Come Away With Me to Poland & Beating Cancer

Hello out there, how are you? Yes, I do ask again, and I want to know. So many lovely people ask me how I am, and I just want to return the favour. And you know, I am sending you good vibes daily (and a coffee or tea if you wish to πŸ˜‰ ).

So, how I am? Astonishingly fine. It’s two weeks ago that I had my second lot of chemotherapy and while I was very sick on the first day, all the other side effects weren’t as bad as last time. I am grateful for that.

So today, I am taking on a topic that bothered me a lot before chemotherapy but turned out not to be that bothersome: Hairloss.

Hairloss happens both with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Here in the UK you are connected with a breast care and oncology nurse when you are diagnosed with breast cancer. They are there to coordinate your treatment and to give you all the information that you need. They also support you with any resources to help beat cancer.

When I met my oncology nurse for the first time, she asked me if I have any concerns. And strangely the only thing that came to my mind was losing my hair. I am a proud ginger. Having red hair is part of my identity, and the prospect of losing it terrified me.

Portrait of Bee Halton

So she suggested something called “scalp cooling” which terrified me even more than the hair loss. Scalp cooling happens while having chemotherapy. They put a cap on your head which cools your scalp down, and you have to keep it on for quite some time. It’s cold. Really cold as the nurse said and I answered: “No thanks”. A wig wasn’t an option for me as the virus and lock down got in the way.

However, I had already decided I would deal with any imminent hair loss with scarves. And so I did. But I felt like a proper pervert when I had my first chemotherapy, and as soon as I got home started to pull my hair to see if it was still save. And I kept doing it. By the second week after the first chemo, my hair was gone. Besides a couple of brave soldiers who decided to hang on by a thread.

image of Bee after hair loss

Now I look like a plugged chicken but don’t give a damn. Five weeks into chemotherapy, I even leave my scarf or beanie off if I get too hot, which I wouldn’t have done before. I guess the lockdown helps. We are home alone, and only the best husband (Jeremy Clarkson voice) in the world gets to see me.

Bee with purple scarf on head

He is a brave soul too. I could see how hard it was for him to shave off my hair before I had chemotherapy. My plan was to be bald before any hair loss would happen, but he couldn’t bear it. So we compromised on a very short hair cut. Since then he keeps telling me that I look lovely and he means it (We are together for 10 years we know when we lie πŸ˜‰ )

And I am daily surprised how little I am bothered by my loss of hair. Thanks for that also goes to my cousin. As a young woman she had to fight a rare form of leukaemia. She had to go through chemotherapy and said to me: “I wore my bald head with pride. How else can you be bald as a woman without being looked a in funny ways!” There are some warrior women in my family :-).

But let’s leave this hairy business aside and come away with me to Poland. Such a beautiful country. Back in the day when the wall came down, my father had a girlfriend from Poznan which lies close to the German border smack bang in the middle.

Image of market place in Poznan, Poland
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

I was living in Berlin, and my then-partner and I went to see both of them in Poznan. It was a little less well decorated then, but you could see and feel the history of the place. What I most remember of my father’s girlfriend was her pride in the quality of Polish products. And her emotional strength. There are some warrior women over there too :-). I work with two of them here.

It is always good to ask someone from another country for advice when you want to show some rare gems of said country. That is what I did. Thankfully, I know Emilia from “My Inner MishMash” who isn’t only a warrior woman from Poland but also extremely interested in music. She says not so much in Polish music, despite that, she gave me some great ideas.

But let’s get an overview of Poland first with Rick Steve’s video:

video credit: Rick Steve via YouTube

Many of us think mainly about visiting cities when we go to see another country. But I always felt you miss most of a countries soul if you do not explore the countryside. Emilia suggested a well-kept secret. Smoldzino close to the mobile sand dunes in Slowinski National Park – This video is by Saverio Pepe about the national park.

Most people who visit the National Park come to Leba, which seems to be the hub to get into the park. A little to the west lies Smoldzino nestled in between two lakes. Lebsko lake is part of the National park, but Gardno isn’t. So if you are no fan of tourist masses chose to visit Smodzino instead of Leba to find some of the real Poland.

