Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Blog address

I have switched to a new platform as of December 29th 2018. The new address is

I look forward to stay connected.

Happy New 2019!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

#39 completed

Christmas traditions

Most people find Christmas traditions important and want everything from food to decorations to remain the same year after year. Traditions give us a sense of belonging and a way to express what is important to us. They also connect us over generations and make each family unique and special. 

In my family, we have created a gingerbread baking tradition that since many years is deeply rooted in all four of us. I believe we all feel that there would be no real Christmas, unless we meet with our good friends and bake gingerbreads.

Gingerbread baking

It started already in 1995 when my husband and I, plus two other couples met over a weekend to bake gingerbreads, enjoy good food and wine, socialize and enjoy each others company.

At that time we were in our late twenties or early thirties, had just married and one couple had even had their first child. Over the years the number of participants have expanded from the original seven to somewhere between twelve and eighteen depending on how many kids that attend and if they come with or without their partners.

For the last couple of years we have met at one couple's home in Nävlinge in South Sweden, since that is a convenient location for everybody. It is amazing that we have managed to maintain our gingerbread baking tradition, with all the things that happen in people's lives such as births, moves, divorces and new partners. Last weekend we met for the 24th consecutive time!

24th time

My participation last year was limited as I was ill and slept through most of the weekend. Later it turned out that the cancer was the root cause, but at that time I just felt bad that I could not participate the way I wanted. Therefore, it became even more important for me to be able to join this year, and I definitely wanted to have our gingerbread baking on My Survival List.

Some of the bakers
As every year, the dough is homemade using a grandma's old, special recipe. When we bake, we make plenty of gingerbreads. This time we baked for 2.5 hours and filled 57 baking trays. We all like thin and crispy cookies and the bottle neck is always the rolling. If not thinly rolled the gingerbreads will be too thick and not as tasty. As many of us are engineers, we have obviously found a way to speed up the process by using a pasta machine to thinly roll a large quantity of the dough. Mass production is surely possible.

The baking is of course important, but it is indeed a social event with plenty of laughs, deep and interesting conversations, walks, tasty food and wine; everything enjoyed among close friends.

Action 39 is completed, and I really look forward to our 25th anniversary next year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Life after cancer

One year ago

Next week, one year has passed since I got my cancer diagnosis, and my life took an unforeseen and totally unexpected turn.

At the very moment, when my oncologist explained all about my tumor, something changed forever, and ovarian cancer became part of my life. Well, to start with, it was not only part of my life, it directed and determined what had to be done in order for me to survive. Now one year later, after my treatments have been successful and I have reached, what every cancer patient dreams of, remission, I try to adjust to my life after cancer.

Stability and predictability

My cancer came out of the blue, without warning and without any symptoms, but a tenacious cough. I did not fit into any of the common risk groups that increase ovarian cancer probability, such as age, obesity, smoking or genetic predisposition.

According to my oncologist I was one of them who just had bad luck. I have tried not to dwell too much about my bad luck, as I believe it is pointless. It is what it is and I can only look forward and focus on making the best out of every day.

Given my unexpected diagnosis, I have longed for getting back the familiar feeling of stability, that there is some sense of predictability about my life. However, I have come to realize that it has forever changed, and the wish for a return to stability and predictability has just been wishful thinking. Cancer will be part of my life for many years to come, since I will have to do scans every third month and will be faced with the relapse fear over and over again. 

New Normal

When I was diagnosed, I was abruptly pulled away from a fully active and intense working life that took me all around the globe. All of a sudden, my every day life was spent in a much smaller world, mainly at home, dealing with a potentially deadly decease. At first it was extremely difficult to grasp that I was severely ill, as I felt and looked the same, as the day before I was diagnosed. After having had my surgery in January, it however became obvious how ill I really was. 

