Snowhares

I went walking in Bavaria last weekend…although I probs would rather call it hiking- as it invovelved mountains, snow and long distances.

We walked 15 km the one day and 19 the next, if you had asked me to do this a year ago- I would have turned around and said NO!! Trekking the Great Wall of China has definitely changed my opinion on hiking- I really enjoy it nowadays.

Being outside in the fresh air, walking for a long period of time in silence most of the time, allowes me to just enjoy the moment- experience the here and now. It makes me feel free.

On the first day the weather was awful- cold, foggy and lots of snow…but it gave me the chance to take a picture with this snowhare that someone had made…

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It reminded me of a skiing holiday my sister and I had with our dad in 1994. We had gone to the Swiss Alps and it had snowed soo much over night that the roads were bloked and we could not sky for one day. My sister and I built a snowhare.

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What a coincidence that I found another snowhare 22 years on ❤❤❤

The next day we went walking along the Danube. Although the weather was marginally better- no snow or fog, it still was really cold. The original plan had been to walk all the way to the Walhalla, which is a historical sight- important in German Romatism and Nationalism. But after we had walked 9 km in the blazing wind- we decided to turn around and drive to the Walhalla…

This the view that we had from the Walhalla over the Danube.

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I think I still from the I am scarred of missing out syndrom- but hey- life is for living and there to make memories…and that’s what I did in Bavaria!

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Everyday I am shuffling

I ran the endurance life coastal run up at Bamburgh castle today- it was epic.

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I stumbled over this amazing race last year- when I was putting together my runs for CoppaFeel…last year I made the mistake of booking two subsequent races, this 10k, followed by the Bath Half….not my smartest moment

It was painfull!

This year not only had I trained better, but I also did not have the Bath Half looming, so I could run a little faster. Looking at the official results, I improved my time by 8 min- pow!
My watch says 12 minutes but I trust their timing more.

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I love this race- it’s in the most amazingly scenic area in the North East of England, in Northumberland. Running there makes me feel free!

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I think, no I am sure that I will be running this race against  next year! Let’s see what time I can get then.

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Return of the blog!

Ahem…so somehow I managed to loose/forget my password for my blog…as well as for the email account that is associated with the blog…and I only regained access like a week ago…hence my absence from the blog.

Sorry- not sorry really, cause ultimately this shows how little importance breast cancer has in my day to day life.

But- I don’t want to abandon this blog- rather I am wanting to reinvigorate it- I don’t want to fill it with cancer talk, but with travel, running- life! Because that’s what this blog was always going to be about- living life after a breast cancer diagnosis!

But first- I feel the need to wrap 2015 up- it was such a bloody good year that it would be unfair to not give it the credit it deserves.

2015 started rather uneventful- I think I was in bed before 12:30…but that was probably the only uneventful part of 2015.

I ran five half marathons, three 10ks, hiked the great Wall of China with the most amazing people ever for the charity that means so much to me- Coppafeel! Raised loads of money and found a new family- love team China!!!!

I travelled loads- visited Denmark with my family- spent my dad’s 75th birthday travelling through Turkey- and finally got to spend time with my sister and my best friend in Brazil!

I went diving in the UK- which is not something I ever thought I would do- seriously in what universe would one want to go diving in water that is barely 14 degrees warm???? Well’ if you get the chance to dive with seals, then even someone like me- who only really likes water when it’s 28+ degrees warm, will jump into the water.

I seriously tried to pack in as much travelling, fun, seeing friends, doing as many things, as possible- as I realised that the only thing that is guaranteed is that I am well now! Nothing else is guaranteed.

Last year was a year where I learnt a lot about myself- I learnt that I find social situations with lots of new, different people difficult to handle- because I am scared that people judge me. I also found that I am not the only one who feels like that… If we all just realised that each and every one of us has social anxieties that they just don’t want to admit to- life would be soo much easier.

Spending time by myself, made me realise that I don’t need someone else to be happy- happyness starts from within…it sounds so cliche, but it’s so true! Of course it would be great to find someone to share these amazing experiences with- but rather than being obsessed with finding that certain someone I would rather concentrate on creating my own happyness.
On the other hand- spending time with new people has made me realise how important it is to be amongst people that understand you and make you happy- and that is exactly what I do now.
I just came back today from the best weekend ever with some of the girls from the Coppafeel China Trek!!! I have soo much love for them- each and every one of them has taught me soo much since I met them last year in October!

2015- ended with a bang! We spent it on the Copacabana! 2016 should be another amazing year…but you never know what card you are going to be dealt! The only thing I can guarantee is that I am going to make the best out of every single moment!

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A message from Alex

Living with Secondary Breast Cancer

Sara(1957-2015)

Hello to everyone who has been following my mother, Sara’s, blog.

