cutting nails on teath..

Tamoxefen is a medicine that is subscribed when you had breast cancer. its a hormone based medicine and you have to take it daily for about 5-10 years, depending on your health situation during that period. every three months there is a check up to see how you are, and tamoxefen is your partner for the next possible hopefully only 5 years……

………

never read the instruction leaflet, because you can not think of anything you can not get from taking this medicine.

there is at first basic fatigue… basicly. than we can for sure count on other reactions like anger, mood chances, no sleep.

weight loss, depression or heavy depression…burn out? yep!!! ticked all boxes! What???!!

i have to take it all into account and ajust my life….

but than.. i can not find on the leaflet anything that is happening to my teath. i‘ve got shark teath since. its not in the leaflet??

talking to other „ex“ tamoxefen patients, i know it seams to be common. teath get sharp as knives and you can easily cut yourself….. 

okay! I am a shark now…

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Burn Out…

today i walked my dog in the evening and passed by a garden full of loud teenagers celebrating ‚Abi‘ ( school finals)…

it made me smile again and i thought of my kids getting there in approx 4/6 years….I thought: ‚I want to be there than! for fuck sake! i want to be part of that’… and i finally started to cry, which honestly i cant do since so long…

it was the first happy future thought in so many Months. you just can not imagine what i had to go through. I thought I really had given up on everything….

One kick in the face after the other… cancer.. treatment.. fear… divorce… courtcases… fear.. alone… kids & no money… fear…

i am totally burned out. i can not even imagine how to arrange a day, although i am still doing it every day. each drive to the supermarket, or each washing in the machine is a mountain to climb…

seeing myself in the mirror is horrid. watching other people on the streets being happy family and healthy is scary….

i feel insecure, horrible and am scared.

i know. people who are all carreer focussed might think, what a silly woman to post this. but you know, its different now. i am not super woman anymore. and so what? 

maybe I actually dont want to be super woman anymore..

i have a burn out…

and soon… one day i will get out of this just as a woman and a mother of 2 wonderful kids and a dog… celebrating a school final…

because thats actually all i want right now… x

the year after

today I copied a post on FB about cancer  it finally made me cry.

you see, I can not cry anymore since years and the simple release of tears was feeling better than an orgasm.

the thing that made me cry is the fact that someones personality changes after or with cancer. I am dealing with that since the last radiation I had. during the whole last therapy I have build up a mental power to survive. so strong I can not even believe it now myself.

its gone. after the last radiation, ( which means the secure treatment cocoon you are leaving is gone), you are left on your own and it comes to your face like a boomerang. dispite psychological help weekly.

today and since at least 8 Months I am fighting the fear. But more important I am fighting, or discovering a new me and the fact is I am not sure yet weither I am fighting or finding.

because:

instead of being happy about little things you easily are sad.

instead of feeling secure you feel scared.

instead of the full power you had you are just burned out.

instead of being full of creative ideas you have none.

instead of wanting to reach goals…you really don’t care.

I never knew this would happen to me, where i know very well cancer happened to me.

a bit of therapy…

after a year of cancer treatment, one is adviced to take lots of therapy. physio, lymph drainage and also psycho therapy.

I am doing it all. it feels good and i have learned to take time for these things in life as they seem important to me now. just like other people do yoga.

the physio is good the lymph drainage is very good and the psycho therapy is even better.

i met my therapist in november last year. by now we are so good together and can have lots of laughs during sessions.

the thing is, when you are really into it to find out where you might have gone wrong, where you might have made mistakes, why cancer happened, etc., its so good to have someone who goes through it all with you and reflects things where you can say: ‚ wow‘ i havent seen it this way ever! ‚ and than your thoughts become new.

this is what happened to me and a very important experience happened aswell: i found out that i have been fighting all my life for recognition. people liking me. And if i didnt get it, i would fight harder instead of going the other way and leave it behind. i have always done that. i needed the recognition, to be a good girl. i only always wanted to be a good girl.

its part of my upbringing (and this would need another blog post to explain. )

i also have learned to fix things. you can always fix things. if its broken. mend it. there is no such things as something you can not fix.
now i am learning the other way through therapy. and its good. i can not fix everything. i can not fix my marriage. i have tried everything to get the recognition. i faled. it didnt work. 

so this time and for the first time in my life, i am not a good girl, and thats good.

the aftermath..

i have been warned, by people who have gone trough the whole process for a year or more… after all treatments…whats next?

to say it in my own famous words: ‚ and then?‘

exactly. i have been so strong and courageous throughout the whole year of treatment. i am proud of that, and try to keep reminding myself. thats new for me. new is to look back of what i have done instead of only running and looking forward and to do what i need to do. thats my therapy. thats good.

i am very good in forgetting stress times. when its done, its over and out. but i don’t realise the impact it has on my system. i never realised i have to take time to break it down physically. get rid of it. but now i am learning that and i can say i have learned to be closer to myself than ever before.

and there is the year behind me. a big heavy year. with very bad things and very good things too. and in my natural way of being, its done, over and out. and now forward.

until it hits me… 

because a doctors appointment is heading. the final meeting to see if everything is alright after chemo, OP, and radiation. and just by bad luck, a few days before that, whilst working, i am talking to a customer – in my car – on the phone, who’s gone through a similar process ( lung cancer ) and cancels her meeting with me that same afternoon because she had the bad news that her cancer has come back.

