Koln (Cologne, Germany)

 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

One of my former church choir directors, Steven Handrigan, told us about this fabulous Cathdral in Cologne, Germany after he took his students from the St. Mikes Choir School to sing there.  You could tell it was a church that really impressed him by the gleam in his eyes every time he talked about it.  So I decided it would have to be on my bucket list.  So off I went with Maria and Falitza.

Here is some of what we saw.

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It was enormously tall and black.  A stark contrast from the Duomo in Milan that was also very intricate, but pristine white.

The stain glass windows inside were most colourful and bold depicting pictures of Mary, Christ and the apostles.  They were quite beautiful.

Street painters.

And a homeless duck… with a pint of German beer of course!

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Koblenz

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Decided to visit a place called Koblenz before we head off to Cologne or koln.

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It was really something.  We took a cable car to the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress and saw the most magnificent view of the Rhine River overlooking the German Corner (Deitsches Eck).  That is where two rivers join.  It was neat watching huge boats get swept away at the corner trying to get up the next river.

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The fortress was quite grand too but it required a lot of walking which I am not in the best of health to do right now.  It took a lot out of me and I had to take a painkiller by the time we got to a restaurant where we could rest and eat.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are really no gluten free options at any restaurants in Germany. I’m stuck pretty much just eating salad and the odd soup if I can find one with no milk, cheese, tomatoes or wheat.  However the view we had from the outside, then the inside (it was cold and we moved) was awesome.

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Maria had her pint of German beer (she claims she will have one everyday until her treatment starts and then she will be good).

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The fortress was immense.  It guarded the waterways and railway lines.  Here are some pics.

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Really could have used my heating pad after that long walk but I kind of blew it up in Weisbaden the night before.  I plugged it in and put it in my pillow to warm it up as I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth.  When I got back the thing was melting on my pillow.   Didn’t know the voltage was so high in Europe that even with a converter, it would overheat the heating pad.  The metal coils were protruding through the plastic cover. I was lucky I didn’t plug it in and take a bath because it would surely have caused a fire by the time I got back.  I didn’t know what to do with the smelly burning plastic thing.  I ended up shoving it on the shower floor so it would cool and disposed it in the morning.

Good thing I didn’t burn the hotel down.

 

 

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!

 

 

Tubingen (Chocolate Market)

Friday, Dec 2

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It’s Friday. Convinced Bobo that he needed to have a colon hydrotherapy session today given that he only goes to the bathroom once every 4 days and plugs up the toilet. I told Pamela, the lovely therapist from London to watch out, he may break the machine!

 

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Yesterday I had my colon washed out. My brain and eyes received an 8 minute photon treatment which I am getting every day. I think my eyesight is getting clearer. Four injections in the butt yesterday, one today plus two in the neck. Now that really hurts but if it prevents me from having neck radiation treatment at home, I will do it.

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Last night Bobo and I went to a Spanish tapas place called Monte Christo which I heard rave reviews about from two of the locals. We had a assortment of cold and hot food platter. Too much food! Wasn’t too crazy with the meat dishes (lamb and ox tail…blah!). Dessert was nice…almond cake and Vanilla Brûlée.

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We are going to attempt to go to Tublingen soon because they have a four day special chocolate market with vendors from all over the world. Thought Bobo, my chocolate affectionato would enjoy it.

Nuts!  The damn rental GPS took us for a ride….a very long one.  Through mountain back streets and a closed road.  What should have taken us 1 1/5 hours ended taking us over 3 hours.  We saw fog, rain, cows and sheep!

Finally got to Tubingen!  What a treat!

Stunning chocolate art!

This one looks like a chocolate turd!  Line up galore…price for one?  $8!

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And samples, samples everywhere!  Gotta go to bed now cause I have to get to the clinic by 8:30 a.m.  Taking Bobo somewhere special tomorrow for his birthday which was on the 28th.

Esslingen Au Neckar

img_4017Treatment today included 4 shots in the neck (oxygenated, boy did that hurt), one in the ass, amygdalin (B17 I.V.). In my case, it is 96% effective in killing cancer cells. I like the odds. My brain and eyes had an 8 minute bio-photon treatment to activate the good cells, if there are any left.

 

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Check out his giant dog!  Looks like Lulu, my friends dog!

I’m currently a bit anemic so rather than giving me vitamin C to fatten up any rogue cells, I was given iron instead. Then, when the cancer cells are full of iron/or Vit C the amygdalin finishes them off. Also had my ozone I.V. today where they take out my blood, put it in a machine with ozone and it comes back to me. My blood was actually a good red colour. Better then other times I was here. I feel remarkably better after my first colon hydrotherapy yesterday. My breathing is so much better too. The mountain air is cool, crisp, and fresh. Hopefully my chronic barking cough will disappear while I’m here.

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We’ve decided to go to Esslingen au Neckar because they have a medieval market and I think I’m going to love it because the whole town are dressed in medieval outfits!  And they have entertainers in the streets too!

It was really amazing!

Check it out….

 

Medieval games included toss the metal ball on the egg to try to smash it, catapult  the castle, unicorn ring toss and my favourite, archery.  Some medieval lady on stilts was entertainment no the crowd too!.

