Do you believe it? I am still alive!

It has been a while since I wrote, maybe more than a year? When the doctors informed me that the cancer has spread to my chest (2 more tumors) and I didn’t have much time left, we decided to move nearer to my son and granddaughter, rest of my family. What was the use of living for a short time but far away from the loved ones? My husband sold his business, I quit my job and we moved to Stockholm’s suburbs. New doctors, new medicines, new neighbours, and looking for a new job at my age and my health situation wasn’t easy. I couldn’t lie about my health conditions, it was unethical and unjustified. I was invited to quite interesting job interviews but as soon as I mentioned my cancer stage 4 and that it has spread, too, the tone changed and they thanked me for my time. I thanked them for their time and wished them luck. Then I decided to become a interpreter/translator in order to work when I am feeling ok and able to work.

Why do I want so badly to work? Because these terrible deceases make you selfish in a way. You concentrate on your coming death, your illness and your time. Interpreting helps you to see world from other perspectives and conditions. I think it has made me a better person. I usually interpret for asylum seekers or lawyers, prisoners or doctors. I have come in contact with people that needed a calm voice to listen to them and translate for the authorities what they said without  Judgement. Just my voice often helped them to stay positive, many said to me afterwards.

Life hasn’t become a beautiful movie but I am content that we have been able to live up to our dreams. To create a beautiful relationship with our grandchild, to meet our beloved family and friends more often despite the economy. You know I won’t change my life for a minute. You never know, maybe instead I won’t have the same parents or sister, brothers, husband, grandchild, friends and the rest of extended family, lol. Every step of this life has made me the person I am and I am quite content. Death doesn’t scare me but just reminds me to appreciate more my life, now.

Advertisements

The deep hole of sadness

I have always been a very positive happy person in my life until a few years ago. Whatever happened I always found a way up to the surface and started breathing again. I always found a practical way to continue my life regardless of problems. War, death, loss, betrayal and other life mishaps were accepted as ordinary happenings and I always tried to survive. I explained to myself that there is no way, when you reach the bottom, except to go up and up.

When I received my first case of cancer, it was ok. The second one caused the loss of a part of my breast, radiation but I survived and had really fun with the oncology group who took care of me.

The 3rd time was another matter, in almost 13 months I fought with two general practitioners to believe that my pain and worries are real and that I am not imagining things just to…get attention! The cancer was growing slowly at the beginning and it was located on some nerves and veins who went through my right arm. It caused sever pain while walking Or sleeping. When I worked, probably I hold my arm in a way that was not  harmful. My second doctor send me to a physiotherapist in order to excerise my arm. He examined me fully and sent me back to doctor and insisted that he, immediately sends me to the oncology department. At last someone who believed in me. It was a bit late though and my cancer was almost stage 4.

I wrote before about chemo, radiation,  aftermath and the touch of depression. Life became limited & still I didn’t and don’t dare to plan any vacation or anything for the next month. I went back to work, and at last started to work full time, not because I wanted to but because I had too. I was still batteling with side-effects of 18 times chemo treatments and radiation, a bit stress made me lose concentration and that awful tiredness which never left me.

My Office went through an organisation change and I lost my job. Instead of becoming sad, thought this is the best way to move and come nearer to the rest of my family and specially my son. We found a new house in stockholm & suddenly everything looked promising. I have been caughing for a while and one day received a phone call from the oncology dept. that the last MRA showed some cell-changes. Now I am fighting my 4th one, receiving a new chemo treatment and trying to limit the regrowth of the third one.

I am walking, living a beautiful life, surrounded by love and friendship and suddenly a word, a look opens up this hidden very deep dark hole in me and I fall. I fall and fall but never reach the bottom. I try to breathe and look for the light  but there is no light, there is no bottom and I cannot breathe. I don’t know how to stop crying, don’t find the right practical ways of before who helped me earlier. I am alone and don’t understand my beloved ones. They become mean and nasty, I don’t get them. Don’t they see my pain? I am doing my best to live and survive but it is not enough. I ask myself why to bother and just let it go. Everybody who is born to this life, has to die one day but why do I have to continue fighting for another day, to what purpose and who cares. If I die, some may become sad for a while, but they will adjust, as many before Or after.

Then suddenly the hole disappears and I am standing there, breathless, tired and sad. Don’t know what to do. I am too tired to make amends and only to say Sorry seems hollow. I try to continue as before but I am conscious that I have lost a part of me and there is no way back. Yes, I know I have to move forward but I am toooo tired and am afraid about the next hole. Would I survive Or would I stay at the bottom? How do you do? How do you find the right motivation to continue fighting?Is there anybody out there who knows what to do? I want me back,  my positive happy self back! I don’t want to fall ever again.😔

 

More I live, less I know

I have lived so many lives. I have dreamed so many things and in my dreams experienced even more. Time flies by and sometimes I don’t even remember when I have lived and experienced a specific event just that it has happened and I find traces of it in my life and those of my nearest family members.

I was checking my body for eventual lumps (an acquired new hobby of mine) and suddenly I found the efforts of different doctors, surgeons, countries and treatments. Sweden wins by far, so you know.

Many things has happened in my life, as they should, because as long as you live, you experience new things every day.