at that moment i am in my car talking to her. i had to stop my car to burst into tears. what is that!!?? wtf? where is the strong me all of a sudden…gone. all of a sudden fear has taken over my life. completely. and not just for a moment but for the rest of the week until my own meeting this morning with the doctor. days.

an hour before the final call into the docs room, my heartbeat is going overdrive.. what if?

and than finally. all seems okay. so far. untill now. thats how i feel. now its okay.

and when i am about to leave the doctors room, he says:  ‚Renate…. when I met you a year ago, you looked tired. When i see you now you shine! you look good! you’ve changed! and I bet your friends won’t recognise you anymore……‘

and that made me relax and smile… and it will have to bring me to the next meeting with the doctor in 6 Months time. x

I’m a survivor, I’m not gonna give up…

My mother gave me a copy of an article from the Dutch Newspaper NRC about a woman who had breast cancer. She is a filmmaker, Meral Uslu, and she documented her year of therapy in her own movie, which was presented at the IDFA ( International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam ) last Month. I can’t wait to see it, because in the interview I liked her optimism and humor just the way I’ve gone through this year myself. She writes that she’s done all chemos on her own. Just like me. I recognise everything she writes. Why taking a friend to something you have to go through yourself!?

Dr. Rezai, the famous Doctor ‚Breast‘, who treated me, and  who is running the European Breast Centre Düsseldorf, just on my doorstep, says that he sees a pattern in the ‚type‘ of women who come to him with breast cancer. according to him these women are mostly :“ strong selfmade women“. thats interesting, because it would confirm the idea that cancer starts inside your system and not necessarily because of outside influences.

I have started psychotherapy in September to help me deal with things in my mind. After the first 4 sessions, my therapist, who is great by the way, told me: ‚ I don’t know how to help you?!, you are so strong, what you have gone through in the last years and what you made of it is amazing! you are an example for others, how could I help you, or what can I do for you?….My answer was:“ exactly that, please gide me in the process of learning not to be perfect all the time. to give in, to give up, to be weak sometimes and to learn to stop myself. to feel when things are too much, enough and finally to learn to cry.“

So we decided I see her twice a Month, just to discuss that. What have I done for myself, what about my feelings and what do I need. Its hilarious, because until now I still don’t know how to do it. And because my therapist is a great woman, we laugh a lot. She told me to write down all the things I managed this year, because my problem is that I am rather impatient that I think I have to be able to climb mountaints by now, and although the last chemo was only on the 19th of August, and after that, one of the most heavy operations possible, as I believe its all done and over, so by now I expect be to be back to ’normal‘. She told me;“ Renate, normally people who are dealing with cancer and are working independently are going bankrupt in a year like this… you managed to wrap everything up and at the same time start a whole new carreer!!!“ She says, write it down, please, look at it on a written piece of paper and read it backwards…

so here we go…

I had 4 operations, 16 chemo’s, uncountable doctors visits showing my breasts, about 30 blood tests, hair loss, exhaustion, total energy loss, no taste and a bad skin.

I had plenty of MRT’s, CT’s and Mamographics. I had writing on my breast with Edding, chips inside and metal pins shot into it.

I had doctors talking about me without understanding a word. I have lymph drainage and physiotherapy… yes physio…so you think so what? well… after a breast operation like i had, there is no such thing as ‚the physio….’….welcome to hell.

and nex to all of that:

I closed Suburbia store, wrapped it up, ended all well, financially, commercially and personally.

I kept working. As an agent and travelled with 13 bags of heavy collection from Hamburg to Munich to Berlin by car, on my own…. driving, dragging, building, selling….

I closed doors workwise, and at this moment I am opening new doors for my future and have not been so successful before, as I am now. I dare say…

I have taken care of my kids. They have suffered, but if I look a them I am so proud of them. How they enjoy life, how they live. I have walked the dog, every day, although sometimes i couldnt after a chemo, i did it. I have done the household, the shopping, and even organised little holidaytrips for the kids, inbetween chemos… for them, just so everything felt as normal as possible.

there’s just one thing that suffered… and thats my car… I have been driving.. with chemos, like a zombie. its a miracle it and also I survived… my car shows it. there are marks and scratches everywhere. in a way i don’t want it to be fixed. its a memory of me. of what I am, what I have gone through and about what I have to learn from and about myself. x

friends forever

This year of therapy has been so good to me. That sounds weird doesn’t it? 

Someone who is diagnosed with cancer, and goes through a nasty year of chemos, operations and total lack of energy whilst working…. 

Yes, its been a year, but the whole thing has a positive side that weighs up to everything negative.

I have realised who my friends are. I always knew who my friends were and I can not say that any of my friends I thought I had, have let me down this year. 

they were all there. each single one of them and all in their own way.

I am happy about it. I could never say I expected more of some friend or other. I can see what friendship means now and there are so many ways of being a friend.

the good thing about all of this is also, i found myself back. Through struggeling, through therapy, and because of you all, my friends who were there for me and helped me through this strange year.

I also made some unexpected new friends. so naturally. just like that! it grew out of nowhere.

it gives me energy and strength and makes me proud of what I have achieved.

i feel richer than rich. i feel good. i feel love from those people around me. 

and you know what!? soon, when I have recovered from all of this, I am going to be able to give more back…to all of you, whenever you need me…

i love you xxx