Right now I am trying to figure out how I want my life after cancer to be. Earlier, I took my health more or less for granted, but for sure I will need to give my health top priority moving forward. I am currently uncertain how I want to design, what my doctors and other cancer survivors call, the "New Normal" i.e. life after cancer. I do know I want to spend more time with family and friends and that I want to continue working my way through the activities on My Survival List. I am positive that I will find my New Normal, one way or another. I guess, the best approach is to take it step by step and make sure I first fully recover. With Christmas and New Year's celebrations coming up, I will for now focus on enjoying the holiday season with my family!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

#38 completed

Horses, horses and horses

Both my daughters are excellent horse back riders, however their skills definitely do not come from me. I am a lousy rider and somewhat scared of horses. My contribution is being an enthusiastic supporter and driver.

When we lived in Sweden, my daughters and I used to go to the International Horse Show in Stockholm every year. We enjoyed watching the best riders in the world compete in dressage and jumping and, of course, seeing the magnificent horses.

We have maintained the tradition also after moving to Switzerland, by going to the Zürich Horse Show. Due to my surgery in January, it was not possible for me to join my daughters this year. When I realized we could go to the show in Stockholm and get back to our old custom, I booked tickets and off we went!


At the event this year, I was most impressed by the dressage, where the world's top ten ranked dressage riders competed. We watched the Grand Prix kür, the riders' freestyle program with music.

The winner
It was fascinating to see the horses' movements choreographed to perfection with the music. Each rider had chosen a different type of music, with everything from rock to tango and classical music. The German world- and olympia champion Isabell Werth, with her horse Weihegold, was outstanding and won after an amazing ride. We also got to see the best ride ever done by a Swedish dressage rider, when Patrik Kittel and his horse Delaunay finished second.

Overall, a great day and I am happy to have completed action 38.

Friday, November 30, 2018

#42 completed

So precious

One of the biggest changes, after having gone through my life saving surgeries and treatments, has been the appreciation and gratitude for, what could be viewed as, small and simple things.

Autumn walk
Yes, even things you tend to take for granted, such as taking a walk in the nature or spending time with family and friends. My priorities and focus have also shifted towards here and now, and not putting off activities for "some day". I see this clearly when looking at My Survival List, where I have listed several fairly simple activities, such as having the opportunity to hang out with good, old friends or doing various activities with my family. My plan, certainly is, to make my listed things happen now and not in a distant future.

Post Traumatic Growth

Last week, I learnt that there is even a medical term for, what I am experiencing: Post-Traumatic Growth. The psychologists Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun developed this theory, explaining a positive transformation following a life threatening trauma, in the mid-1990s.  According to Tedeschi "People develop new understandings of themselves, the world they live in, how to relate to other people, the kind of future they might have and a better understanding of how to live life".

I definitely agree, this is what I am experiencing! I learned about Post-Traumatic Growth from my psychiatrist, saying that typical traits for people more likely to experience Post Traumatic Growth are openness to experience and extraversion. It is of course positive to know that an extremely negative and traumatic experience such as a severe cancer diagnosis, could lead to something positive. Regardless of that, I would trade my cancer diagnosis every day, every hour and every second.

Christmas baking

Yesterday, I got to do one of these simple, but so precious things: Christmas baking with my eight year old niece and nephew.

We baked the Swedish sweet rolls (lussekatter) that are a must for every Swede during the Christmas season. The rolls are flavored with saffron and decorated with raisins. A traditional lussekatt is S-shaped. The fun part of baking with kids, is that they do not follow any traditional way, they shape the rolls the way they feel like. This time my niece and nephew made hearts, turtles, snowmen and many other different shaped rolls. We had a lovely afternoon and completed action 42.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Something we should talk more about

The mental impact

Cancer affects your body, but no matter where you have your cancer it will eventually get to your mind. A cancer diagnosis turns your life upside down and it is a nightmare to be confronted with a potentially deadly disease. The mental impact of cancer is something not so often discussed, as the focus is mostly on the more obvious physical side with surgeries, chemotherapies and other treatments.

