Saturday, June 02, 2007


Monday is my 28th birthday, but I really don't want to do anything to celebrate. The main and honest reason is that I'm just too busy with schoolwork this month and literally need every spare hour to study. I am usually a strict adherent to a balanced lifestyle, but for this June, I am foregoing that sagacity and just buckling down. I am taking intensive Chinese (one year of Mandarin in six weeks), Media and International Conflict, and Contemporary Economic Issues. With six hours of in-class lecture per day, I barely have time to do the reading, listening, flashcarding, sleeping, and eating necessary. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though: everything is done by June 29. This means that I have July and August to relax, take a trip to Cali, and devote some overdue time to creative writing.

There is another reason why I don't feel the desire at all to commemorate June 4th this year.

A lot of people around my age are getting engaged, married, having babies even. Me, I'm not lucky enough to claim any of those upcoming events. However, I have a different milestone coming up and I would seriously like you to SAVE THE DATE. At the end of March 2008, that's ten months from now (I suppose that's when people send out wedding Save the Date cards, right?), I will finish chemotherapy. As most of you know, the phase I'm in now is much more forgiving than the previous year's, but when I don't have to take cups of pills every day, visit the hospital every week, or feel weak and fatigued all the time won't really come until it's all over. Not to mention, upon the end of chemotherapy, that will mark two years since diagnosis, a nice hefty margin to put between me and cancer, with each day forward making relapse less likely.

Anyway, I figure birthdays are pretty commonplace, weddings/births and beginning LPC (life post-chemo) are not. At this point, I'm not sure what celebration will ensue, but since so many of my friends/family are strewn across this planet, I understand that some forethought and planning might have to go into your participation. A big party in San Francisco? A spa weekend in New Mexico? A long weekend camping in the sequoias? A vacation to Costa Rica/Tibet/Guam?

As far as the exact days I'm requesting of your life, if you're interested in this, consider the second half of May 08. Things should be nicely wrapped up with school and therapy. In fact, I'm sort-of considering that next May's commencement exercises to be my graduation because I'm hoping to go to Shanghai-based China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS) for my last semester and it will mark my final presence at Fletcher. I won't be able to walk, but I hope that I symbolically "graduate" from grad school with my friends then. I guess that adds one more reason to celebrate.

Bring. It. On.


adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
adam said...


I am bummed to be missing wishing you the best in person on your big day, but will be alongside of you (in the library, perhaps!) until the madness ends late this month.

Most importantly, 2008 is going to be a year of some sick celebration!

John said...

happy birthday.

Anna said...

Happy Birthday love! I admire all of your accomplishments in the last year, and I cant wait to celebrate in May '08!! I'll go wherever you say!

Kent said...

Happy Birthday!

Avital and said...

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy BIRthday dear Ericaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Happy Birthday to YOU!

(it's the closest i could get to singing for you!)

artineh said...

Happy birthday, Erica! I am marking the second half of May on my calendar for celebrations in your honor. I can't wait!

Good luck getting through June :)

asalazar07 said...

Happy Birthday!!!

ric said...

Happy belated b-day! somewhere in the dark recesses of my brain I actually remembered June fourth as your b-day. It has been forever paired with my sisters b-day. Anyway, I'm really glad to hear you're doing better. I haven't checked in in a very long time, and the flavor of your posts has improved to quite uplifting and often hilarious. I liked the bit about years of catholic school creating a pagan. I feel that. Thank you St. Louis. I also feel the turning 28 with no sign of marriage or kids or other life alteration experienced by most of my same-age peers. I felt mighty old when one of the fourth graders I have had the pleasure of teaching(I have been student teaching this quarter), asked me if I was still in high school. I looked at him and said,"I haven't been in high school were born." The realization was a shock. Up to that point I had not done the math. I also got my ten year high school reunion letter. From righetti, but I assume you also got one from st. joes. Im not going. I thankfully closed that chapter of my life long ago. Anyway, it was fun while it lasted. Many wishes of the best for you. I hope you find your cart and puller.

natasha said...

Hi Erica,
You dont know me but I happened upon your blog somehow. Im 24 and was diagnosed with AML last year and am just out of the hospital form a transplant (a cord blood one, they couldnt find a regular donor for me). Anyways, I just wanted to say that your blog is hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time and you've put into words so many of the same thoughts and emotions Ive had. ie. I was just laughing about your post on getting a port beacuse I too am somehow disproportionately terrified of having scars and lumps on my chest.
Well, I think we have a lot in common. I too have traveled a lot and have felt grounded and anxious at having to wait through all of this. But, if you ever have a chance, drop me a line at

Take care and best of luck with everything, if you ever have questions about cord blood or bone marrow transplants feel free to contact me!
Keep on swimmin'

Rara Avis said...

Dear Erica,
I've arrived at your blog from Fletcher's bloggers' website. Just wanted to commend you for the strong belief and perseverance.

Wish you the best of luck!!!!! and much more success with school

Rara Avis said...

oh and also belated happy BD

tomh said...

Happy belated birthday! sorry I missed this post from a while back...I have been reading your blog since the beginning, and think you're doing great to be enrolled in multiple summer courses while taking chemo. You rock!