March 13, 2016

March 13, 2016 - Monday marks my last week of treatment in Germany

Rough day; tears and lost eyelashes.
It has been an interesting third week of treatment - but good. Life would be incredibly boring without some type of something going on to work on, deal with, and grow from. Last week started off tearful, feeling broken and in pain; feeling as though my body was failing me yet again by not producing veins to carry my IV treatments comfortably  and expeditiously. It made for incredibly long days and painful infusions. Monday, I was just happy that Nadine found a vein! The infusions were dripping slowly and a bit painful but I made it through, then Tuesday came along and the pain was unbearable by the third infusion - it burned going in so we had to shut it down. Thankfully, Nadine was able to tap into one of my "blood veins" as I call them and we were off and running. My tears made my fake eyelashes fall off which made being an ugly crier even uglier! I was comforted by the staff and my new friends; all was well.

I could tell you about Curtis having to help give me an enema so I could poop, late evening trips to the market for prunes, lighting small wish lanterns, getting salmon from our favorite restaurant, funny treatment moments, oh and how I shit myself, and all our other outings, but I shall keep some details to myself to share in person upon my return! 

One outing I will share is when Curtis and I returned to the footbridge to place a lock on it to symbolize our love and commitment to each other. After placing the lock, we threw the keys into the river.
Our lock is the bright yellow one, we attached it to a heart lock.


 I have posted many updates on FB as it was easier and I was tired and still wanted to keep everyone in the loop. So this posting may seem incomplete to some. I am so excited to return home! Today, I pulled out all my suitcases and lined them up - getting ready to leave this treatment phase and start this next phase of my life. I am so ready to be done with treatment that Curtis and I have decided that after I leave treatment on Friday, we are going to leave this apartment and stay at a hotel by the airport for two nights until our flight leaves. Added bonus, fresh towels and American sheets!!! I can't wait. There has been a disappointing saga surrounding our apartment accommodations or lack thereof. I have authored an extensive letter that I plan to present to Infusio Wednesday morning -  I will share after I send it to them.

Last night was pretty scary for a fellow patient. She called asking if Curtis could get her some special water from the store, she was very weak, stomach swollen, and her spirit broken. Her husband had to return home to the states as she entered her second week of treatment. Each day when I saw her, my concern grew for her. We all visited for a while but as we said goodbye, I had a feeling she was going to need additional care. When I awoke Sunday morning, I sent her a text and learned she had gone to the hospital only a couple hours after we left her. The good news is that after a blood transfusion and additional treatments, she is feeling a little bit better and her husband is scheduled to return tomorrow. 

FaceBook Posting:

I want to express my gratitude to Mr. B (Bogdon) the driver from Infusio that came to a fellow patients' aid late last night; she was very ill and needed to go to the hospital. He provided the most compassionate service by personally taking her to the Emergency Room, which is not a simple process here in Germany. This patient is a US citizen, staying alone in Germany and does not speak German. I cannot imagine trying to navigate an emergency not knowing the language! Mr B, you ROCK!!

Today, because he has a loving heart, Mr. B picked my husband and I up at our apartment and accompanied us to the hospital to visit our friend; to let her know she is not alone! I truly hope Infusio sees the value of Mr. B's act of kindness and properly reimburses him for his time as well as recognizes him for his outstanding patient service at Infusio. Mr. B truly lived up to the meaning of his name "God's Gift".

As we arrived at the hospital, Mr. B began speaking to the bright eyed young lady in German, her response "do you speak English?". Oh my gosh, I was so so excited I actually raised my hand high into the air and exclaimed "I do!!" We then were provided directions, in English, to another building where there was a patient information desk. Mr. B nudged me and said "you do your English". I laughed and started rambling questions - pretty quickly it was clear this woman did not speak English so I tagged Mr. B back in. We laughed and started walking toward the elevators; talk about small - literally four people could comfortably fit in the elevator. When it stopped for another person, I raised my hand up signalling HELL NO while saying a firm German accent "No". I was thrilled to arrive at floor 8- I burst through the doors. We found my friends room and she looked better. She was sharing a room with a German woman, I think it was nice that she had some company finally. My friend recounted the nightmare of Michael who ripped the hoodie from her body and the repeatably and feverishly stabbed her over and over trying to get a vein - she was making the stabbing motion. My friend was laying there is tears, alone. Finally he found a vein and she was able to get a blood transfusion. My friend told us that later she saw Michael who walked passed her and waved to her in a creepy fashion. What a nightmare for her. Later I was texting with my her and I had to admit that the hospital freaked me out - I didn't tell her this (but she will know when she reads this) but the setting reminded me of an insane asylum, so blank, quiet, doors closed, and creepy. I told Curtis and Mr. B, never take me there, just take me to the airport! LOL 

As I enter this last week of treatment, I am hopeful that my health will continue to improve and that my life will be extended. Being away from my son, doggie, and creature comforts for over three weeks time as of today, has been one of the most difficult things I have done. I am going to be BEYOND excited to get back on American soil, surrounded by all my wonderful family and friends. This week will go fast, I am counting on it. I too am channeling good veins as I end this journey in Germany. 

You know, tonight I looked at Curtis and said, I am so lucky - it is because of all these people that believe in me and love me that I am able to be here getting this treatment, what a lucky girl I am. I am so grateful to each one of you that has joined me in this journey, endlessly believe in me, and love me so deeply. 

Quilt drawing is nearing; don't miss out!

For every ten dollars you donate, you will get an entry for a chance to win the quilt pictured here, called ‘Rebel’. We will draw the winning ticket on March 21st, the day after Christina and Curtis return from Germany. We hope to dig through many tickets to find that winning entry. Maybe it will be yours!
Thank you for your support, and good luck!
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.

Additional 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~