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Come Away With Me to Latvia & Beating Cancer

Hello out there, dear people of the blogosphere. Have you missed me? I missed you but had to take it easy last week. However, I still kept sending out my blessings to you daily, and hope you and yours are well.

I am a little more than halfway through the first cycle of chemotherapy and am feeling much better than last week. After I got my non-lady-like side effects back under control I started to help a little in the garden and did some housework too. That seemed to have brought my energy levels back up, and prompted me to start blogging again.

Still, I can only do things for a short while and then have to rest. That is now fine by me. In the first week after chemo, I felt rather useless. Now I think, that’s just part of the parcel. I feel incredibly grateful for the NHS and its staff. They are doing an incredible job in these strange times and have been there for me whenever I needed them.

So far, my hair is still on my head. I have no mouth sores just my gums are sort of rough. I wash my mouth with a light salt solution a couple of times a day as I clean my teeth after pretty much every meal or snack I have. The inflammation that stopped me from starting chemotherapy in April is gone, but I am still taking antibiotics. So all in all I am grateful that there are not too many side effects (yet). More is for sure to come but I deal with it when it arrives.

So, shall we get away for a little to Latvia?

Latvia is the middle country of the three small countries on the Eastern side of the Baltic sea. It is bordered by Russia to the East, Estonia to the North and Lithuania in the South. According to Wikipedia, it has a very high standard of living and its governments take democracy seriously.

It was ruled by Russia, Sweden and Poland over many centuries but German aristocracy seemed to have executed the rule. In the late 1980s the so-called “Singing Revolution” gave way to the modern democratic state of Latvia. So strange I can’t remember hearing about it then. But I guess Germany was pretty occupied with its own throwing out of communist rule. I can remember though the human chains all along the little Baltic countries. Sigh. Where is all that hope gone from those days for a better world?

I’ve found you a couple of videos that give an overview of Latvia. If they do not play on the blog, follow the links underneath to their YouTube location.

Video credit: Mojo Travels via YouTube
Video credit: Deutsche Welle via YouTube
Video credit: BBC Travel Show via YouTube

The band I have chosen today is not entirely unknown to the West. Prata Vetra or BrainStorm as they are also known were the first Latvian band to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest. I think they did quite well. They also won some accolades at the MTV Music Awards and even played at Glastonbury some years ago.

The reason I chose them are the lyrics to this song:

Copy right: Brainstorm via YouTube

In the dawn/ Na Zare

via LyricsTranslate

No-no, I know already, I know that my youth is gone. Now I can only recall. And I remember: then, in youth, I didn’t feel happy. It seemed vice-versa: everything was difficult, they didn’t understand me, they didn’t hear me, but now I know that I was happy then and there. But I didn’t know it then. I wanted so much! I was waiting for something! And it seemed to me that I heard something calling me… The voices are calling me in the dawn! The voices are calling me in the dawn! What was I waiting for? I was waiting for the amazing destiny, unique life. I wanted to feel everything, to try everything as soon as possible. I could walk down the street, see my reflection in the shop-windows and hope that I would be loved anyway, that I am awaited for. Also I could dream till morning and feel tremblingly that it will happen soon, this morning, very soon… very soon… And there, in my youth, when I looked at the morning mist above the river while coming back home through the sleeping city, it seemed to me always, or more exactly, I was sure that they called just for me… just for me… The youth is gone… But life goes on… It gives us the happy moments, but sometimes tries to destroy us… Many-sided, many-faced life… Ten years later we’ll realize again that we were happy, but didn’t notice that… It’s necessary just to appreciate it here and now as it is… Life is a happiness itself..

This song just expresses so much of how I feel recently.

Find out more about Latvia on the Camels & Chocolate Blog. And Image Earth Travel offers some stunning photos not only from Riga.

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday May 25th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit the Netherlands. Find out about interesting musicians from the Netherlands on the Culture Trip Page: 10 Dutch Musicians You Should Be Listening to.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. 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

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:

WordPress.com
image of hot spring and quote by Bertrand Russel

Something Powerful For You

Hello out there, remember you rock!!!! Please never forget that you can manage anything life is throwing at you! Yes, you can!

I have allowed myself some downtime in the last couple of days. While I do not have massive side-effects (yet…), they are still taking their toll, and I have promised myself to rest when needed, no matter what blogging plans I have.

This morning though I was listening to a song that I love, that gives me hope and makes me cry every time 🙂

I believe besides Love Hope is the most powerful thing in the world and that is why I want to share this song with you today:

Woyaya – Wiyala

Please check out this incredible and versatile singer from Ghana which I discovered at the beginning of 2020.

Wiyaala on Wikipedia

Wiyaala’s Homepage

Wiyaala on Circumspecte

Lyrics

We are going
Heaven knows where we are going
But we know we will get there

We are going
Heaven knows where we are going
But we know we will get there

We will get there
Heaven knows how we will get there
We know we will

It will be hard we know
And the road will be muddy and rough
But we’ll get there
Heaven knows how we will get there
We know we will get there


We are going
Heaven knows where we are going
But we know we will get there

Woya ee woyaa yaa (repeat till fade)

Happy Tuesday despite everything!

Image of Mountain landscape with quote By Francis of Assisi

Come Away With Me to the UK and Beating Cancer with Food

Hello out there. How are you today? I hope you and yours are well. It is my habit to pray for all my readers every morning, and even if you are not a spiritual person, please accept my good thoughts for you. I hope this encourages you to face the challenges that you are facing. Let’s rock this life!!!!

gif source: Giphy ~ South Park character in front of a red curtain, moving its arms up. White writing saying: “With tha said, let’s rock and roll.

