Birthdays for cancer survivors are sometimes a little more meaningful than they are for someone who’s not gone through that journey. Another year on earth is worth celebrating! Actress Melanie Griffith didn’t let 63 pass her by unnoticed. She shared moments of her special day which were filled with everything from festive decorations, virtual reunions with family, and overall, lots of love — even from her ex-husbands.
On Instagram, Griffith, 63, shared photos of her posing outside of her home which had been decorated with a “Happy Birthday” banner on the gate and balloons in honor of another year around the sun. According to her post, the decor was a complete surprise and she also got to enjoy a quarantine-friendly reunion with her loved ones through FaceTime calls and lots of gifts and flowers.Read More
“I’ve gotten flowers and gifts and sweet texts and FaceTimes from my children, my ex-husbands and sooo many dear friends. I am so grateful to all of you!! Thank you for thinking of me and showing me so much love!!,” Griffith wrote.
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I woke up this morning, my 63rd Birthday morning, to this beautiful Happy Birthday on my gate. But I had no idea who did it!!! Then my friends Eli and Kevin dropped off Cake and cookies for me. We chatted, I told them I had no idea who did this beautiful gate display! They said maybe I should check my security camera system. 😘😂😘 Then they left! Finally…. they sent the last 2 photos in this triplet. ♥️ Stealth decorators they are!! I love all of my friends so much. I’ve gotten flowers and gifts and sweet texts and FaceTimes from my children, my ex-husbands and sooo many dear friends. I am so grateful to all of you!! Thank you for thinking of me and showing me so much love!!! ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
For Griffith, birthdays are extra special. In 2009, the actress underwent surgery to treat basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common form of skin cancer, which had appeared on her face. However, in 2017, she experienced a skin cancer recurrence and underwent treatment yet again. Since her two brushes with skin cancer, she’s urged people to be careful when exposed to the skin and wear proper protection.
“Bandaged again after having dermabrasion, the final step to fix the now removed [basal] cell skin cancer. If any of you have it, get it fixed. If you lay in the sun, are exposed to lots of sun, be CAREFUL,” Griffith wrote in a August 2018 Instagram. “Use sunscreen. Get checked out by your dermatologist. If you don’t have one, get one, or go to your nearest clinic and ask to be tested for it. More info to come!”
For Cancer Survivors, Milestones Matter
Whether it’s birthdays, anniversaries, or even a family reunion, milestones can mean so much to cancer survivors. This certainly applies to Chrissy Degennaro, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at 36 years old and has been battling the disease for 14 years. While speaking to SurvivorNet at the time, she had a son who was just two years old and about to enter kindergarten. However, due to her extensive cancer battle, Chrissy didn’t expect to see him reach that milestone.
For treatment, she’s undergone two stem-cell transplants, 27 types of chemo, participated in a CAR-T cell trial, and went through two CAR-T cell transplants. Eventually, her cancer had spread, but thanks to a recent drug approval, her tumors had shrank — and now she gets to enjoy every moment with her son.
“You know, I do live one day at a time,” Chrissy says. “Now, maybe I can go a week, a month, but things are looking pretty good. I’m able to be here for more milestones for my son, for more holidays, more birthdays. I do feel like I have had another chance at life.”