Yes, I’m back. I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted anything on my blog.

The last months of 2014 were hard for me. We lost another dear friend of ours, Patrick, who died far too young of cancer. He and his family have been very close friends of Nancy and myself since we were teenagers and feel like our extended family. When I was sick, they were there for us. His illness surfaced when it was too late for treatment. He passed away end of November. I wish I could say or do something to be supportive of his family. It makes me feel sad and angry at myself at the same time for not being there.

Just before Christmas, my father in law passed away. He was 90 years old and had a long and fulfilling life.

I’ve been working full-time since January and my work is satisfying. It means having to do less work for the societies that I’m involved in. I have had to reconsider how much time I spent on these activities.

I had scans in January which showed good results. The medication is still working and the cancer is still in remission. I couldn’t wish for better news at this time.

Right now, Victor and I are visiting my father in Malaysia. Thanks to my mom who is looking after our dog Jaap. Without her watching him, I don’t think we would have gone on this trip. My dad is doing well and working hard as a professor at UTP, where he leads the Geophysical Research Center. Wednesday we head back to Holland. I’ve been able to do some writing here, and have been reading a lot. Just finished Stoner by John Williams, Perfect by Rachel Joyce, and am now reading On Liberty by John Stuart Mill. This last one is a favorite of mine, and I highly recommend it to all who are wondering what is happening to the world we live in.


It’s been quite a month and I need to tell you what’s been going on with me.


First, the results from all the scans and labwork from April were good. I had an appointment on my mom’s birthday (May 7th),, but nearly missed it because I had remembered the wrong time. Fortunately, my doctor saw Victor and me in the waiting room and took her time.

The Trip

Later that day, we left for France in two cars: I drove my mom’s car and we took the two dogs, Puk and Jaap. Jaap is our Dalmatian dog from the dog rescue. Victor and Nancy followed with the luggage. We had two apartments side by side in the Hippotel in Le Touquet, about an hour south of Calais in Northern France. Thursday it rained all day but Nancy and I walked on the beach with the dogs. Friday was better and at the end of the day we had sun.


Le Touquet


The Bite

While I was sitting on the grass, Jaap jumped at Puk and wanted to bite him. I tried to intervene and was bitten myself. It hurt terribly, and I was bleeding. Jaap’s teeth were deep in my wrist and the bone hurt badly. It was the wrong thing to do – to try to stop him – and he had not meant to bite me. But there we were, my hand badly hurt. Victor dressed the wound and I lay down to try to get over the pain. The next day, Victor drove me back home, with Jaap on the back seat. Once we got back we went to the hospital where the doctor gave me a tetanus vaccination (mine had just expired) and prescribed an antibiotics cure.

The Shock

A week later, on Saturday, I noticed a rash developing. When I was in the hospital in oktober 2012, I had also developed a rash because of the antibiotics. Turns out I was still very allergic. That night, we went to the hospital again and the doctor prescribed anti-itch medication. I slept all day Sunday and Monday but Victor didn’t feel good about it and called the doctor. The doctor checked my pulse which he found too high and my bloodpressure too low. My temperature was 40.3 C. His conclusion was that I had an anaphylactic shock. The ambulance took me to the hospital where they pumped me full of fillers and other junk – adrenaline, dexamethasone, prednisone etc.

hands & IV

I had to stay two nights and was then discharged. My whole body is covered by the rash, but the medication makes it bearable. Here’s a photo of my arm:

rash arm

On Thursday I felt very weak – which turned out to be my low bloodpressure again (78/39). My doctor advised me to eat licorice to raise my bloodpressure.

The training

Friday I attended the training for the ambassadors for work and cancer. It was good to meet the others and be part of a group of like-minded individuals who have all had similar experiences. The past few days my face and legs have been swollen – my ankles are thick again. I hope to get back to work again this week and get back to normal.

Ambassador for the NFK?

Last week I received an invite for a conference for patients with metastatic breast cancer at the end of April in Philadelphia, the city where I went to college. It is a yearly event organized by Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a non-profit patient organization based in the US. Since then I’ve been thinking about going. Some of you already encouraged me to go, and Nancy is prepared to travel to Philly to attend the conference with me, so I won’t have to go alone. Today, my colleague and friend Yvonne encouraged me to go as well. So I’ve decided to go! The ticket is cheap and the conference itself is only 75 dollars. The hotel is not too expensive either, so no excuses there! So I’ll book my ticket this week and start organizing a trip to Philly, a place I called home for four years (ok, it was a long time ago, but still!).

