Belgrade at night

Come Away With Me to Serbia & Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hello, my lovelies all over the world. You rock! You roll! And please never, never forget that!

Today I am utterly cheating on you. Last Wednesday radiotherapy ended and today is my birthday. So I am celebrating! So instead of reading this poor blog post, please go off the screen and celebrate too.

Dance like no ones watching to celebrate life. Drink your favourite hot beverage to celebrate all the good in your life. And if you feel like it, eat something lovely preferably healthy to celebrate creativity. 

And if you then have a little time left, come back and watch the video’s I have chosen to make my point today and to take you away to Serbia. Cause I won’t write much today!!!!

This month I connected my “Come Away with Me” posts with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I wrote about symptoms of Breast CancerSelf-examination and risk factors of Breast Cancer. Today I offer some videos and links on how to prevent Breast Cancer. It links in with last weeks post as there are risk factors that you cannot do anything about, and there are risk factors that you can prevent. 

The risk factors you can do something about are those which help to prevent Breast Cancer. However, scientists do not know why some people get Breast Cancer, and some don’t. Last week I realised that I did everything that was in my power to prevent getting cancer. It didn’t help not to get it, but it helped me to be more optimistic about getting through all of it. 

But I am sure there are many out there who did not get cancer because of preventive action. It isn’t easy to prove that so we just believe that is the cause to encourage you!

Ok, enough said. Here are the videos

And here are some links to find out more:

NHS on reducing the risk of getting Breast Cancer

Mayo Clinic on reducing the risk of getting Breast Cancer

Cancer Research UK on reducing the risk of getting Breast Cancer

And now we get away to Serbia.

As you can see, Serbia is like all Balkan countries a complicated one. In my opinion, that means they have a thriving music scene because music often tries to make sense of what is happening in society. I think it also means that there is much music to take your mind away from the problems which creates beautiful music. Maybe my view is a bit one-sided or naive here but make up your mind with my music list. 

Please make sure to like the video’s I am curating for you or even sign up for the channels and support their Patreon pages as these creators put in a lot of work and deserve to be compensated one way or the other. Thanks. 

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, November 2nd, 2020

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

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!

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!

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!

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!

McMillan Coffee Morning 2020 Background Bunting

Bee’s Virtual McMillan Coffee Morning… supporting a Cancer Charity

…a little later than expected.

I apologise my dear readers for not putting this post up at 8 AM as promised. In fact, it is 8 AM, and I am just writing it. My little surprise needed some more time to get right, and our Internet is a little slow today.

Also, I was a little out of sorts yesterday as I had to rescue one of our chicken from the rest of the flock. She got pecked on, and it looked horrible. Chemotherapy made me much more emotional than I usually am, so I had real trouble to get anything done afterwards. 

I also apologise to my readers outside of the UK. It looks like I got something wrong: Unfortunately, you can’t donate to McMillan from outside on my page. Therefore, if you want to give to a cancer charity, please chose one in your country. You can download my little surprise further down the post anyway, and I hope you enjoy it. 

So what is the McMillan Coffee Morning about? 

McMillan Cancer Support is a UK charity that supports cancer patients and their families/friends through a tough time. Having cancer means to go through a lot of treatment that has serious consequences. It is sometimes difficult to decide what is the best approach, and the information that McMillan has accumulated is essential to take the right decision.

They also offer advice on benefits, workers rights and anything that might come up while you are dealing with cancer. As a charity, they rely on donations, and one of their very popular event’s is the McMillan Coffee Morning. 

video credit: McMillan via YouTube

I always wanted to do one but never got around, and last week on a whim I decided this year is the year. Well, I should have thought a little longer about it really. Didn’t have the energy to advertise for it properly and also didn’t get all the information right. I am so sorry. 

But in the end, it’s the thought that counts and I have to admit that it’s quite fun to create something to support this brilliant charity.

Please come in, have a seat and mug of your favourite hot beverage.