In my case, being a fact based, target focused, optimistic person, I did not think too much at the start of my cancer journey. I was so focused on doing, doing and doing, which consumed all my energy. Having a major surgery, recovering, going through chemo cycle after chemo cycle, staying strong and trying to get rid of the cancer cells destroying my body from the inside.

It was not until the end of my chemotherapy treatment that I had energy to spare, and could allow myself to think and grasp what my situation really was: stage 4 ovarian cancer. That was a tough realization and I got scared of what would happen, whether the treatment had been successful, if I would survive and for how long. 
This led to a lot of pointless googling, which only made things worse.

Important decisions

My head was spinning, but I took two, for me, very important decisions:
1: seek help and talk to a psychiatrist
2: view myself as a cancer survivor, even though treatment had not been completed

Many people find it difficult and almost tabu to talk about psychological matters. I consider myself a mentally strong person and have lived a relatively easy and straightforward life, not needing psychological support before. I have no problem openly saying that I needed professional support in how to handle my new reality. My loving family has been the best in all aspects, and I have discussed the whole cancer shebang, especially with my husband.

Nevertheless, I concluded that I needed to talk to somebody, who did not know me inside and out and who was an expert in the field. My oncologist recommended a psychiatrist specialized in psycho oncology, i.e. focused on supporting cancer patients. My psychiatrist turned out to be excellent and of tremendous help for me to process and come to terms with my new reality.

Cancer survivor

There is no scientific evidence that optimistic and positive persons have better chances to survive cancer. However, I believe hopefulness and a positive mindset are important components for quality of life during and after cancer treatment. A strong sense of hope is also a prerequisite to live with a disease like cancer, to get through the rigors of treatment, to navigate the complex health care system, and to fend off society’s negative views about cancer as a death sentence.

My treatment had not been finished, and I did not know whether it had been successful or not, but I decided to view myself as a cancer survivor. I know it might sound silly, but for me it was a mental game changer, as I, in my mind, had survived. It did work for me and I felt more optimistic about the future. I decided to search for inspiration to see what other cancer survivors had done to live a fulfilling life. I found Greig Trout's webpage, realized that was the right approach also for me and started compiling My Survival List.

That I would start a blog was not self-evident, as I normally do not like to share my private sphere. However, having family and friends all over the globe, I viewed it as a good way to give updates of my situation. In addition, if my story and thoughts during my cancer journey could serve as inspiration or motivation for one person only, that would feel exceptionally good and rewarding.

Monday, November 19, 2018

#40 completed

The Dancing Robot

The Rite of Spring is a ballet and orchestral concert by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. Last weekend, I saw the production at Stadsteatern in Stockholm, Sweden.

I first heard about this performance when a colleague sent me a short film from the rehearsals of the first act. At that time I was still in chemo treatment and not in the best shape. The film clip was captivating, and I decided that I wanted to see the show when I got better.

From the rehearsals
The first act is a newly composed duet between an ABB industrial robot and Henrik “Benke” Rydman, a renowned Swedish choreograph and dancer. The robot is normally used in the industry, mainly for welding and material handling, but in this performance it turns out to be an excellent dance partner. I found it a very cool and fascinating way of showcasing human and robot collaboration, and it felt almost like the robot was a person.

For me, who has worked with robots and technology all my life, it was also interesting to see how the latest software technology had been utilized, to enable the dancer to safely coexist in the same space as the robot.

The Rite of Spring

The Rite of Spring is considered one of the greatest works of the 20th century, a ballet so revolutionary it is said to have caused a riot at its premiere in Paris 1913.

The production in Stockholm is a street dance version of the Rite of Spring (Våroffer in Swedish) with twenty dancers and a lot of water! No riots have been reported yet, but it is a fantastic show. Very powerful and moving performance, about the circle of life. No surprise it has been sold out since the beginning in August.

Thank you Joakim for booking tickets, and thank you Marie-Louise and Hans for a lovely evening! I am very fortunate to have you as friends.

