Archive for November, 2014

Personally: an update on my present situation. (My husband’s blogposting)

My husband’s Dutch blogposting

The friendly surgeon was frank, I am no surgery material, the latest laparoscopy confirmed what previous examinations in Leeuwarden already had pointed at. There are too many cancer cells spreading to have a succesful surgery.

I shall go for chemotherapy, which can be done in Leeuwarden, in close connection with the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital. Considering my general condition and the condition of my other organs, this could yield good results.

The diagnosing period is closed now. What follows, is called the “palliative treatment path”. I shall now have to find a balance between resting and improving my shape, between accepting and hope. To put it briefly: continuing life, in spite of the fact that there is less later than before.

Now this applies to everyone above a certain age, but not everyone is told as explicitly and crystal clearly as the one diagnosed with this form of cancer. For now, life still seems more than worthy of living. So we shall just do that.

I hope and expect I shall function on my present health level for a considerable time. With chemo and specific approach of my overall shape, there might even be an improvement.
Dear blog visitors, more people than I expected are visiting here. I appreciate that. It is possible to leave a comment, but not necessary.

Waking up

There have been wonder years,
Lonely nights of hope,
There was a hint of paradise
Also a little hell to cope,
Dreams that stuck to life
And wishing wells to find,
Rainy days to leave behind and faces
That I can’t forget,
The losing and the luck
And all the things you did,
The roller coaster weeks
Of fears and little faith
And in the end maybe some false relief,
And so much grief
And the hardest bit
Will be waking up
Without you.

The sleeping child

I carry a grandchild up the stairs
On a darkened day,
A light so golden are her hairs
And my shoulders know the burden
Of all mothers and their heirs.

There is no difference between
The ones we are and those on-screen.
We love them all. The ones that live
And those unseen to us are there.
When we are gone, the ones we carried, live.

Life is a staircase, up we go
And all we carry as a burden,
As a love, a weight: they are a flow
That gets less heavier
Along the climb. As far we know.

The other option

Is there another option, so you asked.
We stood barefooted on the bedroom floor,
The wind was hauling through the bathroom door
Ajar, and rain was falling. It was not even six am.
It was appalling.  The other option is to stay, I said.

We rather went right back to bed
And give the cold and dark a miss.
But ferries hardly ever wait for us
To get in somewhat of a travelling mood.
So there we stood, no other option left
Than to stick together, to get dressed and go
Into a future with no warranties. We felt bereft.




That day

For every time you smiled, a butterfly will show
When that day has come, while many flowers bloom,
When our goodbyes are done and you move on and go.

When that day has come, may you remember all
The good days that you had before this very Fall
And may there be a thousand birds and some to guide you.

A million butterflies and more, may they surround
You on your voyage and beyond, while every flower blooms
For all the love you gave. When that day has come.

That bit

There is no word to call the bit
That we don’t know of one another:
The mind, the thoughts, the life unseen,

Unheard, the feelings.
Everything we guess about
and we don’t know off; pain.

The secret distance from the you to me
Seems shorter now the lights are dimmed,
And almost as in tune we breathe and talk and see.

The bit unknown, the private will, the smile
Behind the hand on which you rest your head,
All that.

There is no word to call it by its name and yet
It is what makes you you, me me.
No one the same.



I have not looked for it nor did I find
The reason why we live, or die, the kind
Of questions we are bound to ask. I won’t
Go into any details why I don’t
Want such intrusions targeting my mind.

But every now and then I hesitate:
Should I not care more of my kind of fate,
And mind. Can all those many priests be wrong
And have they been mistaken all along,
Is it too early to find out, or just too late?

I have not looked for it and didn’t mind
But recently I’m having doubts, the kind
You have when someone has a certain date
With death. The darkness felt as heavy weight,
We stand before eternity. Aligned.

Personally, stomach cancer and not getting used to it.

The translation of my husband’s new blog posting.
When the news has “landed”, should a person get used to it also? I don’t know, on the unsurpassed internet much and often good information can be found about cancer and the people who have to deal with it, but I could not find a generally applying answer. So I wonder if one can get used to a situation like that. Something like dentures, or another kind of prosthesis. A nuisance at first, and present in an intrusive way, then, after a while, just a part of your body. You rather didn’t have it, but it happens to be there and it is no use complaining. This is how I would want to face my new companion, the stomach cancer. But by then all kinds of emotions are running through my brain and body. Exhausting emotions, while the body already has difficulty to function with all those evil cells that are joining the system.

It so happens that there is a surplus of bloggers, writers and other media professionals who are active reflecting their own anamnesis.
Often fascinatingly and well written. But I now get the impulse to defend myself, I really didn’t get this cancer to join in this hype. And the fact that I blog about it, has no other function than the rest of my blog has. It is on my mind, and I want to share that on a modest scale with the people who take the effort of coming here. Nothing more, nothing less.

Meanwhile life continues. There are many beautiful moments with my beloved one, (grand) children and during lovely walks. The support and friendship I experience is overwhelming. How to put that into words I don’t really know. It is heart warming and it comes in directly, I shall leave it at that for now. Being ill is what I mostly do whit in the walls of our home. How we manage and experience all of it here I won’t describe, there has to remain a comfortable limit of some privacy.
A nice diner whit in the framework of local government, (without joining in the meal still a fine evening) , a lively council meeting and much, mutual concern. Those are about the ingredients that makes it possible for me to be more than a man with a disease.

This week I shall step into the hospital world again. A 2nd opinion, so also a verdict again. That too is something I shall have to go through, and then the wait whether chemo and/or other medical interventions might do something for me. Maybe I shall find out in time how to live life while the finiteness of that life announces itself so shamelessly and impertinently.
Meanwhile I listen to old songs, Schubert. Timelessly beautiful. Dietrich Fischer Diskau in his years of glory.

It looks like it will be a good Sunday. All the best to you. Till next time.

My husband’s blogposting in Dutch

The book

On the other side of the page
The book may get better
Or will it be worse in there
Where I’m not reading yet?

I’ve read a lot and halfway through
I turn the pages back to find
Where I met you. Exactly there’s your letter.
Somehow the book seems thinner now.

I do not want to turn the page
But stay in chapters that I know.
Who wants to read the ending
Of well-loved stories anyway?


To find what you saw, I went to harbour towns
Where you might have been years ago.
Every windy quay had weed and pain
Growing through the stones,
Each bollard was rusting in sad silent rain.

The ships came and went, come and go as always.
Once you must have been there as well
And I always heard echoes of slamming doors,
You in splashing laugh
Although I don’t really remember yours.

All the ports of the Baltic, of France
And of England, of Ireland and Belgium,
Scandinavia too:
I came there looking
For memories and traces of you.

Sometimes I found you in other people
Who might have seen what you saw.
Recently I’ve stopped looking for you. As it is:
We can not go on
Meeting each other like this.

Not meeting each other like this.

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