10 September 2017

I meet my colleague Eva for a second breakfast and get the book „Why does Mom wear a cap during summer“… Lovely catch-up and off we go to fly home to Cologne.

The Red Cross is wonderful again and while I wait at the bulk luggage for Leo’s car seat, start chatting to a lady, who sits next to me, as she asks what is wrong with me. „Breastcancer“ and she tells me a bit about own experience. Then she asked me when I was diagnosed and I said 10 days ago „I cannot believe how you speak about it having just been diagnosed“ and I make a note to keep it this way.

The car seat arrives in 1000 pieces and he Air Berlin – nevermind that they only still operate because of my tax money – let me down big time…. I am forced to take the pieces home to later prove that it was actually destroyed … ahhh … idiots – how am I supposed to get Leo home without the seat?!?!?

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9 September 2017

My bold brother Micky, his wife Anna and the kids Finn (my other godchild) and Janis join us in Freising and we go to their annual fair with loads of rides and great bavarian food.

I feel that this might just be a wee bit too much for day two after the operation and they take Leo and myself back to their place in Munich.

Changing the bandages hurts, but mainly because I have to wear a tight bra 24 hours a day and I have difficulties lifting my arms, as the sentinal wound hurts on the left side, the port on the right side and I do not even notice that the left breast was also operated šŸ˜‰ – the bandage covers the whole in my breast where the tube with the sole secretion bag was and the plasters are really sticky…. so it really could be worse – Sleeping however is a real pain, but we are getting there.

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8 September 2017

Somehow everyone in this hospital thinks that I will stay for another two nights!?!? They want me to keep the bag with the sore secretions, which is hanging on my body and I certainly will not take this home šŸ˜‰

While they decide, if I can leave or not, I have my first appointment with the Breast Care Nurse, Frau EƟer – what a lovely lady! I get information on a make-up course, wig shops, tips to cope with the side effects of chemo … and there will possibly be a lot and I am being told that I am not allowed to carry anything – GREAT – how shall I fly to Munich with two little kids not carrying anything!?!?

Well, first I need someone to pick me up from hospital and drive me to the airport, then I try to get Air Berlin to give me assistance, but no luck. I actually get the German Red Cross at Kƶln Bonn Airport on the line and they will help me out! Perfect!

Andrea – one of my mummy friends – picks me up and drives me home. I will only take Leo with me to Munich to make things easier…. Simone – Mummy friend number 2 – picks me up Ā 45 minutes later to bring me to the airport…. Oh no…. I forgot ALL my paperwork, mobile charger and everything from the bedside table in hospital. I will get it on Tuesday!

Everything goes really smoothly, Leo meets some other kids in the plane and Anke (my friend from Ealing) and her daughter Lale (my godchild) pick me up! Great to see them and chill a bit in their garden, while the kids enjoy the trampoline and make pizza for us šŸ™‚

Anke’s husband Jan, who I met during my flight attendant training and studied with in Ealing, show me a book „Cancer cells don’t like raspberries“… Interesting! I have already cut all all white sugar since the diagnosis! I am also drinking a lot of fresh carrot juice, as this should be good šŸ˜‰ Well, it won’t do any harm either….

7 September 2017

It is the day of the B2B run, but my colleagues are running without me, as I have to be early early and sober in Holweide…

I am there with another 9 women to be operated. They have appr. 600/ year!

Prof. Dr. Warm is really nice and explains that they will first mark the two tumors (No.2 is only 5mm – I did not feel it, but he pointed it out and there it was… felt like a little pea under my skin) and then they will remove the little one during the operation.

Prof. Dr. Breidenbach told him about my plans to fly to Munich the following day and he said that this should not be an issue šŸ™‚

I get an aditus and in the MRT they locate the tumors, stick some massively long and thin needles into my breast to where it is, put me into the MRT again to see, if it is in the right location and do the same again. It is not nice and I have these long wires sticking out of my breast šŸ˜‰ – they tape them and I can go and check in to station B5. My escort should take my little suitcase, but I have no escort and manage alright. Feel a bit lonely though.