Action 40 is completed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Not a bad hair day


Today I had my first haircut in ten months! You might think I am crazy, but for me this is a major event and it means a lot to me. When I started chemotherapy in February, I was told that I would lose my hair. Losing the hair is dreadful and something I think most cancer patients fear. It should be mentioned that not all chemotherapies cause hair loss. It depends on the drugs, number of cycles and infusion time.

The old version of me

Chemotherapy works by targeting all rapidly dividing cells in the body. Hair is the second fastest dividing cell, which is why many chemotherapy drugs cause complete hair loss. Maybe you have heard that you can use a cold cap to prevent or reduce hair loss from some chemotherapy drugs? Before, during and after the chemotherapy infusions, you wear a closely fitted cap, cooled by a chilled liquid, to slow the blood flow to your scalp. This way, chemotherapy drugs are less likely to have an effect on your hair. In my case, a cold cap was never an option, because of the type of chemo drugs I got.

Hair loss

My hair started falling off ten days after the first chemo treatment. I still remember the moment vividly, as I was taking a shower and putting my hand through my hair, and big chunks feel out. I was sure I would have big bald spots, but that was not the case. Instead of gradually seeing my hair falling off, I asked one of my daughters to shave it all off. It was a surrealistic feeling, seeing myself bald. It felt like a stab at my identity, as I could neither recognized myself nor felt like myself any longer.

The bald version of me
As the treatments progressed, I lost more and more body hair, and at the end I only had two eyelashes on one eye and one on the other. In Switzerland, all cancer patients are offered to try out a wig prior to chemo start, and the health insurance covers the cost. I tried out a wig, but I never wore it. At the beginning, after losing my hair, I used head scarves and hats all the time, but gradually I accepted the fact that I was bald.

The toughest thing with being bald was that it became so obvious for everybody I met, that I was ill and had cancer. I felt that I got the "pity look" from many people. I felt as if there was absolutely no reason to pity me. Cancer is cancer, and I have just tried to endure and to make the best out of it.

Return of hair

My hair started growing back about two months after my last chemotherapy. At first it was just a thin, fuzzy hair, but later real hair starting growing.

The new version of me
I have always had thin, light hair but my new hair is a lot thicker. I have also a slightly lighter color and curls! I know that this difference in hair quality most likely is temporarily but I will enjoy my thick, curly hair as long as I can! I have also realized that I have had my parting in the wrong direction for twenty years! 

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Live and cope with for a long time

For the coming years, I will have to do checkups every third month. For me, the checkup is either a Computed Tomography scan (CT-scan) or an ultrasound scan of my stomach and chest, plus blood tests and a meeting with my oncologist. 

This week I had my first checkup after finished treatment. The time just before the scan and while waiting for the results, is a time of worry and uneasiness. The question: Is the cancer back? keeps running through my head. This worry and tension has even got its own name: scanxiety. In my case, I will have to live with scanxiety for many years. 

It is a bit frustrating that I cannot influence if my cancer comes back or not. I wish my doctor would say "if you eat broccoli and run five kilometers a day, cancer will stay away", but that is unfortunately not the case. I can only hope that I am one of the lucky ones and try to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Celebration time

The outcome of my scan was excellent with no signs of new tumors! A very good reason to celebrate. First, I went to a café with a good friend and had a big piece of chocolate cake and in the evening my husband and I had a glass of champagne. Now I can relax and enjoy the time until the next scan.

Cancer research

I try to ignore the depressing statistics for my type of cancer as much as I can. I focus on the fact that I am alive, that life is to be enjoyed, that statistics are mainly numbers made out of patients older than I am, and that cancer research is making progress day by day. By the way, if you do not already support cancer research, contribute! 

Cancer Research UK Homepage
In Sweden: Cancerfonden
In Switzerland: Krebsliga
In the UK: Cancer Research UK

One out of three persons will get a cancer diagnosis and the good news is that two out of three that are diagnosed will survive! This is mainly thanks to successful cancer research.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Bye-bye Davos

Time to reflect

I have earlier written about the strength I get from being in the nature, see link.

