Beauty will save the world

I am in Sicily – Taormina – for a short-long-weekend with family … It’s about one hour flight from my city ( I live in north italy ) and the weather is just amazing … consider that right now in my town there are 10 degrees less and no evidence of sun !

I was supposed to go on vacation from the 29th till the 5th of january, but then my next chemo was postponed from the 24th to the 29th ( not for their christmas spirit of course, but because they were overcrowded ! ) anyway I made the best out of it and went away this weekend and I also have plans for next week… I feel ( and I am ) really lucky !

Here some pictures of this amazing land !

This is what I call a ” happy bubble ” : a moment where you can forget everything and just be amazed by the beauty of the world … of course I do feel more tired that usual and few hair are starting to fall out, even though the cold cap thing is working ’cause they are really really few, but that would not have been better if I stayed at home !

PS. will update with amazing Sicilian food as soon as I will order pasta and cannoli !

Me with my Mom

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Amazing pic nic on the beach

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Jelly Fish

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Panorama

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So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

We live in a world made of opposites.

From Parmenides, an ancient greek philosopher, who tried to divide the world into couples of opposite elements to the Taoists with their beautiful theory about the yin and the yang, going through many other theories that I surely ignore…

To describe myself I use to say that I am a walking oxymoron, so this theory applies to me as well…

Lately I have been thinking a lot about those contrasts in my own life, and in the reality that surrounds me… so here I go with a little list ( I absolutely love lists )

I hated every single second in which a man (a complete stranger of course ) opened a little my chest to put a piece of metal in it. At the same time I am so very gratefulย for the chance to have a piece of metal inserted in my chest so I won’t have to go through huge pain again, while a nurse desperately searching for a decent vein in my arm or hand.

– I am so incredibly grateful for the chance to cure myself, and to have these thousand (that’s what they seems to me) cycles of chemo and to wake up in the morning thinking that in a year this will be history (then I start to think about future and bla bla, but that’s a whole different story!) . At the same time … it sucks. and there’s not really another way of putting this down.

I honestly don’t care that I had to cut my hair short, and I really don’t care about scars, fake breasts, and bla bla bla… at the same time I miss my hair. I miss the delusion they gave me, that feeling of being young and healthy. the way I used to trust my own body.

– I live in a world where it is it what it is and it’s ok, but at the same time sometimes it is not ok at all

– I live in a world where I hear my boyfriend saying in his sleeps that we will fix everything and I will be fine, and my heart just broke a little, but at the same time … thanks god.

Last, and this is one of my sweetest (well… bittersweet, but still… ) memories…

Right after my mastectomy in june 2013 I was sitting in my parents’ garden during one of those super long days in which I was waiting for the results of the histological exam, and there was this incredible smell, all the flowers blossomed, and overall around me there was the smell of the magnolia, and I couldn’t help but think, and feel, how weird it was that I was living in a world where there was cancer, actually a world where I just had cancer, which is very, very different, butย in the same world there was also room for the magnolia, and its incredible smell ….

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Champagne Supernova

This week was really intense, I felt goodย since Tuesday and had been a hurricane since then…

This was my main problem also last year when I started the tamoxifen… I felt so tired all the time but apparently I am not mature enough to accept my limits, I just keep doing a million things until I am completely knocked out ! I didn’t change much since then…ย 

I stopped buying christmas presents a couple of years ago and instead I bake cookiesย for my friends, which is a little bit more stressing, but at the same time I enjoy the cooking part and is a nice gesture of love! So I spent my friday baking cookies and buying christmas decoration for the christmas party I hosted with my boyfriend at our place….

Since the chemo I started to eat only natural organic foods,almost no meat, mostly fruit, lots of fresh juices, veggies, soups ย and fish (I am a former vegetarian so I also like to eat that wayย ) I need to take care of myself in this moment, try to exercise and eat properly, maybe in this way ย I can go through the treatments with less side effects.ย … ย so now I feel ย guilty for having had too many drinks and for eating maaaaaaany unhealthy foods during these days ย but since my next chemo will be on the 29 I guess this week-end included my celebrations for the new year as well ! And by the way… I had so much fun …totally worth it !ย 

Also… tomorrow I will have a small surgery for the port which is a little button put under skin near the clavicle and is used to access the vein for the chemo, I am not exactly thrilled to have another plastic piece put in my body but I also realize that it will really be useful, temporary and bla bla bla….

