A diagnosis turns your whole life upside down and changes your point of view. It makes adaptations necessary – in many areas. One of the things I wondered about was if the leisure time activities I liked were still alright for me or whether I had to find new ones.
I am not down to the safe and “homey hobbies” yet. I still yearn for adventures. I might start knitting one day, but I have some time left before I do. Luckily, I am an avid reader, a real bookworm. As long as I can see I will keep on reading. I could not imagine a life without books and it seems that I will not have to renounce them.
I also love travelling. Before my diagnosis, my husband and I used to get away at least once a year. We went to exotic places and tried out a whole lot of adventures wherever we were. Trekking the Himalaya, a road trip through the desert, visiting various tribes in Senegal, a monkey safari in Uganda and Rwanda, taking a boat from Ushuaia to the Beagle Channel viewing penguins and seals, a hilltribe excursion in Thailand…. you name it, we did it. My doctor told me that I only have one year left – afterwards I will not be able to visit exotic destinations anymore. To be honest, I cannot fully believe him yet. Travelling means such a lot to me and I am not sure what an impact giving it up (at least partly) will have on me. I know that I have been privileged for having been able to travel so much … still I love this world, I speak many languages and enjoy meeting other cultures … it will be hard. I am making the best of it right now by travelling as much until the doctor gives his veto.
Because of my children, one of my first thoughts after the diagnosis was that my hobbies should create memories for them. I did not know how long I would live and I thought memories of our time together were going to be extremely valuable to them some day. I wanted to take up photography and video production, to write illustrated diaries and to organize special excursions for them.
I decided to take each of my children on a trip outside of Europe for their tenth birthday. I will not be able to do this with my youngest son, but I have done it with my two oldest children so far. I went to Asia with my daughter and to Africa with my son (who was only 9 years old, but as I don’t have enough time left, I had to hurry up). Going abroad with my third oldest will probably be my last trip outside of Europe. We are planning it already…it is really difficult to come to a decision…there is so much to see.