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Monday, June 26, 2017

Slow Midsummer weekend

The Midsummer holiday was very quiet. I got a chemo injection the day before (Thursday) so there was no celebration to speak of. I couldn't go to the summerhouse so stayed in the apartment. I made a short walk to the convenience store to get fresh strawberries. That was what I had energy for, basically. The weather has been pretty bad with high winds and rain. I have engaged in solving crossword puzzles and watching TV.

I visited the doctor this morning and she re-calculated the time this treatment will take. I already knew everything is delayed but she also said the radiation treatment will be three weeks instead of one. I will probably be on sick-leave through October. I am already now bored out of my mind, so I wonder how this will end.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Cookie mania

Last Monday I had to go to the hospital for tests so I took the opportunity to have lunch with the colleague who told me about the antiquarian bookstore sale. She also brought me to her workplace, which is at the top floor of the History Museum. Wednesday my department had arranged afternoon coffee, so I joined in. There was a large number of cookies on offer, since most people had brought some to share. It was very nice to see my colleagues when everybody had time to talk.

Thursday it was time for another chemo injection. They had changed it, so it was another kind and also a smaller dose. They had done this change because I got so sick last time. I wouldn't have agreed to continue if they hadn't made changes. The side-effects are the same, basically. Pain everywhere and stomach problems. I shouldn't go out because I have no immune defense. It really is remarkable that you are expected to endure all this for a preventive treatment.

This Saturday my father came to visit. I think he was bored because he offered to take me grocery shopping. I accepted. He also agreed to go to the library to pick up the books that I bought earlier. It turns out that my father had never been to this library, so I gave him a guided tour first. On display right now we have our most famous and impressive works, so it was convenient. I also showed him the stacks and my office.

The weather over the weekend was very good, around 24 degrees and sunny. I enjoyed sitting on my balcony, even though I have to stay out of the sun.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Visit to Copenhagen

The stronger antibiotic had a better effect. After I stopped taking the medicine Friday there is no sign of the infection. This is very good but of course it means that I will have to continue with the chemotherapy now. The next time is booked for Thursday.

Our national holiday is June 6 and in recent years I have spent it abroad - in Copenhagen. The shops are open there that day so many Swedes go across the Ă–resund to go touristing. Huge crowds of Swedes go there daily to work but this day it was even more people on the trains. I got off at the airport to take the metro about five stations. There is a mall that tourists rarely visit. I have found it because there is a store where they sell plus size clothes. This time there was also a pop up-store selling a well-known brand and everything was half price off. I bought two dresses. I had lunch at a buffet style restaurant. It was marvellous food, traditional Danish dishes. Lots of herring (differently spiced than ours), salmon, fish & chips, roasted ham, bacon, quenelles (a kind of meatballs), sausages and a large number of vegetarian choices. In total over 60 dishes. Before going home again I stopped by at the biggest mall, Fields, but there was nothing of interest this time.

Last week a colleague told me an antiquarian bookstore was going out of business. They had a sale of all the stock. You could fill a bag for 60 SEK, which is very affordable. I was there twice to shop both for myself and the library. I found three books not previously at the library. We are collecting all Swedish books but there are gaps for various reasons. Most often our patrons lose the book somehow but in these cases we had never received the books from the publisher.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Weekend at the summerhouse

Last weekend the period with antibiotic ended. Just like I thought it would, the infection came back right away. That antibiotic wasn't strong enough to kill it. I had problems getting in touch with the hospital clinic to tell them about this. This marvellous medical system we have means that you cannot get sick outside of the hours they receive phone calls, usually between 9 and 10 in the morning. Not even if I visited personally was I allowed to speak to a nurse. Very frustrating. Later that day I had an appointment at the medical center, where a nurse was assisting me with the wound (from the operation in March) that still hasn't healed. She saw that the infection had come back and I told her about my bad luck trying to get someone to pay attention to it. She sighed. She actually called the clinic on my behalf, and since she was medical staff they let her call through. It was interesting to hear the conversation. She used strong words to point out that I needed to see a doctor urgently. I am very grateful for this (I thanked her at least five times) because I got an appointment at 9 the next morning. That doctor gave me a stronger antibiotic and I hope it will have a better effect.

