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!). ;)

Dienstag, 16. August 2016

They tried to make me go to rehab, I said…

…well ok, what the heck (Amy Winehouse? Anyone? Whaddayaknow, I´m old!). So here I am, day one of rehab. Problem with having an old people´s disease? It´s mostly old people here. I´m really looking forward to twerking along with the 80 year old grannys in dance therapy!

Parental Advisory- Explicit Twerking!
Cause that´s what I´ll be doing here. And Arts and Crafts. Breathing exercises. 6-minute walking test (wtf, six minutes? Who do they think I am? Some Nigerean marathon runner? :P). Ergometer. I´m not allowed for the swimming pool and sauna (Booh, I really was looking forward to this, still something about infection risk yadayada, this is getting old). Aaaaand group meetings. Had my first one today “Hematological diseases”- when the doc saw my file he just said “Oohh, something rare!”. He made me feel so special!
And now finally someone else noticed my specialness!
But most importantly I´ll be getting psychological counseling. Cause recently I´ve been feeling like shit. That´s why I haven´t been blogging. Cause writing about depression is hard. And depressing. Mostly depressing. ;) I still feel reluctant to write about my problems here. Why is it that it´s so much easier to talk about physical pain and throwing up and all that nasty bodily stuff but when it comes to your mind you feel like hiding everything away? I don´t know but let me tell you one thing- it is so damn much easier to endure physical pain and throwing up with a frigging smile on your face than this chaotic abyss that is a depressed mind.
Apparently it´s “completely normal” to breeze through your cancer treatment, throwing rainbows either way just to break down when you´re done. Cause now your slow, stupid brain has time and peace to finally catch up with your situation.

Ah jeez, brain, keep up! We HAD cancer!
At the moment I tend to burst into tears at any given time of the day. Sometimes I don´t even know why. Sometimes I feel like I can´t ever stop. Blissful are the nights when sleeping pills bring silence to the screaming void inside me. Or Whiskey. Or a mixture of both. 

Do I feel like a weak crybaby because of this? Sure thing. Do I have to be honest about it so I can finally feel better? You betcha. Do I still think psycho oncologists are annoying? Hell yeah. ;)

P.S.: The doc here said I should better try to skip the sleeping pills cause I´ve been taking them for weeks now and I could easily get addicted. But alcohol is also forbidden on the clinic grounds ("It´s not healthy." Yeah, as if having cancer or getting chemo is actually "healthy", pff!). Mehh, I really need my sleep! Maybe I can convince them that it surely is better to drink Whiskey than become a drug addict? The end justifies the means or something like that. ;)

Freitag, 5. August 2016

Welcome to the dark side

Hmm, yes, a bit. Not even the ones with raisins?
They always said there would be cookies, so I finally went over to the dark side. Turns out there aren´t any cookies but instead just Major Depressed waiting to kick your sorry butt.

Since the day my doc told me I should get to hospital because my blood values were odd ("Let´s hope it´s nothing serious." Woops, sorry doc.), throughout my many days in hospital and my various and sometimes hard to bear treatments I have never ever felt depressed (hell week doesn´t count). Sure, there were nights I cried, asking myself where the f*** I went wrong from lying in the Caribbean sea, drinking beer I´ve won during a dance-off to having cancer. But most of the time I´ve been a good sport, smiling, taking everything head-on without complaining or asking "Why??". I had no other option so why should I whine and moan, I prefer going through hell with my head held high.

And now it´s over (probably) and I can´t stop feeling horrible. Which feels kinda stupid. But I haven´t really slept in days (pills don´t really work anymore), can´t eat without getting sick (just thinking about food makes me wanna throw up) and my body´s weaker than ever (Hb is also dropping again no one knows why). People expect me to be happy because I beat cancer, now everything´s good again, I can go back to being my old self. I don´t get any more chemo and I´m out of hospital so I should feel great now shouldn´t I? Bursting with energy and puking rainbows. But I just feel...exhausted. I wouldn´t even know where to start to get my life back on track and I really don´t feel I have the energy left for it. It's like thinking you finally reached the top of a huge mountain only then to notice there is still a long way to go. I need a break, can´t I just not be the one with cancer for like a day? Or even an hour? Just do everyday things like sleeping and going to work and eating and just feeling carefree and happy.

When I look back at the past months I don´t feel like I have accomplished anything, only lost a great deal of things. So I´ll just stay here on the dark side for a few moments longer. Only until I have figured some things out. And until I have found the secret cookie stash of Kylo Ren, dammit. There MUST to be cookies here somewhere!

P.S.: There´s a new girl at work who´s taking over some of my projects. "Not to replace you, of course." Yeah? Damn sure feels like it. So noooo pressure to come back to work, take your time. Yeah, right.

Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2016

Is it over yet?

Can I open my eyes?
It´s a strange feeling. In six days it will be exactly half a year ago that I got my cancer diagnosis. And now I´m already sitting here, thinking about being cancerfree (won´t believe it though until the final MRT in a few weeks. Optimism killed the cat. Or something like that). My blood values are all on the rise (Hb was 10.5 on Monday, that´s an all-time high, woopwoop!), rehab is already planned in a few weeks and except for some fatigue and muscle weakness I´m actually feeling quite good. So everything´s back to normal right? It´s finally over?

Cancer Airlines welcomes you on board!
Well, no. Unfortunately it´s not that simple. It´s not like just because your body doesn´t have cancer anymore someone hands you over your old life saying "Thank you for travelling with Cancer Airlines. I hope you had a horrible journey. Please start enjoying your life exactly where you left it six months ago." Cause nothing´s the same as six months ago, hell, I´m not the same as six months ago. Cancer is a hungry and egoistic fellow, devouring as much as he can, leaving you behind with the scraps of your life or what you thought your life would be.

When fighting cancer you don´t really have the time to think too much about all this, you just live from chemo to chemo, from day to day, from one red X on your treatment plan to the next. I´m infertile? Yeah, whatever, I have cancer, no time to think about that. Five year survival rate is only 30%? Couldn´t care less, need to beat this thing in the first place before I rack my brain over recurrence rates! How can I get back to work after been gone for so long? What do I want to do with my life? Will I ever be myself again? Could I learn to like the new me?

There are a thousand questions crashing down on you that you kept away for the past months when you were busy surviving cancer. And finally when you were used to having cancer, it´s gone. And now the whole work starts all over again, getting used to a new life situation, adapting to it, building a life on the ruins of the old one. Cause getting the old one back? That´s not in the stars my dear. But you can fight to make the new one even more awesome.

Doesn´t matter, out with the old, in with the new!

Samstag, 23. Juli 2016

Day +15: I´m going home

Finally. My thrombocytes are 27k today. I´m going home, and I don´t want to come again and stay.

P.S.: First stops: My bathtub and my favorite Döner restaurant! :)

Freitag, 22. Juli 2016

Day +14: Fickschnitzel!

Okay, I confess. I´ve been having a hard time accepting the fact that I need to stay day after day after day on Nazi station just because of my stupid thrombocytes ("You don´t want to get brain bleeding now do you?" Erm... I´m not sure. If I can have Döner with it I´m quite indecisive... ;)). But after whining about that for two days I finally found enough unicorn power left in me to make my peace with another week in hell (I mean anything before Day +14 would have been reeeeeally fast). I was fine with it really.

And then yesterday they showed their whole glory of naziness (I guess that´s not a word but you know what I mean ;)). "You´re moving!" Oh great, home? *hope building up* "Noooooo, to room 12!" *hope crashing to ground* Oh and please, don´t help me pack my stuff or carry it, I´m fine enough really, I mean my Hb already is at 9.4, right? Yeah, so I´m now in room 12 which has
  • no ac,
  • no shower (soo funny, just this morning they allowed me to use the shower again only to then put me in a room without shower. A classic nazi move!),
  • no toilet (please don´t ask -.-),
  • a window facing the helicopter landing field. Which is not loud at all. (they were really trying to sell me an open window as something I should be glad about. Sure, with over 30°C outside I really want to open the window),
  • no window shades (the sun is only burning through my windows from 12 to 5. Which is nothing, basically -.-).
Since the room is so nice and not hot at all I basically spend the whole day outside, chasing Pokémon (and geese :)), eating ice cream and sweating. My doc called me today on my mobile phone to check whether I was still alive because I was gone so long (probably had horrible day dreams about me lying somewhere having a brain bleeding. Poor thing ;)).

But to be honest the whole situation really got me down. I haven´t felt as bad as yesterday or cried as much throughout my whole illness (not even on the day I got my diagnosis. Actually, I didn´t cry at all cause my "let´s bring it on" attitude automically kicked in). I´m not really greeted with empathy or understanding from any of the nurses or docs they really don´t get why I´m not celebrating. No, it gets better, most of them see my behaviour as some kind of affront and react offended. Fickschnitzel, all of them!
I´ve prescribed myself a huge amount of metal throughout the last night so my mood has been a lot better today (citing Five Finger Death Punch "I won´t be broken, I won´t be tortured, I won´t be beaten down. I have the answer, I can take the pressure, I will turn it all around").

Those little bastards that keep me here have been 15k today. Only 3k to go. That´s nothing, right? ...Right???