So, the cancer journey update. Well, today isn’t an update as such. I am writing this post 1 1/2 weeks before it gets posted and I don’t know yet how everything turns out with chemo. Please stay tuned until next week when we know more.

Today, I share with you the food changes I have adopted to beat cancer. I am glad I didn’t have to change that much because we are Vegetarians, so one of the biggest culprits that support cancer cell growth is out of our diet anyway. Another one is refined sugars. These I substituted for honey, maple syrup, raisins and dried dates as soon as I was diagnosed in January.

It works very well, and I am surprised at how tasty it is. I am not sure if these natural sugars are harmful to you, too, when you have cancer. I knew though I wouldn’t manage only to eat raw veg to avoid anything bad for cancer growth. So a compromise it is. I have tried baking some biscuits with honey, but they are not the like “proper” biscuits. That is why I grab dried fruit or nuts when my sweet tooth needs feeding ;-).

Image of a pile of vegetables
Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Two other things that I cut out of my diet is alcohol and coffee. I never drank much of either anyway but I thought I don’t need to push my luck so that’s out in favour of plain water and herbal tea. I still drink black tea and at the moment lots of it. That might be counterintuitive because it includes caffein which is bad for cancers but hey: “Nobody’s perfect”.

One thing I want to add to my diet again is green tea. Green tea is known to help against the development of cancer cells. However, it is slightly more expensive than black tea and has sometimes made my stomach worse so I haven’t used it for a while. But I think I might go back to it soon.

These are my diet changes to beat cancer. Have you survived cancer and have changed your diet? If so, do you have any more suggestions on what I could change when it comes to food to beat the bugger 😉 ?

So here a video about food and cancer from the Mayo clinic just to give you some more ideas if you need them.

video credit: Mayo Clinic via YouTube

Now it’s time for my “beating cancer” project “Come Away With Me.” As many of you know, I would like to find a musician from every country on this lovely planet. Initially, I wanted to find musicians from countries that we usually do not listen to. However, I thought there are unknown musicians from our own countries, so I included them. This year it is mainly countries in Europe. But this project goes over about four years, as you can find out here on my page.

This week we are in the UK, and please forgive me that I am not writing much about it. I live there, you know :-). If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments, and I am happy to help. But I leave you with a video that shows you some of the most beautiful places in the UK.

video credit: Top10UK via YouTube

British musicians are known and loved around the world. They often top the charts in many countries, and that is why again I am not writing much about them.

However, there are incredibly creative new musicians developing in colleges and universities in the UK. One of which is my son from another mother who studies music in Brighton. He started to take his love for music seriously at the City College in Norwich, and it turned out that Norwich has a vibrant musical scene. So I share with you a short film by Francis Butler about new artists from Norwich and what difficulties they face. (No, son from another mother isn’t one of them 🙂 )

video credit: Francis Butler via YouTube

Now I am not sure about the copyright of the material used in this film that is why I share the Fair Use Disclaimer of the filmmaker Francis Butler:

Fair Use Disclaimer: Footage from the music videos for ‘Bag Of Cans – Houseproud’ and ‘The Neutrinos – One Way Kiss’ does not belong to me and was used solely for the purpose of this documentary. All rights go to Alfie Johnson/The Mill, Eugene Riecansky and the other original copyright holders as made clear throughout the video and in the credits. Whilst the above video may contain some copyrighted material not specifically authorised to be used by the copyright holders, I acknowledge this and believe it to be upheld by the fair use defence for the purposes of news reporting.

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

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit Denmark. Find out about interesting musicians from Denmark on the Culture Tip Page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. 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

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:

WordPress.com

Come Away With Me To Ireland and Beating Cancer

gif source: Giphy ~ Yellow Star Wars writing saying: “May the Fourth Be With You”. It looks like you are flying very fast through a starry univers in the background

Hello out there, how are you coping? I hope life is treating you well, despite everything. If you feel overwhelmed, remember you are not alone. We all feel like this, and you are in my prayers daily.

I am a bit embarrassed. Last week I told you I start chemotherapy and then didn’t. I got an infection and the doctor decided to wait a week. They gave me antibiotics, and they seem to work. So today, I am not writing; I stared chemo because when I am writing this, I do not know if I start or not.

How am I coping? Ok at the moment but the week before chemo should have started was a hard one. The best husband and I tried to figure out how to deal with shielding. The advice in the UK is that everybody who has his or her immune system compromised should keep to their own. So, in theory, I should stay in one room on my own and just get out to the bathroom when no one is around. Not possible in a small house like ours.

Image of a young woman having her hand on her breast. Several glas candle holders and a shadow which appears to be a monk
Image by Grae Dickason from Pixabay

So we compromised. I will wear gloves and something over my nose and mouth at all times. The best husband already strips down when he comes home, puts his clothes in the washing machine, and has a shower before we come close. He also disinfects everything he took with him that can’t be washed. And we will clean all surfaces after use as best as we can. And we don’t worry about the virus because if we do, we certainly catch it. That must do.

Otherwise I occupy myself with reading, blogging, TV, light housework and every now and then some gardening. Since my operation I have only been out of the house to go to the hospital and go for a walk in the morning. I just fully started this last week because tiredness is one side effect of chemotherapy which can be counter acted with light exercise.

And I started to learn Dutch via Duolingo and to improve my French with reading books in French. I found out that you can translate foreign language books with google translate if you highlight what you need to have translated on google books. That is ingenious. I read a sentence and try to understand as much as I can. Then I look it up with google translate. I know its translations aren’t always perfect but its better than using a dictionary.

image of a dilapidated hut in an Irish coastal landscape
Image by Christian_Birkholz from Pixabay

Not to forget my ” beating cancer” project ” Come Away With Me.” This week I am rather excited because our journey leads us to Ireland, one of my favorite countries in the world. I was lucky enough to travel around the republic of Ireland ( Northern Ireland is part of the UK) in 1992. I can’t believe that it is nearly 30 years ago. Ireland was a different place then. More rural and, of course, the conflict in the North made everything more difficult.

