Re-build bridge in Mostar Bosnia

Come Away With Me to Bosnia & Herzegovina & Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

Hello out there, how are you? I very much hope you and yours are well. And if you are not, know my thoughts and prayers are with you. Here are a hug and a huge mug of your favourite hot beverage. You can do it! No matter the challenge.

So, we have managed to come to the third week of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and today I want to write about risk factors that can lead to breast cancer. 

I was always aware of my risk of getting Breast Cancer.

As you can imagine, I have always been aware of my risk to develop breast cancer. This is why I never started smoking, tried to eat as healthily as I could and never drank much alcohol. These were the risk factors I was aware of throughout my life. Well, I was also aware that being physically active helps prevent cancer. However, I always felt I never did enough. But we’ll talk about prevention next week. 

video credit: Manipal Hospital via YouTube

Risk Factors of Getting Breast Cancer that you can’t prevent

There are risk factors that you can’t do anything about. These are 

– your age (the older, the more at risk)

– your race (white women get breast cancer more than any other race) 

– inheritance (a family history of breast cancer) 

– how long you are exposed to estrogen (having your periods early and longer). 

I wasn’t aware that estrogen seems to have such a significant impact on breast cancer. But besides having used the pill for some time, it would not affect me as my periods started at an average age I guess (I was 14) and my menopause started early. I am not 50 yet and am through with it. 

Risk Factors of getting Breast Cancer that you can do something about

Then there are risk factors that you can do something about: 

  • your weight affects the risk of getting breast cancer (the more you weigh, the more the chance), 
  • smoking and alcohol, 
  • physical inactivity, 
  • eating unhealthily and 
  • using hormone therapies like HRT and the pill.

There are a couple more that I haven’t mentioned. 

Find out more about the risk factors of getting Breast Cancer with these links.

You can find out more about risk factors at these links:

NHS on risk factors of getting Breast Cancer

Cancer Research on risk factors of getting Breast Cancer

Mayo Clinic on risk factors of getting Breast Cancer

Cancer.org on risk factors of getting Breast Cancer

When I was looking into these risks, I learned that I did as much as I could to prevent getting cancer which is a comfort. And that I will do as much as I can do avoid getting it back. Because having had cancer is another risk factors. So I am determined to be more active and eat even more healthily than I did before. 

So enough of the serious stuff. Are you ready to Come Away with Me to Bosnia & Herzegowina?

Come Away With Me to Bosnia & Herzegowina

I have to admit that I didn’t know much about Bosnia & Herzegowina. Both used to be a popular holiday destination when I was young, and it was still part of Yugoslavia. My first friend in kindergarten was grom Yugoslavia. There used to be a considerable minority of immigrant workers from that area who lived in the South of Germany, where I grew up. 

Then the Balcan War broke out, and I remembered the destruction of Mostar Bridge. Also, the killings and the rapings. I am still appalled at how fast a civilised country can fall into civil war. I am still shocked at how cruel humans can be to other humans something I do not and do not want to understand. 

But it taught me that civilisation is just an illusion that falls apart as soon as someone uses our deep-seated unconscious fears of being in mortal danger. We lose civilisation if we do not actively protect it and work against all those who like us to fight against each other. 

So let’s find out a little more about beautiful Bosnia Herzegowina with these videos:

And here are some musicians I found on last.FM. It seems like most of them took part one way or the other in the Eurovision Song Contest. Curious 🙂

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, October 26th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture into Serbia. Please find musicians from Serbia on Last FM.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Please check out my photos and my fundraising:

You can find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

I am fundraising for McMillan and you can donate here and download Bees McMillan Coffee Morning German Christmas Download (PDF file) (no it’s not in German but about German recipes and Christmas 😉 ) here:

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
image of Croatian City probably Trogir

Come Away With Me to Croatia & My Story + how to self-examine your Breast for signs of Breast Cancer

Hello, my dear readers! You rock! Please remember that when you master your challenges, no matter how they look like. 

