I haven't blogged for about a week and it hasn't been through laziness or because I have been having 'moments' but because I have been away. Again? I hear you cry... Well yes actually.
This time we decided that we would combine our Germany treatment trip with a road trip though France and Germany and we smuggled a little tag along with us.. My mum.
She hasn't been to Duderstadt before and she hasn't been away for nearly two years so thought it would be a nice treat plus it was her birthday.
The three of us set off on Friday and you'd think this end of the journey would be easy.. We had a few near misses and one included a caravan being towed that nearly wiped out on three lanes on the motorway!
Get me to the Eurotunnel quick!
Our first leg of the trip was a few days in the Champagne region and we stopped off in Reims for a few glasses of the bubbly stuff and lots of walking. We did a cave tour of Veuve Clicquot and can now say we have some more knowledge on the expensive fizzy stuff we love so much (so much we have dedicated a bar to Champagne in our house!)
Our next leg was a stop off in Bonn, Beethovens birth place. We arrived quite late in the day but still managed to walk for hours and then we stopped off for some traditional German food. Mum had to try schnitzel, bratwurst and sauerkraut for sure! A weird thing happened here.. Out of the blue the weather changed almost within a minute from bright sunshine to a tornado! Umbrellas and tables were flying down the street as everyone tried to get indoors without getting soaked. This is when the weather in Europe changed for a few days.
The next morning we got up early and drove another four hours to Duderstadt. My treatment started this afternoon and I had a combination of zometa, il2, oncothermia and Newcastle disease virus as well as having bloods taken for my next visit.
After Pete and mum had checked into our hotel and I had finished my treatment we paid a quick visit to the lake whilst there was a break in the weather, and had a cheeky ice cream. Ok I know it's not conducive to my normal diet but I was on holiday... Sort of! And a little of what you want is good for you.
One night in Duderstadt, a small lie in and after a great breakfast we had a little time to spare before my next round of treatment. I took mum to the spa at the Zum Lowen. There we had a splash in the pool, and basked in the Salt Oasis, steam room and sauna as well as scrubbed our bodies with ice and showered in tropical storm showers...
Next round of treatment was a bit of a repeat of before except a few things but on my way in I bumped into a familiar person. I knew the voice, well the accent, and put two and two together. I know of another canSer blogger who goes to see Dr Nesselhut and has been living in Germany having treatment for some time now. His name is Peter Trayhurn and when I heard his Australian accent I introduced myself as I was going to my appointment.
Immediately we started exchanging information and asking what treatments we were having. We agreed that if there was time we would have a quick cuppa before my vaccination appointment half hour later. I told him to look out for my hubby and mum.
After my treatment I walked back to the hotel and there they all were chatting away.
What I loved about Peter was his confidence and his ability to see the positive in everything. He seemed really 'together'. A truly awesome guy whom I could have chatted to for hours and there still wouldn't have been enough time. We had to get to see the doc.
After we all said our goodbyes and hugged we got back to the clinic where ironically we waited for an hour to see Dr Nesselhut. He is worth the wait.
As per, he was very smiley and lovely. He showed me a picture of my monocytes and dendritic cells. He said they are all looking good. As there were plenty of dendritic cells I had half intravenously and half intradermally. Next I had the antisense injection. The one that I should have had done last time. The doc said I shouldn't get any side effects from it. So in went that injection too.
Next we got chatting and he told us how he found out a website in China have said that they have a Dr Nesselhut as their scientific director. Doc said, it isn't him, they have completed lifted his name! Wow, that's scary.
We then chatted about one of his patients who had a really good result recently and found out she had been taking the same stuff that Fidel Castro has been taking to stay alive and well... Scorpion venom. You can't make this stuff up! Seriously! Funnily enough Pete had already heard about this but hadn't been able to locate any of the venom... Until now!
We left Dr Nesselhuts with my next appointment booked and a bottle of Scorpion venom which I need to put 1ml under my tongue and hold it there for five minutes four times a day. It wasn't cheap. Well nothing ever is! But when in my shoes you are almost willing to try anything. There shouldn't be any side effects but we will see. I haven't started yet. I will maybe tomorrow.
