Saturday, October 17, 2009


The last few days were not too bad. I am still scared regarding the outcome of the scan but I am getting a bit more hopeful that things might actually not be bad news. Until now I only considered that the therapy failed but I am slowly learning to be a bit more positive and hopeful. I guess it is possible that the scan shows positive progress.
I am filled by a profound sadness these days. I am clearly mourning the loss of the life I used to call my own. Everything has changed and it will never come back again. I ache for that fact and I feel defeated and weak within those thoughts. It almost feels like I am step by step saying goodbye to myself . I look at pictures from the time before cancer or I listen to music that I have produced and it feels like that person has died and will never come back. That slowly breaks my heart.
Angela and I have developed and evening ritual where we read a book together that she reads out aloud to both of us. We are currently reading a book titled "Man's Search For Meaning" by Victor E. Frankl. Frankl was a psychiatrist who was imprisoned in Auschwitz during the Nazi years. His book tells about his experiences there and analyses the meaning and nature of suffering. This book really speaks to me right now and I find it helps me to put perspective on my situation and gives me courage and inspiration for what is to come.


Wendy Broadfoot said...

Dearest Olaf,
I ache for you as you struggle with all the changes and feelings related to the cancer and the unknown. You will find strength from the person you were, the person you are now, and of course from your dear, loving wife.
My love to you both.

Laura said...

I am sad to read that you sometimes feel like you'll never be able to regain the "Old Olaf". I am not able to feel that way. I don't see you as the Olaf before cancer and the Olaf now. I just see you as Olaf the strong. Olaf the immensely talented. Olaf the person of character who transplanted his life from his birthplace to a community on the other side of the world where he has made an indelible mark. Made a beautiful marriage and deep and abiding friendships as evidenced on your blog. You are still Olaf and you are in a new phase of that is supremely challenging and relentless. But you are still there. And you will be healthy again. And this struggle will be behind you one day but will have added new fabric to your character and your outlook. You are an inspiration.

Richard said...

I couldn't have said it ANY better than Laura above. Great insight and great words. As for me ... ditto!
Love always! Richard

Anonymous said...

I also read that book--just within the last year. In its pages, I found courage and hope at a time when I needed it the most. It is my hope that you will be inspired as well. Much love to you both.

~ Sandi

Vern said...

I agree with Laura, Olaf. I like to think I've seen you at your best and at your worst. And there is no difference. There's only the man of courage and drive who is my inspiration. Will call soon! Love


Nolan said...

The book you mentioned changed my life (in a good way) when I read it the first time. I am really interested to hear what your interpretation of it will be.

Although I can't know anything about your position with certainty I do believe Laura is right; the 'old Olaf' has not disappeared. A struggle between life and death presents a choice between giving up or refining and adapting in order to continue living. I don't believe you have ever given up. You may have been tempted (as anyone would be) but you didn't give in.

The core of who we know you to be, strong willed, driven, wildly generous and vulnerably loving may be tempered but I doubt that that kind of beauty can be extinguished altogether.

You are loved deeply, no matter what happens.

Anonymous said...

I've heard someone say "I'm not sure if he's ever going to be the one we used to know" long before you've written it down. When our mom said it out loud very few hours after returning from her visit it made my stomache turn and I felt dizzy from aching emotions. Though "my pain" is not comparable with yours I'm admitting: hearing you say it now awakens my stubbern mind of a child yelling 'you are lying'. And I as a rebellious kid always trying to do it the oposite way wish you would do the same and show yourself and those who have had the same apprehension they were wrong!

missing you deeply! your sister <3

kevin Aichele said...

I don't want to write anything cliche nor repeat any of the wise and thoughtful comments already posted. However, I just want to say that you are way too strong, gifted, driven, and determined to ever lose the "old you". No doubt that it is an enormous, difficult, and scary change you have gone through BUT you will be back to the man you were before this. I don't doubt that for one second. Not only will you be back but you will come back wiser, stronger and with so much more to give back to the world from what you have learned.
I love you Olaf and am in awe of your strength and your courage. You are going through what any person in your shoes would go through and as cliche as this sounds "this too will pass".
Hang in there man! Never give up!

Anonymous said...

Olaf - you DO have the courage and you DO have the fight -- and you DO have all of our prayers -- I have a lovely mental picture of you and Ange sitting and reading -- do that often - it has to be fantastic for the soul. Let me know when you're ready for the apple sauce. Hannah's taken a couple of jars but I have saved one for you. Hugs - Elaine and Leonard