Last week I told you about the signs/symptoms of Breast Cancer for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This week we check out how to self-check for breast cancer, and I tell you more about my story. 

How to self-examine your Breast

video credit: Fortis Healthcare via YouTube

I used to do this meticulously. In Germany, I had an ultrasound examination once a year and my gynaecologist checked my breast. She also reminded me to self-examine after my period. The yearly ultrasound was done to all women who had a family history of breast cancer. 

As I told you last week, my doctors here knew about my family history but didn’t bother at all about the signs of breast cancer I told them about. They just said: “It’s normal don’t worry but come back if there is anything that worries you”. Well…

I don’t know about school today, but I think self-examination should be taught for girls and boys when they get older, so they know how to do it and what to look for. 

Most Changes in your Breast are benign

Most lumps in your breast are not cancer. My breasts are lumpy ones. I get a lot of cysts which are little sacks full of fluid that are not cancerous. They are just so uncomfortable. They can be drained, which I have done several times throughout my life. The doctor puts a needle into the cyst while looking at the ultrasound and then drains the fluid. That procedure never had any side-effects for me. It just took the pain away from the extra fluid in my breasts. 

I got a little relaxed about the self-examination

That is why I got a little relaxed about any lumps I found in my breast in the last couple of years. However, they kept niggling in the back of my mind. In October 2019, I went to my old GP and told them again about the lump under my arm. They did a blood test which should have shown inflammation if any cancer was there. It didn’t. 

Shortly afterwards I changed my GP and had it checked out again in November. The nurse encouraged me to have my regular mammogram. They usually also do an ultra-sound. There I told the radiographer about the lump I had for such a long time, and he did not ignore it but asked if he could take a sample to make sure its all ok. I agreed. Thank goodness!

A couple of weeks later, I was called to the hospital again, and the surgeon and breast care nurse told me I “unexpected cancer”. Bang. Well, they did not just send me a letter, so I suspected that cancer had caught up with me at last. 

It turned out I had stage 3 breast cancer which had affected my lymph nodes as well. This is bad because the lymph fluids can spread cancer cells all over the body. So they checked me out from top to bottom to find if it had spread. Luckily it hadn’t, or at least not in a visible way yet. 

My Cancer Journey since March

At the end of March, I had an operation to remove two tumours in my left breast. Four weeks later, I started chemotherapy which is now finished. Since October 1st I have radiotherapy and today I am going to have an injection of Zylodronic acid. That is usually used for osteoporosis but has proven to prevent breast cancer from coming back. So I agreed to have these injections for two years every six months. I have also started to take Tamoxifen which suppresses estrogen as my breast cancer is estrogen receptor-positive. 

I am not sure if I developed cancer in those two months between the examination at my old and new GP’s or if it has been there since 2017 when I first discovered the lump under my arm. It doesn’t matter. But what I would like you to take from my story is that self-examination is one of the most effective ways of discovering signs of cancer. 

The earlier you catch it, the less invasive is the treatment going to be. I know of women who just needed to have an operation and nothing more. The hospital is very thorough in its approach to my cancer as it has affected my lymph nodes which indicates it might have spread. And I am very grateful for this and believe that the treatments are worth it and will beat this cancer!

One more time: How to self-examine

And here one more time in a slightly different way to give you an incentive to start a habit of self-examination:

video credit: CANSA via YouTube

But now let’s get our minds off the scary stuff and travel virtually to Croatia. 

Come Away With me to Croatia

Croatia is one of the most favourite holiday destinations for people from Germany. I am not sure how well known it is in other countries. Croatia lies opposite Italy at the Adriatic and has many influences from Italy. 

The Adriatic coast is beautiful that is why Croatia often is called “the Jewell of the Adriatic”. I’ve never been, but the video’s I watched made me want to go.

