Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened

Hi Everyone,

It has been a flurry of activity the last few weeks with the Captain visiting and of course blogging has fallen down the priority list. I have so much to fill you all in on but given it is my mom's last day in Oslo, I must be brief. I just had to share with you a very funny interaction I had with my nephew yesterday. It was his 4th birthday party so we stuffed out faces with cake and hot dogs! Now my nephew only speaks Norwegian and he and I were chatting while wolfing down some cake. I nearly choked on my strawberry when he said to me "Du er Kate og du har ingen puppene!" A direct translation of this was - You are Kate and you don't have any boobies. I was in shock and unsure of how to respond. I of course didnt want to refute the claim as it is the truth but let's just say it was the first time that I found myself discussing this with a little person. After a nervous laugh and smile, I said - Yes that is me. You gotta the love the brutal honesty of children! He then explained to my husband that sometimes you can get sick in your boobies so you have to get rid of them to be okay again. I couldnt argue with that explanation of things. :)

When I told his mother about the little chat I had had, she said it was something he had noticed on his own. He had told her that she had two boobies but Aunty Kate had none. Kids really don't miss a trick do they? Maybe things wont be so tough when my daughter eventually asks me the same thing because like my nephew said - I am still Kate.

Have a wonderful day! Am off to maximise the last Mom moments.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Day to Remember

"My father died many years ago, and yet when something special happens to me, I talk to him secretly not really knowing whether he hears, but it makes me feel better to half believe it." Natasha Josefowitz

Today is the 13th of June. A day that will stay etched in my mind forever and actually has nothing whatsoever to do with my dance with cancer. It is the day I lost my father. Five years ago today, I got a call very early in the morning with the shocking news. You learn quickly as you get older that whenever your phone rings in the early hours it is rarely good news. This was no exception. My otherwise healthy father was cruelly taken from us suddenly and unsuspectingly and my heart still aches for him. I have written about him quite a few times on this blog and it is very easy to see through my words and memories how very important he was to me and how much I loved him. He was the best father I could have asked for and I feel so priviledged and lucky that I had him in my life for 27 years. Many dont even have that opportunity.

I often still have an urge to call him when something exciting happens, or something sad or when I just need his advice. This is strange as when I think about the fact that 5 years have gone by, it feels like so much longer then that but in those moments, I sometimes forgot he is even gone. Old habits die hard! Maybe it is the fact I have lived such an enormous amount of life experience in those five years since we lost him that is feels like much more. I think he would be proud of me - of the life I created for myself, for the family I have, for the people who are in my life and for the way I carry myself through every challenge and obstacle. He taught me well. I just wish he could have seen more of my life especially when it comes to my daughter. I often catch myself watching daughters walking down the street with their grey haired fathers pushing their strollers around with their doting grandchildren sitting in them. I envy them and the normality of the entire interaction. I wish I had that too. But I do seek some comfort in the belief that he is somewhere where he can get some glimpse into the life I am living and be proud of the daughter he raised.

I love you Dad.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Moving on

Lots of things swirling around in my head today and not quite sure where to go with them. I woke up far too many times last night - sometimes from the all too frequent hot flashes courtesy of my lovely hormone therapy but also from some other things weighing me down.

So the last two weeks I have not been feeling well at all. It has really been a mixture of things - chest infection, heavy antiobiotics, tiredness, stress, and trying to do to much. Well it feels like my body has officially called a time out on me as it is dragging its heels these days and I am just not feeling my usual self. Anyone who has been where I have been knows that the moment you dont feel "normal", it is impossible to not worry and wonder...So I hope it passes soon and it is just my body forcing me to slow down. But I think when you dont feel well, everything else just seems that much more difficult to manage and I have found myself falling behind in emails, phone calls, yoga sessions, meeting up with friends, etc...I just dont have the energy to do it all so apologies if any of you are only getting radio silence from me. Not intential folks!