Autumn colors
During the weeks I spent in the Alps in Davos, this became even more accentuated. As I was on my own, away from family and friends for a longer time, I had plenty of time to reflect and to try to really grasp what I have experienced during my time of illness. It for sure has been a roller-coaster ride with demanding surgeries and treatments, but also plenty of joyful moments together with family and friends. I have learned a lot about myself and how much I physically and mentally can endure and yet manage to be happy and optimistic.

Three seasons in a few weeks

Davos showcased three seasons: summer, autumn and winter, within just a few weeks.

Winter in Davos
When I arrived, it was 25 degrees and I could sit outside at the terrace in T-shirt and shorts. A few days later autumn struck with lower temperatures, clear, bright sky and the leaves changed color from green to yellow and orange. When I left, it was winter, -3 degrees and lots of snow. The skiing season will probably start in just a few weeks. Davos offers plenty of slopes for alpine skiing and it is also well-known for its cross country tracks. 

New friends

I have been fortunate to have met some fantastic people during my weeks of cancer rehabilitation. Without them, my time in Davos would not have been filled with so much laughter and fun. They have encountered life threatening diseases and have gone through tough surgeries and treatments, but all of them are optimists and really know how to appreciate the beauty and joy every single day brings.

A big thank you: Franziska, Katharina, Nurcan and Sandra for who you are and for the great time we spent together. See you soon!

Summer in Davos (Sertig Tal)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

#7 completed but everlasting

Life is precious

When I got my cancer diagnose, I was brutally confronted with the preciousness of life and the fact that tomorrow is not a guarantee. After a while, I realized that I had taken some things for granted, such as being able to spend time with my family and friends. When you read My Survival List, you can see that reflected in that many of my activities involve family and close friends.

Making the best out of every day life

With my husband, I felt it was important not to focus on a major one-time action, such as a trip, but making the best out of our every day life together. Both of us wanted to spend more time together creating new, joyful, common memories. As we share an interest for nature, sports, music, theatre, movies and good food, we have been prioritizing these areas and have done something together almost every week.

Donald Sutherland at the Film Festival
Over the last months we have enjoyed several plays and musicals, a Mozart piano concert, have tasted cheese, chocolate, wine and sausages at Food Festivals, and have had nice dinners. We got star-struck at Zürich Film Festival, when Donald Sutherland was awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. However, we also watched three really good movies that had Swiss premiere at the Festival: Colette, The Leisure Seeker and Young Astrid.

Whenever I have felt strong enough, we have been taking walks in our neighborhood and have of course been hiking in the stunningly beautiful Swiss Alps. 

Hiking in Davos
I am glad and extremely thankful that we did get this chance to create everlasting memories, and of course that we continue to have a great time together! Action 7 is completed but we will definitely continue along this path.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

#37 completed

Cancer Rehabilitation

In Switzerland, it is relatively common that patients recover and rehabilitate at a Rehabilitation Center after being treated at the hospital. This typically applies to people, who have had a major surgery or a stroke. However, centers also specialize, in things such as the rehabilitation of cancer patients, after surgery or after chemotherapy.

Before this summer, I would have never thought I would have a cancer rehabilitation center on My Survival List. However, my oncologist thought I would considerably benefit from a few weeks recovery under professional supervision, thus referring me to a Cancer Rehabilitation Center in Davos.

After having learned a bit more about the content and structure of a cancer rehabilitation center, I felt it should be on My Survival List. After some paperwork and dialogue with my doctor, my insurance company approved and last week I got to go.

The Center in Davos

The Rehabilitation Center in Davos can host 100 patients. Every patient gets a daily, individual program, tailored after each person's capabilities and needs. In my case, the whole setup is done to improve physical- and mental strength. Therefore, I have several fitness activities, such as endurance- and muscle strengthening workouts, as well as mindfulness- and therapy sessions.

Wild-growing yarrow

The doctors at this center promote both traditional- and herbal medicine, hence I have been prescribed to drink yarrow- as well as ginger tea. In addition, I should take a daily foot bath with a special salt. All this to help detoxify my liver from the chemotherapy drugs. 

