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)!