Why I’m Grateful on my 40th Birthday

The last day of my 30’s was an emotional day. My 20’s were full of so many amazing experiences that I never thought it could get better. I took a risk and quit my full-time office job to travel and in doing so, found my love for it. Then, I went back to school, the AVEDA Academy and became a Hairstylist.

During these years I realized I had found a happy place. I worked behind the chair meeting amazing people. I also worked in fashion shows and did photo shoots. I was a stylist on a make-over episode and did the hair of a client for a magazine cover. Life was great but nearing the end of my 20’s I felt like I needed more.

I said goodbye to my current happy place, in search of my next one. I bought a one way ticket to Thailand and for the next year I traveled alone to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. My passion for hair and travel would also unite as I worked as a hairstylist in Australia.

Then I hit 30. My 30’s have been by far my most amazing years and my hardest. I became a mother to three amazing, kind, caring children. They taught me what true love feels like. I thought by this age I had already found myself, but being a mother to my kids and having my heart running around this world on the outside truly made me feel like I have found my purpose. I was put here to love and care for them, to find patience and learn how magical this world is and how precious every moment is.

My 30’s also brought on my deepest fears coming true. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 35. My children were one, two and five. My world felt like it was ending. Thirteen months later I was told it had spread to my brain. I was Terminal. I had stage 4 cancer and there was no cure. I was told the last birthday I would see would be my 37th. My life was completely changing and there was nothing I could do about it, but live every single moment to the fullest. I needed to make memories with my children, so when they looked back they knew how much they were loved by me, and how they brought me to life.

May 22nd, my 40th birthday, now becomes so much more valuable. I’m grateful for the gift of life every single day I’m alive. To be given one more day, one more chance and one more opportunity to really appreciate every moment. I’m not sure what my 40’s have in store, but I know everyday I’m given, I will make sure to make it count. On my 40th birthday, I had a brain MRI. My anxiety was high, but as my kids kept reminding me, the doctors scheduled the MRI on my birthday so I can have the best birthday with the greatest news (my kids are pretty amazing). My one birthday wish was to remain stable and on the morning of my birthday I was told just that. The best news a Metastatic patient could get. This is as good as it gets and I am beyond happy and grateful.

Living this way isn’t easy, CT scan to CT scan, MRI to MRI, just waiting for that inevitable other shoe to drop. Through all of this I have realized you have to live, while you are alive. So, I am going to keep living and making my mark on this world and especially my children, until the day comes when I no longer can.

By Adriana Capozzi

For more stories from women living with MBC, click here.

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