I thought that all the terrible and miserable life changing events would be less dramatic after my third cancer, but that is wishful thinking. But no way, as soon as I start breathing normally and honestly try to see the positive aspects of the life I still live, another major accident happens which makes me lose my  step. I regain my step, breath deeply and try to stand upp. Of course there is no other way but may I just wish for a break so I can feel a bit stronger and calmer?

People are very strange, aren’t they? There are those who go out of their way to make others feel appreciated Or just see you and give a genuine smile. Then there are those who try to make you feel miserable for no reason. Probably it makes them powerful. I have met a bunch of them recently and I just look in their eyes and try to understand them. Is power so nourishing that you don’t see the consequences of your decisions and how it changes the lives of others? Unfortunatley for them, their decision in my case, made me   Free and offered me the chance for a major change. They couldn’t understand the smile on my face and the weight off my shoulders.

I still have cancer but I live and as long as I have my beautiful family and wonderful friends around me, I can continue enjoying life. So please show your smile, look in the eyes and mean it. Be nice and enjoy the life you have!

I wish I would stop wishing. I wish I could stop planing…

I wish I was longer. I wish I was slimmer. I wish I was smarter. I wish I had seen more of this strange world of us. I wish I was more forgiving. I wish I could have been a better mother, a better sister, a better friend, a better wife or daughter. I wish I could have been a better humane being. But would I have become the same person with the same life encounters and experiences? Would I have met all my friends, dared to do all the things that I have done? I have paid my dues but I have laughed, cried, screamed and been frightened, been extremley happy and sometimes I wished for death because I felt I couldn’t go on.

Today at this moment of my life, I am almost content with what I have become. I have become more forgiving, more patient, more positive to others and my own shortcomings. I have almost learned to accept people including my own family and friends for what they are and appreciate them.  Earlier I used to try to change them, come with suggestions, practical ways but nowadays I try to behave, lol!

I still wish that I may plan ahead for my life. I still plan for next year, what can we do and if we are going travel

My life has become a waiting room!

This time last year I was fighting with all my will and mental strenght to live. Now there is nothing more to do. Life has become “normal” again, but has it?

On outside everything looks just fine. Nothing gives me away and actually I look quite healthy. A little overweight though, as the nice nurse told me a while back. She didn’t know about my cancer, my health and she was just taking care of my infected toenail. I have not yet have the normal feeling under my feet, specially my toes so I cut a bit more of the nail than necessary. It got ugly and infected I was forced to visit my GP. The temp nurse was quite busy and she just thought I needed to understand  how irresponsible of me to be overweight in the land of the tall and slim.

The GP had seen me following the nurse into the room, so she chose to interrupt us in order to know if I went to shock like the last two times while doing my magnet resonanstomografi? I have been doing magnet resonanstomografi and CT every 3 or 4 months in order to check if the cancer has spread or not. Probably would continue to do so for the rest of my life. Thankfully the chemo side effects are gone and the tomografi went quite well. Anyway when the doctor was satisfied and left, the nurse gave me a hard look and said that I  looked  quite healthy.

May I scream? Would you please tell me how the really sick people look? I am so utterly tired of people, often in the nicest way, tell me that I don’t  look sick at all. If they ask me about my condition and health, I don’t know what to tell. Do they wish really to know every horrid detail of my health, my fight with doctors against heavy medication? Do they wish to know about all the other diseases which are taking over my body as it gets weaker and weaker. Sometimes I feel that maybe I won’t die of my cancer but rather from other complications.

I am a very positive and hopeful person. I compare my life now to my last year and the year before that and I really feel that I have come a long way and have succeeded to survive so far. But this is the waiting room to the end. Of the max 5 survival years, already one has gone. I won’t be able to see my grandchild start School, graduate, tell me about her first love. I won’t be there for my son and listen to him. People, I would be unable to enjoy my retirement together with my beloved husband.

What to do? Sometimes I just lay in bed, unable to sleep and think this is the life I have left and I have find a way to enjoy it even more, regardless of the pain, problems and looking quite healthy, lol. What more can I do? What more can you do? I have been living with different kinds of cancer these past 20 years, I need a break, my family needs a break. We are all waiting for it to start growing again. I am sitting in the life’s waiting room, waiting…

One step at a time!

Oh I haven’t written in a while. That is not because I don’t care, it is only because I feel inadequate. My cancer is alive and kicking, sleepy but still there. My hair is growing like crazy, more, wavy and with a touch of silver. Everybody says that I look too healthy (what does it even mean?). I laugh, work, go to theater, take real long walks with our dogs and long to meet my family and friends, specially my son and my grandchild.

Spring is almost here and comparing with last year, this time of the year, then I had lost all my hair, had a very uncertain future and still tried to cope with the present; I feel ok. What I really miss is the luxury of planing for a holiday in 3 or 4 months. I miss being able to say as before”but of course pay a visit whenever you are coming to Europe or I will try to visit you”. Nowadays I have to.buy the expensive airtickets, hotels, just in case I have to go back to hospital.

Soon would be my birthday and I can’t, won’t plan anything. My dear husband has asked me several times what I would like to do. Foolishly the tears start running because I don’t know why I am still alive and don’t know when it is time to go. The doctors recommend that I enjoy this time, maybe this the only time which is left, but it feels not like partying, exactly.

I wish I could comfort myself by saying that it would get easier. I wish I could believe in “one step at a time”, but I have done that for the past few months. I need a new plan. Help me so I can find my way back to the world of living.