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!). ;)

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.