I have a bad habit of wanting too much and constantly overestimating my physical capacity. At present, my stomach cramps and digestive problems definitely do impact and limit my everyday life, which I hate to admit. With the gruesome time of cancer behind me, I just want to recover physically and be like any woman in her fifties. I know it is wishful thinking to assume that my year of tough surgeries and demanding treatments, would not have left any traces in my body, but I am not always rational. It is frustrating not knowing how long my physical recovery will take. However, I keep reminding myself to accept and just be in the presence and appreciate what I do have.
1 ½ time around the globe
One thing my doctor has recommended me, in order to reduce my symptoms, is walking. As I am sure you know, I am a nature freak and I clearly feel that being outdoor increases both my physical and mental well-being. I try to take a longer walk every day and I explore the hiking trails in our neighbourhood. I like to try different trails, and I have plenty to choose from as there in total are 66,200 kilometers of marked hiking trails in Switzerland. That distance equals to 1 ½ time around the globe, along the equator. So I keep on walking!
Status: escalating digestive problems and sleeping disorder, despite four months of strict Fodmap diet. I was not surprised that my nutritionist concluded that the Fodmap diet is not working for me and something else is needed. In an earlier meeting she had said that a rice cleanser, ie. three days of eating white rice only, would be my next step. Honestly speaking, I like rice but only eating it for three days, does not sound too appealing to me. Needless if that would be the solution, I would of course do it.
I was utterly surprised when my nutritionist said that, after consulting other experts, the next step for me would be a wholegrain and high fibre based diet, which is a complete opposite of Fodmap. I have not eaten any wholegrain products at all for a few months and now that is what I should focus on. Well, I clearly do not mind, and I welcome the shift of my breakfast from yoghurt with cornflakes to yoghurt with berries, dried figs, flax seeds, sunflower kernels, crushed rye and wholegrain müsli. In addition, I should start every day with a glass of warm water. According to my nutritionist, drinking warm water has a positive impact on the body, as it helps breaking down the food in the stomach faster and keeps the digestive system on track. There is also a more pseudoscientific, vain and wishful thinking benefit: halting premature aging. If I look like thirty next time you meet me, you know why!
As the medical side has been thoroughly checked, dietary trial and error is the only way to reduce digestive problems like mine. Now I wholeheartedly hope that my wholegrain diet and the warm water will improve my health situation and quality of life!
It has been a few intense months of brain storming, planning, signing sponsors, marketing and finally the big, long-awaited day came! My charity run Lenas Lopp för Livet (Lena's Run for Life) took place in my hometown Västerås. After all the recent health problems, I felt happy and relieved, when I just a few days before the Run got the all clear to travel to Sweden from my doctor.
When my fellow board members and I started planning the event, we thought that maybe maximun 100 people would join. The last couple of weeks the number of registered participants has been increasing day by day and finally we had more than 400 people at the starting line. It was fantastic to see so many old and new friends wanting to contribute to a good cause! I am especially thankful that so many youth teams shifted their normal football, handball and gymnastics practices to a participation in the Run.
Västerås to Naples
We managed to get excellent media coverage also on national level, when a Swedish health and lifestyle magazine published an article the day before the run. See link.
Locally, a radio channel made a live interview with me, just before the start. Here is the interview.
During the hour the Run lasted, our participants walked and ran a total of 2107 kilometers, that is equivalent to the distance between Västerås and Naples in southern Italy. It was not only in Västerås that people ran and walked in support of ovarian cancer research. We had a sister event in Sundsvall, where two friends of mine arranged a local run, and managed to gather close to 30 participants in just a few days. Thank you Anneli and Kristina!
All in all, the event was a huge success with a total sum of 100.000 SEK raised for ovarian cancer research, considerably more than I could ever expect. Thank you to all participants, our sponsors and volunteers for your fantastic contributions. I did not manage to thank you all in person at the event, but I want you to know that I am extremely thrilled and grateful for your support!
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.