Come Away With Me to Bulgaria & Beating Cancer

Hello, out there all you lovely people. How are you doing? I hope you entered November with a happy or at least calm heart despite everything.

I have used October to take a look at my “Come Away With Me” posts and realised I wanted to have a closer look at more areas in the chosen country. I wanted to add some topics that are close to my heart like the climate crisis and mental health but also food, poetry and art. So from today on, “Come Away With Me” has a little different structure. What do you think about it?

What’s Happening at Bee’s

Am not quite sure where to start. Not particularly because so much is happening but because things are settling down. I finished radiotherapy at the end of October. It was nowhere near as exhausting as chemotherapy. However, I experience more exhaustion now that it is over.

The reason for this is the radiation is still working. In two weeks, I was told, I will feel the most exhausted and from then onwards it will get better. So I take the time to learn, read and take short walks to give myself as much fresh air as I can get.

I am happy. I am so relieved that this part of the treatment is over. From now onwards I need to take tablets (for ten years) and get injections every 6 months (for two years). Both are designed to stop the cancer from coming back. Tablets are to stop the hormone receptors that encourage cancer cells from working, and the injections are to avoid the cancer to get into the bones.

So I am not sure if I can say I am a cancer survivor. My surgeon got all of the tumours and took away affected lymph nodes as much as possible. There are some she could not get out, and that is why I had radiotherapy to destroy any left-over cancer cells in that area. Chemotherapy was to stop the cancer from spreading all over my body.

I read somewhere that you never really stop having cancer because it can come back any time. For me, that means I keep a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating and try to find more exercises that I can do. These are the parts that I can do to avoid it from coming back.

But otherwise, I just get on with my life and don’t waste time worrying. If it comes back, it comes back. I’ll deal with it in that case. Something that has changed for me though is I appreciate life much more. I also feel I do not procrastinate as much as I did before. Life is short. You have no idea what awaits around the corner. It might be bliss it might be drama.

So better to get on with what you love to do instead of wasting time. That is why we do not waste any more time and have a look at Bulgaria.

1. Introduction to Bulgaria

I have travelled widely in Western Europe, but the East is still a mystery to me. However, from what I saw and heard of Bulgaria, I feel it would be worth a visit once we found a way to live with this virus.

We do get our honey from Bulgaria via Wholefoodsonline, and it is absolutely delicious. I am a yoghurt fan, and apparently, Bulgaria has its own special yoghurt cultures. Who would have thought? Then there is the Black Sea which should be a great destination if you like beaches but not the tons of tourists that come with it in Spain or Italy. And Bulgaria has one of the only two naturally occurring deserts in Europe. So what is not to like about this country? Well, of course, its and ex-communist country that comes with all its connected troubles but hey: I visited the East of Germany when the wall was up so I am sure I could handle Bulgaria. I just need to entice the best husband that this is a good idea and travel destination 🙂 .

Have I made you sufficiently curious? Then please check out this video playlist with videos about Bulgaria.

2. An Artist of Bulgaria

So far I have not really had a look at artists from the countries that “Come Away With Me” visits. That is a huge lack I thought so I checked up who Bulgaria has to offer and was astonished to realise that Christo comes from Bulgaria. You remember the crazy Installations he did with his wife, Jeanne Claude? They covered the Bundestag in Berlin, made pontoons in Italy and put huge umbrellas up mountains.

You need to admire their audacity. But behind all that is the goal to make the audience aware of the problems nature and the environment are facing in our modern world. Christo died in May this year, and Jeanne-Claude passed in 2009.

If that made you curious check out their page “Christo & Jeanne-Claude” which gives you much information and even a part where Christo rights wrong information that goes around about the two artists.

The image is of the temporary floating piers he made in Italy.

Christo's Floating Piers Italy
Image by Richard Ley from Pixabay

3. A Climate Activist of Bulgaria

I spent quite some time in researching how Bulgaria deals with the climate crisis. What I could figure out is that they are affected quite badly with floods, but I could not find much information about eco-activists.

That is why I just offer you this article for a little overview:

https://balkaninsight.com/2019/03/15/balkan-students-join-global-action-against-climate-change/

4. Food of Bulgaria

I already told you about the yoghurt and honey from Bulgaria. It looks to me though like Bulgaria has an exciting food culture as it lies at the crossroads between West and East. A lot of meat I have to admit that does not entice me at all, but I found a potato cake recipe that sounds absolutely delicious. Find it here at Kitchen Frau’s page. I have planned to try it out and will let you know how it was.

https://youtu.be/VhVKEzGNXAY

Please follow Ross and Bek for more travel excitement.

