The good list

Here are some good things that have happened today.


One: I got out of bed. This sounds like a small event, but believe me – I was very, very tempted to stay between the sheets. It wasn’t about exhaustion, instead more about anxiety . . . so getting up was a big thing.

Two: Zsolt and I sent his permanent residence application off through DHL. Yay! After about two months carefully compiling evidence and documents and reference and everything, it’s finally on its way. Now comes the waiting game. Go Canada!

Three: I did the groceries – sort of. I did some groceries before booting it out of Waitrose due to some strange emotional freak out. Chemo drugs make me a little bit emotional. The fish counter lady handed me some wrapped salmon and I nearly broke down crying. My god, is pregnancy like this too?

Four: I rested. Man, I needed to rest. Plus, I drank several cups of nerve calming dark tea. Oh, thank goodness for strong tea.

Five: I went to work! Boosted up from relaxation and caffeine – I again got out of bed. Forget my mid-day freak outs and emotional overloads. Work was waiting, and I really wanted to be there. It was good to get out of the house and change my mind.

Six: I’m typing this post. Earlier today I thought about the things accomplished but couldn’t really be happy for them. Now, my mood is turning. Okay, sure, lately my mood is always turning – like a wave with its constant up and down, but at least it’s swelling toward an up right now.

So there is my list of things accomplished. It’s not always easy to celebrate, but at least there are times when my head clears. Today was a good day. They all are most often, even when my mood is low. The trick is in the list. Making the list; it helps.

Happy distractions

Today was a nice day. It’s so good to know that chemo doesn’t suck forever. Okay, my energy is low as a limbo pole – but the nausea has taken a hike.


A tricky side effect of treatment that I don’t often heard mentioned is depression. It’s incredibly easy to sulk, dwell and recollect while sick – and that nearly always triggers the nausea. BUT if Zsolt comes in and talks about the European Swimming Championship (Hungarians have done well), or recollects how we met, or talk about anything that is not cancer linked – I forget about bad feelings. The depression lifts with happy distractions.

And today was a happy distraction. Plus, I had more energy – and as my mom points out, it’s far easier to feel good when you have a little energy. Here is a list of the distractions which have made my day far better.

Reading. Not a novel (I cannot handle novels right now)  but excerpts from friends. We share our work and give opinions. Choosing to write can be lonely, which is why I think creative writing groups/classes/seminars/workshops are fantastic. Maybe you don’t need to relearn plotting a novel, controlling pace, or developing characters – but you probably do need a dose of perspective and like mindedness. I’ve made good friends through my writing, and it’s making a positive difference in my life. So yes, reading was a wonderful distraction.

Talking to my mother. What the hey – skype is awesome. Today I shared a cup of tea with my mom, Marcelle, and following that we shared lunch with Zsolt. Topics of discussion ranged from supplements, cleaning the house, Ice Road Truckers, and how to find Microsoft Word through the start button.

Chatting with the Dan Man. My little brother is cool; aren’t you, Daniel? Today out of the blue he rang me on skype and we talk for a little while. Nothing cancer related allowed. Instead we chatted about investments (of which I have none and he has several), holidays, university, and just random unimportant stuff. You know what, unimportant stuff makes for the best distractions. It is important to share the unimportant. Man, I miss my family so much sometimes.

Hanging with the Sámsons.  Today was nice; I had the energy to enjoy company. Zsolt’s family are staying at our friends’ home, and on that street you need a permit to park. So, instead of buying a yearlong permit for a weeklong visit, they are parking in front of our flat. Therefore, we saw them strolling down the street this afternoon toward our apartment. And why did we see them? Because I was outside (this is a big challenge, but today I triumphed for about 10 minutes). It was really nice to have them over and talk. Zsolt’s father was trying to teach me Hungarian for “emergency lighting” (vészvillogó) and “car handbook” (autós kézikönyv), Anna washed the dishes, Anita made pasta, and Berci searched the internet. During the past few days I’ve been exhausted, but today I managed to be social. Mind you, I had to take micro naps between conversations, but at least I rested in my chair and didn’t have to hit the bed.

Miért tanított engem László magyar autós kifejezésekre?

. . . Because today we bought a car! Wooohoo! 2003 Peugeot, silver blue. Now some people may say – ‘How many miles?’ ‘What’s the make?’ or ‘How does she run?’ But not me. All I need to know: Is the colour pretty? And it is. But Zsolt is satisfied too; he actually did manage to bargain slightly, which impresses me incredibly, and I think we’ll be happy with the purchase. It needs to be cleaned inside, and the front left tire is a bit off – but that’s why he bargained in the first place, so it’s a cost we can cover. This is our first car.  Exciting!

Now we just need to buy the insurance, and that is not quite as exciting. However, I look forward to driving around town with my man, hanging an arm out the window, and listening to some BBC radio.

So it was a day of happy distractions. The exhaustion is still there, but now passes in waves. This is the other side of the coin that I wait for. . . this is what enables me to go back again. For now it only gets better. Thank goodness for that.

PS- thanks to Zsolt for the Hungarian translation. If you want to translate the phrases yourself, I suggest google translate.