I’m still a ‘board member’ of the Penn/Wharton club of The Netherlands and we’re planning to do a bid to organize the Wharton Global conference in Amsterdam in 2015. So who knows, perhaps I’ll have a reason to visit Penn as well. I’d love to see some of my East Coast friends while I’m there, but the time is short, so we’ll see.

This morning I had an interview in Utrecht with a manager and a projectleader from the Dutch federation of patient cancer organizations (Nederlandse Federatie van Kankerpatientorganisaties – NFK). I had applied for a volunteer position as an Ambassador to help people with cancer who have questions about (going back to) work.

Thirty people had applied to volunteer – they were counting on fifteen – and they are willing to accept everyone, and are meeting all the applicants, which I think is to their credit. So often, people judge others just on the ‘outside’ and the fact that they’re taking time to meet with each person who applied is really well done. While I was introducing myself someone was playing the accordeon outside – it was very strange. It turned out not to be an April Fool’s joke at all (that’s what I thought); no, the empty offices next to the NFK were now occupied by members of the elderly society (can’t quite think of the right translation but it’s close enough)  who were now playing the accordeon.

It was an interesting conversation and it was nice to finally meet some people who are working in the field. They are offering a training for all the volunteers at the end of May and also will meet with us four times this year to hear about our experiences. The work entails meeting with people – employees, businesses and patients – and answering questions they may have or pointing them in the right direction. It sounds interesting and I’m looking forward to the training.

After the meeting, I went to The Hague to finish my presentation and meet with my colleagues only to drive back to Utrecht two hours later for our meeting with other agencies. I presented the preliminary results of our Vision for data exchange and it was well received. At six pm, I drove home in my convertible in the sun – it was nearly 20 degrees centigrade. April has begun well!

Tomorrow I have a bone scan at the hospital and hopefully some time to relax in between the injection and the scan. Next week I’ll update you on the results. Enjoy spring everyone!


On January 11th, Victor and I had visited the exhibit by Henri Le Sidaner here in the Singer Museum in Laren. Le Sidaner worked around the turn of the 19th century in northern France. He combined impressionism with intimate compositions (called intimism) and painted some very beautiful scenes, with muted pastels, twilight with pink shimmers and canals along pretty villages. Very inspiring.

Last Wednesday I went to the hospital for my check-up. My mom met me there, so I had some company. The checkup went smoothly, all values were fine. It seemed to me the liver values were a bit higher but all within range. My oncologist also checked my lungs, liver and thought it all looked and sounded ok. My next appointment is in two months, March 12th. The week before I am scheduled for a CT and an MRI scan again.

Afterwards, my mom and I went to Nancy’s place for a bit. We stopped by Leafde (a nice little store near Nancy’s house) where I bought two small gifts for colleagues who just had babies (two dads!). My mom took me back to my car and we drove to a store on the way back. I parked my car on the street there and bought a nice jacket and silk blouse on sale. But when I got back to my car someone had driven the mirror off my car: it was hanging by a few wires. Fortunately the garage was on the way home (my mom took the tram back into the city) so I didn’t have to drive too far without a mirror. The guy at the garage taped everything up with black duct tape. That night, Victor and I went out for a lovely dinner together.
Thursday I worked and Friday I met a friend of mine for coffee. She told me about a dear friend of hers who had just passed away in November. She had cervical cancer and had fought bravely for over 3 years, but in the end got pneumonia and couldn’t get better. There’s nothing one can do or say to help, but I can only imagine the hurt her family must feel.

This past weekend I had a chance to relax. I wrote a little, drew a few pictures, did some laundry, went for a run.

Since then, Victor’s been studying hard for his exams. Friday is a big exam day, and next week on Tuesday he has two exams. I hope all goes well.

Nancy is in LA now, working hard on the Grammy’s and a special show the day after. I’ve been thinking about our trip last year and how special it was. Time has gone by so quickly, I wonder how this coming year will be for all of us. Tomorrow is Nancy’s birthday – here’s a happy b-day to Nancy from all of us!

Visit to Malaysia

Dear friends,

I’m a bit behind with my posts, so I will send a few in a row. This one is about my trip to Malaysia in December with my sister. We stayed with my dad and spent some real quality time together. The first few days we stayed in Ipoh and visited local sights, such as the Buddhist temples in the caves and Lost World of Tambun, a water park near our dad’s house in Sunway city Ipoh. They had natural thermal pools, a wave pool (we were the only ones swimming), slides, and a small zoo with Siberian tigers, snakes, monkeys, deer, ancient turtles, birds etc. The animals were very well cared for and beautifully landscaped. The monkeys lived in the wild but came to the zoo to eat.

