20 February 2009

Memory Lane

With the upcoming surgery and all, there is the realization that things might not be the same afterwards. I have stolen the month of March to take a trip down memory lane. There's places to go and people to meet. I made a headstart this week by dining and lunching with old friends. Tineke and I had a Japanese dinner on Tuesday, finally a one on one. Tineke and I go back 22 years, she is a sturdy given in my adult life. We talked about the latest developments and much more. When our bellies were filled we topped them off with coffee and applecake at Le Grand Café, which we used to frequent when we were young student. The interior has totally changed for the worse. We much preferred the mint coloured walls and art deco style which they had before. It's a strange idea to reallize that we used to spend hours there 20 years ago.

Wednesday afternoon I had a brief lunch with John. It was great to hear that the kids are now grown and independant and that Marij is doing great business. Afterward I drove past my first appartment on my way back to my parents.

At night something really special awaited me. Frank had organized an evening for me to meet up with all my friends from when I had just moved to the Netherlands. (Frank, Bernadette, Birgit, Ronald, Lydia, Theo, Marjan, Peter) This pack of wonderful people were truely significant in my young adult life.
It is interesting how I have kept in touch with almost all of them! 9 of us got together and had a meal across from De Pomp, and just down the road from
the 'Small World' Café where we originally met. It was a fabulous evening. I have a lot more reunions planned, Like a Rosemead reunion and an ACST reunion...I can keep going on and on..... Oh well, anything to keep a girl away from the OR.
Lying in the depths of your imagination
Worlds above and worlds below
The sun shines on the black clouds hanging over the domain
Even when youre feeling warm
The temperature could drop away
Like four seasons in one day
Smiling as the shit comes down
You can tell a man from what he has to say
Everything gets turned around
And I will risk my neck again, again
You can take me where you will
Up the creek and through the mill
All the things you cant explain
Four seasons in one day
Blood dries up
Like rain, like rain
Fills my cup
Like four seasons in one day
It doesnt pay to make predictions
Sleeping on an unmade bed
Finding out wherever there is comfort there is pain
Only one step away
Like four seasons in one day
Blood dries up
Like rain, like rain
Fills my cup
Like four seasons in one day
Crowded House

17 February 2009

Major stress

The past two weeks have been crazy. In the night of Thursday going on Friday I found myself at the first aid department because I thought I had broken my right arm. They did not find anything, but the next day I was told that the snap that I heard in the middle of the night was probably the last part of my first rib breaking off, giving me pain in my upper arm.

Friday a week ago I had a meeting with Dr. Welvaart a general surgeon. He was asked to look at the tumor in my back and give an assessment for the new surgery of my back. Dr. Welvaart did a great job in telling me the most horrible news. It hit me like a ton of bricks. He explained that in order to remove the tumor, they need to approach it from the front, implicating that I will have to have open chest surgery (usually associated with heart operations). This is a very invasive method and has many risks ranging from bleeding to infections to paralysis. He explained how the procedure would take place and then asked me if I wanted to go through with this. A strange question if you are the subject. I do not really have an alternative except for waiting for my vertebrae (t1) to collapse. I suppose that some people give up at this point. There is no question that I am ready to give in to the cancer. I spent the weekend telling my family about what was going to happen and decided that the risks are so great that I do not want to go through with this before April, giving me a little time to do some things which I have wanted to for a long time such as going away for the weekend with Marcus, and taking Kiara to the musical of Tarzan, and visiting my neice and my brother. When you are this busy getting better you just don't find the time to get around. Then there's my friends in Zevenaar. I have to see them. So Tuesday when I had my talk with the orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jiya, I had two things on my mind. Postponing the operation and some hope that they would manage to do the operation from the back anyhow. I got both but it was a much less than satisfactory converstation. Dr. Jiya had not read the recommendations from the general surgeon and didn't have a clue what I was coming for. He approached the matter like an orthopedic surgeon would and decided that he was not interested in removing the canceric matter. His interest was to stablize the vertebrae and to try to free the nerve which is giving me trouble in my arm. It was a horrible conversation in which he strutted his ego, making sure that we knew that Dr. Pluymakers was his assistant. He also retracted the deal made with Dr. Lips to monitor my bones in the orthopedic department. I was devastated as Dr. Pluymakers had arranged this for me and I believe it was the best decision made since the beginning of my treatment. I was frustrated and Marcus told me to give up talking to Jiya as he wasn't listening to me anyway. So we left. I took this story to Dr. Lips on wednesday. Dr. Lips agreed with me that this was not the way to go about things. He will be talking to the other guys soon. Dr. Lips agreed that we should try to reduce the cancerous tissue. So all I know now is that I need an operation. I still don't know what they are going to do. I hope to hear from Dr. Lips this week.

After a week of major stress Marcus and I left for Ijmuiden for a luxury weekend. We went to the Sauna in Santpoort and stayed there all day and watched a movie. Then we spent the night at the Holiday Inn in IJmuiden. The weather was horrible so we stayed close to the hotel until the evening. We ended the weekend at a terrific fish restaurant called De Meerplaats.

04 February 2009

Rachelle's wedding

Last Friday was a really busy day. Not only did I have radiation therapy, but my friend Rachelle got married. That meant two rides to Amsterdam, but it was really worth it. Luckily, I did not feel the pain in my arm until that evening. Rachelle and I go way back 23 years. And actually more.

Our families have been entwined for two generations, as her father was friends with my uncles. I met Rachelle after high school at college. We both studied physical therapy for a year and then went off to do something else. We have been in touch for all those years and I was actually with her when she met Remco. That gave me the very special position of being witness to her wedding. There was no way that I was going to miss that.

It was a fun day and we met many nice people. Not to mention the food which was delicious. We didn't make it to the party as I was pooped by nine which I had expected any way. We made our way home and I went to bed quickly.
The next morning we were up early because Collin had signed up for Holland's got talent. The auditions were at Blue Circle in Hilversum so he spent the night here. We were there at nine in the morning. We had to wait in the freezing cold, but luckily once we got inside we knew that this was not in vain. Collin's was the second act to try out. And he was also the first to get through the auditions. I am so glad I told him to combine his BMX Flatland tricks with his human beatbox act. That would increase the jury's attention span. Pretty soon, probably February the 19th, he will be off to the next appearance at the Gooiland theater. By 10.30 we were home again. I was happy to hit bed immediately. I think I stayed there the rest of the day.
Time to relax!
Also click this pic!