A merry white or warm christmas and a happy, healthy new year

Yes, today the day has come…. we are leaving for our honeymoon and a hopefully white christmas. I am soooooooooooo excited. I haven’t been home for 2 years and am really looking forward to a cold, white christmas and seeing all of my family and friends.

Since I started the “red bull” chemo it has been quite up & down but all in all the side effects are not as bad as expected. I did loose further weight, but more because I don’t have any appetite. The last few weeks were pretty hot too, 33 degrees, and then you feel even less hungry. I also struggle to take deep breaths and have pain in my shoulders now and then. It is weird what chemo does to your body. But I am so thankful that most of the time I feel good. My energy levels are still quite low and I get exhausted quite quickly and sleep a lot. It sometimes hits me and makes me very frustrated, realizing not having the energy levels I used to. Not easy, but I just got to learn to take it easy.

Anyhow, but I got the GOand OK from the doctors so now we are of, with loads of back up medicine in our bags. Can’t wait for the Glühwein smell, snow, Brezel, turkey, Germknödel etc. that we’ll be able to have the next 3 weeks and pick up a few kg’s again.

I haven’t been able to send out our Thank you cards for our weddings and no christmas cards either.  I apologize for that, but will make sure I make up for it in the new year!

My breast buddy Nikki released her 2nd Cancer magazine, and I made it to the front cover and our love story. Have a look at

http://www.livewelllivecancer.co.za

On the left you can click onto our story.

Alrighty, I better be of and be packing last things.

Thank you all for your continuous support! Where would I be without you all!

Much love & light during the festive season,

Helen

 

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Chemo no. 5 coming up

One week after our wedding I had to go for chemo again and shortly after that for my next scans. Unfortunately it showed that Chemo no. 4 did not have an impact on my cancer, in fact it is growing and spreading further and I now have also got Metastases in my lungs.

What can I say? We all sat in the doctor’s room and took it with composure, although wanting to explode. Why are these terrible bad boys not getting the message to leave my body immediately? What do I have to do to finally get rid of them? How do they even dare to keep on growing and spreading? Who do they think they are, invading my body, making me sick and mine, my family and friends souls fullfil with sorrow?

After having the most incredible past 6 weeks, with most of my family and friends around sharing Alwyn and my special day, feeling like I am on top of the world, being married to the most wonderful man on earth, I thought we showed them a lot of teeth flashing and positive attitude to scare them away.

But obviously this is not enough. So now it is finally time for the red devil chemotherapy to come. My oncologist also said she hopes this is the magical bullet. We have to take the next step and keep on fighting, keep on believing. I know God is a healer and I plead to him to finally heal me for good. As you might remember I said in my blog beginning of the year: 2012 is going to rock, and so far we have, with a few ups and downs in between. But I would like to finish it with a rocket, in fact with a shooting star. So please help and pray for me that this is going to happen.

The red devil is suppose to be very hard on your body. But as usual: everybody reacts differently. Yet again, I keep on praying I handle this well and won’t get too sick. I may not loose more weight, I have already lost 20kg since May. But it is so difficult to eat when you feel nausea. Luckily once it is all out I can eat again, and actually do feel hungry too.The possibility for me to loose hair for the 3rd time is also quite high. And again side effects like appetite loss and sense disorders can occur.

I will be able to handle it all, if I know I can board the plane on December 14th back home. I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo longing to go back home. My oncologist said she will prepare me well for it so I can enjoy my three weeks in Germany, England and Austria. It is Alwyn’s and mine honeymoon and the last week we are going to go sking with our friends to thoroughly enjoy the winter and the snow.

With the wonderful wedding weekend we have had, I can tell you I am still very blessed and happy. It has been an unforgetable weekend as the photos and video show. I hope you have all been able to see it, if not take a look at my last two blogs for the links. Amazing what endorphines can do with your body, we danced till 3 am in the morning, which I haven’t done in ages.

I will update you all as soon as I can, until then………… live the life you love, love the life you live!

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our wedding trailer

our wedding trailer

just a short version of what happened on October 27th 2012

Enjoy!

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MARRIED…

…. is the best thing ever!

Take a look at this and more will follow soon!

http://www.melissavanzyl.co.za/2012/10/alwyn-helen/

Thank you so much for all your thoughts, wishes, presents & prayers.

It was an unforgetable, magical day!

Helen & Alwyn Badenhorst

PS: More photos still to come!

