Archive | August 2014

Teachings…

I have a book called “Sacred Path Cards”. It’s a book about Native American teachings and it comes with 44 beautifully illustrated cards. Each card is endowed with a particular meaning and message.

I got this “Sacred Path Cards” from my sister in law in 1990…Looong time ago! I played around with the cards at that time, and read a little here and a little there. I really liked it! After that it’s been proudly sitting in my bookshelf…(staring at me for years…Whispering “Read me, read me, read me…you blond white woman!”)

Then, last year, I went to a weekend retreat called “Feminine Face of Leadership”… Fantastic weekend with about 25 other women!  After that weekend I wanted to create a sacred space in my house. I choose my office. That’s when I rediscovered “Sacred Path cards”. For months now I have been pulling random cards from the deck and read the “application”…then I put the card in that spot in the book. Got it?

I must say that each card I have pulled have taught me something, has been “spot on”, and have amazed me!

The other day I was down to three cards. I pulled the card number 14 “Kokopelli”…I kind of laughed a little, thinking “This is the first card a pull, that’s going to be ‘way off’!”  I know Kokopelli has to do with fertility…and that’s a little too late…Ha!

So, I read the application (with a slight attitude)…

”If Kokopelli has lured you with his magical flute, it is time to listen to his song (bla,bla,bla…) This one is one of fertility (at this point I was ready to quit reading…Yawning!) You are being asked to use your talents to create fertility in some area of your life (Oh! So it has nothing to do with babies…) If things have been slow moving (yes…), Kokopelli’s song is saying that whatever you intend to plant at this time will be very productive for you (…starting to get interesting…) Planting seeds for the future takes effort on your part (I’m a hard worker! Hear me roar!), so now is the time to use your skills and resources to make use of the magic (Abracadabra…Waving my magic wand!) If you have a project to begin or an idea to develop (I have a few ideas…), the timing couldn’t be better. Shift away from any old ideas and move forward. The time is now –the power is you!”

Turned out to be one of the best cards!

 

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In honor of my dad, Eric Leijonhufvud.

Friday, August 22nd my Dad would have been 80 years old!

Happy Birthday Pappa!

He was born in Olofsfors, in Sweden in 1934, by my “farfar” (grandfather), Axel, Gustaf, Stensson Leijonhufvud and “farmor” (grandmother) Hedvig, Sofia, Louise Virgin. Farmor went be the name Lisa. My Dad was the third child out of 4 children. First there was Gunilla, then Carl, then my Dad and last but not least, Sten who arrived 9 years later (ops!). My Dad and Sten was born on the same day, and actually almost passed away on the same day (not the same year).

GRATTIS PÅ FÖDELSEDAGEN PAPPA (and Sten!)

I googled my father to see if anything came up…and it did! Wikipedia had a little blurb and Google also translated it…with a few changes from me.

Here’s the translation:

“Eric Gustaf Axelsson Leijonhufvud, born August 22, 1934, died April 15, 1989, was a Swedish writer, known for his trilogy within fantasy genre “Water People” (the author’s daughter would like to translate the title to “People from the Water” or “People of the Water”)

Eric Leijonhufvud worked as city architect of Sala when he died of cancer in 1989. The writing began in 1978 when he worked abroad for SIDA in Botswana, Africa, but the dream of writing, were there many years before that. Leijonhufvud also played piano and wrote music and painted.

He was married to Sophia’s sister Ann Mari Leijonhufvud, born Ohlsson, and together they have three daughters; Maria Katarina Ericsdotter b 1956, Erica Charlotta Ericsdotter born in 1959 and Filippa Cecilia Ericsdotter born in 1961.”

I miss my Dad.  

He was an artist. Very creative…Very much in ‘his own world’.  I remember my Dad, in his home office, playing the piano at least 2 hours a day. Mostly classical music.  As a kid it was “annoying” to listen to classical music… We would tell him to play quietly (!) or I would crawl up in his lap and ask him to play something  we could sing to…My favorite was “Brevet från Lillan” (Letter from Lillan) by Evert Taube. He wrote tons of music, and plays, and books…both children’s and adults. He finally got his first book published in 1978. He had a “dark room”, for picture developing  in our house. He taught us how to develop pictures at an early age…He was also crazy about taking a sauna every evening. In every house we lived in – He had to have a sauna.  That was his way to relax…

He had so many things going on…but  I have to say…He was not a good teacher! Truth to be told! Not a patient person when it came to playing with his kids. He was so into his hobbies. His own stuff. He was very laid back. He was a good dancer. A historian. He loved his family (even though he had a hard time showing it). He was and animal LOVER. And the animals loved him! We had many dogs growing up and litters of puppies…We had a guinea pig, Petronella, who loved him. She would hear his car coming up the drive way, and cryyyyy for him…

He didn’t like to pick wild flowers because he wanted the flowers to be beautiful in nature…He loved butterflies…I can picture him (in front of me) running , jumping like a lunatic trying to catch butterflies with a butterfly net. A very funny sight! He knew all the names of the butterflies and the difference between a male and a female.