” Friends are therapists you can drink with “

 

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Question is

Does having a cat seated on your stomach help with post-chemo nausea? actually not, but he’s not ready to accept it ! ( the hot pillow actually helps though … )

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Anyway is almost Christmas time and I really don’t care about chemo or other stuff, we are organizing a party with our friends for next saturday and is gonna be amazing and fun ! ( Actually mostly I am seated on the couch making phone calls to have everything delivered at our place for fhe party ! )

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One Down

… Fifteen to go !

Sooooo what about my first chemo experience ??

I wasn’t completely lucky because I was suggested to insert a Picc ( peripherally inserted central cathether ) which is basically a little thing that goes up your arm into your main vein, they tried twice but my veins are appereantly really fragile and didn’t work out, Then it took four other tries to finally get a regular catheter on spot … which wasn’t exactly pleasent and took forever, buuuut on the bright side the nurses were really nice ( there was also a Girl born on my same day same month same year ) and the cold cap was absolutely tolerable, I have to say I didn’t even suffer too much from that, my body was hot, only my head extremly cold… but hey, I used to live in Moscow so I know a thing or two about cold !

I already feel a bad headache and nausea but
let’s see how it goes in the next days …

Anyway I am really relieved, one is gone, I started and “siccome siamo in ballo balliamo” which literaly translate to ” since we are already dancing let’s keep dancing ” but wordreference told me that it translates to ” in for a penny, in for a pound ” …

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If I never go to sleep, could tomorrow never come ?

So tomorrow is my first chemo day, shit about to get real.

I feel a million things all at the same.

Part of me is definetly horrified and is planning on escape.
Part of me is OK cause this is so much like when your parents slapped you on your face as a kid: at first you hate them but in the long run you realize it was for your good.
Part of me is feeling really ironic cause I will be seated the whole day with an iced cap on my head and this is sad but also weird and somehow I still manage to find it funny.
Part of me is scared because I still don’t know if I want to do a port, a so called “pick” or a regular IV but none of this seem realy appealing to me… A tiny little portion of me feels curious like ” ok we have been talking about this chemotherapy for a while now, let’s go and se what we were talking about! ”

Whatever …

Here my prayers:

Please Universe, God, Ganesh, Nature, Whatever Energy is there outhere:

1) kill, destroy, defeat, kick the ass of every single tumoral cell that may be left in my body. I hate it and I am definetly willing to give it/them a one way ticket to fuck-you-land

2) help me keep a good attitude and continue doing many many things during these months

3) dont let this horrible moment ruin my relationship

3) let me keep my hair, or some of it and let me keep my eyelashes because I want to look cute ,as silly it might sound, but also because people are stupid and I am fed up with questions


OK, I am about to take a hot bath with a glass of red wine listening to some good music… find a second to cross your fingers … I’ll cross mine for you all …

When you set out for Ithaca
ask that your way be long,
full of adventure, full of instruction.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
angry Poseidon โ€“ do not fear them:
such as these you will never find
as long as your thought is lofty, if refined
emotion touches your spirit and your body.
The Laistrygonians and the Cyclops,
savage Poseidon you will not meet
unless you carry them in your soul,
unless your soul raises them up before you.

Ask that your way be long.
May there be many Summer mornings when,
with what gratitude, what joy –
you shall enter first-seen harbors;
may you stop at Phoenician trading centres,
and to buy good merchandise,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensuous perfumes of every kind,
sensuous perfumes as lavishly as you can;
to visit many Egyptian cities,
to gather stores of knowledge from the learned.

Have Ithaca always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.

But donโ€™t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaca to give you wealth.
Ithaca gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasnโ€™t anything else to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca hasnโ€™t deceived you.
So wise you have become, of such experience,
that already youโ€™ll have understood what these Ithacas mean.

Constantine Kavafis