Today started with another lie in. I’ve decided sleeping in at the clinic isn’t a major problem as it solves too issues – it means I can get as much sleep as I need and also means I miss breakfast, meaning I only have to worry about eating 2 meals a day instead of 3 (trust me, that’s enough here if I want to lose the gut).
Jenny had a settled night and woke up in good form. She decided she would like to have lunch in the dining room, so we headed down there around 12.30pm. I ordered a 2-egg omelette, which somehow ended up being translated into 2 omelettes, meaning Jenny ended up with an omelette she didn’t really want. However, it worked out for the best as she did enjoy it and resulted in her having the first proper main meal in several days. Dr. Herzog also noticed she was in the dining room and came across to let her know he had clocked the fact she was downstairs and out of bed (big tick in the box). we haven’t quite cracked the seating in the dining room for Jenny yet so she still struggles to get comfortable, but we’ll work something out I’m sure.
Following lunch Jenny had an appointment with Max, the physiotherapist who did some walking with her in the corridor. Again, this is massively significant as Jenny was able to do this a week ago and has struggled since. Now it seems her strength, stamina, energy and resolve are all returning at once. Laura Oakley reminded me yesterday, of an incredible quote which was applicable today – “life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away”
Once Jenny had returned to bed for some rest, I headed off to the gym for my 2.30pm appointment with Dr Lisa and her brutal regime! Today was a big breakthrough as I managed to progress somewhat with my skipping and can now skip and cross-over – what a clever boy I am! In return for teaching me to skip properly I have offered to teach her how to juggle, so we headed off for a jog to Nidda, with Alex, to get some juggling balls (tennis balls were the best we could get in the end). I’ll get around to teaching Lisa & Alex over the next few days. Yesterday I promised to upload a video of Lisa skipping and I hate to fall back on a promise, so here she is…awesome.
If the above video won’t play directly from You Tube (due to international restrictions) then please click here to download the video (it’s set to open Windows Media Player by default and buffer the video – but this may differ from PC to PC).
Whilst we were in Nidda I managed to get Jenny a stress ball for her hands as she has lost some strength in her fingers over the last few weeks and she can now at least exercise her hands a little each day. Her strength has improved a lot over the last couple of days and I’m sure will continue to do so over the weekend. In the middle of Nidda, opposite the market square, is an old fire station which houses some retired fire equipment and vehicles and today it was open so I managed to get a photograph of Alex & Lisa with an old fire engine parked out front. On the way back we came across a work van parked near a local hotel which is for a Bath / Pluming company nearby – obviously they don’t do much work in English-speaking countries…
This evening we saw Dr. Herzog who came to our room with Dr. Dimitry. He is pleased with Jenny’s progress and the pain relief seems to be stable. We’ll see how the next few days go and the plan is for the port to be fitted on Tuesday, assuming all goes according to plan over the weekend. She has had very little breakthrough pain relief today and it is clear that the IV medication is the best option for Jenny in the short to medium term.
Tonight was also the final night before Cathy & Dick leave to return to the USA. We have become very close and there is a clear connection between the four of us which has led to the formation of a long-lasting friendship. I’ve said it many times but this clinic attracts a certain type of person which makes it very easy to make friends and establish relationships and Cathy & Dick are a classic example of this. We are going to miss them dearly and Jenny & Cathy have a special bond which grows each time they meet. It was decided that we would have yet another “pizza party” in our room and Alex also came along as well as Lisa and her father, Mike. Another lovely evening was had by like-minded people, with pizza, pasta and steak consumed as well as me managing to smash a full bottle of wine on the floor of our room – genius!
Yesterday I received an email from one of Jenny’s old school friend’s Clare Ackerman who mentioned how much of a Janet Jackson fan Jenny is, and how they had a dance show as kids where Jenny danced to Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation”. Clare mentioned that some of the lyrics of that song may be appropriate for this blog and I tend to agree…
People of the world unite
Strength in numbers we can get it right
We are a part of the rhythm nation
This is the test
No struggle no progress
Lend a hand to help
Your brother do his best
Things are getting worse
We have to make them better
It’s time to give a damn
Let’s work together come on
Every so often I dedicate a blog post to someone and tonight I want to dedicate this post to Cathy & Dick. We have learnt so much from them about all sorts of things and formed a friendship which will last a lifetime. They are an exceptional couple who have adapted to, and expanded on, the good things (in my opinion) that cancer creates – perspective, courage, life-balance and honesty. We have spent some incredible times with these guys in a very short period of time and always look forward to our next meeting. To two of the most amazing people we have ever met – we love you guys so much (have a safe trip home).