This video shows a bike ride around Smoldzino and along the dunes and lakes. Unfortunately, I could not find a video in English that showed the area so please enjoy this Polish one. The area is absolutely beautiful!

video credit: Sylwek Ustka via YouTube

Emilia gave a couple of suggestions about interesting Polish bands which you can see in her comment here. I am getting tired though and somehow got stuck with her favourite band “VavaMuffin“. “Vava” is the international spelling for “Wawa” which stands for “Warszaw”. No idea where the muffin comes from. Do Reggae musicians maybe like muffins? Or is it a slang word for something I do not know about? Well, we might never know. Oh, Wikipedia just told me it’s a reggae style. Never mind πŸ™‚

They are certainly worth checking out if you like this sort of music. I like a bit of reggae now and then. It just makes me smile and boogy. Nothing wrong with that isn’t it????

Well, to get myself some rest, I am just offering you the video I have chosen. It is, of course, one without a translation so you either just have to enjoy the music or learn Polish very fast. Good luck πŸ˜‰

video credit: Vavamuffin via YouTube

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday June 29th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we move a little south to the Czech Republic and you can discover some of its musicians here at expat_cz post: Czech Bands you should be listening to.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
  2. Send us the link! The ping-back option does not always work so please leave a link in the comments of the post on the day you take part. Or leave it at the β€œCome Away With Me 2020 FB pageβ€œ
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / β€œCome Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/β€œCoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure. If you add #blog and #music with your hashtags it will get you more readers.
  4. No matter which music or country the prompt favours you create with it whatever you please. This is supposed to be a fun challenge and no chore.
  5. I post a prompt for the next week with every β€œCome Away With Me 2020 post” I write.
  6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts.
Come Away With Me 2020 Badge
Come Away With Me 2020 badge

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

19 thoughts on “Come Away With Me to Poland & Beating Cancer

  1. I loved the part about Poland … I never before realized what a beautiful country it is! But most of all, I loved your honest talk about your cancer, chemo, and hair loss. And I loved seeing my beautiful friend Bee … hair or no hair, you are a beautiful woman and I love you! Get well, my friend! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Awwww … thanks, sweet Bee! Prior to this, I am ashamed to admit, all I knew of Poland was the Warsaw Ghetto uprising and the Gdansk shipyard, and Lech Walesa. And yet, I consider myself a history buff and have most of a degree in International Relations! You’d think I’d be more savvy!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. True enough! Yes, I think that as long as we keep learning more about the world in which we live, there is hope for us to eventually learn to live in peace. Perhaps I am wearing rose-coloured glasses, but I still hold out some hope. πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thst is the only way to create change. MLK had a dream and I am sure many thought he had rose tinted glasses on. Still his dream changed the US. It will come true. Its not the Hitlers who last because they work with force and not with natural authority and power. The Trumps and Borises of this world will find out eventually πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈπŸ

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely post! πŸ™‚
    Regarding the Vavamuffin song you shared, brty briefly, it is about an idealistic dream of world that they have, about the world being more peaceful overall. What a shame there doesn’t seem to be any English translation indeed. But reggae music can be difficult to understand even for natives of a language it is in as there is often so much reggae slang thrown in. And yes, forgot to add that, the muffin part comes from the raggamuffin music style, I’d also wondered for ages why muffin! πŸ˜€
    Sending hugs and positive vibes, I think you’re very brave and strong in dealing with all that cancer and chemo bring with themselves. I guess hair is an essential part of identity for most of us, so that must have been a really difficult change for you to lose yours. I really hope they’ll grow back, and as soon as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Emilia, thanks for the explanation and your kind words. It is tough to lose your hair but it will grow back so I am not as bothered as I feared. Also I seem to be lucky as the other side effects aren’t as bad as I expected. Looks like my use of honey and dates instead of refined sugar helps a lot. I also drink buckets full of water, mint- and green tea. I will keep my nutrition like this afterwards just to make sure. I believe both together (“normal” cancer treatment + nutrition) will have the best effect. I hope I have the chance to go back to Poland and explore more. Such a beautiful country! πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈπŸ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s good you’re taking such good care of what you eat, I also believe that nutrition is key, or at least one of the possible keys, to deal with conditions like cancer. I’ve always thought all the chemo side effects are awfully scary to deal with so I’m really glad you aren’t badly affected. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I thought the same but chemotherapy isn’t as aggressive as it used to be its the first week thats unpleasant but its fine afterwards. But it might still change. Who knows πŸ€·β€β™€οΈπŸ™‹β€β™€οΈπŸ

        Liked by 1 person

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