Monthly Archives: March 2016

Finally some good news!

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Ravi & I @ a wedding in India, 2013

Ravi got his working visa today and as soon as he did, we booked his ticket to Iceland. He will be arriving home to me on Thursday next week. I cannot wait to have him here with me, the week cannot pass fast enough. I spoke to the IVF clinic and they told me not to worry, we can still make it in time…that is as long as we arrange to get hitched as soon as he arrives. Not a problem, I wouldn’t be freezing embryos with this man if I didn’t know with all my heart that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I cannot wait for this cancer battle to be over, so we can start putting our future plans into action. I just really hope the Icelandic bureaucracy won’t give us any trouble. We really don’t have time for that sort of hassle, my life literally depends on everything going smoothly. The sooner we can marry, the sooner the IVF process will be over and I can start my chemotherapy and the sooner I can start the chemo, the sooner I can beat this cancer, get better and continue with my normal life.

Why I need to do an IVF treatment before I can start chemotherapy

I get allot of questions regarding my IVF (In vitro fertilization) treatment. I understand the curiosity, because it is not something that most people associate with cancer treatment. I had no idea about it myself until my friend, who is a nurse, told me about it. She told me shortly after I was diagnosed, that now we would have to put pressure on getting Ravi home sooner so we could freeze embryos. I was taken aback and asked her why she though we had to do that. Then she told me that most chemo drugs can leave you either temporarily or permanently infertile. I wondered why I had never heard about it before. I thought back on all the movies and TV shows that I had seen that had touch on the subject of cancer and I don’t ever remember this issue being brought up and I couldn’t for the life of me understand why. When you are young and childless like me and have spent years dreaming of one day having a family of your own, this is a huge issue. When I realized this, I got so scared and I wondered if my dream of having children with the man I loved, would ever come true. Ravi felt so far aways at this point and everybody who has gone trough the process of getting work and resident permit in Iceland, knows how long this process can take  and seeing that I was suffering from a stage 4 cancer and that I needed to start chemotherapy as soon as possible, we were all of a sudden in a race with time. Would I be able to get Ravi her in time to marry him before the egg retrieval and him needing to submit sperm for the insemination? Yes there is this issue of having to be either married or registered living together before you can complete an IVF treatment and freeze embryos. We are still at that place where we are not sure if we will make it in time. He has his permits, but the Danish embassy, which is supposed to give him his VISA endorsement, has neither answered his emails or phone calls, when he has tried to book an appointment with them. Then there is the issue of the Bachelorhood certificate, which we need so that we can get married, when it comes to getting appropriate stamps for this sort of documents, the level of corruption and greed of indian bureaucrats knows no bounds. I will be so relieved when we are married and we never have to deal with indian bureaucracy again!  I just really hope that my treatment, which I have already started, will not be a complete waste of time and money. I can’t afford it to be, neither financially or emotionally. I have spent so much time worrying and crying over this issue. Having the opportunity to have children with Ravi once my cancer battle is over, means everything to me. My dream of it coming true, gives me a solid reason and elevated strength to battle the cancer and to eventually conquer it. 

The issue of fertility in connection with cancer and chemotherapy is a huge issue for so many young cancer fighters, as was so evident at the micro conference of Kraftur, a support organization for young people with cancer. Nearly every speaker at the conference mentioned this issue and some spoke of the insane cost that a people need to fork out for each IVF treatment. When you are battling cancer, your financial situation is already suffering as you are not able to work and need to depend on government handouts, which only covers basic cost of living and god knows battling cancer, drugs and doctors visits, are not free. Why this issue isn’t discussed more in connection with cancer and why popular culture seems to avoid the subject all together when making stories of cancer, is beyond me. Why is this subject still a taboo in this day and age?

A little consideration goes along way!

When I wrote my blog post yesterday, I did not know that the online medium DV was gonna make news out if it. They did not ask my permission to extract from my blog. Even if they might not need my permission, it would have been the polite thing to do. There was more to my blog post than that one incident they chose to highlight, my pet scan result being my primary subject. Although these comments made that night by that drunk individual hurt me deeply, they were merely one of many things that made my week a difficult one. It is true that one should be more considerate to others in both words and action, as DV points out in their Facebook post of the article, but perhaps they should show in practice what they try to preach to others. I am not saying I would not give permission, but a little heads up would be nice next time someone wants to use my life as news material. I would kindly appreciate it.

The result of my pet scan & my emotional melt down


I’ve been meaning to write a blog about the result from the pet scan, but there has been so much going on this past week that I have been too emotionally overwhelmed to find the moment to sit down and write the blog. The good news is that, there was nothing worst that came out of the pet scan from what we already knew. I still only have metastatic in the liver and nowhere else in the body, thank god for that. The doctor says once my fertility process is over, I will start chemotherapy and first I will have 3 rounds of chemo with 3 weeks apart and then after that the doctors will decide if I have an operation at that point to remove the metastatic in my liver or continue with chemo. 