I had met my first husband when doing a gap year and luckily he liked travelling. So at the end of said gap year we decided to visit Ireland a place I always wanted to see basically because the rumour went there are many people with red hair. I don’t remember seeing many more than otherwise but it was a wonderful journey. We went from the West of Germany by car to Belgium and from there too via ferry to Dover in the UK. We then manoeuvred our way around London to Fishguard in Wales. Again a ferry and two days after we started we managed to end up in Ireland’s Roeselare.

Colourful houses in Kinsale
Image by Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay

Our plan was to go around the coast of Ireland and camp, which worked very well. What stood out most for me were the people we met. In Kinsale, a young woman asked us for money, but she didn’ just wanted to beg. She sang us a song. A shopkeeper told us that the Irish prefered Germans to the British because they fought the Brits in the war. I found that rather strange to hear, but it also made me feel welcomed because German tourists didn’t have the best of reputations.

We met two German students in Waterford. After chatting for a while, they figured we were camping and never had stayed in a B&B, so they offered us to stay with them. So we did. But it was night by the time they took us o heir house in the middle of nowhere. Literally. I got somewhat scared bu just at that moment one of them said:” Don’t worry, we live entirely remote, we are not going to kill you,” and all of us laughed.

Image of a ancient lighthouse called the beacon in Baltimore Ireland
Image by Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay

And then there was that pub in Baltimore, I think (yes there is Baltimore in Ireland 😉 ). It had a music festival on, and a band of three were playing. Their expressions were severe, like they were playing for the government. Suddenly a patron stood up, grabbed an accordion, sat down with them, and played as fast as them with exactly the same expression on his face. You can’t make it up.

Ireland’s pub had to shut down at 11pm in those days. So the landlord called for the last orders at a quarter to 11. Then he asked the audience to close the curtains behind them and the concert went on until 1am. It was awesome! Oh, and we were in Hollywood too :-). That lies in the Wicklow Mountains by the way 😉

I know that Ireland today is a different place than then but I am still very fond of the country and hope to have the chance to visit it again with the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world. And to give you an idea how the country looks like a video by Wandering Wolf and their journey around the island.

video credit: Wandering Wolf via YouTube

Ireland is renowned for its musicians, and at least when we were there back in the day, there were musicians everywhere. It was brilliant. The band I have chosen today is called TOUCAN and consists of 10 musicians all from the county of Munster but different towns. They brought out their debut album last year and are on tour on and off. Conor Clancy and Martin Atkinson, the founders of TOUCAN, played together at a house party in 2015 and thought about creating a band. But it didn’t hit off until recently when they started to play live shows. But find out more at ILoveLimerick and their page. And now to one of their songs without more words.

video credit: TOUCAN via YouTube

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

I am taking a somewhat random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit Great Britain. Find out about interesting musicians from the UK on the Culture Trip page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. 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

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. May the fourth be with you 😉

Affiliate link:

WordPress.com
black & white photo of a lake and a forest and quote by B. Auerbach

Come Away With Me to the States and Beating Cancer

Hello out there in isolation sphere, how are you holding up? I hope you and yours are well and safe.

It is nearly 1 AM where I live when this post goes up and later in the morning I am going to have my first chemotherapy session. Hopefully, I am sleeping right now, but you never know. Right now (I write his post a week earlier) I am starting to get nervous.

Chemotherapy has rather nasty side effects even though it has come a long way from when my mother had to deal with. The oncology nurse advised me not to have a too close look at them beforehand, as I might not get many. I felt though I needed to be a little prepared because I will have to call the hospital in certain circumstances. So I read up on them, also to know what I can do to make things easier for me.

Most information I found didn’t help much though because it wasn’t written for COVID-19 shielding times. Never mind. In the end I decided to get as much blogging done as I can, be as resed as I can and meditate the life out of me 😉

I will soon know if it worked 🙂

gif source: Giphy ~ a beige creature looking like hamtser with a green leave on it’s head says: If you are reading this, I hope something good happens to you today”

So, for now, let’s come away on our musical journey around the world. Today we travel to the United States of Amerika and to a band called “The Cactus Blossoms.” While I have never heard of them, Twin Peaks fans might know more. The band appeared in one episode of the 2018 season, according to the Rolling Stone. Page Burkum and Jack Torrey are brothers despite different names. According to All Music, Jack adopted a stage name when he started as a musician aged 19.

Every source I read (I admit they weren’t many) compared them to the Everly Brothers as they seem to play a similar country-music-influenced rock style. I have no clue about 50’s or 60’s American rock music (besides Elvis, of course, but that’s another story) so I can’t comment. They were on a European tour in 2017 (please read more about one of their concerts on Pete Viney’s blog), and that’s about what my tired brain could manage to convey to you.

Please forgive me and find some links about The Cactus Blossoms after the video. And as always: Follow the link underneath any video to their YouTube location if they don’t play here on the blog.

video credit: Cactus Blossoms via YouTube

Find out more about the Cactus Blossoms on their page

All Music wrote about them here.