In B5 they nurse asks me to remove all my jewellery and put on the operation shirt. I have a little wristband with Mias name, which I cannot get off – she says that it has to go…. and I cry – Breast Care Nurse Frau EƟer gives me some tissues and says that we can tape it šŸ™‚ She also gives me a heart shaped pillow – there are volunteers, who make them and apparently they are the hot stuff for breast cancer patients, as they give the sentinals a bit breathing space, they also take pressure of car seatbelts off the port. Thank you!!

There are no single rooms anymore, so I meet Elke – she is almost 60 and survived breast cancer 7 years earlier… now she have ovary cancer. It was discovered quite late and a lot had to be removed…. make a mental note to insist on vaginal ultrasounds in the future, as this is the only way you can see this early enough!

I wake up in the late afternoon and feel slightly sick… was not allowed to eat or drink all day and it is past 4pm…I drink, take some medication and Markus comes to see me. I am so tired and sick that I don’t want to talk and he seems quite relieved, when the oncological psychiatrist arrives to introduce herself – I cannot face that and tell her that I will see her the next day. She has just left and I have to throw up all the water again – Wow, sudden relief! I feel good and have some bread šŸ™‚

I get a massive amount of messages and I am really touched! I will post it on Facebook, but for now I am busy enough with the flood of love and attention coming my way and it helps me a lot to talk about it and feel being loved!!!

Prof. Dr. Warms comes to see me late that evening, tells me that all was good – apart from quite a bit of milk, which made their job difficult, but nothing else was found and the sentinals look ok! „Have a nice flight!“

I cannot sleep as I am not a back sleeper and due to the sentinal and breast operation on one side and the port on the other side, it is the only position I can possibly imagine… well, Elke cannot sleep either and chat away šŸ™‚

I download the audio book „Am Arsch vorbei ist auch ein Weg“ and the voice of the author is tiring enough to make me dose off.

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6 September 2017

I am back in charming Holweide for the CT and get into the CT. I lay there and a computer voice tells me what to do… I shall not move and suddenly tears are running down my cheeks. Maybe it is the first quiet moment after the diagnosis – maybe it is the feeling of being exposed? I leave and know that the MRT is two hours later. I rearrange my paperwork in a quiet corner and dry my tears.

The guy from the CT asks me, if all is ok and insists to talk to me. Now I really have to cry. He takes me in his arms and tells me that all will be fine – I love that guy. He organises for my MRT to be earlier and walks me over there. His wife just had a baby 4 months early and it was a life and death matter for both of them – yet he is so positive and gives me so much energy.

The MRT is really noisy and I get ear protectors. There are two holes in the MRT table, where you have to place your breasts… feels a bit like being at the butchers.

He checks on me after the MRT and says that he hasĀ arrange for a doctor to see me now, so I can get the results. THANK YOU!! (need to get his name again!)

The doctor (need to get his name as well ;)) says that we might as well locate the sentinels there and then and injects some radioactive substance into my breast, which they check a little while later in the nuclear medicine department.

There is another little tumor towards the center of the breast and something in the liver, but all fine. Heart and everything else are ok and I am ready for the operation!

Before I leave the hospital, I buy some chocolate to give to CT guy, but as I do, I am already crying again and we both laugh šŸ˜€

Mom arrives to look after the kids, while I am in hospital and we go with the kids to gymnastics. Eva, the trainer, is shocked and really nice – the support and love I get is increadible!

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Thank you, Christian!

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5 September 2017

Holweide – what a welcoming site… NOT! I feel like I accidently ended up at some rehab center judging by the scary figures, who stand outside smoking.