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slowly improving

and feeling better, FINALLY and ABOUT TIME! My ups and downs are still continuing but luckily they are not as bad anymore as they were. I have started Chemo no. 4 (Cisplatin and Gemcitabine, for those who want to know) and am back on the drip. As usual my cycles are 4 weeks, getting chemo on day 1 and day 8. Day 1 takes quite long, almost 5 hours until the drip is finished. This one knocks you out quite a bit, again, feeling nausea and appetite loss, tiredness etc. but it is only for a few days and then it gets better. I had day 8 a couple of days ago (then I only get the Gemcitabine) and that is a quick one, only an hour and is not that tough on your body. I try to drink my veggie smoothies a lot to keep on boosting my immunesystem and love it, take a look:

beetroot licking lips  

My liver is still a bit of a worry. It gives me quite a bit of pain the last 10 days, because it is swollen. I get side stitches and sometimes I have difficulties to breath and then it is sore  when I am lying in bed and to find a comfortable sleeping pose. I have to take some extra cortisone now, to get the swelling down and also some pain killers.

When I look back at my last 1,5 years since I’ve been fighting, i can not believe myself what I have been through, what a rollercoaster ride. All these tabletts I have been taken, all the side effects I have had, all these emotions….. is this really all happening to me?

Samira and myself are working on my book, it will still take a while till it is done, but it is quite amazing to recap all these moments I have been through. Unfortunately I could not go to the book workshop, I was to sick at that stage.

I always have to pull myself together not to get too active when I am feeling better. Then I just want to get outside, embrace the world and do all the things I used to. Very quickly my body shows me that it hasn’t got that strength yet, but I hope I’ll gain it back little by little. I know I have to learn that, little by little and patience, Helen, …. patience….!

On October 27th our BIG day is here and most of our family and friends too, to share our special weekend! It is getting very exciting, yet again, I can not believe it- it is going to be my wedding! October is going to be such an exciting month, with everyone arriving and being Breast Cancer month too, a lot of events are happening.

Sending you all much love and light,

Helen

Isn’t she gorgeous our Ms. Tipsy!

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and here comes Chemo no. 4

…. 4 weeks later and unfortunately still no further improvement. The treatment doesn’t work, the lesions in my liver have increased. The biggest one in my left lobe being almost 7cm now. I really have some terrible weeks behind me, I kept on gettting all the mentioned side effects, felt so weak and useless. I must say it was bordering a depression. I am lying in bed, but I do not want to sleep, eat, read, watch TV, get up and go somewhere, plan the wedding… nothing. I just did not know what I want. The weather has been bad too, rainy and windy so it all complemented my mood of course. I actually only realize now, how bad I was doing. My Mum kept on staying since I was not able to cope by myself and did ongoing nursing. She kept on feeding me, because my appetite loss was not getting better. Alwyn and her did their best also to keep my mood up, but it wasn’t that easy for them. And so the days pass by and one just hopes and prays for healing. Getting another bad report from the doctors yesterday was very grueling too. One battles and battles and you think you are suffering so much it must work this time! But no the cancer is still resistant. It is very demoralising, but I know this is the path the Lord has chosen for me. And he is going to walk side by side with me to get me through this, so does my family and friends. And that is so uplifting. If it weren’t for all the lovely letters, phone calls, sms, Emails, flowers and pressies that I am getting, I couldn’t stay that strong. Every word is always so encouraging and I realize it is so worthwhile to keep on fighting.

I’ve met a few ladies and some of them had up to 9 different chemos before they got into remission. Everybody reacts differently to the treatments, that’s why the doctors need to adjust it. But luckily my brain is fine, no reoccurence there, my breast is also clear and just a bit in the lymphnodes left. All other organs are clean too, wohoo!

Last week I started changing my diet again, in eating more fruit and raw veg, nuts etc. I met a very interesting lady who gave me a lot of insightful advice how to treat your body while on chemo. Ever since then my body is gaining strength again, and I feel so much better. I have got motivation again and am looking forward to the days ahead. And this is simply by leaving processed food, dairy and animal fats out of my diet. I am trying to keep my body as alkaline (basisch) as possible, and I can feel i can handle the medication much better. My Wellness-Genetest also showed that I can not handle Proteins and Fats that well, I have a hang to obesity, so I need to become more aware of my weight now in order to keep healthy and fit. It also showed a lack of folic acid (Folsäure) and Vitamin B6 and B12. Best is of course to get this into my body via food and not supplements.

So although the results weren’t that good, I am still positive I will win this battle, no matter how long it will take and what I have to go through.
My oncologist is busy working out what kind of chemo I am going to get next. It is uncertain yet, but they have several treatments in mind. I will start probably next week and will have to go to hospital once every 3 weeks to get my infusion.

I am also looking forward to Alwyn and my big day. In less than 8 weeks I am going to be his Mrs. ! I am so much looking forward to the weekend of the 27th October it is going to be so amazing. And I am so glad I feel better now and can get things prepared for it. Believe me the cancer is not going to ruin our wedding! We are so much stronger.

Next time I will post a few photos again. I haven’t changed a lot though, still no hair… so I stay bold and beautiful!

Many hugs,

Helen

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Our story!

Please click on the link below! Helen and Alwyn

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