07 March 2011


CITO is a standardized test for highschool admissions. This test is given in the last year of the primary school in the Netherlands used to assess the academic level of the students. It is rather important to do well, as the school of your choice will look at your score when they decide to admit you or not. The scores coincide with the different learning levels of the Dutch highschool system. I am adding an overview for the Dutch readers as most people don't have a clue what the cito scores signify:

cito score versus vervolg opleiding:
Basisberoepsgerichte leerweg: 501 - 520
Basis- en kaderberoepsgerichte leerweg: 519 - 525
Kaderberoepsgerichte leerweg : 524 - 528
Gemengde / theoretische leerweg 529 - 533
Gemengde / theoretische leerweg en havo 532 - 536
Gemengde / theoretische leerweg en havo / vwo 535 - 541
Havo 537 - 540
Havo / vwo 540 - 545 Vwo (Gymnasium en Atheneum) 545 - 550
Anyway, since Christmas Kiara has visited many schools trying to determine where she will go next year. The school of her choice requires the level of HAVO/VWO. Last Tuesday after school I saw a lightning flash fly by, or so I thought. It was actually Kiara telling me the she had scored a 547 out of 550! This is a score well into VWO level. It sure was party time! We celebraterd with Mom and my sisters Adrienne and Aldith. I am so proud of her as she worked to the best of her capacity. Her attitude towards school is really wonderful and it is so nice that she can procede however she wishes.

Here is Kiara's quote which was published on the school website:
"We zijn de laatste tijd veel aan het oefenen voor de CITO. vooral de laatste week, nu maken we elke dag ongeveer 3 oefentoetsen. Mij lijkt de CITO toets erg leuk, omdat je niks hoeft te schrijven en niemand je afleid {hopelijk}. We zijn ook in de krant (TROUW) gekomen. We zij met school op de fiets naar het Comenius college geweest en de volgende dag naar Groenhorst college."

Lately we have been practicing a lot for the CITO exams, especially the past week. We now do 3 practice tests each day. I think I will really enjoy the CITO exams because you don't have to write so much (MC) and nobody is able to disturb you. (I hope.) We also made the TROUW newspaper with an article. We visited the Comenius College by bike and went to Groenhorst college the next day."

Later that week Kiara and Aldith were the photography team(#imgcrew) of yet another event!

My sister Angélique celebrated the fact that she receiv
ed her Masters Degree!! Congrats to her, I am so proud!

17 February 2011

What's next?

As the building goes on rapidly, me moving into the Entrada is getting closer and closer to a reality. The struggle to get there is emense, but I seem to manage. (our flat will be situated where the yellow frame is. This Photograph was taken by Kiara.)

My stay in the hospital lasted 2 weeks. By the second Friday the urologist opted for surgery. I had wat they called a crying bladder in Dutch. Meaning that the lining was so thin all around that there were a lot of tiny wounds all around. They fixed the problem by scorching the lesions which finally put an end to the severe bleading. In total I was given 11 packs of blood, 2 pakcs of trombocytes an 1 pack of leucocytes. I have now become the honorary member of the vampire squad.

No seriously, this was really a close call, my GP tells me a coma was only a day away. Thanks to Cecile from Buurtzorg for being so attentive and persuasive. I was in first aid, 40 minutes after her arriving here. Things went way too fast for me. Once again the Gooi and Vechtstreek Ambulance did a fabulous job. 20 minutes from the Dr.'s call to delivering me at the hopital with a little hold-up caused by yours truely cause I wanted to finish breakfast and make an important payment for the Entrada project.

Once I was home I got the heebee-jeebies. It wasn't until then that I reallized that this bleeding had almost killed me. It was strange to hear my family say that they were worried I might not be coming home. I took about two weeks to rest and come to terms with everything. I had been prescribed peace and quiet and was told to stay away from stress.

A lovely suprise was that both Ali Ball and Lalu Carter (old schoolfriends from Rosemead) came to visit me. I am sure that was part of the remedy!

