Today, I can proudly say: I have learnt to play the saxophone! I have taken saxophone lessons during the last six months, and I can now play cool, classical jazz melodies in swing mode, as well as, more modern pieces like ABBA. It is great fun and I enjoy it big time! However, I must thank my family for being extremely patient, coping with all my beginners mistakes and having to listening to the squeaking noises a beginner tend to make. As always, if I start something I take it seriously, and I have practiced a lot. I believe we would have a major family crisis, if I ever play "Let it Snow" or "Winter Wonderland" again.
Learning to play the saxophone, was one of the first things I put on My Survival List, as I have always wanted to learn to play. As a kid I started my musical life, with the mandatory recorder flute. After that, when I got to select my next instrument, I heedlessly did as all my friends and chose the piano, even though we did not even have a piano at home. Of course my parents had no intention of buying one, as they realized that my piano interest was not really a serious one. Unfortunately, I did not dare standing out from the crowd and did not pursue my true interest for the saxophone at that time. As it turned out, that was the end of my music interest.
Last summer, I decided it is never too late to learn to play an instrument, so I started taking saxophone lessons at our local music school. Now I can play and action 3 is completed! If you need a saxophonist for your band, let me know, I am for sure interested 😄🎷
This week I started working again! After the tough 2018, with the surgeries, treatments and the long sick leave, it is great to be well enough to return to working life.
I was fortunate to have three different roles to choose between, and I decided to run a sales strategy project. I need to start gradually and listen to my body. The treatments I have been through have for sure taken a toll. I do not know if or how I will react, but first and foremost I feel strong and I am definitely motivated. The biggest challenge for me will be to limit my working time to the 25%, that my doctor recommends starting with. I know myself and when I get into something I like and am passionate about, I tend just to go on, wanting to finish and complete the task. Time for recovery, physical training and other fun and joyful things, like time with my family and saxophone playing are imperative for me. I am still in the post cancer build-up phase, and need to take care of myself. Therefore, self-awareness and clear priorities where my health comes first, second and third are key, when starting working again.
I have taken a big step forward, and I am happy to be back to work!
I used to play golf quite frequently, when we lived in Sweden. Many of our friends played and I found it to be a pleasant and joyful experience. As well as, a way to get fresh air, exercise and, of course to socialize. For the last years, my golfing has been on hold, mainly because of frequent business trips and a feeling of simply not having enough time for golf. I know it is a bad excuse, we all have 24 hours a day. Nevertheless, when considering what I really wanted to do, golf was a given thing to put on My Survival List.
The game of golf
In theory, golf is such a simple game, just hit the ball into a hole. But in reality, the ball is quite small, the terrain can be varied and rough, the clubs are not easy to control, and your mind is almost always your greatest enemy. Playing golf is a test of your mental strength, and your ability to shake off mistakes quickly, not letting them get to you. When you sink a long putt or hit a good drive into the fairway, you are the king of the world! The joy and relief is tremendous, and a huge contrast to the annoyance and frustration when playing badly. I guess it is this contrast that makes the game so challenging and fun.
Already at the end of August 2018, my friends arranged a golfing lesson for me and my plan was to play shortly after that. However, because of the emergency surgery I had to undergo in September, everything came to a halt again, and I had to focus all my energy on recovery and to build up my strength.
Last week, nothing could stop me! I got to play two rounds on the beautiful Meloneras Golf Course and have now restarted my golfing career. My score was pretty lousy, I definitely need to practice and play more to defend my handicap. However, more importantly the weather and company was excellent! Action 35 is completed.
Normally, we spend our Christmases in Sweden, with my parents and my sister and her family. The Christmas of 2018, we had to change plans abruptly and completely, as I was diagnosed and got my treatment plan on December 22nd. The worst Christmas present ever... Due to my lung problems, I needed care during the holidays and was not allowed to fly. Therefore, we had to celebrate Christmas in Zürich, only the four of us.
Already at the end of January, right after I had come home from hospital, my dad talked to me about booking a family vacation in Gran Canaria over the New Year's, with the hole clan, i.e. my family, my sister's family and my parents. I admit, at that time I was not thrilled, as I was still in pain from the surgery, and knew I was about to start the tough chemotherapy only a few weeks later. All in all, I just felt like crawling and hiding under a thick, fluffy duvet, never to come out again.
Today, after having spent a lovely family vacation in Gran Canaria, I am grateful for my dad's consideration and persistence. He knew, that not only I, but the whole family needed to have something pleasant and rewarding to look forward to. In hindsight, I am absolutely sure this was one of the things that helped me through this past, dreadful year. I am happy to have welcomed 2019 big time, together with the whole Wäppling family. Action 19 is completed!
Support cancer research via Lena Wäppling's Foundation:
Lenas Lopp för Livet (Lena's Run for Life) is arranged in September every year. In 2019 100.000 SEK was raised for ovarian cancer research.
Hi, my name is Lena and I am a cancer survivor. I hope you enjoy reading my blog posts. If you want to subscribe, click on Contact.