In other news (I know hearing about my aches and pains is far from mind blowing) we are moving. No I am not moving out of Norway nor are we moving really that far away but it will be a big change for me all the same. We are moving for all the right reasons - more space, better community and environment for our daughter, less expensive and also to just make a change for ourselves. It has been a long and challenging 3 years for us and perhaps a new place will be just what we need to leave the last year behind. But being the sentimental gal that I am, I am finding myself getting more and more emotional about the impending move that will be happening next month. As I go about my morning routine which I have been doing diligently and happily for nearly 14 months, I am realising that this routine will be no longer soon. There wont be a leisurely morning for my daughter and I as we take hours to get out the door without worrying about being late for anything. There wont be a waffle to pick up on route to daycare at that Cafe around the corner where they know us by name - something we are doing perhaps alittle too regularly these days! :) And there wont be the amazing daycare with the wonderful children who my daughter calls friends and the staff who have helped our little family through such a difficult time and loved our little monkey like their own. I know our little one is young and she will adapt like a pro to her new environment and make new friends but it is sad to leave that place and the people behind. It kept me awake last night thinking about it all coming to an end. Maybe it is the fact that this home and this neighborhood holds so many memories for me. In the words of Samantha from SATC when Carrie was packing up her apartment to move in with Big - " Alot of shit went down in this place." And boy did it ever. We started a new life here, we become parents, we brought our baby home here and she experienced many of her firsts within these walls. We got married while living here and we also experienced some of the deepest horror and grief together under this roof. We also experienced so many moments of pure joy - those moments that just pop up in the most everyday things but are so beautiful and treasured. We definitely crammed alot in and now we are leaving it all behind. Again for good reasons but change can often bring up many different emotions and feelings to the surface. So make sure you contact me for the new address and come visit us in the woods!! Okay it isnt quite the woods but there are lots of trees, fresh air and small hills and no United Bakeries down the road. :)

Well that is all from me today. Hope you are all having a wonderful day.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

OBB Aspirations

Again more time has elapsed then I had planned for in between blog entries. It seems that life much like before I got sick is getting in the way. I find I now have little time to sit back, reflect and get some perspective on things and most of this is purely down to me and the decisions I make on how I spend my days. After walking a little slower than everyone else for the last year, I suddenly feel so restlessness and unable to sit still. There always seems to be something for me to do – another load of laundry, an activity with my daughter, a shelve to reorganize, a job to apply for, a yoga session to do…It really has become hard for me to sit down on the sofa and just be in the moment. Hence the challenges of writing any blog entries as I really need quiet time in order for the thoughts and inspirations to bubble to the surface. I know I need to be careful of overdoing things and remember hearing advice from many other patients who warned me of the burn out that could happen if you tried to do too much too soon. I am aware I need to take it easy but it is so hard to actually do.

I have started doing some work for a cancer charity which has been great as it allows me to use my writing skills in a more structured way and I love being able to use my brain again. It is comforting to know that I can still be clever and come up with good ideas as I sometimes worried that I may have lost that ability after not using it for so long. I also have been thinking lots about what I could do to celebrate the fact I am a cancer survivor and also raise money for the cause. This is very much a North American trend of people doing extraordinary things in the name of charity. I want to get in on the action and do something great. I want to push my personal limits, I want to work towards a goal, I want to become stronger and fitter and I want to raise money and publicity for cancer. Perhaps this may come across as slightly self involved but I want to do something that shows people that you can get a deadly disease and come out the other side. Now I have some pretty good ideas and one of them is really taking shape but I don’t want to write about it unless I am 100% sure I am doing it. Or else I run the risk of becoming the girl who talked the talk but didn’t in fact walk the walk. That girl isn’t too popular is she? So I will let you all know what crazy thing OBB will be doing in 2012 and I hope all of you will support me in it regardless of where you are in the world. I am ready to leave my mark and turn something horrific into something fun and positive. I am looking forward to starting to pave a new road for me from which a new journey will begin.

Aside from my charitable aspirations, everything else is moving swiftly ahead. We are fortunate enough to have Captain AC touching down on Nordic soil this weekend which I am beyond excited about. I am also hoping that she can provide some English speaking bootcamp to my daughter who is speaking just a little too much Norwegian these days. Yes I know I do in fact live in Norway where they speak Norwegian but I cannot tell you how weird it is to hear your child speaking a language that is just so foreign to you. I considered it a huge coup when we actually managed to sing Twinkle Twinkle together in English this past week. I take my victories where I can!

So that is all from me. Have a great day everyone!