Category Archives: Life in General

I have stage 4 primary peritoneal cancer

Four weeks ago the surgeon called me for a meeting to tell me the result of the tests following my operation between Christmas and New Years Eve. It was my 3rd day at a new job and I was feeling positive and excited about my future. This year was supposed to be a new start. I was going to settle down in Reykjavík with my fiancé Ravi, have a steady job and save up for an apartment and for maternity leave, because me and Ravi were planing to start a family within the next two years. The plan was also to get married this summer. I was not expecting the news I got. “You have malignant cancer”. “Say what?!”. I had been told during my illness, last year and during the time I spent in hospital in September and October that I did not have cancer, so this was the last thing I expected to hear. In fact I was so sure that I was OK that I did not even bring anyone with me. I sat there on my own receiving these dreadful news. Of course the doctor who delivered the news should have known to warn me to take someone with me as she knew the severity of the news she was about to deliver. But no, I was there alone and I was neither offered consolation or guidance. I was told that I most likely had a very rare type of sarcoma cancer, one that had never before been diagnosed in Iceland and that my specimen had been sent to Boston, USA, for further diagnoses. All I could do was to wait.

For three weeks I waited for a result from this diagnoses. I was going mentally crazy, it was like torture. It was so difficult to get up in the morning and put on a brave face and face the day. Because I hadn’t been offered any guidance I seeked guidance myself from Kraftur, an organization giving support and guidance to young people battling cancer. This organization is doing an amazing job and they helped me during my difficult wait. They provided me with guidance, consolation, information and more. On Thursday, February 4th I was having lunch with my work colleagues when I had a phone call from my surgeon telling me that the specialist in Boston, who she said were the best in the world, weren’t sure any more if I had that rare type of sarcoma, they weren’t really sure what type of cancer I had and if it originated there in the abdomen as previously thought. I felt like I had been thrown into a black pit. What did that mean? Did I have some type of cancer that they did not know? Did I have a tumour somewhere else in my body they didn’t know about? They knew about the tumour they removed from my abdomen wall and the the one in my liver, but did I have tumours somewhere else? I was left with more questions than answers and feeling completely mentally and emotionally overwhelmed. For a week I could not face real life or speak to anyone outside my family.

Then last Thursday the cancer specialist, Helgi Sigurðsson, that I have been waiting to hear from finally contacted me and invited me for an interview. He apologized for the wait and what I had been put through and for the mistake that was made in the beginning with the wrong diagnoses. He told me that I had stage 4 peritoneal cancer, also a rear cancer, though not as rear as the one they initially thought I had. It was hard to hear that my cancer had already progressed to stage 4, but at the same time I was relieved to know the truth and finally have a plan. The first thing on the plan is that I have to go to Denmark for a pet scan, because we don’t have one in Iceland and then they are doing everything they can to bring Ravi here as soon as possible. Ravi is in India as he had to go back home because he can only get a temporary work visa as a specialist guide. The visa process usually takes 3 months, which would only bring him here at first in mid April, but due to changed circumstances it has become a pressing matter to get him here as soon as possible. Before I can start chemotherapy, I need to fertilize eggs with his sperm and freeze for later use, as the chemotherapy might affect my fertility. I will be damned if I don’t at least get the opportunity to have children that will in some way resemble in appearance the man I love. I have been dreaming about it for too long. Once that is done, the chemotherapy can start, which will be at least a 6 month process, where I will also most likely be operated on at some point too.

All I can say now is let the battle commence! I will fight this and I will survive this. Tough times don’t last, tough people do…and I will last until I’m at least 100 😉

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Dinner Party!

The other week I invited my friends for a little dinner party. I promised that I would post the recipe of the feast here on my website, so here it is:

IMG_6687Chicken breasts in pepper cheese sauce:

4-5 Chicken breasts

4 garlic cloves, fine chopped

1/2 L cream

1 whoe peeper cheese (I used 150g)

1 jar red pesto

2 tbsp. soy sauce

5 – 10 drops Tabasco sauce

Melt one tablespoon butter in a pan and lightly brown the garlic. Add the cream, diced pepper cheese, red pesto, soy sauce and the Tabasco sauce and melt on the pan. Brown the chicken on each side on a separate pan and put into a baking dish. Pour the pepper cheese sauce over the chicken breasts and place the backing dish into a 175°C hot oven for 30 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked.

