Sonntag, 16. Oktober 2016

[Insert funny thread title here]

You see, yesterday I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. Or five minutes ago. Huh. Right now I´m not only broccoli brains, I´m mashed potato brains. So I guess I´ll write about the reason for that- Opium. *fat happy smile*

OMG there are really pictures of mashed potato brains on the internet! The internet is a gross place!
But as a trade-off for a brain made of mashed perennial nightshades (see how I try to fake I´m not completely stupid by using googled botanical names?) I get :
  • very deep sleep during the nights. And also approximately four times during the day. Ahh, nappy-naps how I missed them. :)
  • the ability to walk and sit again. Even though not for a long time but at least no more screaming in pain while doing it. :) So I have to hurry up with this thread cause sitting sucks!
  • a deep and heartfelt satisfaction. Yessss, I´m full of love for each and every one of you. I like that feeling hope it lingers when Opium is gone. :)
Hihihihihihi! :)
Oh well, my herpes is healing quite alright, the blisters are all dried out. While healing, the rash is of course itching like hell. And I start to begin to understand why the T-Rex was so pissed off all the time. He simply couldn´t scratch himself! This really sucks!

It´s cruel... just cruel.
My leg is starting to hurt. So I have to get back on my couch and watch Law and Order Special Victims Unit ("In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are there stories. DUMM DUMM!" :D Come ooon, I´m not the only one here who´s saying this sentence before every episode!). Yes, I HAVE to watch it! ;)

I´m off to Greece next week and after that I´ll be back to work (back to work? Arghl! *biting fingernails* Who´s nervous? I´m not nervous!). So it could take some time until my next thread.

So raise your horns and see ya soon!

Donnerstag, 6. Oktober 2016

Shingles bells, shingles bells, or a recurrence all the way??

It all started with a little pain in the back. I was just like "nahhh, whatever, it's surely just my punctuation wound!" I took this as a great excuse to lay around on the couch all day an watch Star Wars. Two days later I could hardly walk. While limping around I started to think "hummm, this hurts a f****** lot too much for just my punctuation wound". And there it was. The first thought of a recurrence. It just appeared in my little brain, first it was just a whisper but the more time passed the more it became a scream.

Because it's not unusual for my type of cancer to grow back on nerves or bones which is very painful and can lead to problems walking depending on where it grows. So I forced myself (okey a lot of the forcing was done by my hubbie ;)) to call my oncologist who said we should take a ct of this immediately. So I dragged myself to the ER. It's interesting how the words "stem cell transplant" can open doors for you. I was immediately put in my own room and the doc came surprisingly fast. In the meantime I was really in pain so he gave me some painkillers IV as a first measure. Okey, he gave me paracetamol which helped... Nothing. I have no idea why the docs in this hospital think that paracetamol is of any other use than for very light headaches.

Anyway, they did a X-ray of my hip and pushed on some very painful spots ("does this hurt? " *squeeze* "aaaaarghl, yeees!" and so on ;)). Diagnosis: sciatica. Take some painkillers, put warmth on it and move.

And that's exactly what I did. And it didn't work. I even tried opiates as painkiller. When they also failed to ease my pain, in the meantime I wasn't even able to walk anymore, I decided to go back to hospital. And there it was again. That little asshole voice whispering "recurrence" and telling you a thousand reasons why it couldn't be sciatica or anything else easy to treat. I pushed it far back in my head, hitting it with my X-ray results, screaming back "Sciatica, bitch!!'.
So another ER (I decided to change hospitals), another doc, another infusion (this one at least helped) and another X-ray. This time also of my spine. Again- everything's fine. Diagnosis: still sciatica. Since all "normal" painkillers failed he offered to take me in and work out a pain therapy plan.

Yep, back in hospital. Woohoo. An anesthetist came over and prescribed me various painkillers, most of them opiates. A nurse saw the meds plan and said that this amount of painkillers could knock out an elephant. Bwahaha, not me, I was still in pain. So they allowed me one pill of opiate every hour if I needed it.

