First week of new life

Anke Holst
3 min readJan 8, 2022

The goal is to make it good, despite the fact that I did not choose this new freedom. I have it, so I want to use it the best I can. I am writing here to be accountable to myself and to my dear daughter Anna. And to connect to the community I used to know, because if I go with my direct surroundings, I forget how much choice I really have.

So how was this first week?

It started with the third anniversary of the leukaemia diagnosis on the 2nd, so I went on a journey, retracing the steps we took that day, going to the hospital with some health concerns but still thinking it was lifestyle related, until that phone call about the blood counts. I cried, I lamented, and I felt better for it. There is a certain physical restlessness and pain around the kidneys, I need to remind myself that when I feel that, I need to cry. It was back today and is better now that I cried a bit while writing this, so I guess I need to have a serious weekly cry at this point.

Then I sorted out the flat. That sounds so simple… but when doing that, I needed to face reality at every moment. That I now only have my own needs to think about. Still, I did that, it was super hard, but I’ve never liked housework anyways. But the better it works, the less work I have with it, so I really needed to do it. Also because I now have other young relatives to think about.

The new work situation also requires some preparation. I want to work in innovation but I don’t want to do that full-time because of all the resistance, so as a second job, I’ll be a massage therapist in a hotel. Sounds crazy, might just work. That’s 2 hours by train, so I need to think about accommodation, transport, a system. Might have found myself a small flat nearby, but each of these solutions requires a different setup — one flat could work with an electric scooter, another requires a car (Anna hated cars so I’m resisting getting one), another would be great by train, which requires me to sort out a monthly ticket or a Bahncard. It all needs to be calculated and thought through.

And I went to my local gym for the first time in a year or so. Talked to the trainer there about why I was gone and am back now. Cried a bit but the session was good. Haven’t lost a lot of strength since last time thanks to Ring Fit. The gym has a circle training set up with egym machines that work with a wristband and set themselves up to your exact requirements when you check in on the machine, it seems like that would be good for keeping me going. My stretches are better because of all the stretch & relax sessions in the rehab clinic, I definitely want to maintain that. Also because I need to look like I’m doing yoga in that hotel situation.

Relationships are still all good so far. I went to see my mum and was there for over two hours.

And then I had cosmetic surgery. Well, some spots removed for merely aesthetic reasons. The people who meet me in future won’t know what I’ve been through and I will probably grow out of the need to tell everyone. I need to work on the story I tell people about myself anyways, whatever I do — so presentation will be important.

And at the end of this week I still feel like I’ve only sat here and done nothing. Amazing.



Anke Holst

Trying to figure out how to talk to public servants about innovation and the competences they need to not just allow, but create it