I remember one summer some ‘butterfly cocoons’ go into our laundry room, and they were hanging everywhere…even in the washing machine. My mom was not allowed to move them, or touch them…She had to do laundry at the neighbors house. Then one morning the ‘magic happened’…My Dad told us to come to the laundry room and look (I remember thinking why the window was so dark?) and there on the window was hundreds of Peacock Butterflies (Påfågelsöga)…We opened the window and away they went!  Beautiful sight!

He played Bridge, Vira (card game), indoor soccer (for a while), and badminton. He smoked pipe and cigarillos. He loved his whiskey. He was an unhealthy eater… He loved anything with gravy, butter and bread and cheese and cream! Bring it on! Yummy…He loved life!

My Dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1989. I was working on a cruise ship. I remember getting a telex (yes! telex!) on the ship where it said “Dad is sick. Come home”. We were docked in Barcelona, and the next port of call was Funchal, Madeira. It took 4 days before we reached Funchal, where I finally signed off.

My Dad was in the hospital (of course). Me and my mom went to see him on April 10th 1989…We went to see him every single day. He was glad to see me! He could talk a little…or more like whisper. The cancer had spread to his vocal cords (we didn’t know). Five days later, on April 15th he passed away. We were all there in the room with him… It was after 9 p.m…when he took his last breath…

I miss you very much pappa!

I honor you, and I love you!

Your youngest daughter

This entry was posted on August 21, 2014. 11 Comments

Last treatment…

I’m trying to recollect if I was looking forward to my last treatment or how I felt?

“Looking forward” might be the wrong word….more like “Having it over and done with…” sounds better!
What I did know was, that I wanted to remember it. Memorize it… My last Chemo treatment on 08/14/14! (I just love my ‘magical numbers’…I have one more that ‘just happened’. Later)

I wanted a picture of that last drop! FINITO! Pffffftttttt….Done! Did you hear me??? DONE!!! D O N E!

I went through the normal procedure; first I saw Dr. Stone (who was not that late). It was great to see her. It always is…just too bad it is under these circumstances.

I actually had a box of chocolate with me to her. A Swedish “Paradis” chocolate box. Delivered directly from Sweden by my sister. I was thinking about wrapping it but decided not to. What if they (I’m not sure who “they” are…) but I was actually thinking “they” might think it’s a bomb if I wrap it…I’m not kidding! That’s what I was thinking.

So, I put it on Dr. Stone’s desk. After she came in, and sat down, I told her “This is for you. I didn’t wrap it just in case you thought it was a bomb…or ‘somebody else’ might think it was a bomb… if it was wrapped… It’s Swedish chocolate…Thank you so much for everything!”

She looked at me (as if I was nuts…hm?) laughed and said “You really don’t have the character of being a bomber…I think I’m a pretty good judge of that…and we’re not done with each other yet for a while!”

I must have looked like a ghost because she quickly said “Yes! This is your last chemo!” The blood must have come back to my face, and she said “I need to see you before your surgery and after…Okay? Plus every 3 to 6 months after that…”

We talked and she told me my blood count looked pretty good and that we could skip the Neulasta shot, the day after. Her opinion was that my body could handle the chemo and for my body to build up the immune system by itself (meaning me-self!) Eating good (meaning hubby’s cooking!)

I was happy to hear I could skip the Neulasta shot because (I though) this was the culprit that made me feel like I was coming down with the flu… (YOU – little nasty Neulasta shot…)

When I got into the chemo room I walked right up to “my nurse” Debbie and said I wanted her today. She said “I want you too!” ;o) … Only chair no 4 was available…The chair with no TV…Still broken! Decided it didn’t really matter to me, or my sister Maria. We had books to read and Facebook to enjoy…and sleep (for me).

I memorized my last chemo treatment with pictures… “Debbie and me” selfie. “Eating lunch” picture and “Last Drop” picture! Yay! Walked out of the chemo room, for the last time, throwing kisses to the staff (they got chocolate too…unwrapped!), tired, happy, elated… just happy it was over.

