Bringing Up Goliath

Over 50 reboot! Life after breast cancer.

Reflections on My 49th Birthday

I know.  I haven’t written in ages.  Reading and writing blog posts have been difficult the last few months and not for any reason other than I’m just busy.  Amazing actually, to find myself sucked back into the everyday-ness of ordinary life after being so rudely pulled from it four years ago.

So… what to do with my blog?  Do I write a goodbye post?  Do I let my blog flail in the wind?  How can I be a fearless friend if I can’t bear to read the words of others anymore?  What if… When if… I need you again?

What to do?  What to do?

While pondering my next step, I had a birthday.  Today actually, right now, I’m 49 years old.  I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma 5 days before my 45th birthday, so I’m often quite reflective at birthday time.

However, this one is different.  I am fortunate to be living with NED, to my knowledge on this day, but the thing is, my mother was 49 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I don’t know enough of her facts to say it was that cancer that eventually killed her or whether it was some other primary that surfaced, but let’s say it was.

I keep comparing myself to her.  I was just turning 45, she was 49… I’m now 49.  How did she feel at 49 to know she had breast cancer and the tortuous road of surgery and treatment ahead?  She still had it all to face, at 49 and years later she died.

I need to stop comparing myself to her.  I am not her.  My disease is not hers.  A very wise friend of mine once told me, we can listen to each other, support each other, but we cannot take on their illness.  It is not ours to take.  We cannot listen to their symptoms and believe we are the same.  We are not.

I’ve been having great trouble remembering those words when reading the writings of bloggers still in the midst of their cancer life.  It saddens me and I find I can’t help them or myself.

On this birthday, or any of these blessed days I want to live in the moment, enjoy my children, my husband and the adventures a healthy life brings.  I don’t want to live in a cancer world anymore and if cancer isn’t forcing me to, then I need to leave it… While I can.

So for now at least, I’m saying goodbye and thank you for being there for me.  Your comments, support, encouragement and advice have been invaluable.  I would not have made it through without you.  I hope to return the favor one day, but right now, I need to go.

Please know I remember all the kind, gentle words you gave when my beautiful boy, Goliath, died.  For even a death of a beloved pet was made bearable by the support and love given so freely by you all.

I’ll never forget it.



My inspiration 

16 responses to “Reflections on My 49th Birthday”

  1. Happy birthday, Stacey. Enjoy each moment 🙂 ~Catherine


  2. Happy birthday Stacey. I just want to say…. you have helped people in more ways that I think you know. As Catherine said… enjoy every moment!


  3. Happy Birthday, Stacey! This post made me cry. Yours was one of the first blogs I found and followed. I will miss you in the blogosphere! And I totally understand the need to step away. Big {{{hugs}}} and a slice of virtual birthday cake to you, my friend!xoxoRenn


  4. Happy Birthday, Stacey! It's such a coincidence that I read your post today, because I was just out with some friends talking about how my blog has changed over the years. I started out with the intent of writing about my cancer, but I couldn't keep it up. Enjoy that beautiful family!


  5. Stacy Happy Birthday!! You're always welcome to revisit the BC blogosphere if you ever get the itch just to hang out, in the mean time enjoy yourself.


  6. Happy Birthday Stacey!I am so glad I saw your post this evening. Thank you for all you have written – in 2011 you were a huge help to me – i was struggling a lot back then and your posts and comments always did me a great deal of good.I totally get it, the need to say goodbye to the blog, I completely get it. And I am happy for you for coming to this decision. Although I will miss you online :)I wish you a wonderful birthday and many, many more wonderful birthdays.All the best to you now and always.XOXOXOXOXLisa


  7. Stacey,I will miss you and your wonderful blog, but I do understand the need to get away. Live your life and be happy!


  8. I've missed you and your writing – happy birthday my dear friend xxx


  9. What a beautiful and poignant post for your birthday. I think you encompass almost every emotion possible plus some. it's been a joy sharing this road with road with you. To many more birthdays,Jody


  10. Happy, happy birthday! Like your sweet boy Goliath, you will be missed.


  11. Ah, Stacey, my friend. I so understand. This 49th birthday is a momentous one indeed for you, and there's something about that 5th anniversary — which I am fast approaching myself — that makes one yearn to give it all a rest & live in the moment & just enjoy the extraordinary treasure that is ordinary life. Much love to you. And lots more birthdays.xoxo, Kathi


  12. My dear Stacey,Please do keep my email address so that we may meet for lunch in the city one day. A NON cancer, beautiful summer day cafe lunch……I have missed your voice and I will continue to miss it but I hear you loud and clear.Happy birthday…. and yes, lots more birthdays… lots and lots…Much love,AnneMarieI love the picture….. just innocent joy.


  13. Hi Stacey,You probably already know I've been dragging my feet about even commenting here. Of course, I am thrilled for you about moving on. I truly am. And I know we aren't saying goodbye. But still, like I told Kathi when she decided to pull back, I'd be lying if I said I am completely happy about it, but for entirely selfish reasons I confess. I miss reading your posts and I miss reading your comments. I think you know why.I hope your birthday was fabulous! Enjoy living in the moment with that precious family of yours (and new pup some day?). Soak in all that \”ordinariness\” each day. Much love to you, my friend.


  14. dear stacey,i've looked for a post from you every day – sometimes i almost couldn't help myself from writing you a little note to check on you, hoping so much you were feeling well and happy. now i read this post and i feel so happy for you, able to make a big decision that i know you have grappled with. those who love and care so deeply for you, i among them, will always be here for you, when ever, how ever you need us. go, fly away, and live your life with gusto and the joy you so deserve. i will miss you, but will think of you often, BELIEVING that sweet, dear NED stays to help you dance through the beauty of ordinary, XOXO,karen, TC


  15. Jeez! I just found you and now you're going? I wish you everything good and joyous!


  16. Just found your blog, so I (selfishly) hope you won't end it, BUT, I have a similar experience with my own mom. She had MS (not BC), but I spent half of my life living \”as if\” I would get MS, when in reality, that was her life not mine. So, live your life, do exactly what you're doing enjoying your family and your life! I'm going to start reading your past posts and hope that you continue but if not, thanks for sharing along the path. Best, Claudia


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About Me

Diagnosed 5 days before my 45 birthday with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 1, ER/PR+, Her2-. This was 9 years after losing my mom to breast cancer, so in a way, I wasn’t surprised. A bilateral mastectomy followed by reconstruction, oophorectomy, and years of Tamoxifen & Letrozole would follow all while being a wife and mom to two young boys. My mission now is to take control of what I can. For too long, I let life happen to me. Time to have it happen FOR me. I hope you’ll come along. These are my thoughts and stories.

Let’s stay in touch!

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