I am sorry, I got quite tired and didn’t take much consideration on the music playlist of Croatia. The few that I chose sound rather intriguing, though:

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, October 19th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture into Bosnia & Herzegovina. Please find musicians from Bosnia at the CultureTrip page: Bosnian Pop in 8 Artists

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Please check out my photos and my fundraising:

You can find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

I am fundraising for McMillan and you can donate here and download Bees McMillan Coffee Morning German Christmas Download (PDF file) (no it’s not in German but about German recipes and Christmas 😉 ) here:

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
image of Bled island in lake and surrounding mountains and forests in Slovenia

Come Away With Me to Slovenia & Beating Cancer

Hello out there all you lovely people, how are you? I very much hope you are well and if not that you get all the support you need. 

I have started radiotherapy last Thursday and have decided to take it easy with the blogging this month. I am still just a little bit more than halfway through with my 2020 Goodreads goal. That is why I am going to read, read, read and do a little exercise to keep the tiredness at bay. And listen to lots of music. And dance like no ones watching. 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month on “The Bee Writes…”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month which gave me an important topic to write about on my “Come Away With Me” posts.

So prepare for some information, some music and hopefully the motivation to check your breasts every month. And to push your healthcare providers to check you out when you find any signs of breast cancer. 

video credit: MDHCD via YouTube

The reason I am saying this is that the only two cancer signs I had was a lump under my left arm and my left breast got slightly bigger. I told my doctors and radiologists since 2017, but all of them assured me that this is normal and nothing to worry about. Of course, I left it at that because after all, they are the ones who know. And they knew I had a family history of breast and other cancers. It didn’t seem to bother them immensely. 

Push for further Examinations if you see any signs of Breast Cancer

Well, do not let yourself be lulled into security by doctors etc. especially if you feel something is wrong. Request to be checked out properly. Push for it until they do it no matter what the outcome is. The earlier they find cancer, the less you have to deal with cancer treatments. They might not be as bad as they were when my mother had breast cancer in the late 70s and early 80s. They are still a tough challenge to deal with, though. They are invasive and take time away from what you love to do. 

I do not know how Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Chadwick Boseman were able to work while having cancer treatment. I couldn’t. I hardly had a brain to manage my typical day to day life even though other side-effects weren’t that bad. So please do not take the signs of cancer lightly. Most of those signs are something unrelated, but if they are not checked out, cancer might be missed.

video credit: Mcmillan via YouTube

 Signs of Breast Cancer

This video already mentioned everything you need to know, but I repeat the usual symptoms that indicate breast cancer:

  • a lump in the breast
  • thickening of the skin or tissue of the breast, or dimpling of the skin of the breast
  • a lump or swelling in either armpit
  • a change in the shape or size of the breast, such as swelling in all or part of the breast
  • a nipple turning in (inverted nipple)
  • a rash (like eczema) on the nipple
  • discharge or bleeding from the nipple
  • pain or discomfort in the breast that does not go away, but this is rare.

taken from the McMillan page

One of the best ways to find any signs of breast cancer is a monthly self-check about which I will write next week. However, mostly they say that a partner finds the symptoms of cancer. And many find no signs at all. So being aware of what is typical for you is very important. 

Find further information on Breast Cancer.

You can find more information about the signs of breast cancer here:

Cancer Research UK on Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Now on Breast Cancer

NHS on Breast Cancer

Mayo-Clinic on Breast Cancer

WebMD on Breast Cancer

Mcmillan on Breast Cancer

Mcmillan downloads on Breast Cancer

Unfortunately, Men can get Breast Cancer too.

And if you are a man: Unfortunately you can get it too.

video credit: Mayo Clinic via YouTube

Mcmillan on Breast Cancer in men

NHS on Breast Cancer in men

Cancer.org on Breast Cancer in men

I can only encourage you to stay alert when it comes to signs of breast cancer. Also, to push for further examinations when you feel that there is something wrong no matter what your health care providers say. It saves lives, you know!!!!