Yeaah man, opiates!!  :)
When I started to get blisters on my leg and other parts of my body things changed (okay the docs in orthopedics just looked at it with that "aha, interesting, what is this?" look on their faces :)). It was finally diagnosed as shingles and I was put in isolation. Aww, how I missed that. Just me and my contagious virus. So as addition to the pain meds I receive aciclovir to fight the shingles.
Luckily they also decided to do an MRT of my lower back and hip. And thank heavens the results are also clean. So no recurrence. You see that stupid voice? I'm still in remission! HA!!!

Nanana, eat THIS, stupid voice!!! 
Since my blood values crashed down we had to cancel some of the painkillers. My leukos are down to 2k so I have to watch out again for any other kind of infection. That's why they want to get me out of the hospital asap because this is a meeting place for infections.

I'm still in pain and can hardly walk but it surely is better than before I came here. So tomorrow I hope I can take my huge pile of... drugs... and limp home. With that big, fat smile on my face only people high on opium have.  :)

P.S.: I wrote this blog on my mobile phone, so exsqueeeeeeze me if it looks strange or has many typos in it!

My new mountain med! 

Sonntag, 18. September 2016

"It´s a remission!"

And again, it´s not a partial remission (too good) but still no complete remission (spleen still too big for that, we need to keep a close look on that. But at least they called my spleen "discreet". Thank heavens, just imagine I had an indiscreet spleen!!) but something in between. So let´s be crazy and call it "something like remission". Yeah, that sounds catchy, don´t know where I ever heard that smart and yet fitting term before. ;) So I´m officially on the clock now, hopping from remission control to the next. Every three months from now on we can play this funny and absolutely nerve-wracking game again and again and again. Next control? Christmas time! I know what my family will be getting from me this year, hehe. "Oh, you expected an actual gift? Well, I have this ten pages long remission control report for each and every one of you. I even put some festive sticker on it, see? Yes, those are little reindeer pulling a sleigh full of cancer cells. Funny, what you can find on the internet... I knooooow, awsomest gift ever, you´re welcome!" :)

As long as we keep celebrating the good results like this time, I´m all for it! Polish vodka with fruit flavor- there´s no easier way learning the names for fruit! Truskawkowa is my favorite (and that is strawberry, bam! My chemo brain remembers! I will make a study about how consumption of vodka enhances your language learning abilities. Self-tested of course. Anything for science! ;))
I also took this event as opportunity to rid my appartment of every cancer reminder there was. I needed quite a big box for all your great gifts and posters and postcards and all the meds and my hair (is that creepy that I keep that? I´m not sure, it feels a bit serial killer-like ^^).

Thanks y´all for all that but cancer don´t live here anymore!
P.S.: Tomorrow that lil bastard called wisdom tooth has also overstayed its welcome and will follow my demon out of my body. So if anybody knows someone who has a free and cheap room open for a fucked up demon and a very picky tooth...?

P.P.S.: I like it that my remission post is my 50th post. That makes it somehow more...festive! :) And shows how much sh** I can write during only seven months! Jeez, I need to get back to work! ;)

Mittwoch, 14. September 2016

Remission Control calling

Last week I´ve spent a wonderful, sunny day with something everyone would want to be doing on wonderful, sunny days- sit in hospital waiting and then lie around in a CT and MRT. Cause that´s so much fun. (If you ever end up in a CT- don´t worry, you haven´t peed your pants. This is just a side effect from the contrast agent! I wish someone would´ve told me that before my first CT. "Mrs Meininger, you can get up now." "Noooooo, I can´t! I peed myself!! PANIC!" Stupid, giggling nurses -.-)

Not that I really peed my pants. Really. But if I did...
Well, so it´s been a week now. Tomorrow I´ll have the talk with the doc in hospital about the results. Whether or not I´m in remission. Whether all the hell I´ve been through actually was of any use. I just want to think that they already had a look at my results. And that they would´ve called if something was wrong. That at the end of the day you´re really more than just a patients number falling into the categories "healed" or "failed".