 

 

Have you ever scene a Ferris wheel manned by people’s muscles?

How about this incredibly old merry go round?

No Christmas market comes complete without a Nativity Scene with a live donkey and lambs!

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Cheers from Esslingen Au Neckar!

 

 

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.

Premonition

6aa682676568f4872e102e97c14d17a6So I had a very weird premonition a couple of times when I was getting into my car this week.  I thought I was going to get hit from behind by a car.  And so what happened on Wednesday?

My car got rear ended.

Not sure how or why I get this feeling, but my sixth sense is pretty good.  For example, I know when I’m going to win something (T.V., Bingo, sunglasses, slot machines).  And once I even knew that my house was going to blow up soon after I bought it (I had visions when I backed up my car that my house was going to explode). That happened after my crazy father decided to bang on my furnace “to see if the pipe was metal?”.  Its a long story and involved 3 foot flames emancipating from my furnace.

Anyhow I called a real furnace man to inspect it soon after getting repeated premonitions that my house was going to explode and you know what he said to me as he was shaking his head?  You are one lucky lady.  The pipe was dislodged and gas was leaking.  “What does that mean?”, I asked.   “Just that your house would have blown up and so would your neighbours.”  Lovely.  Thanks dad for tinkering with my furnace.

Maybe I shouldn’t have driven when I had that sensation that I was going to get into an accident.  Sigh.

I was attempting to make a turn right and BANG I got hit by a white car.  I put on my hazard signals and got out of my car.  I asked the woman if she was alright.  She seemed distraught.  She told me she was awfully sorry and that her mother was in the hospital and she was going there right now to see her.  My bumper didn’t seem too bad and the trunk had a dent in it.  I went to see if the trunk still opened and closed.  It did.  So I told the woman not to worry about it.  My car was old and I needed a new one anyway.  She insisted I take down her drivers license and information.  I told her I wasn’t going to do anything with it anyway and she gave me a hug.  Hope she pays it forward.

I took my car to my mechanic today.  He told me that I’d need $400 to fix the trunk and another $400 for the bumper.  My car is only worth about $2000 so I said forget it. Wasn’t worth it.  As long as it still drives me to my next adventure, I was okay with it!

And my next adventure begins TOMORROW!  Hurray!

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Results are In

Thursday April 28

imageIt’s rainy again. I’m back at the clinic. This morning I had my lampadina. Feeling great. Lots of energy.

WisteriaMary and I spent the evening at the Caracalla Spa. It was way less crowded than in the day time. I’ve been trying to convince her to go to Friederichbach spa with me (only women on Thursday), but I’m not sure she is going for it!  No clothes allowed.

imageThis morning I had 2 shots in the butt (stem cells) and ozone therapy. My vein collapsed 1/2 way through the ozone treatment and Mariann asked me if I was Catholic. I said, “Why? Are you going to give me my last rites?  She said, “No, if you are Jehovahs Witness we can’t restart the IV in the other arm”.

imageSo we had to call Dr Sommer to try to get another IV deep in a vein in my other arm (which I’m not really suppose to use because I have no lymph nodes there due to a mastectomy). It worked. I’m now having Vitamin B17 (amygdalin) and C therapy.

imageI told NDr Christina I had a vegan chocolate bar for her, but only if she got the IV in my arm right the first time. She was unhappy my vein collapsed. She really wanted the chocolate bar (luckily I had 2 chocolate bars in my purse, one for her and one for Dr Sommer too).

imageAt least I didn’t have to get stabbed nine times in one day like last week. The big bruise on my hand has gone away after using some type of wound healing cream called Traumeel. It works so well, I bought it at a pharmacy so I could use it at home.

imageSo I got my test results on Tuesday. Everything appears good at this time. My energy is up. My brain/hypothalamus is now working, however my pituitary gland is still struggling a bit. The cancer is dormant. My immune system is operating at 80%. And I need to detox (it’s at 38%, down from 45% when I came). So I’m getting some medicine to take home with me to help me with that, plus injections because my lymph node system is not up to snuff either.  Otherwise, I think I’m doing really well.

imageDon’t think I’m going to tell my oncologist I’m here in Germany again. I don’t need the added stress. Dr Sommer told me it would not be necessary to get tested at home for another 6-9 months. That’s good enough for me.

image image imageI’m suppose to be arriving in Canada on Saturday night, but apparently some of the airport workers are on strike yesterday and today. Good thing I have insurance! They may be footing the bill for food and accommodations if I need to stay longer!
imageAfter my treatment tomorrow morning, Mary is making me breakfast and then we are heading to Frankfurt.  I went to pick up the rental car on the side of the road near a castle where our apartment landlord said it was free.  Well guess what?  It wasn’t free. I got not one but two parking tickets.  Mary said it was too bad I have to come back, otherwise we could just not pay them!

On the bright side, at least they didn’t tow us.  I would have had to phone up the rental car company and tell them it was stolen and a darn good thing I paid $600 extra for car insurance!

Finally got to see the Baden Baden Roman Ruins yesterday.  See pics below.  This is where Roman Soldiers set up shop to recuperate in the healing thermal waters.

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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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