So please, settle down with your favourite hot beverage. I am having a de-caf Jasmin green tea and some shortbread made with date sugar. It got a bit dark but still tastes lovely. It’s stormy outside. Raining and wind gusts up to 60mph so what’s better than to cuddle up on the sofa with a cup of tea, coffee or cocoa. 

Memories of Johanna, Fritz & Tony

My little virtual Coffee Morning is in memory of Johanna, my mum, Fritz my grand-father and Tony my step-father-in-law.

All of them passed away from cancer. I know many more who did not make it after being diagnosed, and there will be many more. 

According to Cancer Research: “There were 17 million new cases of cancer (all cancers combined excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) worldwide in 2018: 8.8 million (52%) in males and 8.2 million (48%) in females…” (Cancer Research on Worldwide Data). The projection is that cancer rates will have increased by 62% worldwide in 2040. 

That is a lot, don’t you think? It will affect all of us in one way or another. 

Fancy some more tea, coffee or cocoa? And what about another biscuit?

My Mum Johanna

Many who know my mother say that I am very much like her. She was a passionate and caring woman. She loved to party, to crochet and knit and she did some mean cooking and baking. 

What I remember most is her smile. Her hugs and how she was always there for us even when she could not leave her bed anymore because of cancer. 

She had breast cancer like me, but in the end, it had spread everywhere, and her body could not cope anymore. Nurses and we cared for her at home in the end, and she passed away in my parent’s bedroom. 

I miss her so much, but she is also an inspiration for how to deal with such a severe illness. Stay positive and live your life like there is no tomorrow. 

Family Portrait
Description for visually impaired readers: family foto from early 70’s. Little Bee in a stroller on the right. Her mum above her sitting on a chair at an outside restaurant table. To the left her granny and parts of her granddad.

Are you comfortable? Do you want anything more to drink?

My grandfather Fritz

My grandfather was a character. He came from the lost German areas in the East of Europe which are now Polish and Lithuanian. He joined the German army as a young man and met my grandmother when he was stationed in Bamberg, where one of my grandmother’s cousins lived. 

He ended up in a prisoner of war camp but escaped or was released and walked back to the South of Germany where he settled and was joined by my grandmother a little later. 

He never spoke much about the experiences he had in the war. I saw him sitting in his beloved chair just before he died, and he had a faraway look. I thought he was thinking about his lost home or about what the war did to him and his generation. Not all Germans agreed to what Hitler did, and indeed not many wanted that war. 

He was funny, maybe disguised his traumas with humour like so many men of his age did all over the world. He used to annoy my dad when eating. He took his false teeth out and put them beside his plate, which made my dad gag. Or he pointed to the ceiling and said to us: “Look!” and while we looked, he nicked delicious morsels from our plate. 

He worked as a riding teacher, and it looks like he was quite a charmer because the ladies liked him very much. He smoked from the age of 17 or 18, and in the end, it got him. He passed away from lung cancer. 

I promise I won’t do disgusting things to get you off your hot beverage LOL.

Tony

My mother-in-law’s partner was a character too. Very similar to my granddad, he disguised trauma and hurt with humour. While he could be quite annoying, he was also very caring and helped my mother-in-law when her husband passed away. 

I wish I’d said more. Half a year before he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia, I saw a dark red mark on his arm, and I asked him what that was. He said it was a bruise from the dog. I knew that this could be a sign of leukaemia but did not dare to say more. 

More biscuits? Or some more hot beverage? Please help yourself.

My surprise for you

I promised you a little surprise, and at last, I got it finished 🙂

It’s a little early to talk about Christmas, and not everybody celebrates Christmas, but I am from Germany. Christmas is big in Germany and traditional. So I thought I surprise you with a little download. It’s called: 

Bee’s McMillan Coffee Morning German Christmas Download

Three Ultimate German Christmas Baking Recipes

Two Famous German Christmas Poems

One Beautiful Video with German Christmas Songs

&

Lot’s of memories (pdf-file)

You can make the biscuit recipes all year round, and there is a lot of information about Germany and other things too in it, so please enjoy and download even if you don’t celebrate. And please donate to a cancer charity near you or if you are from the UK to McMillan on my Coffee Morning page. Thanks.

