When I found out that I had cancer there were several things that instantly flooded my mind. Besides the prognosis, family considerations, and treatment options, I thought, “I didn’t even last as long as my father did.” He died of lung cancer at age 53. I uttered words similar to that after I got hurt in practice. After learning that my injury was career-ending, I felt as if I had let my deceased father down. He started the practice and he and my mom put everything into it to make it work. After more than two decades, health issues led him to sell the practice to Eileen and me. I didn’t even last six years at the helm before sustaining the career-ending injury. Anyway, similarly, I was initially afraid that I wasn’t going to live as long as my father did either. I was fifty years old at the time of my diagnosis. I turned fifty-three yesterday and it looks like I will surpass the age of my father. Not only do I think of him at various times including his birthday, I think of him on my birthday too.
Speaking of my birthday, I had a dentist appointment yesterday. Our youngest daughter commented to me on me having a dentist appointment on my birthday. I told her that is just the way it worked out. She wondered what the dentist’s office would say. I assured her that they wouldn’t even notice. I got to the dentist’s office and the receptionist greeted me with “happy birthday” instead of hello. Everyone else in the office told me happy birthday too. After my teeth were cleaned, the hygienist told me she would go get the dentist and be right back. Then she came back and said she needs to sit me up first. Then the dentist and all her staff came into the treatment room and sang “Happy Birthday” to me. They also gave me a cute birthday card with a Starbucks gift certificate in it. I suppose they’d be a little suspicious if I scheduled another appointment on my birthday next year!!