But now to something entirely different

😉

Come Away with Me to Slovenia. I am quite excited about this country because it is one of the European countries I haven’t had the honour to visit. Not sure I believe I ever will. First of all, I think we’ll have to deal with this virus for a very long time. And I also believe that the climate crisis will prevent us eventually from travelling as we used to do. But who knows. Maybe I am utterly wrong. 

From what I can see from the videos, Slovenia is a lovely country. A bit a mix of Bavaria, Italy and Austria: Beautiful mountains, exciting architecture, great food and a little craziness. Their independence day is December 26th! That’s crazy, ey?

But before I start to babble a lot about a country I have no knowledge about whatsoever I let you see my video playlist about Slovenia by people who can give you much better info than I 😉

Music-wise I could have gone for a lot of traditional music. They seem to like their music and food traditions. But I am not so fond of brass music or morris dancing. Therefore I checked out the Last.FM list of Slovenian musicians and found these ladies and gentlemen:

Please feel free to investigate more musicians and enjoy!

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, October 12th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture into Croatia. Please find musicians from Croatia on the Last FM page

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Please check out my photos and my fundraising:

You can find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

I am fundraising for McMillan and you can donate here and download Bees McMillan Coffee Morning German Christmas Download (PDF file) (no it’s not in German but about German recipes and Christmas 😉 ) here:

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce

Re-blog: Good News Tuesday for Sept. 29, 2020: Helping a Neighbor, A Pledge for the Planet, Friendly Abundance, and a New Job by JoAnna

As I am currently having a break, you can find good news over at JoAnna’s 🤗🙋‍♀️🐝

North Dakota Farmers Rally to Help Neighbor after Heart Attack When Lane Unhjem’s combine caught fire at harvest time he went into cardiac arrest. But about 60 farmers put their own work on hold to join to help their neighbor harvest his wheat and canola crops …. “in a record time of seven hours.” The […]

Good News Tuesday for Sept. 29, 2020: Helping a Neighbor, A Pledge for the Planet, Friendly Abundance, and a New Job
Image of Hallstatt in Austria at the Hallstaetter Lake

Come Away With Me to Austria & Beating Cancer

Hello everybody, how are you? I hope you are going to have a wonderful week despite everything.

I am supposed to start taking Tamoxifen today. This is a drug that is supposed to stop cancer from coming back. The sort of breast cancer I have is called: oestrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive) breast cancer which means it needs oestrogen to grow. Tamoxifen stops oestrogen from reaching the cancer cells, which hopefully prevents any cancer cells from doing more damage.

But hey, guess what? It has side-effects. And those are: menopause-like!!!!!

GRRRRRRR. I have just celebrated the fact that my last period was a year ago and officially I am through with it. No hot flushes anymore. Hurray!

Well, Tamoxifen brings the whole lot back. There are, of course, some more side effects and a couple are rather severe. Like blood clots or cataracts, for example. So more anxiety for me to live with. Never mind.

BUT

This too shall pass & I will survive!!!!!!

It’s just ten years that I am supposed to take it…

If you like to know more about this drug have a look at these links:

https://www.drugs.com/tamoxifen.html

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/treatments-and-drugs/tamoxifen

https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/going-through-treatment-breast-cancer/hormone-therapy/tamoxifen

So let’s forget all this drug stuff and head off to Austria.

Austria is lovely. One of the countries that are blessed by the Alps and fabulous cakes. A fantastic musical film was made about Austria that isn’t that loved either in Austria or in Germany 😉

video credit: Rogers & Hammerstein via YouTube

I was born in the South of Germany and was in Austria for the first time as a toddler. My parents, grandparents and my godmother with her family went on holiday to a lake there.

According to family stories, I entertained the whole breakfast room in the hotel we stayed: Apparently, I waved and smiled at everybody, and everybody waved back at me when we came down in the morning. Those were the days.

Apparently I also did my first steps in Austria. Cool ey?!

