Dear hearts, it has been a while and I cannot express in words how much I have missed sharing my thoughts and doings with you all. The silence was unfortunately not one of those that speak of amazing summery days lazing about in the sun and enjoying the freedom of long nights and sunkissed skin. I wish that were my past month, instead I have been the main character in one of the worst nightmares that I could think of for the time being.
In the end of June I found a lump in my breast and I reacted as most women I know would; I freaked out completely and got lost in thoughts of breast cancer and all the battles that this horrendous disease brings forth. Logically I knew that the odds that I would have breast cancer was rather slim due to my age, but logic does not often come to mind when you are facing one of your greatest fears. And cancer is a great fear of mine, this despite having a wonderful and much educated boyfriend whom has spent numerous years working (he still is) in the academic field of genetics- and cancer research. I have had the best people (father, brother and sister in law are all medical doctors) around me to explain and make me understand exactly how the many different types of cancer work but unfortunately it has not made me feel more at ease, quite the opposite. The more I have learnt the more I have also realised how utterly easy it is for cancer to happen, one small pathway in the cell duplication going wrong and dang the body is all of a sudden headed off in the wrong direction. Cancer (and I will say it like this even though I know there are many different types) has always been my greatest fear when it comes to illness and discovering the lump in my breast was one of the darkest days in my life.
To me cancer is fear to lose the privilege to life, to lose control of living and being alive. To be robbed of all the beautiful things and experiences that living life means, I simply cannot think of a nightmare worse than that. And after losing my father to cancer (brain & lung) I know far too well what the face of cancer looks like, I know its uttermost ugliness in its very first stages and I know its devastating effect once it has captured a body and all its cells. I know what the spiralling out of control looks like and I have witnessed cancer hijacking the soul and everything that once was a loved one, transforming a life loving father to a nothingness, to an empty shell kept alive on morphine and the hopes of all of us that loved, so much. I know the face of cancer, because I have been one of those on the sidelines, I have held my dying fathers weak hands in my young strong hands, wishing, hoping, praying that life would spare him, all the while knowing that life does not only give, sometimes it takes and breaks and shatters the world as we know it into one million pieces.
I know the face of cancer, and I have known the face of cancer since then, but still I am not my father, my body is not like anyone else’s – my DNA and my ability to function does not equal anyone else’s but mine. I had to believe (and hope) that I was going to be fine, and with the support of my boyfriend I have gone through this period of time – quite strong, but not without tears – and ultimately I am fine. I was blessed with a fantastic German medical doctor that did not only reassure me but also spent time explaining everything on the various scans to me, made me feel at ease and absolutely amazing. I cannot be grateful enough for this, it is impossible to explain how extremely vulnerable you feel in this situation, and being greeted with such professionalism and warmth has had a huge impact on my life and experience as a whole.
And I am one of the lucky ones, because I could walk out of that hospital yesterday knowing that I was perfectly fine. I could leave and still hear my doctors words in my head, wishing me a lovely weekend and telling me to enjoy it and not worry because I had nothing to worry about. I am one of the lucky ones, but let us not forget that not all women are. Because even though it is unlikely that younger women have breast cancer the proof that it does happen is out there and it is very real and nothing to neglect or ignore. And my heart goes out so very much to all these women that struggle with this horrible, horrible disease, I cannot believe how so many of you are able to be so utterly strong, determined and amazing. And I would like to dedicate this to all of you inspirational souls that never seem to give up on life, you are truly beautiful inside and out and the most serene tone of every heartbeat of mine will forever more be dedicating life loving music just for you.
Due to my experience the last month, facing my fears (going to the doctor to be examined) and to being well, I have come out so much stronger than I was before. When I left the hospital yesterday I cried, overwhelmed by it all – happy tears, but also sad ones for those that cannot leave with such great news. But most of all I felt determination, I felt as if life was poured back into my body, I felt gratitude and obligation to do something that will link myself to this cause of helping to “beat breast cancer” forever. And I do not mean this in a world changing way, only a most personal one – because the reality is that none of us are ever safe, and we have to enjoy life once it is in our hands and make the most of out of it, all the time at all times. We can all do something (big or small) to help research on its way, therefore I have decided that I am going to run (well most likely jog) and fundraise for breast cancer research next year. I would have loved to do it this year, but I am simply not fit enough and it will be an amazing goal to look forward to do for a great cause that forever more will be very close to my heart. So, this is my promise to you dear hearts, this is my promise to myself and to my health. Let us all team up and beat the crap out of breast cancer!