And the Rolling Stone mentioned them too here

Yes, I know we can’t travel in person at the moment but we can online. To come away with me to the States with these two videos:

video credit: BBC Travel Show via YouTube

video credit: Danny McGee via YouTube

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

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit Ireland. Find out about interesting musicians from Ireland on the EXTRA.ie page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. 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

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:

WordPress.com

We Can Do It… but What Day Is It Anyway? (23.4.2020)

Hello dear readers, how are you doing? I hope you and yours are well physically and mentally. We are living in extraordinary times and will see incredible changes in the future. Rather scary stuff that. I also hope you can face these with optimism. No matter what is the case with you, my thoughts and prayers go for you and yours.

Let’s start with something positive, shall we? British artists are coming together to paint and draw NHS workers portraits to say thank you. What a wonderful way to immortalise these heroes:

video credit: sky news via youtube

It is Wednesday morning at 3am when I am writing this. I woke up at twelve to go to the toilet and take another painkiller. Then I went back to bed but couldn’t get back to sleep. Never mind. I felt the best way to get about this was to use the time for something I enjoy. So I got up; made a cup of tea, and played a little with the tv on. That is where I saw the report about the artists drawing portraits.

It’s strange how the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world and my sleeping patterns seem to have reversed. Usually, it is him staying up half of the night, and I am asleep. But he is working full time, still recovering from a severe operation and basically does all the housework now, and it takes its toll. I am in awe how he manages it all and deeply grateful for his love and support.

I don’t worry too much about not sleeping. I am basically bound to the house for the next four and a half months so I can write and read whenever it fits. Plus my sleeping pattern seems to be one night up one night sleeping. I can live with that.

Of course, I have a reason for being worried and not sleeping. I start chemotherapy on Monday, and in COVID-19 times nothing is straight forward. I need to have blood tests done before every session. Usually, I would just get an appointment with the surgery and go. I wasn’t sure though if they still do these. Luckily our surgery has a brilliant homepage. You can basically do everything online. So I asked and they told me they do, but they could also ask the community nurse to come around because I am now classed as vulnerable. At first, I wasn’t sure which I’d prefer but decided to ask for the services of the community nurses.

Image of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals

The hospital I am attending has lots of information as leaflets and online about their cancer treatments. Usually, they do an information evening in the radiology department and for chemotherapy but that’s not on right now. Also, chemotherapy is moved to a private hospital close by to keep vulnerable patients safe. The appointment letter I got told me though to go to my regular hospital. Confusing. So I called my oncology specialist nurse to find out. They are only in their office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and I didn’t expect a call back when I called on Tuesday. But a co-worker of theirs picked up the call and reassured me I had to go to the private hospital and they would call me closer to the appointment. I feel I can start working as a PA after all this with this much organising and finding information.

And then there is this little thing with shielding. I should hide in one room in the house once I start chemotherapy, not seeing the husband and only use bathroom and kitchen on my own. Our home is small. We have no en suits. I can’t fully shield and also start to realise how much close contact with my husband helps me to get through this. We cannot afford to both stay home as our employer wouldn’t pay him. ( Government advice is that family members can still work but need to stay away from the person who is shielding and as a groundskeeper, he can’t work from home.). We sill figure out how to deal with this. So what day is it anyway?????

image of blue purple mountain cornflower and dark green leaves

Linda over at “Life in Progress” has started the “What day is it anyway” blog event. She invites us all to share a little of our new daily routines, struggles and successes. She writes: “

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!

Thanks Linda, your rock!

I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is a list of her #WDIIA posts.

Now to something different. A blast from the past

I posted this first in 2017 and it is still so cool:

YouTube Tuesday was a blog meme back in 2012 that I took part in. It has stopped or the blog has moved or whatever, the thing is I can’t find it anymore but I love the video’s I had posted then and so repost them and just take over the YouTube Tuesday meme. If you like it, feel free to share your own choice of video and link to this post so that I can visit yours. Have fun!

thanks for the video to via http://www.youtube.com

Find out more here:
http://www.blublu.org/

A short film by Blu: an ambiguous animation painted on public walls.
Made in Buenos Aires and in Baden (fantoche)

http://www.blublu.org/

music by Andrea Martignoni
assistant: Sibe

And that is it for today.

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!

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Come Away With Me to Japan and Beating Cancer (20.4.2020)

Hello, all you good people of the blogosphere. How is your day going? I hope you have a wonderful Monday despite everything and that the new week brings only good things to your door.

Last Wednesday, we learned the next steps of my cancer journey. I told you a little about my experiences on Saturday. Next week Monday I am going to start chemotherapy which in COVID-19 times means I am going to have to shield. That means I basically need to stay away from everybody including my family. We’ve spent the last couple of days figuring out how to do this but are not sure yet. I keep you updated.

From what I gather, the first cycle of chemo (I have to go through six, each lasting three weeks) is going to be the hardest. Of course, I am apprehensive but am working on a mindset of taking things one day at a time. Currently, I am feeling fine just dealing with the pain of healing muscles. It’s uncomfortable, but working with painkillers, laying down, and doing a little housework makes it bearable.

I am, of course, wondering how I manage the blogging. My goal is to use it as a journal of my journey as well as a distraction to get through chemo. But everybody is different, and I don’t know yet with how many side-effects I have to deal with. Please stay tuned to find out more.

In recent posts, I gave shoutouts to those who lost someone to the virus as well as keyworkers. I have moved these to the sidebar of my blog as I feel I need to be a little frugal with my writing just in case. Today I wish to say thank you to all of you, my family, and friends for all your kind words, encouragement and support. You rock! I could not do it without you.

gif credit: Giphy ~ a white animated dog sits while a huge grey rock falls down. It points to it and white writing appears on top saying: you rock.

But enough of the words. Let’s go travelling.