Hard to understand it was over. It is over.

Hard for it to sink in…I will not feel like crap and lay on the couch every other weekend from now on.

Got home and I had beautiful flowers waiting for me. I had kindly told Brian I would shoot him… (see…there is a little bomber in me!!!) if he didn’t by me flowers. So, he did! Very pretty!
(Plus, I received a very sweet gift from my neighbor!)

Last but not least…the weekend turned out to be crappy! F-ing crappy! Here I have been blaming the Neulasta shot for making me (feel) sick…and I was just as sick without it. Oh well…

It’s Monday and I’m feeling a little bit better every day. A little bit more energy every day… Wondering WHEN I can have a glass of wine…Is that a healthy thought?

“The Journey after Chemo” continues…

This entry was posted on August 19, 2014. 8 Comments

Why me?… Why not me?

I’ve been thinking a lot! This kind’a happens when you get hit by a curveball like this.

Why did I get “this”? Why me? I consider myself somewhat healthy… I eat a lot of veggies and fruit. I work out… I have run a few half and full marathons… (Proud of me!) Hm…

Is it the wine? Meat? Sodas? Sugar? Dairy products? The micro oven? Plastic containers? Anti-per spirant? Bad air? Make-up? Moldy air from houses that I’ve been showing? What? I have had many thoughts go thru my head…HM! Who knows?

I go from wondering, and blaming this cancer on outside factors…like the above (not the above like heaven…just the above sentence!) Blame it on something. Feels better that way! For a while…

Someone said to me that she would never become a ‘statistic’ because she was a vegetarian…Maybe it’s the meat? But…hm…that can be true either…How about Linda McCartney for example? I’m sure vegetarian people get cancer too. No?

You can do everything right and still get cancer! You can do everything “wrong” and never get cancer. Is it a crapshoot? I think we would like to point to something – He’s overweight…She smoked etc… One of the ugly truths of breast cancer is that more than half of all breast cancers have no known cause and scientific evidence suggest that many cases are linked to exposure to environmental toxins. This means you can exercise, smoke…or never smoke, reduce alcohol (or not) control weight (or not) and still get breast cancer. A woman today had 1 in 8 lifetime risk of getting breast cancer. Yikes! Scary!

What if I had caught mine before it was a stage three!?!

Then you have people who look at you, and kind of tilt their head to one side and say “Take this as a good lesson in life” (I do) or “It’s your Karma, my friend” (ok). I know they mean well.

Maybe this is my Wake-Up call? But, I don’t think I was a sleep. Maybe snoozing…

Since it’s NOT generic (BRCA test was negative).  The BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene was tested. It took 6 weeks to get the results. If you have breast cancer or ovarian cancer please push for this test!!! Thankfully my insurance paid for it. This is not always the case, but I have the type of cancer that are more common to “wander” and are more prone to be genetic. A total of 17,500 intronic base pairs of BRCA1 & BRCA2 was tested and came back NO MUTATION DETECTED! I’m happy to report to my sisters they are safe! I know have written about this before!

Back to my story “Why me?…Why not?”

Do I have some responsibility in creating this? I read another article about “Attitudes and Cancer” And one of the questions was:

  • Did I bring cancer on myself?

It suggests (in the article) that people will certain personality types were more likely to get cancer. The common thought was neurotic and introverts were at highest risk.

Another factor was high stress that could feed the cancer cells in your body to become active and create cancer. This could go on for a long time before you discover it. End of article (kind of).

If this is true…The stress factor…then I am responsible for creating my cancer! And, yes. I own it! I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I take ownership of my cancer. Period.

On a very deep unconscious level, I started this growth without knowing it. … Maybe you think I’m crazy… and some of you might think I have fallen off the deep end! But if you have had cancer or going thru it…THINK ABOUT IT. What do you think COULD have triggered it? GO DEEP! DEEPER!!!  

How did I create this? Well, it didn’t happen overnight!  It happened over a period of time. Years!  I do see things that I go through as valuable lessons – A very big, valuable lesson…Maybe I have been sleeping? Then – this is my wake-up call.

I’m the author of my life. I write the chapters. I get help…but I’m the author. It’s time I write it my way.  After my diagnosis I decided to face this “head-on”. See every step of the way as an experience and a learning period. It’s a chapter in my life I call “The Journey” and I had to fit it in.

It’s definitely not “The END” chapter.

…and the Journey continues…