Berg Reichenstein and Mannheim

Woke up to a misty, foggy morning.  This is what it looked like from my castle room.  The Rhine River was “smoking”.

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img_4193Bobo and I went to the lovely dining where a beautiful table was set just for the two of us.

 

 

I think my treatments are working as Bobo told me I was sweating profusedly last night and appeared to have a fever.  That has happened to me each time I’ve come to Germany and means my immune system is working.

img_4209Tomorrow I will get retested to see if the treatment I had this week has helped.  If not, they send you home.  I get my results on Tuesday.  I’m not worried.  They tested  me in the beginning to see if I  was strong enough to do the treatment and if it would help.  I was.

After breakfast we explored the rest of the castle.  The man who made the castle had a business in ironworks.  Clearly it was a success as he could afford a castle.  He made iron stoves, fountains, and knight apparel.  Prosperous trade indeed.

The only thing that troubled me is that he had an unbelievable number of deer trophy heads all over the castle.  It was a bit unsettling to see so many Of Bambi’s friends!   There were over 1,500 of them in various sizes.  I think the hunter was very proud of himself.  They must have had venison every night.

The grounds were beautiful and it was fun taking pictures of the place.

We later headed towards Mannheim to see another Christmas market, but got lost (GPS sucks) and ended up in Bad Durkheim instead.  Saw an interesting tradition where you barbecue some dough and eat it!

We decided to get back in the car and find Mannheim shortly thereafter.

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Our GPS kept malfunctioning.  Piece of shit. Told us to keep driving straight… literally into the Bahnhofstrasse (train station).  That was fun.

We kept going in circles around the Christmas Market and the GPS took us to the opposite side of the city where there was no highway to get on to go back home.  So we turned on my phone and used up all the gigabytes I had just to get home. 😕

Adventures abroad.  What can I say?

 

Mainz and Berg Reichenstein

 

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Today is my short treatment day!  Hurray!  Only had my four shots in the butt and brain and eyes photon machine for 16 minutes.

Then we headed for Mainz’s Christmas Market and the chance to knock something else from my bucket list…overnight stay in a castle.  The place Berg Reichenstein near the Rhine River.

First Mainz.  I love these beautiful old towns.  The architecture is so  spectacular.  The buildings, the homes, and the churches are breath taking.

 

I love over love love the Castle we are staying at called Berg Reichenstein.  It was $5 more than one night stay at the Holiday Inn!

Paul was wearing his Sunday best…his 20 year old Donald Duck sweat shirt and pants.  Claims I should have notified him that we were going out for a dressed up dinner.  I told him we were going to go to stay at a castle.  I figured that good enough?  Apparently not.

Dinner was lovely.  Not the complimentary carrot starter soup which tasted like game broth, but the rest was quite good.  Especially the dessert!  And chocolates too!

 

Will get some better pics tomorrow morning of the castle and the grounds!

 

 

God Help Me

Friday, November 4, 2016

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Today I am out of sorts.  This generally happens to me when I have to go see my oncologist and today was no different.

Bobo came to me.  Together we try to figure out the insanity that transpires during my appointments.  My 9:45 appointment began at 11:15.

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He, my oncologist, sent me his newest guppy to figure out what I was doing.  She was a real b#*@! and I didn’t like her.  I actually argued with her and I’m proud of myself for sticking up for myself. She was telling me I’m fine and my oncologist wouldn’t have to see me for 6 months.

“Hang on,” I said.   “I have a report saying I have cancer in my neck which should be radiated in a clinical trial and some new spots in my pelvis from L2-S3.   How is it I am fine?”  I think they are trying to get rid of me.

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She also said that they wouldn’t be doing my monthly injections at the hospital any more.  Go to CCAC.  “Well that’s nice,” I responded.  “Find me someone who knows how to inject the needle in Scarborough and I will go.  And good luck with that….I don’t enjoy being tortured.”  Asked her who I go to to complain about this.  I think she was shocked I said this.  Too bad.  I tired of explaining my life to new people every time to go there.

I told her I wanted to see my oncologist because I wanted a second opinion of an MRI from another hospital.    She told me he was busy.  I insisted.  She left us for a bit.