When I was in my teens, we went to see Vienna, and in my 20’s I stayed at some other lake for a short holiday. And when we went on holiday to Hungary, we went through Austria too. So, yes, I saw my share of Austria.

I love apple strudel and used to make a mean Linzer Torte when I was younger. But what always baffles me is the fact that not many people in English speaking countries seem to know that Hitler was born in Austria. He ain’t German, ey! Well, I don’t know if he took the German nationality when he settled in Germany at the age of 18 to study art in Munich. Did you need to be German to become Chancellor? Who knows! I can’t be bothered to research it. Sorry.

But back to more joyful experiences and knowledge about this lovely country.

I know I wanted to to do this blog series to showcase musicians that we don’t usually know and from countries, we don’t usually know much about. It changed to an “I travel the world virtually and add some music” kind of project. It’s fun guys but when it comes to Austria, you can’t escape the fact that they do some great composers. And some great classical music. So I changed my usual approach and torture treat you to some brilliant pieces of music:

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, October 5th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture into Slovenia. Please find musicians from Slovenia on the CultureTrip page: Up and Coming Slovenian Bands You Need to Know

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
Colourful Italian Houses at the Coast

Come Away With Me to Italy & a Coffee Morning

Hello out there, all you lovely people! You rock! All of you! No matter where you are or what you are going through. And remember: You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

So what’s up with my beating cancer journey?

I have a little peace at the moment. Two weeks ago, I had my last chemotherapy, and I have to admit that I am delighted. Yes, the skin on my soles and some of my fingernails come off, I am on and off exhausted, and my brain still doesn’t work entirely, but chemo is over.

It makes me happy, you know. But I am also a little apprehensive when it comes to Radiotherapy, which starts at the beginning of October. I am worried I get burned. I am afraid that we get another lock-down and the virus will be more threatening. I am concerned that I’ll again be so exhausted that I can’t do a thing.

But I live in the here and now and not in October, so I enjoy the relief I feel at the moment and of course got a little ahead of myself. I signed up to do some fundraising for McMillan Cancer Support who have been a source of information. They are supporting so many of the UK cancer sufferer and have lost so much income because of the pandemic that I felt I could help a little. That is why

I want to raise 200£ for McMillan Cancer Support with two online events:

On Friday the 25th, September at 8AM, I am going to post a blog share post for all those who want to take part.

Recipe Blog Share

Please create a post with your favourite cake or cookie recipe. If you are affected by cancer, then feel free to share anything you feel you can share about it too. But the recipe only is absolutely fine.

I am putting a linky up at the post so you can share your contribution. Please make a donation here, no matter how little if you want to take part. It also does not matter if you are from the UK or not. It works from everywhere. Or share the link to my fundraising page on your social media instead. There is going to be a little surprise on my post. And I am going to share your blog every day for a week on all my social media.

Skype Coffee Hour with Bee

I will also host the “Skype Coffee Hour with Bee” on Friday 25th September at 14GMT (find a link to a time converter here). We are going to share a cuppa and have a lovely chat, and I’ll give you a little virtual tour of where we live. Please make a donation no matter how little if you want to take part. It also does not matter if you are not from the UK. It works from everywhere. Or share the link to my fundraising page on your social media. Please let me know in this form if you want to take part so I can send you the Skype link:

And you can, of course, also just donate and not take part in any of the events here.

You can find related posts here.

Come Away with me to Italy

Ah, good old Italy. Germany, where I was born, and Italy have many connections. Of course, the more recent and very dark connection is that both countries have experience in fascism. Mussolini and Hitler worked together at least for a little while. And far right-wing political groups are gaining power in both of them.

But there is a lot more that connects us. Germany has a considerable minority of Italian immigrants from the 1960s and ’70s who started Italian restaurants and ice cream parlours. Oh, I so miss a proper Italian ice-cream parlour. You have no idea how delicious their ice cream is. Well, I decided not to eat refined sugar anymore, so the ice-cream parlour is probably a no-go for me if I ever get back. But hey maybe they have ice cream for people who suffer from diabetes. That might do.