IMG_6688-e1454335384617Sweet potato mash:

1 large potato, peeled and diced into small bits

1 celery stick, copped into small  bits

> 50 ml cream

25 g butter

1 tbsp. apple vinegar

salt

The tablecloth I used to decorate the dinner table is a block print tablecloth that I bought in Jaipur at The Rajasthan Small Scale Cottage Industries. It is our festive tablecloth.

IMG_6690-e1454335446156

Happy New Year!

IMG_6650-1-576x1024At the beginning of the year 2015, I started this blog, but didn’t continue with it as the year didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped it would, as I spent most of the year having health problems. For a long time I did not know what was wrong with me, but I could tell something wasn’t right with me. I sought the help of medical experts in hope that someone might come up with an explanation. I was always tired, low in energy, I lacked concentration and I got frequent asthma attacks.

In the summer I worked as an office manager for Viking Rafting, as I had done the previous summer. When there was only couple of day left of the rafting season, we at Viking Rafting decided to cook a dinner for our partners. The day before, I was in pain and had fever, but because this dinner was important for the company, I decided to suck it up, took an ibuprofen in the morning and headed for work. But the pain worsened by the day and I was encouraged by my mother and fiancé to consult a doctor. The doctor asked me to come to the hospital in Sauðárkróki straight away for a blood test. After the blood test I was told that I would have to go immediately to the Hospital in Akureyri, as my blood test had revealed that I had severely high infection parameters in my blood. Turned out the infection had spread to my abdomen and liver and that I suffered as well from blood and vitamin B12 deficiency.  I was in hospital for 4 consecutive weeks. I got a strong cocktail of different antibiotics directly trough a central venous catheter in my chest and had to undergo all kinds of tests and exams. But it was of little or no avail, as the doctors could not conclude what was causing the infection. After spending approximately 2 months at home recovering, I was sent for a laparoscopic surgery between Christmas and New Years Ever, so that the doctors could get better samples to study, in their quest to determine the cause of the infection. I have yet to hear the result from that test.

I have decided on this new year, to focus on my health. I am gonna recover fully from this illness and I am going to do even better, what my health is concerned. I will try anything to help my body to fully recover, and then continue to give it all the love and care that I have so far denied it. The fact that I haven’t been taking good enough care of my health, might have contribute to my illness. I have, for a very long time, not taken good enough care of both my physical and mental health.  But now, that all will change. From now on, I will treat my body and mind like a temple. I will think carefully about everything I put into my body and stop worrying about everything. It is my New Years resolution. The first thing I will do is to stop drinking alcohol! 2016 is gonna be an alcohol-free year for me.

Another thing I’m going to do more of is to write. I decided to write at least one blog entry on this page each week, where I will record my progress and this new lifestyle that I intend to uphold on this new year and how it will affects my health.

I’ll will also dedicate time to write my books, because I have decided to publish my first book no later than in 2017 🙂

Happy New Year!

The Love Story: Fate or Coincidence!

I was not on my way to India. It was a result of various events and coincidences that landed me there. It was as if it had always been my fate to go there, I just did not know yet.

The summer of 2012 I was working as a receptionist at a hotel in Norway, Stalheim Hotel to be exact. I was planning a trip to Peru to work as a volunteer in the autumn. I was going to save the rainforest you see. My mother was at that same time, planing a two-week trip to Nepal with a group of people and had already paid for half her journey. When she did not get time off work, she contacted me and asked me if I wanted to go to Nepal in her place. Of course I did, no question about it!

I had few years before met Satyabrata Dam, from India, when he gave a lecture during an educational evening with Icelandic Alpine Club. Satya had climbed the highest peaks on all the seven continents and traversed both the north and south pole. He sent me a friend request on Facebook after the event, which I gladly excepted. Now that I was going to Nepal for two weeks, I saw an opportunely to visit India as, so I contacted Satya and asked him if he wanted to meet up with me in India. He did not delay his response, of course he wanted to meet up with me, and not only that, but he also planed my whole visit so I would definitely not miss out on all the good things India had to offer.

At that moment I did not know that my fate awaited me in India and another year would pass and another visit, until I knew what it was.

Chandrachilla Top, Uttarakhand, India

Chandrachilla Top, Uttarakhand, India