One of my passions is alpine skiing. Since I grew up in Sweden, skiing was an essential part of the culture and tradition. I started skiing at the age of two, by standing in front of my grandfather on his skis, going down a small hill, loudly screaming: faster, faster, faster!
The Stone Age
It almost feels like I grew up during the stone age and not in the seventies, when thinking of the equipment being used in alpine skiing, when I started. My skis, with practically no side cut, where heavy and a lot taller than me. Safety equipment, like ski stoppers had not been invented. This resulted in plenty of extra exercise when I had to run down the slopes chasing and trying to retract my skis after having fallen. The ski boots hardly had any insulation, giving my toes permanent frostbites, since I was too stubborn to take a break indoors when my feet got cold. Ski pants and jackets where not waterproof, and where made out of thick fabric, resulting in me not only getting wet by the snow from the outside, but also from the inside from sweat. Merino wool, Gore tex and breathable textiles had not entered skiing at that time. Nevertheless, I had found my passion and kept on skiing with my parents and sister. Today alpine skiing is a vital part of my own family’s tradition.
Last weekend, I enjoyed the best possible skiing company, when spending a weekend in Trysil, Norway with Hasse, Johanna, Karin, Patrik and Niclas! You might think I am crazy to travel from the Alps, with its fabulous slopes and sceneries, to go skiing in Scandinavia, but then you have not met my amazing friends! I travel not mainly for the skiing part, but to hang out and socialize, eat superb food, drink good wines and have a great time. Last year I was unfortunately too ill to join. As my health condition has improved, nothing could stop me from going this year. This year was special as it was our 10th anniversary, and we celebrated with an extra glass of Prosecco.
Thank you Hasse, Johanna, Karin, Patrik and Niclas for a great weekend! I am looking forward to the next 10 years.
"Wow, you look good!" is a comment I have heard several times the last months. Please do not misunderstand me, I love compliments and I really appreciate every time somebody says that I look good. However, the well meant and kind comment, often comes with a question attached, that brings a need for explanation and justification. "You look good, why do you not work full time?" or "You look good, have you really had cancer?"
Many people hold the misconception that you must “look” ill in order to be ill. I have come to realize how it is for the thousands of people who live with illnesses that can not be seen on the outside. People who break their arm or leg, or experience another form of injury may be in rough shape, but others can see their injury and understand their limitations. With chemo behind me and the hair on my head having grown back, nobody can see that I am not 100% up to speed and still in the recovery face. I am of course happy that I have a healthy look, but it is somewhat tiring having to face skepticism and needing to justify that my appearance does not say everything about my health. For me this is hopefully just a phase when looking healthy but not being fully okey. However, it is beneficial to have experienced what people with chronic illnesses encounter. It is also clear that in order to know how people really are doing, empathy and a willingness to truly listen and understand, are required.
Please do not stop giving me compliments, just do it with the understanding that looks and appearance do not say everything about a persons health condition.
Somebody commented that I do a lot of things and always seem to be looking at the next project and after that the next one. It is true that I, for obvious reasons, am super happy that I am alive and can have things and projects to look forward to. However, I am also a rather lazy and easy going person that enjoy the simple pleasure of doing absolutely nothing or very little!
As I still need time to recover from the chemotherapy and build up my body again, my current tempo is lower than it used to be before I was diagnosed. I cannot rush my recovery and it is challenging, but I have become better at accepting that it is my present reality. A slower pace can also be pleasant and I try to make the best out of it. It is nice to be able to sleep a bit longer some mornings, do yoga, look up at the passing clouds and just feeling grateful to be alive!
Yesterday was one of those "doing very little days". I was tired and did not leave our apartment. I just read my book, ate Ecuadorian dark chocolate and watched Star Trek on Netflix. I had bought four different types of dark chocolate, and I tried them all! My favorite was the one from Los Rios with 72% cacao content. Very tasty and the perfect company for my "doing very little day".
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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.