fact for at least a week. I generally make a big deal about ME on my BIRTHDAY. I am 39. For real.

But this year, I gotta say, I am pretty damned happy to be here. Not just here on Big Red with the cat and dumb sitcoms, eating my birthday cookies (and a sandwich) but here. In the big gestalt here kind of way. (Yes, I just did Google "gestalt" and I think it is the word I want.)

Confession: my time horizon has always ended at about age 45. At least, it has since some time during my early illness and diagnosis, when I overheard -- or maybe I was just the "third person" person in the room -- one of my doctors talking about that being the age at which I would be finished with this life. And that became my date.

Of course, this was before liver transplants were done commonly. There were few choices for immuno-suppressive drugs, and not a lot was known about AIH. And that became my baseline.

For some reason I never bothered to update my world view and change those assumptions. Thus my "do before 40 list" and my "bucket list" became synonymous and, sadly, I have done a really poor job thus far of preparing for retirement. I still have a hard time conceiving of being retired... of living that long.

And yet here I am at 39. Still haven't accomplished my do-before-40s (it's a SHORT list) and have started a new bucket list for the years beyond. And I'm happy about that. Plus I got the bonus today of ending one med (the valcyte) and one bloodtest since apparently the CMV is done with me for this time around.

That I have had a fabulous weekend is evidenced by the fact that every piece of silverware I have is in the dishwasher, and that there are bits of ribbon and packing peanuts throughout the living room (cat apparently had a long day). The fact that I have had a fabulous year is borne out by the blisters on my toes, the books on my shelves, the people I love and have seen or talked to over the last week, another file off my desk, and the smile I find at some point during every day.

The fortieth year of my life is going to be grand!!!