All patients are encouraged to enjoy the wonderful, alpine landscape as much as possible, as nature has a positive impact on recovery. 

Fall in Davos
As you can see, the scenery this time of the year is stunning, as the beautiful fall colors are starting to appear in all the larches and blueberry bushes.

I am well on my way to complete Action 37 and hope to come home a bit stronger!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

#14 completed

Cinnamon bun day

I am not a big fan of sweet, baked goods but I love cinnamon buns! In Sweden, the cinnamon bun even has it own annual day on October 4th. If you are in Sweden on that day you would find cinnamon buns for sale everywhere: in cafes, restaurants and convenience stores. All grocery stores would certainly display the necessary ingredients for baking your own cinnamon buns.

Home-baked cinnamon buns
The annual day was invented in 1999 by the Home Baking Council (Hembakningsrådet), an organization for producers of baking ingredients. They wanted to create a baking tradition in honor of their 40th anniversary. They talked to bakers and all sorts of ordinary people, and asked what good first came to mind when thinking of baking at home. Naturally, the cinnamon bun was the clear winner, and the annual day was designed.

Swedish tradition

Swedish cinnamon buns and American cinnamon rolls are not the same. The Swedish version is less sticky and sweet. It normally has grains of pearl sugar as opposed to frosting or glaze as topping. I like to bake and occasionally I would make cinnamon buns. It requires a few hours, but cinnamon buns are relatively easy to bake. Basically an enriched dough is rolled out thin and filled with a spiced sugar and butter paste. Baked in the oven and enjoyed while still slightly warm!

My mom and I share the passion and fondness for cinnamon buns. We try to celebrate together, but do not always manage to meet in person on October 4th for coffee and cinnamon buns. This year we celebrated via FaceTime, nevertheless completing action 14!

Other annual days

If you think it is a bit weird that the cinnamon bun has its own day there are many other bizarre annual days like World day of Snowman (January 18), World Puppetry Day (March 21), Star Wars Day (May 4), International Kissing Day (July 6), and my favorite: the International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19)!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

A new door!

Away from work

I have been away from work for a long time now. During spring, I managed to work between the chemotherapies, but the sixth and final treatment hit my body hard. Since then I have been on 100% sick leave.
One of the cities work has taken me to
I have always been passionate about my work, have enjoyed managing my team and working with customers. Returning to work has felt important but double-edged: motivating but lately somewhat stressful. Recently, I have come to realize that recovering from chemo is going to take a lot longer than I first had thought and anticipated. My doctor's mantra has been: "Every patient is unique and it is impossible to foresee how long time it will take for you. Be patient and take it step by step."

As you might know, patience is not my strongest side. I guess I had always thought I would be one of the few lucky ones, who would have a quick and smooth recovery. Accepting that I would need more time to recover and prioritize my health, led to the decision that I could not keep my company and team in waiting mood for an extended, undefined time. Therefore, somebody else needed to take over my position.

My new door

Realizing that I would not come back to my current position has been tough. I felt I did not take the decision, my illness took it for me. Processing that has taken time and my feelings have gone from failure and grief to acceptance and finally to be more forward-looking and excited. This week my successor was appointed and it has been made official that I am not coming back to my position. I am of course still employed and will have a discussion with my boss about new opportunities when I have fully recovered and I am ready to start to work again.

The quote below says a lot, and I firmly believe that a new door has opened and there is no point in looking back. Now I just need to find my door!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Thank you modern science!

New surgery

Last week, my stomach felt swollen and aching. The pain quickly escalated until it was unbearable and my husband had to take me to the emergency room. My first thought when the symptoms started was that my cancer was back. Excruciating pain and negative thoughts about cancer relapse is a horrible combination. Luckily, I was given pain relief quickly, so I could focus and think more rationally.

In the hospital
After an emergency CT-scan, a small bowel obstruction was found. It required immediate surgery. The surgeon stated that it would be necessary to start with a laparoscopic surgery and depending on what they would see, sufficient actions would be taken.