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So in he waltzed, late, with a parade of young hopeful oncologists (3 from Brazil, 1 from some other country).  “Oh this is going to be fun”, I thought.  “I have an audience, students…my specialty.”   I told him the reason why I wanted another MRI at a different hospital was that I wasn’t convinced about what I was told about my neck.  After all, they messed up before on a tumour on C5 and then told me it wasn’t what they thought it was during the pre-op. radiation treatment.  I went to a chiropractor and had my neck painfully adjusted and maybe it’s just inflammation.  He downplayed the previous C5 neck error.  I must say I had the students hooked though.  They laughed when I told them I wasn’t going to be zapped for nothing.

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My oncologist told me that the hospital MRI machines were different and what specific part my radiation dr was looking at may be different then theirs and what was the point in doing it again?   He said if I wasn’t symptomatic (feeling pain), so it didn’t matter if I decided not to do anything right now.  He then told me that my cancer was slow growing and even if I did nothing (which apparently the treatment in Germany counts as nothing to him), it would be slow.  He is in complete denial that my “alternative” treatment is slowing the progression of the disease.  Grrrr.

I find his explanation of my condition fascinating as I am young, pre-menopausal (spreads faster than in older patients), and was diagnosed with a INVASIVE DCIS breast cancer.  Invasive.  Hmmm.  What does this word mean?  The Oxford Dictionary describes it as Tending to spread VERY QUICKLY and undesirably or harmfully.  For example:  ‘patients suffering from invasive cancer’.

Enough of the bullshit.  Bobo said my onc is having difficulty accepting the truth that the treatment I’m doing in Germany works.

So essentially the appointment concluded with…. no MRI or monthly shots at PMH.   And he doesn’t want to see me for quite a long time.  He is going to Mexico for a few weeks (and not to check out cancer treatments in Tijuana because he doesn’t believe in that “stuff”) and I’m not scheduled to see him until Feb.  But when I got home my appointment was emailed to me and now I’m not scheduled to see him until March.  That’s 5 months away. That’s a long time.  

On a positive note…no appointment anxiety.  That could be a good thing.  Right?

So how do I feel about this?  I feel like trash.  Taken out to the curbside.  No one is monitoring my monthly blood work.  Some gumba in Scarborough that doesn’t know how to stab me in the stomach properly to give me my 16 guage needle will be administering it for 5 months.  I have no idea what is really going on in my body (neck, lungs and lower back) and if I should be alarmed.  One guy says I’m fine.  The other one wants to zap me.  I think I’m going to get Bobo trained to give me the shot in the stomach if this CCAC thing doesn’t work out.  Help!

At this point, I just want to run to Germany.  

I booked one night in a castle on one of the week-ends I’m there!  

The way I see it.  You Gotta have Fun while you still have a neck and can walk.

God help me.  I’m really feeling tired of dealing with this crappy disease.

Neuschwanstein Castle Week-End

Tuesday, April 26

imageWhy is it always raining here? We had good weather last week, but this week doesn’t look so hot.

Currently having ozone IV, detox IV and, of course, I had my daily lampadina earlier this morning. They cranked up the heat and now I’m getting a tan! I knew I should have gone to Cuba or Florida in the winter. I need those feel good sunshine rays.

imageOn the week end Mary and I decided to go to Linderhof Castle (where Ludwig lived until his castle was built). But we didn’t make it there. There was a sign on the road. I thought it meant it was closed, but Mary said, who cares, let’s go around it. She was driving and it didn’t matter to me.

imageThe GPS said we were 24 kms away. So we threw caution in the wind and went for it. The scenery was really beautiful and Mary was loving it. We saw the Bavarian alps behind a gorgeous emerald lake. I felt like I was in British Columbia again. At 21 km, we came to an abrupt halt. We could drive no longer. There was a baracade. Nuts. Back we went, another 21 kms.