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At the hospital cancer ward waiting room, waiting for the result from the pet scan

Emotionally I have been in a downward spiral since the annual festival dinner of my search and rescue team the past weekend. My search and rescue team hold a lottery raffle every year at the event and this year, they decided to give all the proceeds toward my cancer battle. Which I thought was so generous of them and I wanted show my appreciation by making my attendance. But maybe battling cancer and being around drunk people don’t mix too well. I was feeling very positive and in the fighting spirit that I have been for the weeks leading up to it and most people complimented me on my strength and resilience. However, sometimes when people get drunk they loose any sense of what is appropriate and there was one such drunk individual, that all though meaning well, said all the wrong things, enough to ruin the evening for me and not just the evening, but the rest of my weekend. There are certain things that you simply don’t say to people with cancer and you can actually find such lists on the internet if you are not sure what that is. The things he said to me, that upset me were that all the people he knew that thad suffered cancer had all died from it, if not straight away, then in 10 – 15 year, once it had return and that he would cry at my funeral. Ravi was furious when he heard what he said and told me that I should have told him back that sooner I would cry at his funeral. This is the reason why I really need Ravi here with me. He is always  ready to fight my corner if I am not able to do it myself and he always knows what to say to make me feel better and to make me smile.

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With my friends at the annual festival dinner of my search & rescue team

The same weekend my family had a another shock that I can not disclose here as it still a sensitive subject and not mine to tell. Following that I started my fertility treatment, which make me hyper emotional and not equipped to handle any stressful situation, like the one with Ravis visa process, which seems to take forever. By the end of this week I was on the verge of having emotional break down when my mother took me out of the city to a cabin in the country side. It was crucial for me at that point to change my environment and get a break from reality. I am feeling much better now and I intend to stay here a little longer.Perhaps I will feel more motivated to write while I am here.

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Enjoying cosy time at the cabin with the people I love

My pet scan trip to Denmark

Last week I had to go to Denmark for a pet scan. Iceland does now have a pet scanner, recently given to us by Kári Stefánsson of Decode. However we have yet to build a house for it and the ironic thing is, that I can literally look at where the building is going to stand out my bedroom window. It will be about 100 m from my house. But it wasn’t all bad having to go to Denmark. I actually enjoyed it, because I decided that I would.

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Map of Copenhagen

Traveling to Denmark just for a pet scan sounded like such a waste of a journey. Denmark is a wonderful country and much worth the visit. So I decided to stay few more days. The pet scan was scheduled for Thursday, so we flew out on Wednesday. Me and my mother that is. My cousin Kristin came with a train from Södertälje, Sweden, that same day and we met at the hotel which the hospital had recommended to us, as it’s just around the corner from Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.

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The following day I had the pet scan. I have to say, I was impressed with the Rigshospitalet and the Danish public healthcare. I couldn’t help noticing that there were no card machines at the reception when I came. I also like the little touches the hospital staff had done to the pet scanner. They had stuck butterfly stickers inside the scanner, so that the person lying inside it had something pleasant to look at for the 25 minutes the scan took. After the scan I felt really dizzy and weak. It was 16:00 in the day and I had not eaten anything, plus they pump your veins with some chemicals. Thankfully they do stock up on sandwiches and juice in the waiting room, so I could gorge on that while waiting for my mother and my cousin to come back for me. Then we headed downtown and the first thing that I wanted at that point was a McDonalds. Yeah judge me all you want, but I just needed some quick fix energy because I was still feeling so very dizzy and weak and that is what I was craving at the time.  After that we went to a bar and ordered a large beer and they brought us a HUGE beer. It took us 2 hours to drink that thing, but after that I was feeling back to normal. Well they do tell you to hydrate after the scan, I’m sure they don’t mean with beer, but it sure hell worked.

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The next day, Friday, we went shopping because I needed some comfy cloths for chemo…and some cosmetics, girl can never have too much cosmetics ;). Because my energy levels aren’t great, we had to make a lot of stops. By the end of the day I was really dragging my feet and I was pale as a ghost, but I wanted to be sure I had covered everything so I didn’t give up until we were completely done. My mother had to drag me to the hotel in the evening, because I had used up every bit of my energy. It’s kinda of a downer when your 60 year old mother is more energetic than you after a whole day of shopping, but that’s just cancer for you. She had to fight my corner in some of the last shops, because the shop assistants would just walked right trough me, that’s how pale I was. But it was all well worth it.

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On Saturday, the daughter of my grandfathers sister, Friðrika, came and picked us up from the hotel and took us to her home town of Solrød Strand. It was my first time out of Copenhagen and I have to say it was refreshing to experience something different from the city. Solrød Strand is an exceptionally adorable little towns by beautiful white beach. If I didn’t already have such a vivid dream of me and Ravi living in a beautiful villa by the banks of the Ganges, then I wouldn’t mind living by the beach at Solrød Strand. There we also saw the oldest house in Denmark…or at least that is what Friðrika says.

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On Sunday we visited my parents old friends at Roskilde, which is another stunning town in Denmark with a remarkable cathedral, where all the former kings of Denmark are buried. It’s probably also worth mentioning the famous music festival which takes place there every summer…I have yet to go. Never say never they say and I have always thought that was a good advice to follow. We flew home the following Monday. Next time I will visit Denmark, Ravi will be with me. For sure!