I am rather intrigued about going to Japan. We probably know about more traditional Japanese music or the good old Japanese Pop, but what about electronic music? Now that is not my natural area of music. I do like a couple of dancefloor songs but don’t usually like listening to it.

Industrial JP though fascinates me. They are a music label which dedicates itself to shine a light on small family businesses in Japan who produce things which are called Machikoba. Industrial JP captures the sounds of the Machikoba workshops and transforms them into dance music. Their mission is to show these businesses in a positive light. According to the Japanese Times, Machikobas have a hard time because small scale production is more expensive. However, they seem to have a place in the heart of Japanese people as it reminds them of better times.

So they have quite some media attention with many documentaries and tv productions showing their hard work and excellent production. It seemed just natural for Industrial JP to bring another point of view into the equation.

Industrial JP was founded in 2016 and have 12 productions since. Their work does not only include music but also videos which show the sources of the sounds used. But I don’t want to keep you any longer from a different music experience. Please listen to “Sugiurum” which was made at Ashigara Film. Please follow the link underneath the video if it doesn’t play here on the blog.

video credit: Industrial JP via YouTube

Please read about Industrial JP in the Japanese Times.

And find out more about Industrial JP on their page.

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday 27th April, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit The United States. I know, I know my original idea was not to travel to places which music we know well but hey. We can’t travel now in person. We might as well go everywhere 🙂 . Find out about interesting (maybe still upcoming) musicians from the United States here on the GoodDeedSeats page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. 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

And just so we can travel a little in our imagination here some videos about Japan. Have fun. If they don’t play here on the blog, follow the links underneath to their YouTube location.

Video credit: Allan Su via YouTube
video credit: BBC Travel Show via YouTube
video credit: BBC Travel Show via YouTube

And now to something different 🙂

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Charity Boudicca Appeal

I would also like to encourage you to support the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Charity’s Boudicca Appeal. They are fundraising 800 000£ to create a dedicated breast cancer unit. The hospital today sees almost double as many breast cancer patients than they did five years ago. That is an enormous rise and puts a lot of pressure on the current facilities and staff. 

For me, that meant so far five journeys to Norwich within a month. That is between 35 and 45 minutes travel each way and the worry, not knowing what comes. On Thursday the 5th of March, we went again. We found out that my cancer needs an operation and probably radiotherapy. But I won’t know for sure until two weeks after the operation. While I am holding up well, it still puts a lot of pressure on my family and me. 

They say on their page they want to build:” An enhanced environment. Purport-built, spacious waiting, diagnostic and treatment rooms. Counselling rooms for women with a breast cancer diagnosis.
Better experience for patients with fewer days of anxiety while patients wait for results.”

That would help a lot. According to the NHS, 1 in 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer in their life time. So it is essential to create better facilities for breast cancer care. The staff I have met so far are doing an excellent job. They are so caring, being extremely effective and supportive. They do deserve a better work environment.

So 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.

No more videos for today but if you like to find out about symptoms of breast cancer have a look at the earlier “Come Away With Me Challenge” posts.

Happy Monday to you all despite everything. May you stay safe and healthy!

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We Can Do It… but What Day Is It Anyway? Cancer Edition

Hello out there in isolation sphere, how are you holding up? I hope very much you can find hope in these dark times no matter what you are facing. And if it feels that you can’t go on, know that there is someone out there who sends you her blessings. Please hang in there. We need you!

I have to admit that I can bear the rising numbers of COVID-19 deaths in the UK and around the world less and less. Of course, I know I can’t do anything and that it is not my job to save everybody. But I see the human beings behind the numbers. I see the families left behind, griefing in such difficult circumstances and the doctors, nurses, carers… who have to deal with this enormous task too. That is why I am not hiding my sadness anymore, and I let the tears come when necessary. Maybe that is the only way through something like this.

Today I dedicate a song to all those who have lost someone (or a pet) may it be because of COVID-19 or any other reason. I am so so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

video credit: Maroon 5 via YouTube

And I also dedicate another song to all doctors, nurses, carers, cleaners, shopworkers, binmen and women, streetcleaners, farmworkers, policemen and women, firefighters, food producers, bus drivers, lorry drivers, teachers and all others who are out there working to keep our lives going. Thank you so much!

video credit: Pink via YouTube

I know since Wednesday how my cancer treatment will unfold. Well, the first steps at least. In two weeks 6 cycles of chemotherapy will start. I had hoped I could get tablets and take them at home, but that’s not possible in my case. So we will venture for four and a half months every three weeks to a hospital in the city. It’s about 45 minutes each way and slightly spooky in these COVID-19 times. When we went on Wednesday there were hardly any cars on the roads. We saw many vans and lorries, but it felt more like a Sunday on the streets and not like a school day Wednesday morning.

We decided I would only go into the hospital, and the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world did grocery shopping close by and then waited in the car. I was apprehensive about the state of one of my scars so the breast care nurse asked me to come in before the oncologist appointment. The breast care nurses are in another part of the NNUH than the cancer treatment area. It’s the surgical outpatients I had to go to. I’ve been there many times before, and it was always heaving with people. This time I was greeted by a young nurse who apologized she had to ask me if I had shown any signs of COVID-19, took my temperature, and gave me some sanitiser to put on my hands. I had donned some gloves but no facemask. She said though I should sanitise the gloves too. Before I went in, I had put some lavender oil on my scarf, and I was holding it up every five minutes to inhale it. Calming anxiety in any way I can 🙂

image of NNUH and car park

The waiting area that usually is full with at least 50 patients and family or friends was nearly empty. There were only three or four other patients besides me and two receptionists. It was utterly utterly unreal. I thought of all those films about pandemics in which the hospital floors were covered with patients everywhere and nearly laughed. Of course, it makes more sense to keep people apart to avoid any spread. The breast care nurse came along and lead me along a hallway always adhering to social distancing while still trying to have a calming conversation. On the floors of the corridors in the whole hospital where lines taped asking everybody to keep to the left for social distancing. It felt very strange but at the same time reassuring that the hospital took these measures.

