It’s already autumn – we need to catch up

On an autumn day, red and orange leaves litter the grass near a tree.

I know. It’s been a while.

Summer has moved on. It’s efinitely sweater weather, depending on where you are in the world. Here in southern Sweden, it’s fleece jacket and scarf weather.

Since July, there’s just been too much going on. I always intend to pop in here and keep you updated, but then life keeps throwing curveballs.

And I am just trying to prepare myself.

F*ck cancer

Last year, I shared with you all the news of my mother’s lung cancer diagnosis. It was caught early enough that she was able to ndergo targeted radiation and was deemed in remission.

Unfortunately, this year, we found out that the cancer had returned. It had metastasized as lesions on her brain. She underwent full-scale radiation at the beginning of July. The cancer then reappeared as flecks on one of her adrenal glands and lymph nodes. More treatment ensued, this time immunotherapy, which seemed to be working. And then it stopped working.

My mom is very frail now, in the hospital again, and has made the decision to stop all cancer treatments. She will enter hospice care next week.

Through all of this, I am eternally grateful to the cancer team at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine at Penn Medicine who have been taking care of my mom.

On the road again soon

I’m heading to Philadelphia on Wednesday and will be there with her for a while. I love my mother. I wish she could live forever, even though I know how unrealistic that wish may be.

I may live 3,940 miles away from my mother but she is never far from my thoughts. We have a special bond. We are more than mother and daughter – we are friends and I adore her. We may bicker sometimes but she knows that I love her. I know that she loves me.

No one can break the special bond we have.

Writing is my self-care

NaNoWrimo shield logo on white background. Image courtesy of NaNoWriMo.
Image courtesy of NaNoWriMo

So while I am in Philadelphia, spending time with my mother, I will also be doing NaNoWriMo. I’ve already brainstormed the idea with my writer tribe in Matera, Italy. It will have two story arcs – one in the early 1960s in the US, Italy and Scandinavia and one in the present in the same settings.

And my mom is helping me with details for part of the story arc set in the Sixties. This is my passion project. It’s what will get me through this period.

I haven’t decided yet if I will share early, unedited chapters here on my blog.

I might be too busy with my mom.

All I can tell you is that writing this is what will get me through these difficult times.

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