Fortunately, the obstruction was caused by an adhesion (a band of scar tissue). The adhesion had come from my cancer surgery in January. It was removed and no other surgery was needed. While doing the laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon also double-checked to make sure there were no signs of cancer. Indeed, very good to hear!

Saved again 

Within nine months I have undergone two life saving surgeries. The medical techniques and tools used, are innovations that have not existed that long. It is mind-blowing to realize that I would by now be dead, not only once but twice, if I would have been born 25 years earlier.

This recent experience gives me even more motivation and energy to continue focusing on the important things in my life: family, friends and My Survival List!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

#12 completed

Next stop London

Last week, my husband and I helped our oldest daughter move from Zürich to London. She will start studying at the University of Westminster.

I am extremely proud of our daughter and I believe that she is well prepared for the world, and is ready to make her own path. Our house will be a lot quieter and emptier without her there. However, she is happy and definitely ready to start living on her own. I came across a poem by Cecil Day-Lewis that describes what my husband and I are experiencing right now:

"Selfhood begins with a walking away. And love is proved in the letting go."

Shopping and tea time

After having done the mandatory trip to IKEA to complete the move away from home stuff, with kitchen utensils, hangers, a dresser and a lot of other things, we had a day to explore London. On My Survival List, I had listed that I wanted to go shopping and have afternoon tea in London with my daughter. 

Mad Hatter's afternoon tea
A few hours at Oxford Street and we had managed the shopping part in a tremendous way! For afternoon tea, we joined the Mad Hatter for tea and had an afternoon tea inspired by Alice in Wonderland, at Hotel Sanderson. Everything from the teapots, plates and cups to the sweet and savoury dishes, where inspired by Lewis Carroll's characters. 

Among the tasty and beautifully decorated sandwiches and cakes, we tried the King of Hearts' parmesan croque-monsieur stack, Tweedle Dee's lemon and curd financier, the mocha chessboard gateau and the Mad March Hare's vanilla pocket watch macaroon.

Alice in Wonderland tableware
We had a wonderful afternoon, and could relax from the moving stress and just enjoy. Action 12 is completed!

Monday, September 10, 2018

#36 completed

5 Lakes Hike

Even though it is September, we have had amazingly warm weather this weekend, so we did the "5 Lakes Hike" in Pizol. This hike is a well-known, classic mountain hike and it has been on our to-do list, ever since we moved to Switzerland, but for some reason we have not done it until now.
Lake Wildsee
The hike takes you from Pizolhütte to Gaffia, and on the way you enjoy spectacular views of the Alps of Eastern Switzerland. You walk by five beautiful mountain lakes: Wangsersee, Wildsee, Schottensee, Schwarzsee and Baschalvasee. The lakes differ in size, and the water shifts in all shades of blue and green. 

Amazing view

I regard the "5 Lakes Hike" being one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done.
On one of the peaks

The alpine landscape is exceptionally varied and the hike takes you high above the tree-line, over several summits. After having walked uphill and finally ascending a peak, the view is striking! It stretches for miles and miles, and it feels almost endless.

Picnic time

One of the things I have on my Survival List, is to enjoy a summer picnic in the Swiss Alps. I definitely enjoyed a delicious picnic by the emerald green Lake Schottensee this weekend, hence action 36 is completed!
Picnic by Lake Schottensee

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

#20 completed

A true chance

Earlier, I have felt that I did not really have time for yoga. When I did sports, I wanted it to be effective, demanding and making me sweat. Many of my friends are keen yoga practitioners, and have been trying to convince me of the body and mind benefits of yoga. As my life now has been turned a bit upside down and me wanting to explore things I had not tried before, I really wanted to have yoga on My Survival List.

