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Anneli Sélsfors

Something told me that I should go to the doctor for that scheduled screening, I had not been to one for several years.Time flies and now I sit here 1,5 years later with a little candle burning while I’m writing. I was at that time, 1,5 years ago that my journey to ”know life” began, not only for me, but for my husband as well.

Everything started with a cervical smear test followed by another examination, (konisering) and finally the message; ”You have cervical cancer”. After my doctor told me this, I wrote down what he had said on a piece of paper and when I later walked home I thought; how will I tell this to Håkan, my husband...

It was not long until a ”circus” of examinations, tests and scannings followed one another.

Suddenly I was on sick leave and everything felt unreal. I did not feel my cancer at all and usually I only stayed at home from work for severe colds. I didn’t feel ill, I felt like I played truant. I associated the word cancer with my mother who past away in 2004.

Before that, cancer was something that happened to other people. I think I first really understood what had happened to me/us, when I came home from surgery. The first days were horrible. Pain, needles, feeling sick, vomiting, migraine and anxiety all together.

Now it was time to start recovering, I was to learn some things again, and learn completely new things from the beginning. I was supposed to learn how to like myself again … A beautiful little light was lit in all the darkness. They had taken my uterus, the oviducts, a portion of the upper vagina, some tissue around the uterus and 40 lymphatic glands, but, it turned out that the cancer hadn’t spread! Yippie! Love to life!

Finally I got back to work again, all felt weird. I wasn’t the same Anneli that had gone home a few months earlier and that now stepped in through the door at work.

I was a changed Anneli, an Anneli that had felt life. I understood then that I wanted to do something more of it.

I changed my job, started to paint and began practising Yoga again. Nothing is impossible if one only practises a little every day, I have heard someone say. But between all of this I have had time for a depression, thoughts on death, thoughts on children and thoughts on life in general.

We were at a party only a few months after my surgery. One of the conversation topics were chilren. ”Do you have children?” ”Why don’t you have children?” were questions that were asked around. We sat there and just waited for them to ask us. What were we supposed to answer? We didn’t want to spoil the party, but we didn’t want to lie either. Luckily we left before we had the question, it was just too much.

The journey to ”know life” hasn’t been easy and is still today not easy at times. Somehow I am still grateful that I’m on it. I have learned incredibly much about myself. For example, it is not dangerous to stop in life and ask if this really is what I want to do. To get there can be a long road but one has to start somewhere...But do I really understand what I/we have been through? … I don’t know. The way I feel today is in many ways thanks to my husband Håkan. Thank you darling =)

I am sending a portrait I did of myself after I started Yoga again, it symbolises peace to me.

I won’t blow out the candle, I’ll let it shine.