5. A Poetess of Bulgaria

At first I thought about writers & poets of… and wanted to read a book of each country that is still on the list of “Come Away With Me”. However, I am not always a fast reader and don’t think I can manage a book in a week. So I went back to my first literary love “Poetry” and thought about bringing you some female poets.

The first lady I encourage you to discover is Dora Gabe a national treasure of Bulgaria. She was born in Bulgaria to affluent Jewish Ukrainian and Russian immigrant parents and thus had the chance to get an education in the late 19th century. As a child she started publishing poetry but later also worked as an educator, translator as well as a poet.

Her translation work helped her to gain regards in her native Bulgaria as she made Bulgarian authors known around the world. Her work went the other way round too: She introduced authors from around the world to Bulgaria with her translations.

She was married but often travelled on her own in Europe. She kept connections all over the world to authors and poets and she developed modern thoughts on pedagogy. She said about children:

A child is a person with all feelings and divine peace. We should guide the child, but never terrorise them, otherwise we will kill the spirit, and that is the most terrible thing in life. For a person without a spirit is a person detached. We should watch over the children, because we are responsible for them – the future generation.

Dora Gabe

I think she is a very intersting lady and I love her poetry:

Don’t Come Near Me!

Don’t come near me!
Be an effigy
On the stone wall of the ancient cathedral,
High up and unapproachable,
To stay on as an eternal longing
In my empty heart left by you
Hushed and on alert.
Don’t come near me…

source: AllPoetry

Please find out more about Dora Gabe here at Europeana

6. Mental Health in Bulgaria

Do you think my topics are a little random? I hope not because both the climate crisis and mental health are topics close to my heart that I would like to highlight.

That will be a little difficult I suspect depending on the country. Bulgaria seems to be one of the countries in which mental health as a valid health problem isn’t recognised widely yet. As Bulgaria is part of the European Union, they try to change that on a government level, but it will need some time until they can create the change necessary.

One thing that cropped up time and time again when I researched was domestic violence which of course is a problem everywhere. But in a country with not many mental health organisations helping you, it is even worse. So I leave you to explore and article but also remembered an “old” project that I never really got off.

Once I wanted to create a post for all countries in the world with links to mental health organisations and organisations that help abuse victims. It was one of the projects that I stopped basically as soon as I started. But not all is lost as I am integrating this idea here with “Come Away With Me”.

I might not always find many links and helplines, but one is better than none. Please check out this article and the link to a helpline underneath.

https://balkaninsight.com/2016/09/28/gender-based-violence-in-bulgaria-widespread-underreported-experts-warn-09-27-2016/

BulgariaWomen’s Helpline+359 2 981 76 86
source: https://ec.europa.eu/justice/saynostopvaw/helpline.html

7. Some Musicians of Bulgaria

Wow. that is quite some information I have given you about Bulgaria. We have come to the end now, and I let you go with some singers from Bulgaria. Not as many as usual but I ran a little out of steam…. 🙂

Thanks very much for coming away with me to Bulgaria. I hope you liked the little insight I (and the creators of the videos & articles) gave you into this fascinating country.

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

And where are we going next week?

Come Away With Me 2020 Musical Challenge Country for Monday, November 9th, 2020

I am taking a rather random route around the world, but sometimes it makes sense. Next week we venture into Montenegro. Please find musicians from Montenegro on the Last FM page.

As for the suggestions to take part:

  1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. No matter if you have cancer or not! 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 “Come Away With Me 2020 FB page“
  3. Tag your post either with ” Come Away With Me Musical Challenge”/ #CoAwWiMeMuCh” / “Come Away with Me 2020 Musical Challenge” o/“CoAwWiMe2020MuCh” / . 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 “Come 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

I am fundraising for McMillan and you can still donate here ( until January 2021) and download Bees McMillan Coffee Morning German Christmas Download (PDF file) (no it’s not in German but about German recipes and Christmas  ) After January 2021 it’s free to download anyway.

My goal is 200£ and so far you brilliant people have donated 10£. Thanks!

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow some 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. So far the campaign has raised about half the amount needed: £418,648 of £800,000 (October 2020).

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!

13 thoughts on “Come Away With Me to Bulgaria & Beating Cancer

  1. Such an interesting trip to Bulgaria, thank you for highlighting so many things, good and bad about the country. Nice music very eastern European.
    I am so impressed by your stowic determination with your attitude to cancer. Take care and relax while you are recovering 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you like the new format of “Come Away With Me”. Its so interessting to research these things and learn. Thanks for the compliment but that attitude was years in the making. Just a year ago I wouldn’t have been that calm. Hope all is well at yours 🙋‍♀️🤗

      Like

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