By the time we entered the examination room, I was a little shaking and needed to keep sniffing my good old lavender. The nurse was a different one than my usual. She explained something came up, so she had to step in which was fine by me. I explained my problem while she stood at the other end of the room as she wasn’t wearing a mask yet. That changed when she examined my scars. She put on a mask as well as a plastic apron but again mainly had a look from further away. She apologised for having to wear the gear but I didn’t mind anyway. Better safe than sorry is my motto and I said so too. She had a little feel, but to my relief, she said all is well and it is healing wonderfully. The feeling of having a metal pipe under my arm is normal and part of the healing of the lymph nodes that were taken out. My light rash is an aftermath of having to wear the dressings for such a long time.

video credit: ABC News via YouTube

That was such a relief. I have started to become somewhat paranoid about any light redness in that area, and now I am much calmer about it. Unfortunately, some nerves had to be damaged with the operation, which also causes some swelling and a loss of feeling. But if I can manage to not use it for any heavy lifting, that should sort itself out soon. Before I left, I let the nurse know that I appreciated her time/work and asked to say hello to my usual nurse from me. We both got a little emotional at that point, which shows under how much strain everybody working in the NHS is currenlty.

My anxiety rose again because I had to get to the other end of the hospital, where I haven’t been yet. It felt still so strange to keep to the left and basically avoiding everybody. I made it in the end, but my anxiety was rather high by then despite the lavender. The oncology area had closed doors, and for the life of me, I could not figure out how to open that darn door. After about five minutes, one of the nurses inside took pity on me and opened the door, but I felt rather stupid. You are now supposed to wait in the car, call a number, and they call you back when you can come in but this, of course, didn’t apply to me because I was already here and I was about 30 minutes early. They told the doctor I was supposed to see, gave me a mask to wear and asked me to sit down. Again a nearly empty waiting room. Most of the seats had taped crosses on telling us to sit down according to social distancing.

My mind though was still on my way from one end of the hospital to the other. I had to go along some of the operation wards. Some of them had huge green signs on telling everybody that there were suspected COVID cases. Others, however, had yellow signs saying that there were confirmed cases. I wanted to take a deep breath when I went along but then thought better of it just in case.

gif source: GIPHY~ a white angry bird, that looks rather panicked ries to take a deep breath

Then my mind wandered to my further treatment. I already knew I had to go through chemo and radiotherapy but I didn’t know in which form I would get it and how long it would take. All while one of the nurses told the others her whole life story rather loudly. 🙂 . Wearing the mask felt extraordinarily strange. I suddenly started to become cross-eyed and when I had my glasses on they steamed up. Oops. My admiration for any medical or care staff using these on a daily basis went up at least ten notches. How can they bear it?

Eventually, another nurse came to get me this time already wearing a mask, gloves and apron. Again an apology for their appearances. I now wonder if that’s more for their benefit than the patients. It must be so difficult to work under these circumstances. My doctor introduced himself and asked how much I was aware of what the operation entailed and which treatment I was expecting. He also asked how I became aware of something not being ok. So I told him I had trouble with my lymph nodes since 2017 but was told by the radiologist at my mammogram appointment in that year no to worry. That made my doctor look rather concerned. He asked about my bone scan, which was clear as well as the CT, so I think I am a rather lucky girl.

He also asked about my family history, and he looked again rather concerned when I told him about my mother’s breast cancer as well as all the other cancer cases in my family. He asked me if I was ever offered a DNA test. Uhm no… at this point I started to wonder if he was from a private hospital because I had never seen any NHS doctor being too concerned about my cancer family history. But on the other hand, it made me trust him instantly, which is a good thing considering the journey I have ahead of me.

So he went ahead explaining that I would have six cycles of chemo but would have to come to the hospital for it. It won’t be at the NNUH, though, but at a private hospital close by. In the UK all hospitals, no matter if private or not are currently working together to enable the health service to deal with COVID. As chemo patients are more susceptible to it ,they keep us somewhere else for safety. He explained side effects, which I am aware of anyway, and we discussed for a little while when to start, but I said the earlier ,the better. That virus won’t go anytime soon, so I better get on with it and get it done and dusted. We settled for a start in two weeks.

I signed the consent form and he examined the breast and scars. Same opinion as to the breast care nurse: all heals well. After that, he left me in the care of the specialist nurse to figure out the ins and outs of having chemo.

These nurses are so well trained and care so much, even in these difficult circumstances. It is such a tremendous help to have someone like this around when your life is going to be turned upside down. And that it will. I won’t go into any more detail of the treatment. I think you were already very patient with me and my story. She first asked me if there is anything that I am worried about. Well, obviously the whole virus sh.. but what I expect will bother me the most is losing my hair. She explained that because of the virus no free wigs are offered at the moment which doesn’t bother me too much because I already decided that I am going to work with scarves. I am sure I wrote about this already. If you are observant, you might have seen that I added “future pirate” on my profile. Yes, in secret I am already practising my “errs” and “arrrs” that I can play the part fully when I don the scarves 😉

She was so kind as to explain that I could have something called “scalp cooling”. Yes, it is exactly what it says: You get a cap on your head that cools your scalp down to friggin 4C/39.4F. YUCK! No way, Jose!!!! If it comes to it I will wear my bald head with pride and have a “Talk Like a Pirate Day” every day until I am done with Chemo!!!! In fact, I might even shave off my hair before I start Chemo because that way, it’s my decision and not that of cancer treatment.

gif source: Giphy ~ Captain Jack Sparrow saying:” Don’t do anything stupid”

We talked about a couple of things more, but I won’t bother you with the details. I hope this report of my day at the hospital hasn’t bored you to death, but I feel I needed to tell this story because it happened in such strange times. When I left, I let her know how much we appreciate her work and that I feel this country has let their health workers down severely. Also, I wish I could do more. She also became rather emotional and me too. I pray they all stay safe.

