vrijdag 22 september 2017

When cancer strikes twice

It's September. Fall is setting in and as i'm writing this, lounging away on my couch, I look at the tree in our garden and leaves are changing color. I wonder where I will be next year this time. None of us really know where we will be in a years time, do we? I'm not quite sure why that feels different for me, seeing everything can change, for anyone. But as for the last 2 weeks, I know that the upcoming year won't be one of my favourites, I guess. But then again who knows, things might not be as bad.

Most of you must know, when i'm writing on here, something is up. And unfortunately it is. My latest CT scans have shown reoccurrence of cancer, in my abdominal area, spread on the lining of my stomach ( peritoneum ) and on my bladder. For the sharp ones among us, you might remember that this was a possibility 2 years ago as well, and classified as ' the worst case scenario'. What back then, luckily wasn't the case, is the reality today. What this means is that you are basically classed as 'non curable'  and in time, cancer will take over the show. Sounds a little better then 'in time you will die' right? haha.

Now, technology comes to my savour, as i've been 'selected' as a candidate for a specific surgery called HIPEC ( ah the joys, i am 'selected' )  This ain't no walk in the park, this surgery is very extensive and will test me once again on all levels and additional Chemotherapy is expected as well.
- A short explanation: HIPEC is a surgery which generally last 11 to 14 hours, in which they open your stomach from upper chest to bladder, remove all visibly effected tissue caused by cancer, and then continue with flushing your system with a heated chemo fluid for a few hours, hoping it will destroy all remaining cancerous cells. You will wake up in intensive care and recovery will start from there. This procedure has good results, in some cases people are cured even. In most cases, it will hopefully at least buy me another 5, or sometimes even 10 years. And who knows where technology will be by then?! There are no guarantees and I realise all too well that the risks of this surgery are serious and life threatening. But so is cancer, and left untreated-dying soon-is whats coming,so fuck that, and bring on this surgery. You meant to lose quite some weight, saves me running every other day ha! So there's a bonus already. Oh and and eating loads of cake. Well, once you can eat again that is.

As you can see, i'm trying my hardest to remain positive and fight this with all i've got. And I'm a sucker for lame cancer jokes as they just make it all a little more lighthearted. I must say, it's surreal, a treatment like this was my worst nightmare when researching it 2 years ago, thinking, " how lucky am I to not having to have this surgery" to now hoping I was actually a candidate for it. Funny how things change. Nightmare becomes dream, well. sort off.  I am more emotional this time around then I maybe was last time. But I reckon that is because I know what's coming, I can brace myself a little more.

What bugs me a lot is, that I finally pushed on with SOW, the company I set up a while ago but have been struggling to push through for several reasons. I now made the decision to get moving and just do it. As life is short. I'm always on the move, may it be in my new van chasing dreams here in Europe #vanlife, as it's pretty amazing, or jetsetting off to a 'beachy' destination to chase waves. I've set up SOW to be an extension of me, and to do 'my part' in this world and to inspire other people to just stop overthinking everything and follow your dreams. I want to contribute and donate to cancer research, and I will. But now, i'm facing a new challenge, having to fight for my life and fighting to set up a company at the same time is kind off a tricky business. The whole collection meant to be online by January, but little did I know about what was to come. So, i've had to come up with a new plan. I will still work my hardest on presenting you all with some smaller items.  Think of jewellery, little bracelets, surf leggings, and some other items. As I can make these now, and from my hospital bed in time.

I want to prove that no matter what obstacles may come your way, in whatever it is your doing, you can overcome them. There is a solution to well, everything. If you are willing to jump a few hurdles and think outside the box. Not let life and it's shit scare you, even when you think there is no way out. Because there is. Over the last few years i've picked up on several things, and social media might make look things a lot more rosy then they are. It might have seen to some, ' she's just living this amazing beach and travel lifestyle. Always on the move. Not a care in the world and kicked ass surviving cancer, so of course she's now just living live and enjoying it all'  and yes, to some extend this is true and social media only enhances this. I am chasing my dreams, but don't be fooled. I face the same challenges in day to day life as others and feel insecure about the choices i've made, or things I do. What I look like or how am I gonna pay rent end of this month and so on. And it might not look like I have a care in the world, it might not look like other people have a care in the world and everyone is doing great. The point i'm trying to make is, even if you're having a hard time, and things are just, well, shit. The trick is to stand above it al, don't let it stop you or trying to look at the bigger picture.

Saying that, that is exactly what I will do. I will work my ass of to get better and get SOW successful, it may not where I wanted it to be this January, but it will be successful in time. That is what I believe, and need to believe, in order to actually be successful! I refuse, once again, to let anything stop me, and fuck, especially not cancer. I will get there, in time. And so will you, whatever it is you're doing.

Surgery will be soon-ish, 3 to 5 weeks from now. Until then, I'll be devoting my time to surf, friends, family, getting fitter and SOW, of course;)

When cancer gets you down, again...#yougetthefuckbackup #stillkickingcancersass #notallwhowanderarelost

Onwards and upwards, as always.

xo Merel.

ps. 'playing the cancer card'(-did she just say that? yep-) But could do with some more followers! lol
insta: @sow.studios 

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