February 23, 2016

Tuesday: February 23, 2016

Today was my second day of treatment. I awoke early again with lots on my mind; today I was in a much better space. I was eager to get to the clinic; I was scheduled to ride a pre-ordered taxi with another patient at 8:15 am. A little after 8:00 I saw the taxi waiting so I headed down only to find the taxi was gone. I decided to catch another taxi. Mind you, this is only the second time I have taken a taxi. I jumped in the front seat, gave the driver the address, and presented a credit card voucher provided by the clinic. The taxi driver drove about a half block, started speaking aggressively in German, from what I gathered the driver would not accept the voucher so I told him I would just pay. He took 5 euros from me and began driving as he muttered in German, clearly pissed off. Next thing I know, we have gone about 4 blocks and we are sitting in front of the Weston Hotel. He then ordered me out of the taxi. I looked at him and said "really, you no take me?" (purposefully leaving out extra words) He was serious! He kicked me out of the taxi and drove off. There I stood in front of the Weston Hotel, it was lightly snowing; there I stood looking around confused while trying not to burst into tears. I approached a cab sitting out front, I held up the card asking "you take" the taxi driver barked "no". I entered the hotel, approaching a smiling German face asking English? She said, "of course"! I explained what happened as I held back my tears, the manager then joined the conversation. The manager called for another taxi and explained that some drivers will not take vouchers. I arrived to the clinic visibly shaken as I recount my morning taxi troubles. Thankfully I was greeted with understanding and compassion.

My IV site was flushed and it was in good working order and not as tender as the day before so my first infusion was attached. As I settled in I began talking with another American at the clinic, she is in the last week of her month long treatment. It was good to speak, hear and be understood while speaking 100% English with someone other than Curtis. The clinic brings all the patients a glass of fresh juiced vegetables, nettle tea, and crystal infused water. For lunch, they serve bone broth soup that contains a bit of chicken and fresh herbs. All of my infusions went smoothly and we decided to leave the current IV site in for Wednesdays infusions. IV sites must be changed every 2-3 days and to preserve my veins I am thankful the current one is tolerable for another day.

My anxiety flared easily today. It was ironic, I found myself teaching Ayurvedic and energetic anxiety calming techniques to other patients. During this, the MD asked me, because I am a therapist,  if I was familiar with "tapping" techniques. I expressed that I was. It was in that moment of teaching, with the gentle nudge of the MD, that I realized I needed to be using these techniques for myself! It was quite hilarious that I was teaching but failing to apply. Sometimes we need to be reminded to heed our own shared knowledge. My daily shot in the backside went fine, it actually hurt a lot less than an IV placement.

On the taxi ride back to my flat, the friendly smiling driver spoke in understandable English. By the way, I sat in the back seat this time! The driver spoke of "this free America is no true - you here at clinic with lots of American's...is this freedom? No, I not think!" I enjoyed his expressed perspective, how could I not agree - here I am in Germany accessing cancer treatment that I am bared from having in the USA despite years of successful treatment outcomes. I departed the taxi with a "chow" - Germans sign off with "cheers" or "chow". I am expanding my German verbiage a bit. I too am using Google Translator to talk to Germans, this is helpful.

Tonight, after taking a hot soak, I noticed a developing rash from the tape that holds down the IV overnight- where it was removed this morning. I brought some Benedryl to Germany so I took a dose and it looks as though the tapeline rash is subsiding.

I am in good spirits and looking forward to purchasing American bedding this weekend! Please continue sending prayers, positive energy, and healing thoughts my direction. I love that I have so much support and encouragement.

Rebel With A Cause
The Nielsen family has started an aftercare fundraising event where each $10 donation gets your name entered into a drawing for a beautiful quilt made by Lisa Nielsen.

Ways to Donate:

Preferred way to Donate by Mail: 
Christina Garrett
PO Box 192
Philomath, Oregon 97370

Selco Credit Union Direct Deposit:
"Team Christina"

Today, I am hopeful

Monday: February 22, 2016

My first day of treatment lasted longer than expected and I returned home to my flat exhausted, cranky, defeated, and emotionally raw. Below is what I posted on FB - I was physically and emotionally unable to blog last night. I am leaving yesterday as it is. 

Minor emotional meltdown tonight. In short, I'm uncomfortable! I have an IV in my arm that is a small vein, causing pain if I move wrong and the infusions had to be slow dripped today due to pain/pressure - baby vein problems. 

Night sweats.
Hot sweats.
Weirdo German bedding.
No fan to circulate air. 

I could go on, but it all comes back to, I'm uncomfortable. So, after a long over due cry and a foot rub from Curtis, we made a plan. We reworked some things in the flat, plan to purchase some American bedding and find a fan. As for the IV, after tomorrow's infusions I will have it removed and find a new vein Wednesday. The IV's can only stay in for 2-3 days then have to relocate anyway. Mitigating my discomfort one baby step at a time.

Oh and the icing on the cake, I learned I get a shot in the behind every day for two weeks then every other day after that. Still teary but good; heading to bed. Send prayers, positive energy, and healing thoughts my direction.

Today, I am hopeful~