I also needed to write this report for my own sake. It seems when I blog about my experiences, I can transform my fear and anger into determination to get through this as well as I can. Yesterday was a bad evening ( I am writing this on Thursday). Everything brought tears to my eyes. Anxiety was creeping up my spine like a too well-known snake. But throughout this morning many of my family and friends had kind, caring and supporting words for me and I am incredibly grateful for all their help. I wouldn’t feel I could do this without all of you 🙂

This song is dedicated to all of you who are so kind to me. You rock!!!!

video credi: Hozier via YouTube

Why am I writing about my cancer day at the hospital?

Linda over at “Life in Progress” has started the “What day is it anyway” blog event. She invites us all to share a little of our new daily routines, struggles and successes. She writes: “

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!

Thanks Linda, your rock!

I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is a list of her #WDIIA posts.

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:

WordPress.com

image of stary night sky and shadows of trees and quote by M L King

We Can Do It but What Day Is It Anyway? Come Away With Me & Beating Cancer Edition (6.4.2020)

Hello out there in isolationsphere, how are you doing? I very much hope you and yours are well and safe. My thoughts and prayers go out to you daily, especially if you are a keyworker. You rock no matter where you work.

gif source: giphy animated boy coming through a front door pointing forward. White writing saying: you rock

It looks like I am not going back to any sort of work for quite some time. I had a call from the hospital on Friday (they do as few face to face appointments as possible for apparent reasons), letting me know that I am going to have both chemo- and radiotherapy. That catapults me into the vulnerable group of people who need to be shielded, which means once I start Chemo, I mustn’t be in contact with anyone shutting myself off even from my family.

That’s not really possible in our house because we only have one bathroom and I am not willing to sleep in another room than the best husband. We are not sure yet what it means for him but because of his operation he doesn’t feel he can care for me and work. Sigh. So another challenge awaits us. I’ll get another call soon from the oncologist then we’ll know more about the necessary protection measures and when it all starts.

But on the good side, the doctor said that the goal is full healing. That’s what we keep in mind 🙂

video credit: BBC Travelshow via YouTube

So today I whisk you away to Mongolia. I have to admit I was rather overwhelmed by the huge musical tradition this country has. And it doesn’t seem to be shy to bring it into the modern world. I am not bothering you with much more information today because I just wouldn’t know where o start. Just enjoy The HU with “Wolf Totem” one of the more modern music groups. The english subtitles are shown on the video. If it doesn’t play here on the blog follow the link underneath.

video credit: The HU via YouTube

The HU homepage

The HU on Wikipedia

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday 16th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we are going to visit China. Find out about interesting musicians on the Last FM page for China.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. 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

So what have I been up to in the last couple of days? Not much to be honest. Taking the dressings off on Friday brought a whole new level of experience to me. I had so hoped any pain connected with my left arm would be because of the dressings. Bless my naivety!!!!

Of course, my body does what it’s supposed to do. Meaning healing the wounds, and without the support of the dressings, it all felt rather sore. No fever or seeping of unpleasant stuff though so my GP advised to keep it clean and dry and basically leave it alone. That’s what I did keeping to a routine of reading, watching TV and the occasional walk in the garden.

video credit: Paloma Faith via YouTube

Let’s remind ourselves why we are here:

Linda over at “Life in Progress” has started the “What day is it anyway” blog event. She invites us all to share a little of our new daily routines, struggles and successes. She writes: “

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!

And I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is her post from Friday.

video credit: Steven Murphy via YouTube

I read that phrase:” If you look for the helpers, then you know there is hope” before and I think that is more important than ever. You might not believe in the Christian God, but I believe that counts for all of us! Have you come across any helpers who gave you hope?

Ok peeps, it’s a new week and you might get bored being cooped up at home so here some more links to (mostly) free online courses I have researched a couple of years ago:

Class Central: Class Central is a search engine for moocs. If you are not sure about which MOOC to take at which provider or which university Class Central is the place to go as you can read reviews and review courses if you sign up.

Cosmo Learning: Cosmo Learning says about itself: “Created with the goal to provide a free online school, CosmoLearning (CL) is a non-profit educational website committed to improving the quality of homeschooling, teaching and student excellence.” You can find anything to learn from science to languages with videos offered for free. Users are encouraged to donate to those who created the courses to keep the idea of moocs and open learning for all alive.

Coursera: Coursera offers a vast array of high-quality University courses. You can explore lectures and non-graded material for free. For 49$ per month, you can access all courses and get certificates too.

Digital Garage Google: If you are looking to learn digital skills and how to use many of Google’s tools and get the most out of them, you are right at Digital Garage. You are led through a set of courses, earn badges, and after an assessment, you can get a certificate from Google. Easy to understand and useful not only if you are a Google user.

edX: edX is maybe the most famous provider of free learning opportunities. Founded in 2012 by Havard University and MIT, it is both non-profit and open-source. Universities and colleges still govern edX. If offers courses from top universities some of which are credit eligible. They also offer professional certificates to bring your career further.

Futurelearn: Futurelearn is probably the British equivalent to edX. You can work for some degrees and also get professional certificates to further your career. Learning itself is for free. However, you pay for the degrees and certificates.