Yoga for me

My yoga life got a kick-start start, when my friend Lotta introduced me to morning yoga this summer. Ever since, I have been doing a fifteen minutes daily morning yoga routine, using a Youtube instruction video. 
I have also bought an introduction pass, for three yoga classes at a yoga studio in Zürich. So far, I have tried two different yoga styles for beginners: Ayur Yoga and Yoga Nidra. Ayur Yoga is a gentle style of yoga in the tradition of T. Krishnamacharya. It is a slow pace yoga with simple yoga postures, suitable for people like me, with not so much flexibility. Yoga Nidra- "the sleep of the yogi" originates from Himalayan Yoga traditions. The Yoga Nidra class is a combination of simple yoga postures and then half an hour of guided deep relaxation exercises. This class is supposed to be especially good for people exposed to stress.


After having practiced morning yoga for more than a month and having tried two different yoga styles, I must admit that I have also been bitten by the yoga bug! 

I see clear benefits of increased flexibility and more piece of mind. My yoga introduction pass has been converted into a three month card, allowing access to all yoga classes. Morning yoga is now part of my daily routine and I will definitely continue. I consider action 20 completed!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Bye-bye Sweden

Silver lining 

I had a wonderful summer in Sweden. First a few weeks together with my family in our summer house and then a couple of weeks on my own, visiting and meeting my Swedish friends in Västerås, Göteborg and Linköping.

My family and friends' help and care have been a silver lining in the dark cloud of my illness. I am truly grateful to all of you who did reach out and who had the courage and strength to support me. It has meant the world to me! 

Friends have always been important to me, However, during the tough months of illness, I have even more come to appreciate and value good, close friends. I am thankful to have many persons both in Sweden and Switzerland to have good and deep conversations with and of course also to relax and have fun with. 

Time with friends

One of the things I had missed the most during the last seven months, was meeting my Swedish friends. The last two weeks, I have really taken the opportunity to catch up and I have enjoyed dinners, glasses of champagne, 50 year birthday celebrations, coffee, deep conversations, long walks, laughs and of course your company!

A big thank you to my parents, Annika, Else, Johan, Marie-Louise, Lotta, Jonas, Ulrika F, Ulrika C, Vibeke, Stephan, Micke, Helena, Maria, Urban, Ylva, Karin, Patrik, Hasse, Johanna, Niclas, Tina, Joakim and Hans: you are the best!

#17 completed

Close friends

I am fortunate and extremely happy to have Else and Maria as close friends. We have known each other for a long time and share a lot of great memories from our yearly ginger bread baking, long walks and deep talks. We have gone through happy times and tough times, and what ever happens I know I can always reach out for their support. Else and Maria, below is for you 😄💖

Weekend tour

Last weekend, Else and Maria surprised me with a "girls" weekend tour to celebrate my 50th birthday. We started with horseback riding on Icelandic horses, at a friend of Maria's.
Riding on Angi

I am a complete beginner when it comes to horseback riding and last time I tried was at least ten years ago. I am even a bit scared of horses, even though my daughters have done horseback riding for many years. Last weekend's arrangement suited me perfectly: a calm, obedient, right-sized horse and riding in my tempo in the beautiful nature, south of Linköping. After this fun and enjoyable experience, I could even consider not to wait another ten years before trying horseback riding again!

Rimforsa Strand

The evening was spent at Rimforsa Strand, today a conference hotel, but with an interesting history dating back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Rimforsa Strand conference hotel
In 1907, Rimforsa Strand was inaugurated as a school for female students called: Fredrika Bremers Lanthushållsseminarium. It was one of the first schools to offer higher education for women in Sweden. Handicraft, gardening, domestic economy and small-scale farming were the topics that could be studied. Close to 800 domestic economy- and farming teachers graduated during the 55 years Rimforsa Strand served as a school. Luckily, a lot has happened the past one hundred years and women today have abundant study opportunities. Female engineers, like the three of us, could now wine and dine in this historical setting.

The day after, I got a golf lesson from Maria's son Niclas, who plays on the US college tour. This was a perfect kick-start of action 35, to restart my golf career.

Thank you Else and Maria for a great weekend! Action 17 is completed.