Ah, I digress. Sorry my dears.

I’ve been to Italy. Well, to the North of Italy with school many many moons ago. One of my main subjects for my A-levels was biology. Our biology course did a visit to Italy for a week to San Remo. We stayed at a holiday park in wooden huts, mastered the art of making coffee in those funny Italian coffee things on the hob and swam in the Mediterranean. We hiked the mountains and visited Monte Carlo. It was great.

Mittelmeer
This might be in Spain instead of Italy but it’s the Mediterranean as far as I can tell 😉

One thing I remember vividly was a visit to a little Italian village in the mountains. Some of us were not particularly fast when we were hiking in the mountains. While most of us already were back down in San Remo, the rest ambled as a class mate had trouble with her hips. Our biology teacher stayed with us too. When we came to the village, we felt we needed a break and our teacher invited us to a little cafe. It was full of men sipping their coffee and playing chess.

He was alone with three or four young women. You can imagine the looks we got LOL. But let me tell you the hot chocolate I had there was the best I ever drank. It was proper chocolate simply melted with a little milk in it. Delicious.

But now some “proper” information about Italy 🙂

When I looked up Italian musicians, I was surprised how many I knew from my time in Germany. Regularly in summer we had a typical happy song in the charts which usually came from Italy. And of course, the Eurovision Song Contest was still the Grand Prix D’Eurovision, and musicians had to sing in their native tongue. My choice is a bit random, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, September 28th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture into Austria. Please find musicians from Austria on MetalUnderground: Austrian Metal Bands

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
Museum in Samarkand Uzbekistan

Come Away With Me to Uzbekistan & Beating Cancer

Dear people of the blogosphere, please bear with me. Not sure I will be able to write more later in the week that is why I schedule this post (Thursday 10.9.20). I already made the playlists for today’s “Come Away with Me” so you have something to enjoy.

But I am very tired this time around and need a break besides some short messages for all you lovely and supportive people. You rock! Take care

And, of course, some music 🙂

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, September 21th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture into Italy. Please find musicians from Italy on Spinditty: 15 of the Best Italian Alternative Rock Bands (with videos)

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce

🐶 Had to share this… 🤗

View this post on Instagram

🌈❤️🐾🙏🏻 As part of our weekend remembering Pirate’s angel day.. we picked up a bunch of toys, which in the three videos you can see the boys loved sniffing through (can you find the carrots in the photo?), and we took them a senior dog sanctuary here in Missouri. Whispering Willows Senior Dog Sanctuary was one of the most remarkable places I have ever been to. The spirit there was everything and the founder spoke words like I feel in my heart. Their mission is to give senior dogs their last and final home, full of dignity and love, before their time comes to cross the rainbow bridge. Whispering Willows ( @whisperingwillows_sds ) has only been running as a sanctuary for about 3 years and what they have been able to do with the sanctuary in that time is absolutely extraordinary. They currently have about 67 dogs who are mainly hospice or senior dogs and has so far helped almost 300 babies on their final journey home, showing them profound love before their time comes. The only type of “kennel” area has little sections of what she calls suites where some of the more independent dogs sleep at night that are completely open on top and she plays white noise sounds and displays twinkling lights on the ceiling for them. The dogs that need 24 hour care stay in her home during the night and during the day all dogs are allowed to roam the home, small buildings, and entire 3 acre property which completely lights up at night anytime they would like as she has screens on all doors that allow them to move about anywhere as they please. Just from donations alone she has been able to staff about 17 people around the clock and that is incredible. Just as I never knew an old, unwanted dog would steal my heart.. I never knew a senior dog sanctuary would become one of my favorite places on earth! I’ll be sharing some more photos of their beautiful babies in a second post.. I know Pirate is happy to see places like this 🌈❤️🐾🙏🏻

A post shared by Pirate Marie 🐾 (@pirate_marie) on

Please visit them at their page

Whispering Willow Senior Dog Sanctuary

And if you life close by and could imagine to give an old dog a loving home please go for it. Thanks!