I guess I´ll know more tomorrow, back on palliative station. Until then it´s waiting. And trying not to think about it too much.

Nervous?? Who´s nervous???

Sonntag, 4. September 2016

Like a Phoenix from the ashes

Tomorrow is my last day here in rehab and I feel like I was reborn- gone is the apathy, I can laugh and cry again and my body is getting stronger everyday. Sure, there are still some things I will have to struggle with the next weeks, months, years, whatever. Like fatigue, neuropathy or chemo brain.
But my body´s not broken, just a bit dented. And it will get better with time, I just need to have a little patience (yes, I learned that word here. "Patience". Still feels strange to say it ;)).

I also learned that I still have the energy left in me to tackle all the big and small decisions that are lying ahead of me. This will be a very exciting time cause the book of my life which looked like it was all pre-written and settled now only is a blank page just waiting to be filled with new and awesome things. And I´m no longer afraid of this unknown, blank future (and I also take my time to mourn for the future lost). As for doing awesome things- I will start by going on vacation to a luxury spa resort in Greece. Because I feel like I really, reeeeeally deserve that now! :)

Another lesson learned is to take care of yourself. Always listen to your body and your mind and if you don´t feel good, stop and think about what you need to change to feel better. Heard that like a thousand times before, right? But there is a whole new dimension to it if your body´s been close to dying or your mind has turned into a pitch black void. There is nothing more valuable than your health. And you never know when it´s suddenly gone (but I´ll never be a health nazi! ;) Smoke and drink if you want to. Skip the sport if you´re too lazy. Live! But take care. :)).

But most importantly I re-learned (and I really had forgotten about that):

I´m a fucking strong woman who´s been to hell and back always walking tall. 

I´ve been tested the past months like most people will never be tested (at least that´s what I hope for all of you :-*). And I think I did pretty well. If this fucking demon can´t throw me down I know nothing ever will. I now know about my strengths but also my weaknesses. And I´m proud of them.

So I will rise now. Even if my life turns to ashes another time I know I will rise again. Because that´s just the person I am. And I´m almost grateful that through my cancer I got the chance to learn that about me (okey, there are probably healthier ways than cancer to get to know yourself better ;)).

P.S.: Some wine anyone to endure the cheesiness of this thread? ;) 

P.P.S.: There is of course no such thing as an International Lama League. I´ve been asked whether I really received hate mails. Nooooo, I did not. But a lama really tried to spit on me (there are some lamas and ponies around here in a small forest).

Sonntag, 28. August 2016

Rehab Boot Camp

Halfway through rehab now! People have been asking me constantly “What exactly are you doing in rehab?”. I hoped I was gonna get massages, do some soulsearchingly arts, splash around in the swimming pool and maybe have one or two seminars on living healthy or whatever. Eeeasy-peasy! Well, I will still be doing arts but other than that it´s mostly any kind of sports. 

Per week I have:
Twice 45 minutes Walking, three times 30 minutes on the ergometer, twice one hour yoga, three times back excercises and twice breathing excercises. And one hour of line dancing on Saturday. Cause that´s fun. And I skipped dance therapy. It depressed me too much to lose the twerking battles. Also I really hardly couldn´t hold back my laughter when we were told to first dance our feelings and then draw them on a paper. I mean... Seriously??

I will be even more trained than before the cancer! YEAH!
All this sport is really exhausting, considering that I spent the past weeks mostly horizontal in some kind of bed or couch. But it´s also a really good feeling when you push yourself through this. And there are always nice people around you cheering you on or applauding you. And watching out for you if you fall behind. I think I strike the mommy nerve in most of the breast cancer patients here cause they have own children my age. ;)

Also have twice per week neuropathy group where we try to bring some life back to our numb feet or gain back some form of sense of balance. Initially I thought I didn´t need this group cause my neuropathy already had gotten so much better (I can feel my hands and feet again, so yay!). First group meeting though I noticed I was dead wrong. My toes are still numb but for that the rest of my feet is über-sensitive making small stimuli very painful. And my balance sucks.

