up and down and up and down

I had my scan this week and unfortunately the results weren’t as good as I had hoped. Basically no big changes, some of the lesions have decreased and new ones appeared, so that volume wise it is still the same. After suffering so much more, compared to the other two chemos I have had, I was hoping at least that the bad boys are getting a big kick now. But it is still early days my Oncologist said, I have only been on this chemo for 6 weeks. So we decided to carry on for another 4 weeks and I will go for scans again beginning of September.

My last two weeks have been quite up and down health wise. One day I feel fine, next day I am nausea and dizzy, or I have diarrohea, stomach cramps, skin irritation etc. I had to finish my last cycle of chemo a bit earlier because my handpalms and soles of my feet were getting really red and sore. I wanted to pull it through until the end of the cycle, and actually made it a lot worse. My Oncologist told me I should have reported much earlier. So now here I am still recovering from the side effects. Luckily I can walk again, I had a couple of days were I hardly made it to the toilet because of the pain. Appetite loss is another big factor. Can you actually believe it, me, Helen Harder, not feeling hungry?? I can’t, but it is true. You can not even tempt me with chocolate at the moment. Instead I do drink funny things like Lemonade, which I never been very keen on before. I really have to force myself to eat. But hey, as long as it doesn’t last very long and I am loosing a few kilos before my wedding, it is fine.

Depending on my blood results tomorrow I will start my 3rd cycle on Friday. We have lowered the dosage of my tablets a little, now it will be only 14 tablets instead of 18 which I take throughout the day. I will also have a “Write and publish your own book” workshop on Friday which I am looking forward to. Just hope my health won’t let me down and I have to cancel it, but since today I feel a lot better.

I must admit though, when I saw the results on Monday I was pretty down. It is always this: “hanging in there”, “stay focused”, “don’t give up” attitude which you need. And I have a lot it but sometimes you just wish you can just let go of it and have a break. My breaks are normally a day or two were I don’t feel well, am angry and disappointed, cry and shout and then I get back to “normal” and fighting action again. I know these days are as important for me as well as the fighting ones.

My parents are about to leave next week after nursing me the last 3 months and spoiling Alwyn and me with taking care of household, cooking, shopping, walking Ms. Tipsy etc. It will be difficult to adjust without them. They have been a tremendous help! Where would we be without our parents! Thanks Mum and Dad for the wonderful, unique parents you are!!

Another big thank you goes to my friend Silke Hansen. Silke works at my former employer GIZ in Pretoria and flew down on 21st July to Cape town together with her friend Rebekka to run a half marathon for me. She made it in 1hr and 55 min.! I am so proud of you Silke and Rebekka! At least I could wave to you out of the car and embrace you later at the finish line. Silke got a lot of sponsors and donated more than ā‚¬ 1100 for me. Thank you to all my former colleagues and Silke’s friends and family. Some don’t even know me. Again, I have no words… I am so grateful for all the people who think and support me.

Alrighty, I better finish now. I have an appointment for my wedding cake today, which is much more important to me than my wedding dress šŸ˜‰Ā  Can’t wait to indulge myself into the cake. Just hope my taste buds will be back to normal then!



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7 Responses to up and down and up and down

  1. Alwyn says:

    Jis lief this week at the dokter, waiting for the results was so hard this time. I wanted it to be much better . I dont like it to see you not feeling well. But i know that with the next test there will be a big improvement . You are an incrededible persone. I love you so much. Keep fighting , keep believing. Looking forward to call you my wife.

  2. sarah says:

    and i am guessing the cake will be chocolate! do you remember polishing off areyas naming day cake when she was 6 weeks old?! we ended up freezing some of it so we could come back for more at a later date!! Areya will be 7 in a month. Can hardly believe it. Today i asked her to open her mouth and i looked inside to see if i could see the little girl areya. She squealed in delight! My beautiful sister helen. How i love you and think of you daily. Alwyn, you are one amazing man to have met a match with helen…but you know that eh! I look forward to hearing more of wedding preparations..how i wish that i could be there on the day…but like all good events, i will probably see more of the bride through the forthcoming photos!
    Helen, my love…one day at a time. keep grounded and present. know that you are totally cared for and that all you have to do is kick ass…now, we know you are great at that! xxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. heleen says:

    I love you darling Helen… we all wish so much that we could make it better, make it go away, give you a break. You have been such an incredibly brave girl, someone we all feel so priviledged to have in our lives.

    Know that it is okay if sometimes you feel less brave, angry, tired. You have been faced with a tremendous challenge, but day by day, and bit by bit you are winning, even when it doesn’t feel like it, even when you sometimes have to take a few steps back.

    Sending you love and light and endless positivity…

    habe dich so sehr lieb

    deine leen

  4. betti* says:

    durchhalten liebste helen – schicke dir nen ganz dollen druecker und wuensche dir viel spass beim cake tasting! šŸ˜‰ denke an dich und schicke dir ein grosses bussi aus new york, bettina

  5. mum, dad and Britta says:

    When I read all the comments of all your wonderful friends over all these long months, I can only say a big thankyou to all of them in the name of your family for finding such fantastic words to help you keep up your spirits. Alwyn and you are an unbeatable team anyway, but it`s great to know that, when even the two of you are feeling a bit down, there`s this huge network of funny, quirky, caring people who will always be there for you both, no matter what. Can`t imagine how you deserved it actually …………….. “Schlingel`s Tochter”!!

  6. caroline tarry says:

    Hey there lovely cousin.Always thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts and all my love.Keep fighting lovely lady………you can do this.Love always caroline.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  7. We’re thinking of you every day! Keep fighting Helen! If there is anything we can do, please let me know. We’re just down the road. Perhaps I can make you some lekker apple crumble??

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