This post takes part in JoAnna’s “Good News Tuesday“. Please head over and find inspiring good news.

Romanian Castle

Come Away With Me to Romania & Beating Cancer

Hello everybody, how are you? I hope you are faring well. Here things are turbulent. In theory, I am going to have the last chemotherapy today. However, I am writing this post on Saturday, and on Friday, I had the phone review with the nurse from the chemotherapy department. She said that one of the white cell levels isn’t high enough. She said it would probably be ok today, but they will have to do another blood test. We might have to go home if it’s still too low. 

It’s nothing to worry about. That is normal as my immune system needs longer and longer to recover. I feel fine, and it’s strange to think that something is not quite right with me. 

Last week felt good. I had my mind together to write a post every day. So I decided to support the Extinction Rebellion September 2020 rebellion. The climate crisis is a topic close to my heart, and I want to inspire everybody to take action and help give future generations a life worth living on this planet. 

There is confusion, however, about my further treatment. I was offered a bone-strengthening injection which can’t start before I had a check-up on my teeth. They are affected by the treatment, so I need to have them in good condition; otherwise, I get more problems than needed. That will happen on the 16th, but the hospital made me an appointment for the 12th for the first injection. That means I have to sort it out today at the hospital if it can happen or not. It is usually a treatment for osteoporosis, but it has proven to prevent breast cancer from spreading. The side-effects are not that bad, so I grabbed the opportunity. I will have injections at the hospital every six months for two years.

Tomorrow I will have the assessment for radiotherapy which is supposed to start in October. I hope I won’t be too tired for the evaluation and will understand what they want from me. Having cancer somehow mainly means organising appointments, making up your mind if a treatment is worth taking the risk and trying not to forget to take the medication. I start being tired of it all. 

But hey, ho. No one promised me a rose garden, and it is the last chemo. That deserves to be celebrated!!!!

video source: Lynn Anderson VEVO via YouTube nope this is not from Romania 😉

Come Away with me has developed a little since I started it in another form in December. It’s like a bit of a holiday to find the video’s about the countries. Also, to research some of their music and musicians. I have learned so much in these last few months, and it keeps my mind off the cancer. 

So what have I learned about Romania where you come away with me today? It’s a Latin country. Yes, it is more connected to Italy and Spain than to the surrounding Slavic countries. I am from Swabia in Germany and in the 17th and 18th it’s people moved to southeastern Europe along the Danube. Some settled in today’s Romania. They are called the “Danube Swabians” and were invited by the Austro-Hungarian State to help build up the area along the end of the Danube after the war with the Ottomans. 

It looks like immigration has a long history and goes in all directions.

But enough of my little knowledge about Romania. I made a playlist with some beautiful videos of people who had more time to research and to visit the country. Please be so kind as to support them as they put a lot of money into their work. I do not get anything for this mention 🙂

Geography Now on Patreon 

Rick Steve’s Travel Guides

Flying the Nest Shop

Photo Tom’s Courses:

Photo Editing Course https://goo.gl/WE7pG6 

Photo Workshops https://goo.gl/D52yDC

And there is a gem from the ’50s too. British Pathe made a film about Romania in communist times. 

I did not realise that I actually know a Romanian musician. When I grew up a guy called Gheorghe Zamfir was very popular in Germany. He plays that funny sideways flute. I always thought he is Greek. Well, that’s another thing I learned today. Please enjoy my selection of Romanian musicians.

