Over the Rainbow, Under the Sky

9:37 PM

Corfu, June 2018, photo by Varpu Eronen

A year after I wrote a blog post imagining what it will be like not being here, leaving my life when my child is still small, I’m still here. I'm here as a parent, a partner, a writer, a musician, a friend, a researcher writing a PhD, a  daughter. I'm both active and not very active. I'm alternating between stages and living with imperfections and annoyances on all fronts. And I'm here (among the piles of dust, unpainted walls and yet-to-be-decorated-rooms as well as the fun, the travels, the award ceremonies and so much more glittering fun). 

Suddenly, I am aware of just how much preparation I was mentally (and more pragmatically) doing for possibly exiting soon. And how much those around me and much farther from me were involved in their own processes of letting me go. And yet, if I'm honest: how very much it hurt to have even so much as a slight hint of someone working on letting me go. Because I was and continue to be here now.

So guess what I think now? That what we all need is no one ever giving up on any of us.
I'm not sure, but I have a strong sense that somehow that kind of belief in someone is constitutive. 

Corfu town, June 2018, photo by Varpu Eronen
What is life like now then, in the New Normal in which I once again try to balance between
hopefulness, getting on with living and a realistic humbleness towards what lies ahead, so as not to run away from the serious border drawn around by cancer?

It is one where I get to talk with my incredible kid every day. It is one where I get to forget I am ill, because right now, I'm really not (thanks to regular intravenous targeted medicine).
It is one where other people's large and small complications are once again shared with me and where I'm not always the center of concern or attention. It is one where my hair grows.

It is one where I am growing older and making racket as a mother. It is one where I'm failing at things and bumping into corners, where petty grievances have returned and yet, new adventures have begun too – like writing a book that will come out quite soon. 

It is one where I get to share mundane evenings with my partner. Then I am traveling to amazing conferences abroad, and holidaying in Corfu with a childhood friend and where I have won a prestigious award for From the Bed and Beyond. And when I come home, I feel loved and safe.

June 2018, Corfu – photo by Varpu Eronen

So here I am, currently cancer free metastatic breast cancer thriver, who has gone on living against the odds. Here I am acknowledging that so much else is occupying my life now. Cancer treatments at the hospital bring a three week rhythm to life, and control scans punctuate the year a little too frequently, but believe me, I realize I am one lucky lady. I continue to sustain a cancer free status with precision meds rather than chemo, so the side effects are so small that they have just become part of the new normal.

Tomorrow I will join thousands of people to march in the Helsinki Pride holding the hand of my six-year-old wearing their very carefully picked outfit. It's an important day to my family.

So here's for a summer of caring, loving and learning – in all the colors of the rainbow.
And please please please, Finland: we need to change the law NOW so that trans people have the same human rights as are provided to others. This is urgent.

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  1. Beautiful words. Energy, love and wisdom flowing between ur lines. Yor thoughts make me feel so hopeful about life and anything that comes along. Hope u have a happy, shimmering summer!

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