Download here:

Bee’s Skype McMillan Coffee Hour

I’ll host a Skype McMillan Coffee Hour this afternoon (25th September 2020) at 2PM (find a link to a time converter here) where we can have a chat and a biscuit together.

Please fill in the RSVP form at this post to get the link. It might need a while for the information to get through so please bear with me. If you don’t get any information until 2PM then please sent me an email to bee.halton(at)gmail.com. Thanks!

.

Oh, it’s time for you to go? Such a shame. Please take a biscuit with you on the way 🙂

Thanks for stopping by

Thanks to my dear readers for stopping by and go down memory lane with me. Please feel free to share my McMillan page with your followers if you live in the UK or donate. You can donate until January 2021.

And if you live outside of the UK, feel free to contribute to a cancer charity near you. No matter how little because we all need it. Cancer is rising everywhere, and many of us are or will be affected. The work of charities is so important to get through the challenge of having cancer. 

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!

McMillan Coffee Morning Logos

I am no good at this fundraising stuff ~ Bee’s Virtual McMillan Coffee Morning

Hello, out there, how are you doing? I hope life is treating you well and if not that you have all the support that you need.

I am really no good at this fundraising stuff. Should be shouting about my virtual McMillan Coffee Morning every day on all social media and on all blogs. But what do I do? Feel ashamed I even tried and signed up for it.

But at least I have managed to adjust my blog so it shouts “McMillan Coffee Morning” at you 😉 .

Video Credit: McMillan via YouTube

So what is it all about?

I want to raise 200£ for McMillan Cancer Support with two 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.

Well, I am new to fundraising, so I am curious how this will go. I am looking forward to seeing or reading you on the 25th!

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

Here are some of my other posts:

Invitation to Bee’s virtual McMillan Coffee Morning in Memory of Johanna, Fritz & Tony on September 25th, 2020

Hello out there, how are you today? I hope life is treating you well and if it throws you a curve ball that you find all the support you need. My thoughts and prayers go out to you daily.

“So, what is Bee up to now?” you might ask. Well, I have been thinking about raising money for McMillan Cancer Support for many years. Whenever their adverts pop up on TV, I thought: “I should really do this…” but as we humans are I never bothered to actually do something.

video credit: McMillan via YouTube

This year, you can imagine things are a bit different. Firstly I am beating cancer now. Secondly, you can do a virtual coffee morning because of COVID. Well, I don’t know if that’s a new thing. It might have been possible all along. And thirdly McMillan is offering all the information I was given on cancer, the treatments I am receiving and have provided help over the phone. I believe, having cancer in the UK without McMillan would be a much harder journey.

This coffee morning is also in memory of my mum Johanna, my granddad Fritz and my step father-in-law Tony who all passed away because of cancer. May they rest in peace!

Family Portrait
Description for visually impaired readers: family foto from early 70’s. Little Bee in a stroller on the right. Her mum above her sitting on a chair at an outside restaurant table. To the left her granny and parts of her granddad.

I would like to raise 200£

So, how does it work?

I have created a page at the McMillan Coffee Morning Page which you can access via this link. You will find a button that invites to accept an RSVP, and you’ll be able to donate in secure ways there. I will put this link up on the post at the 25th too. You can start contributing now, and I think it will stay up until January 2021.

But what I feel is much more important is to share a virtual cuppa and our favourite bicky, cake… recipes on the 25th. Also, I feel it is essential to share your memories of loved ones lost to cancer, your cancer healing story or anything that you feel needs to be shared to help us beat cancer.

But you do not need to and you do not need to have cancer or be affected by cancer either. It’s perfectly fine to just have a lovely day with lots of coffee, tea, cocoa and great recipes to share.

I will put up a linky so you can add your post at mine on the 25th. My post will go up at 8AM GMT and you can add your link at any time after that so everybody can come and join in.

Am looking forward to share a good cuppa with you for a good cause!



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



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!