If I´m not sweating in some sport excercise I usually have group meetings and seminars. About having cancer, about having had cancer, about sleep disorders and so on. Some of them are useful, some just boring. But at least they´re not exhausting. ;)

And then there are the nice things on my therapy plan. Like progressive muscle relaxation (or for some people here- one hour of sleeping ;)), Arts and Crafts (started working on a soapstone cause I wanted to do something for my hands, they are still shakey and sometimes numb), memory excercises for my chemo brain and motoric functional training also for my neuropathy damaged hands.

Tadaaa, my master piece from Arts and Crafts therapy! Sooo, who´s bidding 500k €? :)
Even though I have so many appointments I also had the time to meet really nice people here (thank heavens I´m sitting at the "kiddie table" in the cafeteria! We´re all under 60, most of us even under 40!). With some of them I will also stay in contact after the three weeks of rehab are over. Cause nothing creates stronger bonds than having been through the same hell. Funny thing- the girl I have been sharing the room on nazi station all those months ago when we both just had received our diagnosis (she had a hodgkin lymphoma) is now also in rehab here. It´s like we went full circle, we started the illness together, helping each other coping with it and now we get to finish it together as well. I was so happy to see her, especially seeing her being well. :)

I have to say it´s really helping to be here. Both my mind and my body are starting to recover from the past months. But I´m also glad when I can go home and sleep in my own bed again! ;)

P.S.: I guess the International Lama League (ILL) found the picture I posted two threads ago kinda discriminating. Cause I received a lot of Lama hate mails. And when I met with one of their delegates...he just spit on me!

But he missed, hähä!

Sonntag, 21. August 2016

Therapy plan for awesome people

Here is my very own little "Things to do in rehab" list:
Pimp my rollator!
  • Organize illegal underground rollator races. Like “The fast and the ancient”. We could do the tuning of the rollators during Arts n Crafts therapy. I can already see it before my eyes- flames sticker on the rollator, oxygen injection (oxygen tanks are often already attached for other purposes ;)), some LED to illuminate the wheels. Nightly races in the clinic park and the winner gets to skip to the front of the queue for dinner. Cause old people are afraid they won´t get their share of dinner, so they camp outside cafeteria 10 minutes before it starts. And 5:30 sharp they befall the buffet like a locust swarm leaving only scraps behind for everyone showing up later than 5:40. Which includes me. I´ve been going to bed hungry for the past days. Mimimi! (And I usually oversleep breakfast so that leaves me with lunch. Thank heavens lunch is a preordered meal for everyone so no fighting over food with the old people!)
  • Make millions with my art on ebay. Cause it´s so deep and emotional and unique. And not at all looking like a three year old did it. An untalented three year old. (The teacher in Arts n Crafts therapy ignores my completely. Probably because I suck and won´t listen to her. I was never good at listening to teachers. :) But I will share my finished “master piece” with you once it´s done. You can buy it for 500k € on ebay then. XD)
  • Kill the early bird and eat it. Cause some idiots are doing yoga at 7 am (before breakfast!). And apparently I´m one of the idiots now. Ugh.
  • Become the best Line dancer ever since I´m helplessly losing the twerking battles in dance therapy. But now I shimmy to the right and shimmy to the left and do the electric slide. Yeeehaaw, call me cowgirl! (If you have seen 15 very old people do the shimmy you won´t be easily shocked by anything else believe me. Sooo many old hips moving in a way you never want to see them move!!)
Nobody ever looks so happy while doing line dance. EVER!
  • Win at “Memory” against the old pain patients. Cause they are the hardest competition to beat for my chemo brain.

Next time I´ll tell you what the doctors put on my actual to do list aka therapy plan. But they are not that creative as I am (C´mon, rollator races? That´s awesome!). ;)