Sunday, July 15, 2018

#25 completed

Concert time

My husband and I had tickets for the Katy Perry concert in Zürich earlier this year. Unfortunately, I could not go, as I was in the middle of chemotherapy and was too tired and worn down to even think of going.

When my sister asked me to join her for the Ed Sheeran concert in Stockholm, I was thrilled and said yes right away. Last time, I went to a concert in Stockholm, was more than 10 years ago, when the kids and I went to see Electric Banana Band in Stockholm Globe Arena. I remember we had a great time and we kept playing the band's songs on the CD-player in the car several months after. "Maja min Maja, min söta lilla piraya" and "Banankontakt" were my kids' favourite songs.

Ed Sheeran live in Stockholm

Ed Sheeran played at Friends Arena, a huge, new arena that can fit up to 60.000 people. Yesterday, we were a crowd of slightly more than 55.000 persons that watched, cheered and sang along. It was a mixed audience, of course many teenage girls that knew every word of every song, but also many couples in their thirties and middle aged people like me.

Friends Arena
It was an amazing experience to be in such a big arena with so many people. I liked the show but had expected to hear more of Ed Sheeran's hit songs. Anyway, I am glad that I have seen him play live and I am excited to see what he does next.

Action 25 is now completed, and I hope to go to more concerts in a not too distant future.
Ed Sheeran in Stockholm

Thursday, July 12, 2018

#5 completed

Now it's summer!

We have a summer house in Sweden. Yes, it is just like the stereotype: a red, wooden house by a lake. But unlike the stereotype, our house does not have white corners, they are black. When I was in the hospital, I tried to picture the lake view from our jetty in my head. This view has always felt special and close to my hearth.
Typical Swedish summer house

Lake view

Because of the tough chemotherapy with all its possible side effects, I was not allowed to leave Zürich and travel abroad for a long time. I have, during my treatment time, been longing for and immensely been looking forward to sit by the lake and just look at the view. Yesterday, finally, it was time to fly to Sweden and go to our summer house. So here I am sitting by the lake, enjoying the excellent view and feeling with all my senses: it is summer! 

The best view!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

#24 completed

More than just a handbag

When I was diagnosed with cancer on December 19th 2017, I was busy preparing for Christmas festivities. I was trying to finalize all the job related activities and had a long list of things I wanted to complete, before going on vacation. The plan was to spend a relaxing Christmas in Sweden at my sister's house, and we knew we would have a white Christmas as it had been snowing a lot lately. 

White Christmas

My Christmas Gift

It has become a tradition to go Christmas shopping in Konstanz, Germany with my daughters. During our shopping trip in December 2017, I had decided to not only buy gifts to my family, but to treat myself and buy a new handbag. I do not have a big collection of handbags, and my old one started to be worn out and a bit boring. So when I found this one, I felt it would be perfect for me! 

My Christmas gift
However, when I was diagnosed and got the treatment plan with major surgery and chemotherapy coming up, I decided to not  start using my Christmas gift. Who needs a new handbag while at the hospital and when recovering at home after treatments? I decided to keep my Christmas gift for better and more healthy days, thus being something to long for and look forward to. After having done the big checkup last week, I decided that the day had come, 192 days after Christmas eve. My belated Christmas gift is now a sign of victory and I use it with pride, feeling humble and grateful for having won the first round against cancer!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Best News!

No traces of cancer

A CT scan (computed tomography) is performed to determine how successful chemotherapy has been. I had my scan a few days ago and today I had a meeting with my oncologist, to discuss the findings and further treatment. I was nervous before the meeting, but I got the best possible news: no traces of cancer! Yippee! I can now fully focus on relaxing, recovering and enjoying my summer!

Next steps

I still have a way to go, to physically recover, as chemo has hit my body hard. Blood values are still low and I am tired and worn down from chemo. I have been 100% concentrated on staying strong and optimistic through all my treatments. My doctor has prepared me for the possibility that emotions put aside might come flooding back. I think it is good to be aware and if that happens I will face those emotions and deal with them at that time.

Ovarian cancer has a relatively high relapse risk, and frequent follow-ups will be needed during the coming years. For me the first follow-up will be done in October. However, today I am super happy and I am enjoying the best news I could get: I am free from cancer!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

A forever ongoing action

Strength from Nature

I have always enjoyed being outdoors, especially where there is real nature such as forests, mountains, lakes and the air is fresh. Even better if the view is nice, as it often is in Switzerland!

In the mountains in Lenzerheide
After I got ill, nature became even more important. As the surgery and the chemotherapy treatments hit my body hard, it has been essential to regain physical strength. The best way for me has been to walk and challenge myself by extending the walks little by little, day by day. It has been pivotal to stay mentally strong and keeping a positive mindset, no matter what. I strongly believe in the power of the mind. Our emotions and feelings are greatly influenced by our thoughts about a situation. It is often easier said than done to keep negative thoughts away and letting the positive thoughts rule the state of mind. I have found it very relaxing and comforting to walk in the forest and listen to the sound of running water and chirping birds. It has been my way of putting negative thoughts aside, finding strength and staying positive.

Nature around the corner

I am fortunate to live just a short walk from fantastic nature with a beautiful, luscious forest and country side with green, rolling hills and grazing cows. As a born nature lover, I will always draw strength from the nature and from the simple pleasure of being outdoors. This gives me the mental strength needed to fight cancer and continue doing the things I love. This action will be forever ongoing!