Yes, my updates have been worse than sporadic. I agree. Just when I thought I could sit down and unload all that has been accumulating in my brain.......my mac dies. I have ordered another one but the delivery is not until next week. So, this post is via my son's borrowed mac. (although I didn't get his password)
Stockholm is so peaceful in the winter.
Time with friends and family is like taking a medicine to make me feel better. That is really the best medicine for me. Suffice to say that I have been taking a lot of "medicine" this month.
Last week it was time for my 6 month check-up with the requisite blood work beforehand. This was followed the next day with the operation to remove the implantable port. I have been preoccupied with other things and not so focused as I was last time so my anxiety and stress level was much lower. I was almost calm. I have kicked cancer's butt before - worst case I could do it again........
I arrived in Sweden a few days before my appointment so I could go to Charlotte's 40th birthday party. The day of the party I got up late and lounged around the house (in my pj's) all day until it was time to leave for the party. It has been a while since I've done that. It felt GREAT.
Such a fun party. A great time dancing, eating and spending time with good friends. I am so lucky to have so many people that were supporting me and so happy that it was now a happy occasion for us to get to together. GRATEFUL.
I met up with some of my other friends and spent quality time just living in the here and now. THANKS SARA, STINA, and MIA.
It is a dilemma of how to visit everyone that I miss. It will be hard. I need a solution.
Monday morning and I needed to head to the hospital early to leave blood. On my way there, I call Anna and find out that her daughter had just been diagnosed with diabetes two days earlier and was at the same hospital I was going to. So we meet up quickly and I give hugs and words of encouragement. They have a great children's diabetes center at that hospital.
Then it was time for my appointment with Dr. Claes. Everything looked great. It was a relief. I thanked him profusely for all that he had done. It felt good but also a little surreal. This is the calmest I have ever been. Now it was time to celebrate.
On my way to Sara's house I picked up a Princess Cake which is my favorite type of Swedish cake. I got to spend time with Sara and her family and meet her newborn son who is the cutest.
The next day was the day I was most anxious about. Removing the implantable port with just local anesthesia. What better way to spend the time until the afternoon appointment than to visit SOUL and get my massive amount of curly hair cut and then to have lunch with Mia.
Chemo curls have made my hair extremely curly. Hair product has been necessary since October to keep it in place. I reached the decision to cut it and let it grow back when my oldest son called me Einstein about two weeks ago. You all know which picture I am talking about:
|Before the haircut: Einstein|
|Before the haircut: me|
|Me after the haircut.|
Lunch with Mia after was Indian food and then a walk for me in the cold weather of Stockholm to finally get this thing out of me.
So many emotions as I sat in the waiting room. It is overwhelming. Anxious. Determined to keep the implantable port once it is out of me. Shock at a "no" answer to keeping it. Crying. Disbelief. All alone. Determination. Inevitable removal. Headphones in with "Brave" by Sara Bareilles on repeat. EYES CLOSED. Three needles. Time to begin says the doctor. Focused. Sad. Tears streaming out of my eyes non-stop. Too much emotion. Nurse rubbing my arm. Time passing by too slowly. Weird sensations of pressure but no pain except for the emotional release of all that has happened. OK, just sewing up the vein now before he sews up the rest, says the nurse. "crap, my vein was opened?" goes through my head but not out my mouth. Surreal. Finally finished. Said my peace about why it was important for me to have it. NOPE, there are laws to be followed. OK. Good to go. Time to drive to Mia's house. I survived. GRATEFUL.
|This is an implantable port. That tube was in my artery.|
|About the size of a silver dollar and |
as high as a piece of LEGO.
In the center is where the needle for the chemo went.
I thankfully spent the night at Mia's house and as usual enjoyed a great dinner and fantastic company. HAPPY. THANKS MIA.
The next morning it was a quick visit to my mother in law before I headed to the airport. That was fun to pull and hold my luggage with just my right side so I wouldn't rip the stitches.
Sad to leave Sweden but oh so happy to get back to London. The new life that is starting to take shape here is so exciting. The possibilities are endless.
I am eating well, exercising, trying to figure out why I am not losing weight, still motivated and just got the latest activity tracker that is perfect for me. It is called the Fitbit ChargeHR and I love it. It has a heart rate monitor, counts my steps, lets me track my sleep patterns, food intake and exercise and it looks good on my arm too. So psyched to challenge myself. (and any others that are up for a challenge)
|Number of steps I have taken today...|
GRATEFUL for the fabulous friends I have made here. They are amazing. Overwhelmed with gratitude.
KICKED CANCER'S ASS. REMISSION.
NEW ME. NEW LIFE.