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, September 14th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture into Uzbekistan. Please find musicians from Uzbekistan on the Last Fm page for artists from Uzbekistan.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Please stay a little longer and check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce
boat on lake balaton

Come Away With Me to Hungary & Beating Depression

Good morning dear citizens of the blogosphere! How’s it rolling? I hope you and yours are well, and if not know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

I am not as bad as my post on Friday might suggest. Had a bad day and a feeling of sadness was creeping up my spine from my stomach. That’s a sure sign for me that depressions tries to claw its way in.

One of my coping strategies is to recognise the feeling, acknowledge it and then either do something that I enjoy or do housework. Yes, peeps housework can be therapeutic. It works for me because I do not need to think or organise much, which I find problematic in these situations. I can just do an every day, often simple task and have a result immediately. That makes me feel better.

And a cleaner house, in general, makes me feel better. I am not a domestic goddess. We do not live in a minimalistic, museum-like home. Ours is loved, lived-in and messy to some observers. But that is who we are. There are certain standards though we keep up, and that often works when it comes to my mental health.

I say “often” because I do not have a “one-fits-all-strategy” when it comes to keeping the black dog in check. There are many, and I need to let my intuition guide me which one fits the moment. That’s a good strategy but also a difficult one because we tend to suppress complicated feelings automatically.

However, if I want to give my intuition some reign, I need to look the darkness in the eye and feel what’s the best for me at that moment. Two mantras help me in this case “This too shall pass”, and the mindfulness thought “feelings come and go like tides”.

I am practising my version of mindfulness for about two years. My experience is: these mantras are correct. Pain is never the same, we have good and bad days, but our minds consider the current situation as everlasting. That impression makes it challenging to change our outlook.

But once we allow ourselves to sit, breathe and observe our life, body and feelings without judgement, we realise this constant change. It’s strangely reassuring. It is also strange how just sitting, breathing and being can create such a profound shift in attitude.

It happens gradually and is a life-long process. Sometimes I manage, sometimes I don’t. And that is reassuring too. I do not need to “achieve” something. I can keep working on those parts that are difficult and enjoy that come easier.

If you are interested in mindfulness check this page and their books out: franticWorld.com

video credit: Action for Happiness via YouTube

Maybe checking out Hungary made me depressed too. Another country that seeks its salvation in rampant nationalism and a supposed “strong” leader. You know, what I think of those and patriotism, so we don’t need to go down that route.

However, Hungary is another country I was lucky enough to experience in my teens before the iron curtain fell. My dad and one of his girl-friends took us to lake Balaton one summer just after my mother had passed away.

Hungary somehow had managed to create “communism light” which allowed western holidaymakers in. Hungary famously opened its borders to Austria in 1989 to let Eastern Germans leave for the West. But it was also a place where German families who were parted by the wall could meet before 1989.

I can’t remember, though if we met with our Eastern part of the family. What I remember is a hot summer, a vast lawn going down towards the lake where I spent my days reading and daydreaming and langos.

Oh, my mouth starts watering just thinking of those deep-fried breads that you could have only with salt or vinegar. Yum. We didn’t make our way to Budapest. It was too hot I guess, but we ventured into Siofok which must be the biggest city around the lake. We stayed in Keszthely s far as I remember.

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures but fear not. YouTube and it’s creative people give a plethora of videos explaining everything about Hungary, and I curated a couple for your entertainment and information:

I appologise for the in-video advertising. But hey, these people put a lot of effort into their videos and deserve to earn a living from it.

The music scene is rather interesting. It looks like the Hungarians do not only like Romani music; in fact, they probably hate it as much as the tourists do. From what I gather, they have a lively music scene with everything from folk to hip hop and lots of music festivals.

That is why I found it difficult to showcase just one musician. I created another playlist that allows you to listen to several. If you are curious about the lyrics, check out “Lyricstranslate“. They offer lots of translations of lyrics. Please enjoy.

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, September 7th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture into Romania. Please find musicians from Romania on the Last Fm page for Romanian artists.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every “Come Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

Affiliate link (you do not need to buy anything but if you do, I get referral rewards. Thanks)

WooCommerce