Fast Confession - Anna Julie Slováčková: Cancer has made me a different person

On cancer, future and feelings of hope and hopelessness
12.Jul 2020
 
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Anička Slováčková is known to the public as the daughter of Dáda Patrasová and Felix Slováček. She herself is a very talented singer and actress, the apple didn‘t fall far from the tree. But this young lady used to be a cheerful and incredibly active vixen… Until breast cancer came. The life of the twenty-four-year-old artist changed within a second. Although the treatment and surgery turned out well, she still hasn‘t won completely, which is why it‘s difficult to talk with her about something completely unrelated. In an interview for LP-life.cz, you can find out how she‘s feeling at the moment, what plans she has for the future and how the disease has changed her.

Video

Summer has begun, the weather is warm. How are you feeling?

Sweaty. (laughs) I feel really good. I‘m in my element, I love summer. Summer is the time when all the blues leave me, and I feel that everything is bathed in the sun. However, heat now has a number of consequences for me due to my health. I've never felt bloated before, my hands have never swollen up, and suddenly there are all these things one has to deal with. But I think you get used to it, so I'm excited that summer has come.

How long have you been fighting your illness?

Since the beginning of October.

How did that change you?

Dramatically. I think I'm, in a sense, a completely different person than I was before. Of course, I will always be crazy, goofy and I won‘t stop doing silly things, but the way I see the world, life, my ties to people and the way I communicate with them, those things have changed a lot.

Pronájem luxusního bytu s terasami Praha 4
Pronájem luxusního bytu s terasami Praha 4, Praha 4

Yeah, I don‘t feel like I'm talking with a goofy twenty-four-year-old Anička, but rather with a woman who is mentally forty years old.

I feel forty, even visually. (laughs)

Aren‘t you tired?

I am very tired. Practically whenever I have the opportunity, I sleep. After the whole ordeal, my body is terribly tired, especially after the surgery. I‘ve read somewhere that complete recovery takes half a year to a year. I think I‘ll feel the aftereffects for a while. After all, it was a serious intervention into the body, which had been previously weakened only by antibiotics every once in a while, but never anything serious.

Naturally, fighting such a disease is not a walk in the park. I always say I had the best form of cancer because everything was caught on time. Of course, one didn‘t know now how bad it was until the results came. And you never know if it won't come back.

Have you ever wondered why this happened to you? Do you believe in fate, in karma? Personally, every time something bad happens to me, I wonder if I haven‘t hurt anyone.

I hope I didn't hurt anyone, at least I'm not aware of it. Of course, sometimes you say something cruel to someone in the heat of an argument, but I would have to be a saint to never have an argument. I did have a couple of arguments in my life, but I've never been the kind of person who would do something nasty to someone else or wish something nasty would happen to them.

I believe more in psychosomatics. There is some stuff that I think may have caused it, but it‘s important not to ask yourself why it happened to you. Why are children born with leukemia, cancer, why do people die of disease? You simply can‘t start telling yourself that something happened to you because you're a bad person, that's not true. One cannot wonder why this happened to them of all people, because there are a lot of evil people who never had anything bad happen to them. One might say I do believe in karma, but not when it comes to such fateful moments.

In fast confession, I asked you what cancer gave you you and what it took from you, and you said friends. Does it mean both gave and took?

I‘ve realized who my real friends are, who cares about me and who doesn't. Who was able to come to me day and night when I needed it. On the contrary, when it comes to the people you have to try hard to meet, larger groups of people or people who had fallen out of touch, and it makes you feel sad, I told myself that they have nothing to do in your life. Somehow they passed through your life, you were supposed to meet them, you were supposed to be friends, one day you‘ll see each other again, but you can't cling to it and demand that someone meets you when the person is obviously not interested.

When someone wants to see you, they always find the time. I‘ve realized you can‘t please everybody. And I reassured myself that those about whom I had been convinced that they were true friends and are my second family even before all this, really were that.

Were you downright disappointed with some of your friends?

No. I accepted that things were the way they were. Of course you feel sad for a while. My main problem has always been that I blame myself for everything. So I had to learn to think differently. For example, I've always had trouble starting a conversation with someone I don't know.

You?

Yeah. I may look like an extrovert, but I'm quite introvert inside. Coming into a new team or talking to someone during an interview, those are two completely different things. But if we met somewhere at a party and were to start talking, I would be terribly afraid that there would be an awkward silence. And I‘d feel the need to steer the conversation. My therapist told me that I was not my sole responsibility, that there was a second party involved in a conversation. That I couldn‘t blame myself, it‘s not just upon by, but also on the other person. But I still feel like it‘s my fault, the silence, because I have nothing to say. I put myself in completely crazy situations, where I unnecessarily create barricades and blocks. I‘ve realized that not everything in the world is my fault.

Is cancer why you go to the therapist?

I've beeing going there even before.

Does it help?

Absolutely.

Your parents are famous, and they're healthy. You said that your father has been your biggest support, along with your brother…

Yes.

Vila na pronájem - Praha 6 - Hanspaulka - 256m
Vila na pronájem - Praha 6 - Hanspaulka - 256m, Praha 6

Did it bring you closer to each other?

You could say that, but my dad and I always had a nice relationship, we were partners.

You even perform together…

We perform together, we play tennis, we go on vacation together. Dad is the god of everything for me, I love him so much.

