This time of April is always fairly momentous in the Tisdale house: Kara’s birthday is the 7th, mine is the 12th, and spring is springing…. Usually, I have been trumpeting my birthday present requests for weeks so that no one has any excuses if they are able to forget that my big day is upon us. In fact, my focus on my birthday rivals that of my children. And we like it that way around here. Of course, this year is Different. With the obligatory capital D. This year, Adam is celebrating my birthday with the beginning of chemotherapy, not with the previously planned weekend away while my mom came to stay with the kids. I haven’t bothered him with gift ideas, because what I want is for him to not have to deal with any of this cancer shit. I want that for all of us. But we do have to, and we will. So on Wednesday, the birthday of our dear friend Michelle, he will go for his very first treatment. Thursday and Friday (that would be my 37th birthday, for those who are keeping track of little things like that) are also treatment days, though shorter ones. Part of me is glad it’s here, because that means the end is a little bit closer. Part of me is terrified because it’s chemo. Adam is trying to maintain realistic expectations of side effects…I think I might be the pollyanna in the scenario this time. That’s novel…. He can’t find the adjective that describes how he feels. Anxious, fearful, reluctant, horrible, terrified, vomitous…. I would survey him, but I think that would make it worse. So. The big week is here. And it has nearly nothing to do with birthdays. In fact, I’ll almost be glad to be done with birthdays so that I don’t have to worry about them being overlooked in the chaos. Because in the midst of everything, I still have the energy to be worried about stuff like that. I seem to have a large, perhaps nearly infinite, capacity to worry. And then I remember that worrying doesn’t help anything. So I get up from the computer, stop playing silly games on Facebook, and try to do something to head off the eventualities that I most fear. At least the ones that I have some degree of control over. I can’t cure cancer, but I can plan skating parties for nine-year-olds. (A big thank you to Marian Singles for her tremendous help with that.) And I can talk to my kids, take them shopping for birthday presents, and remind them that God loves them and so do we. And I can update my blog so that all my thoughts stop swirling around in my head. And I can plan a post-treatment getaway with my husband – not the precise timing of it, but at least some details – as a belated birthday present…for myself…’cause I’m not shy about stuff like that!