My my name is Alex, mentioned in several of my mother’s posts. I feel honoured to have shared so much of my mum’s journey with her.

Sadly my mother passed away on Sunday November 29th in St.Gemma’s Hospice. It has been a very sad and emotional time. My mum fought on until the very end. She continued to be so strong, brave and to support those around her.

Thank you for all your lovely cards and messages. I have felt so moved and blessed to have such amazing support shown to my mum, to me and to my family. Please feel free to write in the comments on the blog. All comments and wishes will be passed on to the family.

The funeral date for my mum is going to be December 22nd at 13.40 at Lawnswood Cemetery in Leeds…

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I am a turkey 🙈

I know- I have not written yet about my recent charity trek to China- but I will get around to that.

Now- let me talk about my recent trip to Turkey ❤️❤️❤️❤️

My dad and I returned back from our trip to Turkey just over a week ago. We had the most amazing time, and I am glad to confirm that not speaking Turkish for over 10 years did not seem to have made a difference. I was speaking Turkish as if I had not left Turkey. I did however sometimes choose to pretend I understand nothing- in particular when a taxi driver was telling me that Hitler was his idol- hmmm….

After flying to Ankara with Pegasus Airlines- which was quite an experience, they mixed up the gates, the flight was packed and sitting in the plane I was doubting my ability to speak Turkish, as I did not understand a word anyone was saying. (I guess it is a bit like my German friends coming over to Newcastle and not understanding Geordie), we arrived at the new Esenboga airport.

Our time in Ankara was amazing, we met up with a lot of our old friends, and walking a long the Tunus Cadesi, my dad and I were greeted by the green grocer- 11 years later and they still remembered us:-)

I had arranged to celebrate my dad’s birthday at the Cafe de Cafe in Ankara, where we had spent so much time when we had lived in Turkey. By coincidence Cafe de Cafe was celebrating their 20th Anniversary on my dad’s birthday. They actually opened the year that we had moved to Turkey. The service offered to my dad from Cafe de Cafe was amazing.

My dad and I then moved on to Cappadokia were we met up with one of our dear friends, who owns a carpet shop in Goereme. Tourism has definitely increased in the last 10 years, and the horse drawn carts seem to have disappeared, replaced by tractors. I suppose I am being nostalgic. We stayed in one of the most amazing cave houses.

After Cappadocia, my dad and I drove on to Izmir, with a stop over in Afyon. Driving in Turkey is one thing that has not changed, people still drive like lunatics, a zebra crossing is merely an indication for pedestrians that they could cross the road, red lights are a suggestion to stop and indicating is optional, and only necessary if you intend to turn in the opposite direction that you indicated.

We arrived in Izmir with an amazing blue sky and temperatures of 20 degrees- for the beginning of November pretty good temperatures. In Izmir we met up with the Head Chef of the Swiss Hotel Izmir, and we stayed at his house in Urla. Being so close to the sea, being able to spend time walking along the sea side was amazing. We even visited a new Winery close by, you wouldn’t have known that you were in Turkey, it was amazing, you might have thought you were in France.

Instead of driving to Istanbul, my dad and I decided to take advantage of flying there with Pegasus airlines. With the government subsidizing the airlines, flying has become cheaper than taking the bus.
After landing in Sahiba Goekce it took over 1.5 hours to get to Kozyatagi, which is on the Asian side of Istanbul- traffic there is more manic than in Cairo!!

I was supposed to run the Istanbul Marathon, but unfortunately I had a cold and therefore decided not to run. Instead my dad and I spent a quiet day on one of the Princess Islands, it was lovely! Very serene and relaxing.

One thing is for sure- I am not going to let it be another 11 before I visit Turkey again!

I love Turkey- as some of my friends say, I am a Turk 🙃😄🤗

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Back to blogging

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It’s been a while!!! No new is good news, and in a way the reason their has been no news is because I have been busy living!

Since last writing a post, my mom had come to visit me, I went diving with seals, joined CoppaFeel!’s Summee Boob Tour at Leeds Festival, walked in the Peak District, ran the Great North Run and trekked the Great Wall of China in aid of CoppaFeel!

Crazy- to think I have managed to fit this much into just 3 months (I work full time too!!) My brain sometimes struggles to keep up with all this craziness- sometimes I realise that possibly I should sit down, have a breather and just relax, but then I notice that I am crap at that! I am at my best when I am super busy and don’t know where my brain is! That is what I call living!

A couple of days ago I wrote a post in a young cancer patient’s Facebook page- I was replying to someone’s question whether it was normal to feel scared, upset and lost. This person was questioning whether or not to do chemo and felt rushed, felt like a marionette- dragged from one appointment to another- decisions being made for her, no time to breath… I could empathise with her because this is exactly how I felt when I was diagnosed in 2012. This was me 3.5 years ago!

