First of all my apologies for not posting sooner. I’m doing really well, feeling really great, and so didn’t think much about the blog, to tell you the truth. I’ve been eating a lot, it seems I’m hungry every two hours. This means I’m putting on weight, I weigh 51,5 kg now, so that’s fine, but my tummy is back and my pants fit snugly. My eyebrows and eyelashes are back and my hair is growing back very slowly.
Last week on Thursday I went to the Marienwaerdt Christmas fair with my mom, it was great fun. All the farm buildings on the estate were covered with snow and inside a few buildings, big log fires were burning. We had snow last week, but now it’s all gone. At home we burn wood fires every night, and light candles and incense. It’s all very cosy.
Last week I was busy getting our address book (well, excel sheet) up to date. I’m sure I don’t have everyone’s address, so if you’d like me to send you a card send me your snail mail address (sheilavangeusau at gmail dot com).
For those who are wondering what my days are like, usually on Monday morning I clean some part of the house and do the laundry. Monday is also a day when friends stop by. On Monday afternoons I help Khadija (who used to clean our house but stopped because she is 8 months pregnant) with her Dutch language home work. She has to take an exam to prove she can speak and write Dutch, but it’s actually quite difficult. So far we’ve done a chapter on birthdays, on insurance policies (aansprakelijkheidsverzekeringen) and on separating garbage. I like helping her. I’m also working on painting the woodwork in the house, starting with the attic. When it’s done I’ll post a picture. I walk Flo, our dog, once or twice a day. Other than that I read a lot, surf the internet, chat with friends and family via Whatsapp and sometimes I cook.
Victor is now preparing for his new academic adventure: a masters in tax law (fiscaal recht) which he will start in February at the University of Amsterdam. Because he already has a law degree, he has been accepted into the program. In about a year he will be able to start as a legal tax advisor. So if any of you are interested in having your taxes done let us know!
Some of you have asked me how I am doing emotionally. I haven’t always been very open about that on the blog, mostly because I don’t want to scare anyone and writing things down makes them stick, even if it is a feeling that passes quickly. It’s been quite an emotional roller coaster ride for me but also for Victor. It started when I had the first meeting with the oncologist at Tergooi and the first thing he told me was that he had bad news and I would not be able to get better. I later read that this happens in one case out of 20: that metastates are present at the first diagnosis of breast cancer. I am not afraid to die, I have no fear and I don’t feel the need ‘to finish something’. But what makes me sad is the terrible impact it has on Victor and everyone who loves me.
When we saw my oncologist again in the second week of October, he had bad news again: the cancer in liver was increasing. This time it really shook me, and both Victor and I cried. I was afraid I wouldn’t make it to Christmas. And now I’m feeling really good, above all expectations. What was very hard for me was to accept that I couldn’t plan ahead. But I have accepted it. At the same time, I’ve decided that as long as I feel good I better make the most of life. So I’m making plans for a week, a month, and three months.
Since I am feeling normal again, I was thinking I would like to start working again (part time), but I wonder if I have enough energy to keep it up. It all depends on the results of the scans and the new medicine, which I will start end of December. Any suggestions are welcome! I’m also considering pursuing a law degree myself at Erasmus University of Rotterdam. They have two programs that could be interesting: the Bachelor of Law and the Bachelor of Tax law (so I can help Victor). I completed the first year of the law degree at the University of Utrecht in 2003-2005, so I would be able to skip the first year. The idea of studying is a way of looking ahead. Even if I can’t finish it, it’s a prolongation of life. On the other hand, sometimes I think I should focus on my creative side, which I keep putting off.
Here are some pictures of us from last night:
We are all really looking forward to Christmas, and we wish you a wonderful holiday season!