Crying on tv

3 years A.D.

I can never go outside again.


We are in the studios recording the third episode of LEGOMASTERS and I get caught off guard by a nasty chemobrain-attack. It results in a big fat ugly cry session… on national television.


I feel so, so embarrassed.


What happened?

When I woke up I already knew: this is not my day. I’m sure you can relate: from the moment you step out of bed, things just go wrong. That in itself doesn’t necessarily have to do with cancer treatment, but the frequency and intensity of such days have definitely increased.


Usually, I know how to cope with it – take it easy, do breathing exercises, postpone appointments, sit on the couch with a cup of coffee.
The problem is – all of these coping mechanisms are kind of hard when you’re trying to build a giant dinosaur made of LEGO attached to half a children’s tractor – in less than ten hours.


Not exactly a situation I’ve faced before.

Bricks fall out of my hand. I forget what I was going to get in the brickroom, what am doing. I push things over, can’t focus on what I’m building.


And so I cry

In the first hours of the assignment, I manage to suppress the frustration. But, I soon realize that is going to be impossible to do for ten hours.

So I cry.

And cry.

And cry some more.


For the 2,5 million people that were watching: I cried a lot longer than you guys got to see.


The morning after

The next morning it’s the first thought that comes up:


I can never go outside again.


Until Jan says: “thank you for yesterday”.


“Thank you for letting me know that this brain fog I experience since treatment is normal”

“Thank you for showing me it is okay to express your emotions”

“Thank you for teaching me that it is always ok to simply be yourself”


And I was ok.



Vulnerability connects

Opening up is scary AF. As is showing your emotions.

To friends, to family, to strangers. Who knows what they might think?!


But in the end, by expressing my emotions, by talking about these side effects, I’ve helped somebody who could relate.
Who doesn’t feel like a weirdo anymore. Who learned something about himself.


Already during the episode aired on tv, I started to receive texts by people – in and out of my network – who could relate. Some have had cancer, others not. And they still send me messages.
Vulnerability connects.


Express yourself

Here’s what I know:

Opening up always pays off.

By showing our vulnerability we invite others to do the same.

It is okay to talk about your ups ánd downs. It is safe to express yourself.


How often do you show your true colors and open up to your loved ones?
When is the last time you cried when you needed to cry, shouted when you needed to shout, laughed so hard you had tears rolling down your cheeks? Do you express your emotions fully?

Love, Lola

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Crying on tv

3 years A.D. I can never go outside again.   We are in the studios recording the third episode of LEGOMASTERS and I get caught off guard by a nasty chemobrain-attack. It results in a big fat ugly cry session… on national television.   I feel so, so...

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  1. Frank de Jager

    Lola, i completely agree with Jan. Your behiaviour didn’t seem strange at all. You are one of the main reasons why i like to watch Lego Masters. It takes courage to participate in such a programma (especially with a joker like Ruben Nicolai surrounding hosting the show). Your ‘breakdown’ was absolutely natural and it did not made me take worse of you. In contrary: it made me like you even more! Keep up the good work en send out those positive toughts! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch

    • Lola

      Wow, Frank, I’m touched by your message and you reaching out to me! Are you familiar with the term ‘vulnerability hangover’? It is that wave of emotions you feel after you’ve shown a vulnerable side. That is definitely what I experienced! Opening up like that is scary, isn’t it? Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words, I appreciate it a lot ♡ Love, Lola

  2. Milet Barten

    Mensen vertellen mij vaak dat ik 1 ben met mijn emoties. Dit zorgt er voor dat ik erg goed mijn emoties kan laten zien, maar dit zorgt er ook voor dat ik mijn emoties moeilijk kan verbergen wanneer ik dat wel zou willen. Sinds dat wij weten dat mijn zus een tumor heeft is dit voor mij alleen maar erger geworden. Ik heb nu het probleem dat ik heel makkelijk en veel huil en af en toe onwijs boos wordt. Aan de ene kant is dit fijn, want dan is alles er gelijk uit. Aan de andere kant is het heel vervelend, want de mensen om je heen verwachten niet dat je zo heftig reageert. Laatst heb ik voor het eerst in 9 maanden echt alles laten gaan en het ook echt toegelaten. Dit hielp mij heel erg. Daarna heb ik ook weer een keertje gelachen zoals ik al een tijdje niet meer gelachen had. Dit voelt zo goed. Ook al jou verhalen helpen heel erg. Ik vond het super leuk en fijn om jou en Jan te zien tijdens legomasters. Het liet zien dat iedereen die kanker heeft of heeft gehad hier last van heeft. Al heb ik zelf geen kanker is het wel fijn om te zien dat wat mijn zus heeft “normaal”is.

    • Lola

      Lieve Milet, te gek dat je één bent met je emoties juist! Dat kunnen weinig mensen zeggen. Ik herken wat je schrijft – soms is het lastig voor mensen in je omgeving. We leven in een ‘doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg’ maatschappij, dus stel je eens voor dat iemand er voor kiest 100% zichzelf te zijn, ook als dat soms niet ‘in het straatje’ past. Knap dat je dat doet. Alle liefs voor je zus! Het raakt me te lezen dat ik jou/jullie help door mijn verhalen te delen, want daar doe ik het voor ♡

  3. Saskia

    Hoi Lola,
    Wat een mooi oprecht verhaal. Ik herken de ervaring dat je je kwetsbaarheid toont aan een groot publiek en de mengeling aan gevoelens die dat oproept: schaamte omdat je je niet kon inhouden en trots omdat je je kwetsbaarheid hebt durven tonen. De bekende Amerikaanse schrijfster Brene Brown heeft hier een mooi woord voor bedacht: kwetsbaarheidskater!

    • Lola

      Hey Saskia, dankjewel voor je bericht. Kwetsbaarheidskater – dat omschrijft perfect hoe ik me toen voelde! Heb jij er ervaring mee? Liefs, Lola


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