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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Book reading

The radiation treatments are going like planned. I have two more to do. It gives you pain and irritated skin but there are lotions to ease it. I'm lucky the clinic has a drop-in arrangement because the trains are unreliable. But sometimes there is a rather long waiting time, up to two hours. I am bringing crosswords with me to keep busy.

I have visited at work a few times for meetings and also to participate in the Friday morning fika. Some days I have done excursions to other towns, to have lunch and to explore the area. Over the past few months I have visited book stores, libraries and quite a few second hand stores in the western part of Skåne. The weather has been acceptable. Now the leaves are turning into fall colors and it's very pretty, It does rain a lot but we are used to it. I changed the (remains of the) summer flowers on the balcony to heather instead and it looks nice.

I have read a book of fiction. This is not common. Normally I read fact books. But this one was entitled Swede Hollow. It was an area in St Paul, Minnesota populated by Swedish immigrants. The author, Ola Larsmo, had done a lot of research for this book. He wrote a fictional account of some of those poor people who ended up in this slum in the 1890s. It was worth reading, despite the fact that it's not really a happy story. It has not been translated into English yet.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Research trips

I am recovering more and more and can now make longer trips than before. It's something I have wanted for quite some time. Last week my father and his girlfriend came to pick me up in their motor home. We made a journey in the footsteps of our family history. We tried to find the places where my Herrlin ancestors used to live in the area just east of Trelleborg. We went to small villages and searched the cemeteries for gravestones. We talked to the caretakers there, and even they were local people, they couldn't really tell us much. They were, however, very friendly and interested in our questions and tried to refer us to other people. At last, we found the place where our relative Nils Hansson Herrlin once had a flour mill. We also found a preserved windmill in the area that once had belonged to him, there was even a sign saying so. The mill was in good condition, since it was maintained by the local historical society. The final stop was an old school house, where our ancestor Peter Herrlin had been the teacher in the early 19th century. We drove around on these small roads in a flat agricultural landscape for most of the day, looking for houses, talking to people and taking photos. It was a great day, so interesting to see it all.

I visited Trelleborg one day to do more research at the library. I went through all the books in their local collection and found some more clues. There was one house we couldn't find on our trip and it seems like it had been torn down already in the 1930s, according to a book there.

Since I have more energy now I have visited some malls and also Helsingborg. In total, I have bought five pieces of garment, which is a lot. I think the last time I bought any clothes was about a year ago. In Helsingborg there is a very nice store selling licorice of various kinds, it's a place worth visiting. 

This Wednesday the radiation sessions started. I have to go to the hospital every day for 15 days for this. It takes only a few minutes every time. You have to be absolutely still when the machine moves around you. It doesn't hurt during the treatment but afterwards you can get pain and burn wounds. I have already noticed a little of that. Though this is not even close to the problems I had after the chemo therapy.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Boring times

It was (and still is) a long recovery time after the last chemo injection. It has been tedious and uncomfortable in several different ways. I have been so incredibly bored. The chemo makes you inactive and there is no energy to do anything. This Monday I had to go to the nearest mall because I had run out of a supplement I need to ease the side effects. It was a short visit but I was exhausted when I returned home.

The weather here is pretty bad with high winds and a lot of rain. Typical of a Swedish fall season. Not what I was hoping for, since I really should go out for walks. I have to start getting some exercise now that I have endured the last of the chemo. (And I can't believe that it's finally over!)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Nice dinner

Wednesday was a busy day. I had to go to the hospital again for blood tests. I spent most of the day at work, both for a meeting with my boss and to talk to colleagues. In the evening I attended an information session at the radiation department at the hospital. They showed us a film of how the machines work and how the radiation treatment functions. We also got to see the the actual machines used for it. It was quite interesting to see. I will start getting my treatments in about three weeks.

Thursday the social club at work had arranged a bus trip to Copenhagen but I couldn't go. I did however join my colleagues for the fabulous dinner at a restaurant in Malmö afterwards. It was a very nice arrangement. It was a buffet style place with very high quality assortment. Lots of salmon, herring, shrimp salad, crayfish, clams, all kinds of meat and a large selection of cheeses. The dessert tray was incredible.

Friday I got the last chemo therapy injection. I can't believe there actually would be an end to this madness. There will be many more visits to the hospital but not for that horrible thing. It really is hard to get through the side effects. Right now I feel pretty bad, there is pain everywhere and my stomach is objecting to it all. I shouldn't go outside because I have no immune defense. It's just a matter of enduring the following days. From experience I know that it will be better at the end of the week.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Genealogy fair

This past week I have watched TV quite a lot. There were a few sport events of interest, mainly athletics and the European championships in equestrian sport. The show jumping event was won by a Swede so that was successful.

The main thing this week was the annual Genealogy Fair, this time in Halmstad. Attending it was one of my goals for the year. I had already started planning for how I could get there by train when I got an e-mail from a colleague asking if I was going to Halmstad. She was going to drive there, and I was very happy to get a ride with her instead. We spent Saturday afternoon at the fair, looking at (and buying some) books, talking to vendors, searching the databases available and checking out what was new (everybody was talking about DNA!). We also attended a lecture on emigrant research. In all, it was a nice day but we were very tired afterwards.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Surprise letter

It has been an incredibly boring week. I have done very little. The side effects from the chemo are not pleasant at all. I have major stomach problems. It's worse than last time. The strange thing is that I'm hungry. To ridiculous levels. Some nights I have to get up and get something to eat because I'm so hungry I can't sleep. The doctor called this Friday to ask how I was doing (I wonder if this is normal, they cannot possibly have time for this). She was surprised to hear that it was worse this time because they had made a mistake and given me a lower dose than she had ordered. Sigh.

There is one thing that has happened worth mentioning and it has nothing to do with illness. Last week my father received a letter from America. We were very surprised. The sender was no one we knew. It turns out that my father's grandmother had several uncles and cousins who emigrated, and one of their descendants had now done research and found my father to be a relative. I have known for quite a while that those relatives emigrated and did locate them in the US (Chicago and Colorado) but never contacted any living relatives. I thought the distance in relationship was too far. The person who wanted to reconnect would be my father's third cousin. We are now exchanging family information by e-mail.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Actual size cars and model trains

Wednesday last week I went to the summerhouse, where my sister and her family also were staying. We did some excursions around Skåne. On the Friday we went to an automobile museum at Simrishamn. There were over 120 cars on display; the oldest a Danish vehicle from 1898 and the newest a dragster from 2014. It was a big place. There were also motorcycles and in separate rooms toys and phonographs. It was quite an interesting museum even for someone who normally wouldn't be into cars.

Another day we went to a model train museum at Hässleholm. It was a rather large display with built-up landscapes and towns with railway lines. It was local towns so we recognized several places. It was a very detailed display with people working on or near the tracks, trucks on the roads, people waiting at stations and trains going by. This was also a nice museum to visit. After a massive brunch at the golf club we continued on to a farm where there was a fishing pond. The kids wanted to go fishing, but the interest faded after a while so the adults took over. There was unfortunately no fish in sight. Instead my father showed us one of his best places to find mushrooms in a nearby forest. We did get some chanterelles that we had on toasted bread later. Very tasty.

Apart from this we mostly took it easy, relaxing in the sun and playing with the kids. The weather is a little better but still there is a fair amount of rain. I returned home yesterday and that was a journey I never want to experience again. There were big problems with the trains. I went on one bus, three trains and one bus. Total time five hours. The issues were not solved this morning so I had to take a bus again. I went to the hospital for blood tests today. Tomorrow it's time for another chemo injection.