Arrived at a gas station. The young girl told us the only way to Linderhof was to go around the entire lake which would take about an hour. It was already 3:30 and we figured we probably wouldn’t get there before it closed. What a disappointment.

imageWe rerouted the GPS to Villa Toscana in Fussen where we ate at a very cool medieval type restaurant equipped with honey wine in ale horns. Delicious! I know the guy in the lampadina machine said not to have any alcohol, but I had to do it. He also said not to bath and put creams on, but I kind of had a shower with gel and shampoo/conditioner ’cause I wasn’t too clear on that.

imageThe next day we went directly to Neuschwanstein hoping to beat the crowds there. Imagine our surprise when we looked out the next morning to see snow! Wasn’t expecting that.

imageWalt Disney modelled his castle in Disneyland after visiting Neuschwanstein. I think Ludwig was only 17 years old when he became King. He was a bit of a recluse and didn’t like servants hovering over him, so he had a table built on some sort of a pulley system where it would disappear down a floor to the kitchen, food would be placed on it by the servants, and up it went back to the dining hall for him to eat.

 

imageLudwig was betrothed to a princess from Austria but he called it off after 9 months. That didn’t sit well with the people who were expecting an heir. They were also not happy that all their King was interested in was building elaborate fairytale castles rather than govern public affairs. It didn’t help that he was gay. So the people protested and tried to have him committed. He had a brother named Otto who was a whack job and was deemed mentally ill. That certainly didn’t help. Inbreeding? Ludwig and his psychiatrist were discovered dead in a nearby lake. Both drowned under mysterious circumstances.

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imageOnly 10 rooms out of 104 were finished and opened to the public which is really too bad.  It would have been very interesting to see what Ludwig had visioned for the rest of his castle.  The views from the upper floors were spectacular.  Unfortunately, you couldn’t take photos inside the castle.

 

 

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imageMary decided the best way down was via horse and carriage. I wholeheartedly agreed, so off we went!

 

Those horses sure could have used some diapers!  It was everywhere!

A woman recommended we eat at a nearby restaurant after she heard us talking about where we should go to eat.  She said a nearby restaurant made a goulash soup that was the best she ever had. I ordered it and I say it was disgusting. And our waitress was slow and rude (no tip for her).  Mary had the sausages with mash potatoes which I’m not allowed to eat (pork= too many free radicals).  Why is it that when I’m with someone their food is always better than mine? She ordered wine.  I was jealous until I saw there was Gluhwein on the menu and then my eyes just  lite up with joy.  Too bad that the man in the lampadina machine said I wasn’t suppose to have wine!  Sometimes, you just have to live on the edge!  Christmas fruity hot wine! Yum! I was so excited. That was the best part of my meal!

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We then meandered off to Hohenschwagau Castle which was Ludwig’s Parents summer home. It was a beaut. Can’t take pics inside there either.  Just outside.

It was really cold over there and we went shopping briefly so I could buy some warmer clothes.

Mary and I flew home at 200 km/hr and it wasn’t me driving either!

Here are some great hats I tried on earlier in the day.

Una vaca espanole (for Biagia), a beer hat and a Viking one too!

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Day 5 Heidelberg

Day 5 Heidelberg

imageToday was my short day. Lampadina, 4 injections and a colon hydrotherapy and then I was FREE! Hooray! Off we went to one of my favourite places in Germany…Heidelberg.

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It’s just so breathtakingly beautiful. The ruins of a old castle which was bombed by France.

 

 

imageWe took the funicular to the very top. It was a bit overcast, so the pictures aren’t that sharp. Then we went below to the castle ruins.

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I got some really cool spooky pictures too!

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I think I want to take a photography course now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On our way to Stuttgart, we encountered so much traffic (construction), we ended up just going back home to Baden-Baden where I made some pasta with (sp?) aili oglio (olive oil from Firenze, sundries tomatoes, hot pepper from Italy, and garlic).

Driving to some castles near Munich tomorrow.

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Day 4 Karlsrhue

Day 4 Thursday

This morning I was somewhat concerned to see that I had a little bit of a rash on both my arms. I thought I may have been reacting to an IV allergy, but Mariann told me it was just my body detoxing.

So under the lampadina (Italian word for lamp) I went again. This time I caught the words, “I advise you NOT to use creams while using this ultraviolet treatment”. Then I’m thinking, “Or you may turn green by the end of the day”. That Italian guy in the machine is making me crazy.

