I am so lucky - no really, I am. Even with the Stage 3 Breast Cancer, I am always smiling, joking and laughing - maybe I am just crazy but I think that humor really can be the best medicine. I am always joking about my one-boob, bald head and basic "luck" of having a mammography and sonogram done in April 2016 that showed 99% chance of remaining "benign" growth that by December 2016 was 5.6cm of cancer AND in 5/25 lymph nodes -- with those stats, I started immediately to play the lottery :).
I am most lucky in friends and family, though and this weekend cemented that fact. My best friend and I, who had our first joint birthday party back in 1990, held a joint 40th birthday / fundraiser for St Jude on Saturday night.
For the first time in a long time, I danced the whole night with my girls and my kids - in fact, my son and his friends and cousins really warmed up the dance floor and danced for almost the whole 4 hours! They love to whip and nae nae!
My mom really worked hard on helping us throw this party especially since I was undergoing chemotherapy for the months of planning and was really unable to do much of planning or anything besides work, sleep and repeat every day. We had food donated for the event from Arrochar Food Services and Joe's Lobster House and a candy cart from A Precious Party Rental and a dessert table from Laura Ruiz.
Chris, the DJ from Sound Explosion, was awesome. We had 25 raffle baskets with donated fare such as gift certificates to Jet Set Hair Design, This Is It Hair, Paco's and Michael's Meatballs and Martinis restaurants. Our birthday banner was donated by Ida Art Vinly Graphics and we had knit angels with the breast cancer ribbon knitted by Elaine's Creations.
We also had a number board and a 50/50 and our invites asked for all gifts to be donation to St Jude's Children's Hospital, which I mentioned in a previous post thetimebetweenis.weebly.com/blog/category/doing-good. Thanks to the generosity of our 100 guests, we ultimately raised $4475 for St Jude!
I am truly blessed to have a friend like my co-party host. She and I met back in 1990 as freshman at St John Villa Academy and have been there for each other, one way or another, ever since. She is the kind of friend that years can go by and yet when we get together, it is like we just saw each other at lunch in the Villa cafeteria the day before. As soon as I mentioned to her during a visit she paid me while I was recovering from my mastectomy if she wanted to throw a party with me in June, she was 100% on board and willing to do it! That right there is amazing because I never would have done it on my own.
I am lucky and blessed to have people in my life that are just always there for me- even though I have spent the last decade hyper focused on my children - now I know that you need to live each day and embrace those you love - and I look forward to having the energy to go out dancing more and more in the future! And the "best" part is by having the party 6 months after our actual birthdays, we just made ourselves 6 months younger, too!
Also, if I do say so myself, we looked awesome! For me, this is no small feat as for the last 6+ months, I have been not at all focused on looking or feeling glam. For the party, I got a new wig with hair down to my butt and wore heels for the first time in years (cannot blame the cancer for that, I never liked heels). My feet still hurt from all the dancing!
Special thanks to all who attended and to the local businesses that donated to the party and of course to my mom and best friend who have truly been my rock through all of this and helped me have something BIG to look forward to besides just kicking cancer's ass!
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