Last weekend was a long weekend since Ascension Day was on the Thursday. I spent a few days at the summerhouse with my mother and her boyfriend. It was unusually hot weather, one day it was up to 30 degrees. We did some shopping; there were two fleamarkets in the area and my mother needed soil to plant flowers and some vegetables. I mostly took it easy and relaxed with some crossword puzzles. Because of the medicine I couldn't sit in the sun so I was inside a lot. That Sunday it was Mother's Day and I treated my mother to the buffet at Furuboda. The food there is very good, this time it was salmon and spicy chicken.

The weather is more normal now, it's about 18-20 degrees, rather windy and right now some rain. The new medicine is making me tired so I haven't done much. I still have to go to Lund several times a week for various medical appointments and that's about what I have energy for.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


I have taken it rather slow lately. I have been to several doctor's appointments. After 20 days I am still on antibiotics. The situation is getting better every day but it will be a very long process. I have done some excursions, just to get out of the house. I have noticed that the two months I was unwell and didn't do anything have meant that I don't have much energy now. I get tired pretty fast and walking up stairs is exhausting.

The summer weather is here after a long and rather cold spring. It's about 20 degrees and usually sunny. My mother has moved to the summerhouse now.

There will be a Nelson family reunion in Milaca, Minnesota this year. The date is July 23. I am unable to attend because of my health but if any one wants to go I will share the details if you contact me.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Hospital stay

After the second injection of chemo I suffered basically the same side-effects as last time but I got a lot more fever now. The problem is that I didn't understand I was that sick. I didn't check the temperature since I thought it would pass without any medication, like the first time. I experienced two nights with chills and then I noticed the fever. It got worse by the minute and my heart rate was getting high and I breathed heavily. After calling the clinic they arranged for an ambulance to pick me up. It was an interesting experience. The ambulance staff asked me questions and I clearly noticed how difficult it was to give replies; my brain was deteriorating. They saw this and lead me to the ambulance pretty quickly. During the "priority one" transport the doctor slapped me every time I closed my eyes for more than a few seconds. He thought I was losing consciousness. At the emergency room eight people were waiting, two of them with antibiotics in syringes. They did of course already know about me. The doctor had sent the info from the ambulance. All is very high-tech these days.

After about an hour they had managed to slow the raging infection down with a massive dose of antibiotics. They took large amounts of tests on me and hooked me up to all sorts of machines. I had needles and cords everywhere. I didn't care about any of this. I was just glad to be alive.

Later in the evening I was moved to the oncology ward. They kept me there for eight days. Rather surprising, since there is a shortage of hospital beds. I was told my infection was very serious and that I should be happy there was still antibiotics to be found that had any effect on it.

I must say that all the staff members at the hospital were great, they deserve gold stars for all their hard work. I was a challenging patient because my veins do not cooperate at all. It's very difficult to draw blood from me. Even worse now when the chemo has destroyed the veins.

It's going to take a long time to recover completely from the infection, so the chemotherapy is on hold for now. My focus at the moment is just to get better, and it seems to be going in the right direction.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Social club meeting

Last week I was feeling a little bit better and I managed to host the annual social club meeting on the Tuesday. It was a 15-minute meeting to get through the agenda. Afterwards a senior scholar gave a speech about his experiences in the Middle East, particularly Jerusalem. It was an entertaining speech. We also had a meal in our lunchroom and we continued talking there, of course.

I have done some short excursions this past week. One day I took the train to Helsingborg, just to have lunch. I have also been to the nearest mall to go shopping. I have been told to keep active but it's not easy. The weather has been pretty bad with high winds and rain recently.

Last week my hair fell off, so now I really look sick. I made an inventory of my scarves and decided to use some of them for headwear. It works ok. Tomorrow it's time for the next injection. Not something I look forward to.