Update on the bucket list

It’s time to check up on the bucket list, which I posted back in July.

At the time, this was the list:

1. cycling in the sun – done! Did a 30 km ride on a beautiful day in August (went to see Ingrid in the meadow with the horses, cycling through the forest most of the way).
2. sailing on the lake (loosdrecht) nearby in the sun – Thanks to Erwin I can check this one off too. He took me sailing on his catamaran end of August. It was a very enlightening experience!
3. having a drink outside in the sun) – check! did that a few times!
4. weekend Madeira (flower island) – I’m crossing this one off the list and replacing it with something else. It’s a long flight and more expensive than I thought.
5. long weekend Barcelona/Girona – keeping this on the list
6. citytrip Hamburg – instead of Hamburg, I’m going to Antwerp with my friend Francine this coming Saturday. She has offered to drive so we’ll do a quick day trip and have lunch there and maybe do some shopping.
7. Marienwaerdt 15 augustus (castle fair in Holland) – We didn’t go in August but my mom took me in December. It wasn’t crowded and very enjoyable.
8. citytrip Lissabon – crossing this one off the list. Barcelona will be enough.
9. San Francisco (next year) – keeping this on the list
10. Peak district UK – still interested in visiting but no concrete plans
11. Danor review (book I wrote long ago that I’d like to publish, so if you have any tips, let me know) – I’m working on a rewrite now. When this is done, I plan to send it to the Writers Workshop in London for an editor’s review.
12. vegetarian cooking -thanks for the recipes you have sent me! I am starting to cook more (Victor has been cooking all this time!) so I will try these out.
What I hadn’t put on the list but should have was:
– visiting my dad in Malaysia
– visiting a sunny place in the winter?
– sculpting
– meeting friends
For me it’s not so much about visiting places as it is about visiting people I care about. I have several friends in the US I’d love to see, but it’s too much to go to everyone, so San Francisco seems like the best place to go to, maybe with a stopover somewhere else.
My updated bucket list:
– long weekend Barcelona
– San Francisco
– rewrite of Danor
– sculpting
– trip to my dad in Malaysia?
– help Victor set up his tax advisory practice
– start working out again?
– back to work?
Thanks again for your cards, visits and messages, I truly believe it has given me a lot of strength these past months. I’m looking forward to a more relaxed period these next few months, so I probably will be posting less. You can always mail me, whatsapp me or call me! Take care!

Chemo #4

So turns out the numbering I used is a bit different from the hospital. I’ve had 3 chemo’s, spread out over 9 weeks, which they number 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c and 3a, 3b, 3c.

So yesterday I had number 4, all at once. The Adriamycine (Doxorubicine) which I first got in packets of 20 ml was now increased to 94 ml. Which funnily enough took the same time, about 15 minutes. I felt a slight tingling in my nose and watery eyes but otherwise I felt fine. The Cyclofosfamide (Endoxan) was the same as before so hadn’t changed. This saves me from having to get my veins pierced every week, which makes them harder for the nurses to put the IV in and to take blood. I don’t have to get my blood checked until october 8th, so that’s a relief and a big time saver!

So far so good. My mom and Nancy had taken me to the hospital yesterday, and despite being the last one to get the IV, I was the first to leave. This time, I had only male companions, one of them I saw three weeks earlier with his wife, who is very kind. No one wanted to sit on the bed, so I volunteered. It doesn’t matter much to me, I get to take my boots off and you can move the back up so it’s quite comfortable. I have a feeling the reason men don’t like the bed is because they’re afraid to take their shoes off (although you’re allowed to keep them on). My mom bought me Marion Zimmer Bradley‘s novel The Mists of Avalon, which I read more than 20 years ago. And although I’ve watched the movie many times, it is still a delight to read.

Although they serve lunch, I had brought my own sandwiches with vegetarian filet americain (yes its good, and contains lots of protein) and a banana. Still, afterwards we ate lunch and shared a big mozzarella sandwich and I finished a large smoothie. All in all I’m doing my best to keep eating healthy and calorie-rich.

I’ve decided to start creating clay scultpures again. Apart from this past year,  I had been attending sculpture classes in Laren (next town, 3 km from our house). They were fun to attend, but the time was rather late: from 7.30 to 11 pm every wednesday. I asked my teacher if I could bring the sculptures in to get them fired and that was no problem. So my mom and Nancy drove me to the store (de Hazelaar in Soest) and I selected a 10 kg block of clay (grove chamotte) and some tools. So hopefully I’ll find the inspiration to make something beautiful!

Nancy likes this group of elephants I made two years ago, its fired in clay but we’re considering making a mall and having it cast in bronze :






So although I feel okay today, I expect that I’ll feel worse tomorrow and Saturday but we’ll have to wait and see! Thanks again for all your thoughts and best wishes. Take care!

Tranen – Tears

Dear all – didn’t realize I wrote this post and the next in dutch. I will translate it tomorrow. Tears refers to my tired eyes, no crying yet so no worries! Take care.


Last week my macbook pro from 2008 crashed. It’s completely dead. No lights, no sounds, just dead. For days I read my mail on my iPhone, but now I’m writing this on the iPad.

Last week I experienced some side effects from the chemo. A dry, sensitive mouth, with a sore throat. But especially burning and teary eyes.

As I’m typing this, my eyes hurt again. Looking at a computer screen or watching tv is difficult.

Last week I read the book “the woman in the cage”  (thanks to Marijke for lending it to me) and this week Mr. Rosenblum’s list. The first one was very sinister and a real thriller. The second book was one of my goodbye presents from my Unisys colleagues.  I found it  a delight to read, about the determination of a man who believes in his dream, despite all the misfortune he encounters, and the emotional life of his wife who loses herself in her memories of her loved ones but who finds a way to reconnect with her husband and their life together through cooking her families recipes. So lots of tears this week!


Vorige week is mijn macbook pro uit 2008 gecrashed. Hij doet helemaal niets meer. Geen zuchtje,geen lampje, gewoon helemaal dood. Dagen lang heb ik mijn email op mijn telefoon gelezen, maar inmiddels schrijf ik dit bericht op de iPad.

De afgelopen week heb ik last gehad van de chemo. Een droge, gevoelige mond, mondblaasjes, af en toe een pijnlijke keel. Maar vooral hele branderige en tranende ogen.

Terwijl ik dit typ beginnen mijn ogen weer pijn te doen. Op een scherm kijken, of tv kijken lukt niet zo goed. Na tien minuten moet ik echt iets anders doen.

Vorige week het boek de vrouw in de kooi uitgelezen (dank Marijke voor het lenen), en deze week de lijst van meneer Rosenblum. De eerste was bijzonder spannend maar ook heel griezelig. De tweede heb ik van mijn Unisys collega’s gekregen en vond ik echt een prachtig boek, over de volharding van een man die in zijn droom gelooft, en het emotionele leven van zijn vrouw die zich verliest in haar herinneringen en zich al kokende weer de liefde voor haar man en hun nieuwe leven hervindt. Dus veel tranen deze week!