I came home paralysed in both legs. The process had carried on in the meantime. This also meant the pain had deminished somewhat. When I got home my new bed had arrived. It offered me an opportunity to sit upright in bed. I got practicing and was soon sitting up 2 hours at a time. To me this meant that sitting in a wheelchair is definately a possibility. My physical therepis t who ensured me he could do the job suddenly decided that he wasn't capable. In fact he told me I wanted to stuff that I couldn't. This annoyed me so much it got me sharp again. I did some research on the internet and checked out De Hoogstraat in Utrecht. It is a rehab center like the Trappenberg, only, they ar specialised in Paralyses. The had an excellent brochure online which proved that my premonition that I should be able to do more than lie in my bed was true. A call to my GP has got things moving. Dr Bussemaker from the Trappenberg, who incidently has turner around 180 degrees and is doing more than can be expected of her, was called by my GP and she is making plans for me as I write.

Unfortunately I woke up one morning with a strange deformity of my sacrum. It looks like it is fractured and it is extremely painful. I have been waitng forever for an x-ray which will finally take place tomorrow. I'm afraid they won't be able to do anything about it, so I hope the pain team has a solution.

14 January 2011

Back to the hospital

The last couple of days I have been feeling very tired. Since monday morning there has been blood in my urine. This is a common problem with catheters so we waited to see what would happen. By Tuesday morning I was losing so much that my nurse Cécile called the doctor to take a look. By 1pm I was admitted to Tergooi Hospital in Hilversum. They are flushing my bladder with saline solution and they gave me two packs of blood to treat my anaemia. I spent the night here and have to stay here until they stablize me and find out what the cause is. It is always scary with the cancer, as many scary options could be the cause of my problems. By last night many tests were run. The scariest scenarios were tested negative. It looks like my pain medication is causing the trouble.
I have to say that they are very thorough. Last night I was given a transfusion of leucocytes and today I have been given 2 packs of blood. I am starting to feel much better. More info later!

03 January 2011

Kill the Beast III

And the battle continues. Dr. Lips and Dr. Dahele haven't given up on me. Today I am going to the hospital to start with the new treatment plan.
I will be having radiation therapy to my sacrum, my rib and my left arm. These being the first treatments that are supposed to slow down the all-round deterioration but mostly to tackle the pain.

I am also having an MRI done of my head to monitor the skull.
Then last, but not least, I will be meeting Professor Boven (oncologist) to discuss the possibility of chemo and/ or experimental therapy with Everolimus.

Sometime this week I will write a very detailed account of my physical state.

Will be home tonight! Let's hope the ambulance doesn't take forever.

02 January 2011


Well made it again! 2011, who would have thought that on April 30th 2007? The doctors thought I would have months to live and basically did everything to ease pain and discomfort.

Since then I have been into Rehab 4 times, have had a 3 year relationship, launched my company, made numerous trips and most important of all....seen my 7 year old Kiara turn into a teenager.

How is this possible? I think the answer is FOCUS. I have focussed on my goals: what, how,where,when,and with whom do I want to do things, and how do I want things done.

I have been known to be a real control freak and have been given names like The General, The Boss, Schwarzkopf....etc. I really hated it and felt like people misunderstood me in the past. It hurt. I always heard the negative undertone. Yes, I am in control of everything that I do and I try to drag my environment along in my wake, but I dare say my intentions were always noble. I wanted the best for everyone.

It is this control that has gotten me this far, if only it were because I have been able to avoid scarry mistakes due to lousy communication in the hospital.

So back to the FOCUS! For this year I have set 3 goals which I intend to target with military precision.

  1. I have to make it to Kiara's 12th birthday (19-07-1999) so that she has a say in where she wants to live if I die.
  2. I have to be around when Kiara starts Highschool.Gotta see that! Who wouldn't!
  3. I have to make it into my new home at the Entrada.
That's it! That is what I need to do!

3 years ago I told myself I was going to make it to Kiara's 10th birthday, I am not doing too bad I suppose.

I celebrated my goals yesterday on Twitter where I held one of my virtual parties yesterday afternoon. If you are interested follow the tag #happytwewyear on Twitter. You can also see my speech here. I'm afraid it's in Dutch though.

So seeing as FOCUS works for me, I wish all of you the very same. Please live your lives like they are going out of fashion, and be nice! How hard is that?