Lucka, too?

I respect Lucka, what I really care about is that my dad is happy, healthy and okay. He is the alpha and omega of everything for me, he‘s my anchor. I love my mother above all, of course, she

Your brother already has two children. Do you babysit them and hang out with them?

When I first came to see them, I had no hair and I was wearing a face mask. They were all confused, wondering what happened and where aunt Ani was. We explained to them that I was ill, that my hair would grow back and that it was only a phase.

The older one came to me, sat down next to me, wrapped his arms around my neck and told me that he couldn‘t wait for me to be healthy again, and that I didn't have to worry, that he would always like me, even bald and old. That he was looking forward to when my hair grows back, but that I didn‘t have to worry, because I was pretty even old and bald.

How old is he?

He's in the second grade. It‘s so beautiful when a little kid tells yout this. He came of his own accord. The smaller one too, he always rushes to meet me and I can totally feel the energy those children are giving me. That's one of the things I blame myself for, that we hadn‘t spent more time together, I'd like to change that and work on it. To see them more often and not let their childhood slip through my fingers. When we see each other, I feel how much I love them and that I would give them my last breath. But children need contact.

Your hair is already growing back, why did you choose this color?

It was originally purple, that's my favorite color. My hairdresser Péťa from Vlasy od Petra, where I‘ve been going to for several years, was one of the first people I called. We were discussing it together, she knew I was going for a biopsy, you know, there are no secrets at the hairdresser's. She immediately called me back, asking how it went, and I started crying over the phone, because I was going to lose the hair we‘d been pampering until it was finally beautiful and healthy.

When I was there recently, I told her that I was going to have another chemotherapy, which hopefully wouldn‘t make my hair fall out again, but that I needed to start going to the hairdresser‘s. I was beginning to miss those feminine things, like getting my hair done or having a massage - they have a massage chair there.

So I told her, let's try something crazy. When necessary, I wear a wig, in the theater or in Ordinace v Růžové zahradě, and no one can see my hair, so I can finally do what I want with it. We agreed that as soon as the pink washed out, we would put blue on it, and then green. She has some colors with beeswax that are really good for your hair. I‘ve had that color before, when I had a bob, and my hair was probably the healthiest it‘s ever been back then. Despite being blue. She came up with it herself, she knows very well what to do to make me look good. I am completely committed to her and I am always satisfied.

When I was told I had cancer, I had breakdown over losing my hair. Not because I couldn‘t stand being ugly and bald, but I was terribly afraid of losing my job. I was afraid of how people around me would react to it, and that, in my opinion, is what all women who lose their hair are most scared of, that others won‘t accept them and society will shut them out. That's why they sometimes choose to keep their disease a secret or never take off their scarf or wig.

I definitely didn't have a wig when shooting my video. (watch the video here: https://youtu.be/DLt5L9PtHKw)

That's why I decided I wouldn‘t be hiding because of it. Of course, when I sing for children or suchlike, I take the wig. I told myself that I wouldn‘t wear a wig otherwise. I want to support women by carrying my head with pride, because some of them might then decide to do the same.

How do you cope with scars? How many do you have?

I have some, but they don‘t bother me all that much. They‘re healing well. I don't mind them all, this may sound strange, but I'm fine with them, scars are a part of life. When I was eighteen, I started getting tattoos. The way I do it, I always have a milestone of my life tattooed. I have a lot of tatoos and each one is very important to me.

I feel the same about scars. I don't take them as flaws in beauty, but as something you've experienced, it's part of your life and you'll never be able to erase it. But you can learn a lesson from it.

Will you get a tattoo for cancer, too?

Yes, and I already know what it will look like. All my tattoos are from one female tattoo artist and a friend of mine. It will be very delicate and feminine. Imagine April or May, apple trees or cherries are in full bloom and the wind blows their leaves away. I would like to have that done realistically around the breasts, apple blossoms and cherries. Subtle, almost invisible. I might have the scars turned into branches, we'll see.

Aren't you in danger of losing your breasts?

No. In this respect, genetics worked out well for me, I don't have what Angelina Jolie had. I'm not in danger of losing them yet, and I don't think I‘ll ever be.

Anička, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Thank you for the interview.

Fast confession:

What did cancer give you and what did it take from you?

Friends.

A wig, yes or no?

No.

What are you most afraid of today?

Of solitude.

What, on the other hand, isn‘t as important to you as it used to be?

My looks.

Your mom's first reaction when you told her about your illness?

Shock.

Who has been your biggest support during this time?

My dad and my brother.

What do you think about racism?

The worst human trait.

The most beautiful gift you‘ve received recently?

Canned pineapple.

A project you are looking forward to?

The CD, our first, my debut album.

Are you afraid of the second wave of coronavirus?

Yes and no.

If I gave you a million crowns now, what would you do with it?

I would divide it among my friends, part I would give to my brother, part I would keep for the CD and another part I‘d give to animal shelters and rescue stations.

Your life motto?

You never know until you try.

How do you imagine a dream date?

I don't.

Where would you like to be in 10 years?

Anywhere where I‘d be happy, content and healthy.
Question by the interviewee for the editor:

What do you think should change in this world?

People.
Good answer.
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About the author

I studied humanitarien studies. I am interested in psychology, like to read the red library as an escape from the reality of every day life. My biggest passion is travel and good wine.
Karolína Lišková
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