Well, inside they are actually really nice. I have to do all the paperwork, then go to the cancer station B5 to have a talk about all that is happening. A young doctor explains how the port will be placed on top of my muscle with direct access to some larger blood vessels – the small once would be destroyed by the chemo .. nice thought! She says that a cylce is normally one time chemo plus 2 weeks rest and suddenly says that there should be 4x EC with two weeks rest and then 12x T weekly… ahhh this is more than I thought…. OK – operation first! They will locate the sentinals injecting radioactive matter – this way they will not have to remove all lymph knots and a biopsy of the sentinels will then tell them, if the tumor has spread in the rest of the body.

I use the time between appointments to talk to Eva, my colleague from Munich, who survived ovary cancer 5 years earlier with two small kids. I get all useful information and arrange to meet with her in Munich the following weekend. Interesting that you even get aĀ disabled ID card…

More administrative work, signatures, etc. and I see the anaesthetist – strange character. CT and MRT are lined up for the next day!

I am glad to dive back into my daily routines, seeing the builders, picking up the kids, going to gymnastics and meeting the girls for dinner and drinks!

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4 September 2017

The rest of the pathologic results are there – the tumor is a little bit hormone receptive, which is good, but a little bit more would be better (ER-ICA almost 10%, PgR-ICA 5%, HER2-neu 0%) and the amount of cells, which divide themselves Ā arbeiten any time is 80% – WOW that is what I call fast growing!

The good thing is though that the chemo can only get into the cells, while they divide themselvesĀ biggrin

She wants to start with 3-4 cylces of chemo…and often the tumor then already disappears all together, but they will still have to operate afterwards. I will loose my hair in the second chemo cycle and she says that I should get a wig in any case. I don’t know, if I want one, but her point is that I do not know how I will feel down the line and if there is an 80th birthday and I don’t feel good, I have the option to wear the wig and not face any questions.

I don’t even want to think about the chemo yet and concentrate on the operation first. I have a whole list of appointments lined up – that should keep me busy!

I will be off sick for at least 9 month – realistically one year!

Prof. Dr. Breidenbach will assist Prof. Dr. Warm, who will operate me on Thursday – see you there!

I call my insurance company AOK NordWest and ask them how they can support me and they will pay for either a friend, who helps me with the kids, 90% of Markus‘ salary, if he takes unpaid leave or a household aid. Excellent!

I visit my colleagues at HRG afterwards and make sure that everyone is aware now. No energy to go to yoga…. well, not that I did not do enough yoga during the weekend šŸ˜‰

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3 September 2017

A final morning yoga and an OHHHMMMM walk around the lake and off we go!

Silke drops me off at my parents, my cousin Sylvie is there with the kids and Markus and the kids pick me up.

I am ready for the week ahead of me…

I do not eat any white sugar for the time being, just to be on the safe side šŸ˜‰

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2 September 2017

Mia has an eye infection and I have her insurance card – well, I quickly sort this out….and we miss the morning session by one minute, but I go for a swim instead – 11 degrees, but it is a misty morning and beautiful… once you are insideĀ biggrin

Yoga Run, Yoga Dance, Heart Yoga, Massage… pure bliss – and a wonderful sauna evening with Sandra, who is such a joy to be with. Skinny dipping in the lake, dinner and Yoga Nidra… I am packing my little suitcase with happy moments for the challenging time ahead of me! Thank you!heart

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1 September 2017

I am on my bike dropping off Mia, when Prof. Dr. Breidenbach calls…I should see her on Monday, Tuesday I have appointments at the hospital in Holweide (there is a breastcancer center and she cooperates with them), operation for chemo port and sentinel removal is Thursday.

I take the train to my yoga retreat at Diemelsee (Hotel Gƶbel) with Sandra and stop in Meschede to see my parents and nephews.

I have now informed most of my friends, colleagues, What’s App groups, etc., spend most of the day with this and the feedback is overwhelming.

Did leave my favourite jacket on the train, but hey, maybe they will find it… Silke picks me up at the trainstation and we navigate through the remote countryside trying to find the hotel.

I tell Sandra straight away about the cancer, enjoy the first session, get a massage and finsih the day with Yoga Nidra – the yoga sleep… Silke joins me andĀ is deep asleep even before Sandra finshes the instructions ….hahaha!

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