What do you want to be remembered for? This is certainly an interesting and thought-provoking question. It could be understod as a way to somehow "live on" also after you are dead. The more apparent answers would be via your children, and if you are an artist via your art, or via your music if you are a composer. Another view, is to answer with a list of adjectives, you would want people to use when speaking about and remembering you at your funeral. By applying that on today, you could see it as a way to get direction and purpose in your life, if you were to live and act accordingly.
Before I was diagnosed with cancer, some of the top adjectives on my "To be remembered for list", would be: caring, positive, open-minded, supportive, joyous, generous, committed, self-reliant and ambitious.
My unexpected cancer diagnosis, painfully forced me to deal with thoughts and feelings I did not expect having to handle until much later in life, if ever. My priorities have changed as a consequence of the uncertainty of what the future holds, and I am much more focused on being in the presence, enjoying and appreciating what I have. I have come to realize that my "To be remembered for list" has somewhat changed and some more altruistic and unselfish adjectives, have advanced from further down on the list and have made their way into the top, these are: humanitarian, compassionate and grateful.
Humanitarian and compassionate: Expresses my desire to contribute to the greater good, and not only use my strengths and competencies for the benefit of my family, my employer and myself. Grateful: I do not take things like health for granted any longer. I am fortunate to be alive and grateful for every day! An excellent quote by Ashley Fern:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Unquestionably, these are positive changes and I am happy to have seen them happen. Now it is up to me to continue living and acting accordingly.
So what do YOU want to be remembered for? And more importantly, are YOU living by your answer?
Last week I got a painful reminder how cruel and deadly ovarian cancer is. Three women, whom I have gotten to know in the patient organization that I am part of, died. Every death, is one too many, and three in one week is hearth breaking and devastating. The only way to prevent deaths in ovarian cancer and to save women's lives, is via advances in cancer research. Many researchers around the globe are focused on finding a way to early detect and possibly even screen for ovarian cancer, as this would be the most effective way to save lives. Today far too many women are diagnosed when cancer has already started to spread, thus making it more difficult to treat.
I have, together with my Foundation's board members, visited Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, to learn more about current ovarian cancer research. Karolinska Institutet is Sweden’s largest centre for medical academic research and its Nobel Assembly selects the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine. We met with Professor Kristina Gemzell Danielsson and Senior Lecturer Angelique Flöter Rådestad. We visited the research lab and got an excellent presentation of ongoing research projects within screening- and diagnosis methods, treatments and patient care.
My fellow board members and I, now have a much better understanding of ongoing ovarian cancer research, which will be useful when deciding on projects to fund. Lena Wäppling's Foundation has just opened up for research funding applications, and I hope we will receive many applications, before the deadline on December 31st.
Link to Application
My Foundation is one of few focused on funding gynecological research and, to my knowledge, the only Swedish private foundation focused on ovarian cancer research. The interest and support from the academic world has been fabulous. I am extremely happy that we have secured an unbiased review by highly qualified medical expertise. The Scientific Committee of the Swedish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (SFOG) will review all applications received and submit a recommendation to the Board of my Foundation for a decision on projects to fund.
Hopefully, we can somehow contribute to the very much needed advances in ovarian cancer research. If you want to help us help, donate today! Thank you.
An early autumn trip to Abruzzo in Italy has been booked for a long time. Both my husband and I have really looked forward to it, but with my never-ending stomach problems it has been highly uncertain, whether we would be able to go or not. A few days prior to the departure, I got a go-ahead from my doctor, and she felt I could benefit from a break from the everyday routine and that the Italian cuisine might do me good. She was absolutely right!
Yoga and fitness trip
My husband and I had booked a yoga and fitness trip to Villalfonsina in Abruzzo, on the Italian east coast. We felt that the the combination of yoga sessions, fitness classes and mountain hikes in a (for us) new part of Italy was appealing. It turned out to be a very pleasant and enjoyable experience, and we could relax, unwind and recharge. The location was magnificent, right in the middle of large vineyards and old olive groves, with mountain as well as Adriatic Sea view. We would love to return to explore Abruzzo even more!
I was practicing yoga regularly at the end of last year, but for some reason I put it on the back burner, when I started working. The trip gave me a yoga boost and I realized how much I benefit from it and that I should definitely get a simple yoga session into my daily routine again.
I am not sure if it was the Italian cuisine, the daily glass of red wine or the abundant physical and mental exercise, or maybe a combination of the three, but I do feel much better and have less stomach problems. I sincerely hope that this trip was a turning point, and that I now will be able to continue my recovery.
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.