I mostly learn with Future Learn (my profile). They are userfriendly and have such a vast array. It’s total fun o learn with them.

image of stary night sky and shadows of trees and quote by M L King

And one last thing 🙂

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Charity Boudicca Appeal

I would also like to encourage you to support the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Charity’s Boudicca Appeal. They are fundraising 800 000£ to create a dedicated breast cancer unit. The hospital today sees almost double as many breast cancer patients than they did five years ago. That is an enormous rise and puts a lot of pressure on the current facilities and staff. 

For me, that meant so far five journeys to Norwich within a month. That is between 35 and 45 minutes travel each way and the worry, not knowing what comes. On Thursday the 5th of March, we went again. We found out that my cancer needs an operation and probably radiotherapy. But I won’t know for sure until two weeks after the operation. While I am holding up well, it still puts a lot of pressure on my family and me. 

They say on their page they want to build:” An enhanced environment. Purport-built, spacious waiting, diagnostic and treatment rooms. Counselling rooms for women with a breast cancer diagnosis.
Better experience for patients with fewer days of anxiety while patients wait for results.”

That would help a lot. According to the NHS, 1 in 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer in their life time. So it is essential to create better facilities for breast cancer care. The staff I have met so far are doing an excellent job. They are so caring, being extremely effective and supportive. They do deserve a better work environment.

So 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.

Happy Monday to you all despite everything. May you stay safe and healthy!

affiliate banner:

Jetpack
image of snowy landscape with quote by T Roosevelt about caring

We Can Do It but What Day Is It Anyway? Good News Edition 31.3.2020

Hello out there in quarantinesphere. How are you doing? I hope you cope well and can find something positive in all this uncertainty! And if you can’t, know you are in my thoughts and prayers!

gif source: giphy . Gif of Betty from “Golden Girls” wih white writing saying:”I feel better now”

After my left arm and shoulder complained a lot on Sunday, I decided to give myself a little break. Yesterday’s post was a little shorter and less motivational but after playing Farmville2 for about 24 hours 😉 (I’m joking, I’m joking) I am back on track.

As you know, I schedule my posts for the middle of the UK night for reasons unknown to me. So I share yesterday’s experiences even though I think for my US readers it is still today (Monday). Do I ramble? Probably. Please forgive me, but I am pumped full of paracetamol and had a nap, and napping isn’t complementary to my cognition. My left hand desperately tries to type, but I don’t let it. Not supposed to do repetitive movements yet.

Gosh, stop it Bee, you told us already.

gif source: giphy. Gif of animated Puss in Boots and white writing saying ” forgiveness please”

It’s gone quite cold in North Norfolk UK. I haven’t been out in the garden for a couple of days but have to say I miss it. My days are dominated by taking tablets doing exercises, reading, playing, and writing. That’s not so bad, isn’t it? I am wondering though how much my operation (lymph node clearance) has impacted my immune system and how much I need to worry about that darn virus.

I don’t want to worry about that though. As far as I understand the government advice I only fall into a vulnerable category if I start chemo- or radiotherapy. I wont know about further treatment until the 9th though. So I just don’t worry, keep away from people and read, write and play my days away.

And why am I writing about my day?

Linda over at “Life in Progress” has started the “What day is it anyway” blog event. She invites us all to share a little of our new daily routines, struggles and successes. She writes: “

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are going to be hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!

And I can only encourage you to take her up on the offer 🙂 . Here is her post from yesterday.

Ok, enough of the worries lets get to the good news. My home country of Germany is pretty shut down too but there are caring individuals who keep each other’s spirits up. One of them is Pato Cervantes a sports trainer who keeps his neighbourhood entertained with a daily workout:

video source: Ruptly via YouTube

When I saw this young man’s smiling face and passion for sharing his exercise regime, I instantly cheered up. He just made my day and I hope he gives you a smile too.

And what about you? Do you have a good news story that made your day? Please let us know in the comments because shared joy is double joy. Thanks! And while we are sharing: what about a funny video, gif or photo that could cheer us up? Here is an example 🙂

video source: Speaking animals on YouTube

This post takes part in “Good News Tuesday” inspired by JoAnna on “Anything Possible”. Please head over and find more wonderful and inspiring stories. Thanks!

Some of us might have more time on their hands than usual and might get bored. That is why I share some cool and mostly free resources for online learning that researched a couple of years ago. Todays are:

BBC Academy: Are you looking for a first-class education in journalism and broadcasting? Then have a look at the BBC Academy. Its page is grouped into different topics like “BBC News Skills” or “Drama Career Skills”. Click on those, and you find vast collections of articles and videos freely available. No sign-up needed but no certificates possible either. This is no-frills learning on a high level.

Canvas Network: Canvas is a platform that offers a collection of courses from different providers. It is one of the bigger networks usually mentioned in articles about MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses), and you need to sign up to access courses.

Carnegie Mellon University Open Learning Initiative (OLI): The Open Learning Initiative a grand-funded organization and offers courses to anyone who wants to learn. They are connected with Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, and some of their classes are part of the research of the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center. Sessions are free for single learners. Courses used in a classroom environment sometimes ask for a fee. There are, however, no certificates or credits available.

Happy learning!

And while we can’ travel at the moment, let some music take us away:

video credit: Loreena McKennit via Youtube

Ok, my dear readers. That’s it for today. The Long Cosmos and Farmville2 are calling, and I can’t resist another cup of tea.

Happy Tuesday to you all despite everything. Stay calm, kind and worry-free. This too, shall pass!

image of snowy landscape with quote by T Roosevelt about caring

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me for cancer 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.

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