Sunday 20th April 2014,
The Liz Army

Holy shit: nearly five years since first seizure, happy birthday to me

Liz July 21, 2013 Surviving 13 Comments
Me at age 2 (or 3) and me last week.

I think the title of this blog post really speaks for itself, but in case you need me to spell it out for you…

It’s been nearly five-fucking-years since my first seizure.

I know most people living with cancer recognize the date they were diagnosed, but in my weird circumstance I did not receive an official diagnosis until nearly two and half months after my first seizure.

Due to a delayed diagnosis I choose to celebrate both dates: seizure and diagnosis. And it is convenient to recognize the date of my first seizure because it occurred just seven days after my 29th birthday. So yes…

Happy birthday to me.

I am now 34 years old.

I never want to be a woman who hides her age. Every year I am older is another year I am alive. I am living with this disease.

On my birthday a woman told me that it is great getting older. I should trust her, she expressed, as a woman older than me, to listen to her wise advice. I said, “Yes, I know. Getting older is great. I like getting older.” She didn’t seem to believe me. I almost said, “Dude, I get it. I know how precious life is, blah, blah, blah… I have brain cancer.” But I didn’t go there. I must really be maturing.

Honestly, I am lucky as hell to be living with a grade 2 astrocytoma. This is a slow-growing malignant tumor. SLOW GROWING. Yes, I have brain cancer, but other people have it worse than I me.

So I am in a weird gray area (pun intended) where I have a disease to freak out over, but I also need to be humble and recognize that others are worse off.

 

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  • Jannie

    I think exactly like you, as I have a very slow growing brain tumor as well that I was diagnosed with just a week before my 23rd birthday. I just reached my 5 year mark last week and my 28th birthday is this Wednesday. Yay to us July babies with slow growing brain tumors!!! And yay to fighting and surviving 5 fucking years of brain cancer. I’m right behind ya!! Happy Birthday!!

    • SDAWG

      :)

    • http://thelizarmy.com/ Liz

      High five!

  • elizabeth

    Happy Birthday!! My surgiversary is 5 days before my birthday – It’s been three years for me now and I just turned 40 on June 30th. A milestone birthday that many would dread but, like you – I am happy to have been able to celebrate both of my milestones. I don’t hide my age either. I earned every wrinkle I have, and most were from smiling.
    Best wishes for a happy and (as much as possible, considering) healthy 34th year.

    • SDAWG

      Big smile 4 you 2.

  • SDAWG

    Happy birthday Liz. And yes . . . our tumors are going to stick around. It just means we must try to get the most out of every day. You are a great example of how to do that.

  • Phil

    Happy birthday Liz from Phil in London. I will be 46 next Tuesday (another July baby).

    On 24th December 2008, I discovered that the reason for my increasingly slurred and laboured speech was a brain tumour. Completely shocking and life-changing for me, my wife and children. I had as much of the tumour removed as was possible at the hands of a brilliant neurosurgeon. Two weeks later, I discovered its type: grade 2/3 gemocytic astrocytoma. With hindsight of four years and annual scans, it is behaving more as a 2 or a 3. Hallelujah!

    Your blog and site are fantastic – I feel kinship with a fellow warrior! I have channeled my energy into a single piece of fund-raising, for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation. Here is a link to my page.

    http://myprojects.cancerresearchuk.org/fundraise/fundraising-pages/Phil-and-Annabel-Askham

    I am looking for the next big thing

  • Ron r

    Liz:

    Big Congrats. Curious if thst milestone leaves you more relaxed and that you now are now no longer worrying about having another!!!

    • http://thelizarmy.com/ Liz

      The more time that passes, the less worried I am overall.

  • jimgm20

    Happy Birthday!

  • Candice

    “Honestly, I am lucky as hell to be living with a grade 2 astrocytoma. This is a slow-growing malignant tumor. SLOW GROWING. Yes, I have brain cancer, but other people have it worse than I me.”

    I tell myself some version of this everyday!

    I actually am 29 and just got diagnosed at the end of May with a Malignant Glioma↣Grade II Astrocytoma [although some would consider it a Grade III, due to the fact that it's infiltrating my R frontal lobe about 5 mm, but it mostly hangs out in my L frontal lobe]↣Gliomatosis Cerebri.

    I’m so happy that the #BTSM hashtag was set up, which helped me find your blog! Congrats on getting so far in such a positive way and for helping so many others on the way!

    • http://thelizarmy.com/ Liz

      Thanks for the nice words, Candice!

      I was diagnosed when I was 29 also. It’s all good from here on out.

  • Deborah

    Congrats!! You deserve to celebrate!! :)