Today I had ozone therapy, a detox IV, and amygdalin. Christina poked me four times to get the IV started. No luck. So they had to call Dr Sommer to dig in there and get one of my deep veins. It was rough. Mariann and Christina don’t like to do it. I don’t blame them because I wouldn’t want to do it either.

So you get the guys to do the dirty work! Jam it right it there! No problem. Was done by twelve, so Mary and I decided to go to Karlsrhue to see the palace and gardens. Here’s some pics.

We were about to go to Stuttgart too, but there was a lot of traffic and the GPS kept bringing us to a “closed for maintenance road.”   Asked two young guys for help after we circled the place.  We were getting no where in a hurry. Luckily they told us an alternate route to get to the highway. It was so backed up with traffic, we figured we would be better off just going home. And that is just what we did.

We decided to eat tapas at a Spanish restaurant in Baden Baden. We ate about 9 different appetizers/tapas before we thought to take a picture of our decadent meal.  Peppers in pastery, mushrooms, pollo my croquettes (like a mortzarella cheese stick), olives,  churrasos, calamari, chorizo, etc.  Appetizer heaven. Sorry I didn’t take a pic of it.  All I can say is that it was really quite good. May have to go there again for some seafood paella.

 

Rent-A-Nightmare: What Happens When Your GPS Isn’t Working

Monday October 19

I’m having a shitty day.
I rented a car so I could go to the Hallwang Clinic to learn more about their immunotherapy, GcMAF, and dendritic cell vaccines. I was suppose to go on Sunday when I arrived, but my plane was delayed several hours in Toronto, and I didn’t make it to my appointment.
This clinic is in the middle of no where and even if I go by train, I will still have to take a taxi. So I figured I have the car from the week- end, I will extend it one day and go Monday.

I left at 10:30. My appt was at 2:00. Entered the destination on the GPS.  Go.  Not.
Well it guided me to a mountain with barely any room for one car on the road, never mind two. I climbed for several kms until I reached a fork in the road. And the bloody GPS wasn’t saying which way to go. That’s when I decided to go back. Took me a while to get to a gas station where a kind woman tried to help me reconfigure the GPS, which took me back to the same spot. By some miracle, an old man happened to be biking by this desolate area at the fork on the road.  I asked him for help. He told me I could not go to Freudenstadt because the road was closed. Good thing I didn’t go.

Ask me how much fun it is to make a 3 point turn off the side of a cliff (twice). Nerves are shot. Going to be late. Tried to find another way of getting there and then plum gave up in sheer exhaustion. Some things are not meant to be.

Took the car back to the hotel where I begged for assistance. Asked if I could return the car 1 day early because it was no good to me without a GPS that was not getting me to where I need to go. The receptionist tried to give me a map, but seriously, how am I going to read a map and drive at the same time in a strange country? And what do I do when I get to the roundabouts?  Argh!

Asked the hotel receptionist when the next train to Dornstetten was. Three minutes ago. Isn’t that a coincidence. My last train to the same place left 3 minutes ago when I was at Frankfurt Airport too.

Turned in the car (after I smacked the door into a pole at the hotel). Oh well, I’m insured.

Rescheduled my appt for Wednesday.  Going by train.  Didn’t get there via plane or automobile.  Let’s see what happens tomorrow!

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Ludwigsberg Castle and the Pumpkinfest!

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Sunday, October 18 (p.m.)

Wasn’t  allowed to take pics inside, but Ludwigs Residential Palace was quite ornate and well kept.

Went for a 90 min tour.  Baroque style on the old part of the first building and later addition in a Neo- classical style.  Ludwig became King because of Napolean (in exchange for 16,000 soldiers to fight the Ottomans?)… Only 400 came back alive.

Another tidbit of info…during time of famine, the king gave everyone free beer and sausages (Octoberfest) so they wouldn’t rebel and kick him out of power.  He had a sickly son who died at 25.  No heir to the throne except a cousin and by then the people didn’t want a King and choose to become a republic.

Didn’t have enough time to see Ludwigs Favourite Castle unfortunately.

Explored the gardens and pumpkin festival in the time I had, which I enjoyed.

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