We all hopped in the car and started our journey back across Europe. Our destination for the night was Cologne. Unfortunately the weather was atrocious. Driving conditions were hazardous and almost every road we went on had accidents. Poor old Pete. He is so good and really does anything for me.
He was so relieved when we got there and finally checked in. We were quite excited because that evening was the Germany v Brazil semi final of the World Cup. The energy was bristling all over Germany. We went to one of our favourite restaurants in the city and were lucky enough to be seated in front of a TV. Luckily we had prior planned and prepared and bought German paraphernalia. Our neighbours kindly drew the German colours on our cheeks too!
If you are not a football fan then you may not know that German totally nailed it by winning 7-1! Honestly you can't make this up either? It was amazing to be there and so much fun! It's one of those, where were you when.....brilliant!
Another early morning the following morning. This was our final day and it was full of travelling. It didn't start well. The hotel we stay in has its own car park. You drive into a big lift. A bit like going into a car wash it tells you whether you need to go further forward, back or to stop. We got in fine, but for some reason the lift wouldn't accept us! Argh! We were trapped in a car park with no way out. After much faffing, technicians got in the lift with us and manually over rode it. Thank goodness. I had a terrible feeling of being trapped and never getting out!
The day was long and ever so hard for Pete. The weather was so awful with terrible visibility. I really felt for him. But despite the set backs we got to the Eurotunnel early. Yay! We could get on an early train... But then a train got stuck in the tunnel.. Boo..
We eventually got a train after having a little car party- A few cheeky small bottles of champagne later.. Well we have to make the most of our time! Pete then had another two hours of driving... I'm so grateful that he offered to take me by car in the first place but oh so pleased when we got home.
My day in the car you would think was pretty easy. It would have been had I not woken during the night with a fever. After the vaccination of dendritic cells in my arm, it swelled hugely and it gave off so much heat. Any reaction is brilliant in our eyes. Then during the night I felt hot, cold, achey and the soles of my feet were sore!? I put it down to the injections I had had. Again I wasn't upset because I want there to be a response but I felt blah all day in the car. I needed sleep and the pain to be gone. At the Eurotunnel I took pain relief and got into the back of the car and curled up for the rest of the journey home.
We had our last night together in our snug having French goats cheese and a glass of Bordeaux. I got tucked up in bed and had the best nights sleep!
Today I really could have done with getting things organised back here but it wasn't to be. I had to get up and get myself down to St George's hospital again. The next round of interleukin two injections were waiting for me.
This time I went down by train and I had a very chilled trip. I am now back home writing this and have a fridge full of organic produce. I am looking forward to starting each day with green juice, meditation, exercise and all my other rituals.
We were sad to see mum go. We had such fun and times like that are priceless.
I miss my Bear already. He left for work and the gym at 5.45am and won't be back until later.
I had a little moan about having to go all the way to Tooting today.. Pete reminded me I have one job and that's to get better. He says he doesn't always want to get up at 4.45am and go the gym then work but he does because he knows it's the right thing to do and he has to earn money for our life. Puts it in perspective.
Before I sign off, this lengthy blog Saturday my 3 friends, plus their friend and father set off and attempted to climb the Three Peaks in 24 hours. The whole time they were going we were watching our phones for updates and texting other friends to see if they had heard anything. After each peak my friends father drove them to the next peak whilst they tried to rest. They started at 5.30pm on the Saturday and climbed through the night. I was so scared for them.
Well they did it with 45 minutes to spare! My Kitty's Climbers did it and we are bursting with pride. It was very emotional watching their video when they finished.
Since then they have received lots more donations and when I last looked they were in the region of £4000! Their target was £2000. Such selflessness overwhelms me. One of my friends in particular had a real achievement as she did it with quite a few injuries after falling on her first peak. Bless her. They are all now on holiday and never want to see a mountain again!! Yeah yeah. Heard that before. Next stop amount Kilimanjaro... And maybe I'll join them!
If you would like to donate please click the link and leave a message. Thank you in advance!
I've attached a few pictures of our five days away... Hope you like them.x
I won't leave it so long next time. My forearms are aching from the typing. Haha.
Ciao and light and love.
Sampling the Champagne.... Clearly..
A true German supporter through and through..
Car party. Standard.
Oh Dear... The Queen and her Corgi!