14 years ago (this very week) I sat in a hospital bed at Georgetown Hospital, in the transplant unit, recovering from my bone marrow transplant for my Hodgkins Disease. On June 12, 1998 the nurses gave me the IV drugs that would make that day my new birthday. From that point onward, my life was starting anew.
14 years ago I thought about my near future: eating frozen macaroni and cheese dinners and drinking frappucinos (because the hospital food was YUCKY), planning for my graduate school program in education to start my career as a teacher, and looking forward to getting my life back.
14 years ago I never saw myself running a marathon or completing a triathlon.
14 years ago I never imagined that I would live a double life for three years, spending my days teaching and my evenings and free time (and not so free time) telling stories, sharing, interacting, and even promoting things I love on a blog or on social media networks.
14 years later, I have three days left as an employee of my school system. I am preparing to leave for the Type-A Parent Conference in Charlotte North Carolina as a More Birthdays Correspondent. 14 years later I am preparing for a new life, filled with writing and consulting and freelance work.
14 years ago I never envisioned that I would come full circle.
14 years later I never imagined that cancer would still be such a part of my life. Except that now, instead of worrying about my reaction to my chemotherapy, or how my veins will hold up, I am proud to be supporting More Birthdays as a survivor. Whether it is telling the story of being a survivor, sharing new research and screening recommendations, or trying to live a healthy and fit lifestyle, the work of creating world with less cancer and more birthdays is a proud part of my cancer journey.
The Type A Parent conference was my favorite conference of 2011, and I am so excited to be there again, to soak up the fabulous content like Creating a Killer About Page, to dance the night away with Ubisoft and my champion dance team members, to see old friends and make new ones. While there I will be interviewing attendees about how they stay active as part of the fight for More Birthdays and gathering anecdotes about the efforts of many to fight for More Birthdays.
The best part of the effort to create a world with More Birthdays is that everyone can be invovled in the fight. Sure, donations help…but they are not the only way to participate. You can use the stunning More Birthdays art as your Facebook profile banner, or participate in a local event. You can send a greeting card, staying healthy and fit, or sharing resources with friends and family.
14 years ago I faced the possibility of a life with no more birthdays. Today, I prepare to share the hopes and efforts of many, and to take the next step in my fight for More Birthdays.
It does not get much better than this!
Follow along as I share tidbits about social media, blogging, and More Birthdays from the Type-A Parent Conference with the #MoreBirthdays hashtag on twitter or from my facebook page.
Disclaimer: As a More Birthdays correspondent, the American Cancer Society is assisting me with expenses to attend the Type-A Parent conference. All opinions are my own.