What a difference 3.5 years make! The difference between racing around because you want, rather than because you have to! Not knowing where your head is because you have choosen to do too much, not because you are scared and overwhelmed because you don’t understand what is happening! Realising that you there are things you can’t change, and knowing to accept these, whilst concentrating on things you can do!

I guess, I am back in control! Back in control, because I have let go, I know I can’t control everything, but I can control how I deal with the now! and in a way that’s what I told this person…

Life’s good right now- and there is so much more I want to write about, but need to find the time for.

Cancerversary

I have been feeling very agitated lately! Kinda wanting to jump out of my skin agitated!! All without any real reason, or so I thought

…however looking at the calendar, I realised that 3 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer!  There is not really much I want to say about this, there is no witty blog about how great life is now- because at the moment I feel a bit lost!

Lost because I don’t know where I am going! Lost because I don’t feel quite at home at the moment. Lost because I just don’t really know what I want to do! I don’t know where I want to be! And whilst I have never been one for being particularly decisive in knowing what I want, I feel that breast cancer has robbed me of my choices. Being on a daily, monthly and biannual cocktail of drugs I can’t just pack my bags and leave! I no longer can be carefree and spontaneous, but have to plan ahead, ensure I have medical cover wherever I go, and remember to take my pills!

At the moment I just want to spit out my dummy!! and say this if fucking unfair!!

For a little tbt here is a picture of me bold, a first for me! I have never shared this with anyone!!Rhyan

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Booked

So super duper excited!!!!

Flights for my father/daughter/marathon trip to Turkey in November have been booked! It’s been 11 years that I visited Turkey properly!! I lived ther for 6 years, and in a way it’s my 2nd home!! We will be flying to Ankara, Cappadocia and Istanbul to visit friends and eat lots of amazing Turkish food!!! I can’t wait!!! Ohhh and run a marathon in 2 continents! Bonus!!

I also booked my flights earlier on this month to fly to Rio de Janeiro in December/January to go and visit my sister there! Having been born in Brazil, she has a Brasilian passport, and after meeting her boyfriend on her travels through Central Amerika, she now works as an English teacher in Rio. Christmas and New Years Eve in Brazil- whoop, whoop!

I love life at the moment!!

For those who ask themselves how I can afford this- it’s all about priorities, I don’t have a morgage, nor do I have kids, nor pets for that matter. I drive a car that is as basic as you can get. My life is about living in the moment, enjoying the now, I want to enjoy what I have now- because no one knows what will happen tomorrow. Today I am well, so I will travel 😄

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And snooz…

I ran my 6 race this year today- the Leeds 10K…I did in 1:04 min, which is 6 minutes faster than last year, and I was wearing a boob!

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Hopefully next year I will finally beat the 60 minute mark!

I am of to book my flights for my trip to Turkey now! I am planning on running the Istanbul Marathon in November and I ended up organising a little father daughter trip around it 😃.

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Hip Hip Huray

So, I had my bone scan, I hated having my scan! First of all there is the, we need to access you veins…yay, joy…my veins love being poked and prodded…not! It took them 3 attempts, and ultimately using a baby butterfly to finally find a vein to inject the radioactive dye which is used in the bone scan. Mini Tschernobyl going on in my body- hahaha! Now I just had to wait for 3 hours, for the dye to be taken up by my bones! And finally all I had to do was to lie down and be scanned.

Who wants to lie still for 25 minutes, not me! This all was made even worse when at the end of the scan the radiographer advised me that he would be back in 2 minutes, queue racing heart, sick to my stomach, me going arghhh, I knew it, my breast cancer has spread! The thing is, if you have had a bit experience with this cancer malachy, you know that second opinions can mean danger…

So, I am lying there, having a small panic attack…so as soon as the second radiographer left the room, I insisted on getting up, and tried to question the original radiographer on what had been going on…knowing quite well that they can actually not tell you anything. The thing that he did say to me, as I had already guessed, is that if they think they see anything untoward, a more senior radiographer is asked to double check what they see…the thing that they saw was a spot on my lower spine- which had already been there 2 years ago…so the radiographer was not to worried.

This all happened 10 days ago…and guess what, it was 10 days of waiting! 10 days of my brain going, what if, what if it has spread, can I then still do my trek to China? Should I buy this scuba diving equipment, or is it possible not worth it, as I might not be allowed to dive anymore…

But no news is good news! Today I got a letter from my oncologist…and hip, hip hurray, all is well in cancer land! There is NO EVIDENCE of Bone Metastasis!!! Yay me!!

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Living with Secondary Breast Cancer

A blog by Sara el Hassani (1957-2015)

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