I am attending a workshop later this week in Krusenberg about an hour from Stockholm at the kind invitation of MPNE (Melanoma Patient Network Europe) it will be an intense and busy four days but also so good to see many of my fellow Melanoma Advocates from all over Europe that I can now definitely say are also good friends.

Before I join them I decided I would take a little detour because usually you fly in go to hotel and fly back out so really you might as well be in any hotel in any part of the world you really won’t notice a difference bar the softness of the pillows or towels. It usually sounds a lot better than the reality of traveling to meetings.

So I decided on my mini break prior to meeting. As the time to leave approached I got quite nervous about going, this time I would be totally alone for three days. This was not at all like me I have always prided myself on how independent I can be, always working my way through things in my own way, never bothered about periods spent alone, so this was a new sensation and I had to ask myself What are you scared of? But I already knew because the thoughts were going round my head, what if something happened because of the melanoma, what if I get suddenly unwell, what if I get sharp pains in my head or my hip siezes up, or my leg pain flares up or I fall down in the street , am I being unfair to my family, they must worry while I’m gone Or, Or, Or the list becomes endless, that is what living with Melanoma can do to your head my brain was starting to feel fried I even thought about not going as I sat at the gate in Dublin airport I could just turn around and get the train home, go for a walk with the dog what am I doing here!!

But I got on that flight and arrived safely in Copenhagen where I wandered around the Christmas market, had dinner on my own sitting outside listening to the street musicians and eventually the worries moved to a smaller space at the back of my mind-Not gone but but under control for now.

Next morning I was up again very early and at Copenhagen central station which is almost entirely outdoors. There I got to witness the most amazing sunrise I have seen in a long time the sky was so filled with beautiful colours as I waited for my train to take me across the sea to Sweden. This was a trip I wanted to take since I had heard about it and it was wonderful looking out from my window at the sea beneath boats sailing past and huge wind turbines turning as they stand strong against the waves- once at the other side the pretty rust coloured wooden houses of the Swedish villages passing by, the lakes and forests truly beautiful and not possible to see from a window of a plane so I’m glad I took my detour and also met my traveling companion Ginger who pointed at all the sights for me and gave me a big hug as we parted ways at Stockholm Central her off to mind her mother with Dementia and me overcoming my new found fear of being alone.

Later I visited the Noble museum where many great minds have been awarded the prize for their findings but it was the video clip of James Watson and Francis Crick who received the prize in 1962 for their work on the discovery of DNA that made me smile, in the clip they sit in a pub sharing a pint of beer and ponder how they had made the discovery Watson says quite simply” if we had been born two years earlier or two years later we probably would never have discovered it” because like every thing in life it’s just timing and chance, that is  the truth of everything even Melanoma and Sunrises!!