The first weekend our dad drove us to Georgetown on Penang where we met our friend Bommy.  It was lovely to see her again and we had a great time.

Rasa Sayang Resort
Rasa Sayang Resort

We stayed in a beautiful resort called the Shangri-la Rasa Sayang. It was absolute heaven. We also visited Georgetown itself which is a UNESCO world heritage site. It has many colonial buildings some of which are a bit run down.

Our dad is doing well; he’s working as a professor of Geophysics at UTP (Technical University of Petronas) where he has his own research center with about 15 Ph.D. students.

Dr. Deva's Center for Seimic Imaging
Dr. Deva’s Center for Seimic Imaging
Nancy and the professors at Dr. Deva's Center for Seimic Imaging
Nancy and the professors at Dr. Deva’s Center for Seimic Imaging
Dr. Deva's Center for Seimic Imaging at UTP
Dr. Deva’s Center for Seimic Imaging at UTP

Next, we went to Pangkor Island, where our dad (dr. Deva) took us to the Pankgkor Island Beach resort. It’s a beautiful place, with monkeys, hornbills and a type of hog or boar who loved the tropical fruits that were meant for the hornbills.

My dad & me
My dad & me

Here we are reading! Nancy and I also kayaked one afternoon when there were quite a few waves. Way back in the 90’s when I lived in La Jolla I would kayak every weekend, can’t believe how long ago that was.

We headed back to Ipoh where my dad lives and the next day (Sunday) returned to KL. I was a bit sick (something I ate) so Nancy helped me pack. In KL I met my friend Michael Chan whom I had not seen for 25 years! We were friends at ASH (High School) – see my Facebook page for photo’s. It was great to see him again and meet his wife Joanne and their sons Orion and Aron. Great kids!

Nancy returned to Holland the next day while I left on Tuesday the 24th (day before Christmas).

At the Coffee Bean
At the Coffee Bean

I will miss Malaysia and miss my dad as well!

Looking back

Dear friends,

On november 1st, our much loved dog Flo passed away. It was really hard on me, and also on Victor, my sister, mom and kids who loved her dearly.

Muddy Flo
Muddy Flo

We will miss her so much!

A week later my sister showed me an article in the New York times about the untimely passing of my mentor: Stanford professor Cliff Nass. I had just had the good fortune to see him in September in Paris. We had talked in the bus  on the way back from the special Seine cruise. It was so good to see him again after 20 years (I graduated from Stanford in 1993). He was a test driver for the automated Google car and could talk very passionately about his students and his research on multitasking, the human brain, communication and driving automatic cars.

A week later I heard one of my colleagues at Unisys had passed away as well. Hans was a very jovial and kind person, always ready to help. He was an avid actor and Shakespearian, which really impressed me. I had worked with him a few times, we’d had a chance to talk during those days and he will be much missed by his family and colleagues.

In November I connected with dr. van Weert (whom I had met at the patient conference on Oct 12th). She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Amsterdam and is willing to help me with starting a Ph.D. She invited me to a research meeting about patient-doctor communication at the AMC hospital, hosted by the research group in Medical Psychology. It was a very interesting meeting, and afterwards I briefly met some other Ph.D. students. I plan to start my research in January and I want to focus on communication about metastatic cancer. I plan to start analyzing  the media effects of charity campaigns (think of Pink Ribbon type campaigns) on self-efficacy and fears of metastatic breast cancer patients (in online discussion forums).

End of November, I went to our local farmers market in Eemnes with a good friend and I bumped into friends from Huizen. The farmers market is organized by Ria who used to be our next door neighbor but now lives on the Meentweg in Eemnes (see the Blommenhoeve for more information).

In early December I was able to complete my work and deliver the new Architecture for Digikoppeling. I’ve been asked to continue on the project and was asked for another project as well. We had a really fun dinner and game with the whole team and I really enjoyed it!

On December 4th, I had another checkup at the hospital. My friend G joined me and waited patiently as I went to get my blood test done and waited for the doctor. Fortunately all was well. The liver showed slightly higher levels but that could be due to the medication (Letrozol) that I’m on. My next appointment is in the middle of January.

On December 7th, I left Holland and arrived in Kuala Lumpur on the 8th. I met Nancy at the airport and together we took the KLIA Express into KL. The next day we went to Ipoh and my dad picked us up at the train station. It’s been really good to see him. He lives in a nice house in Ipoh, near hot springs and a water park. It’s the rainy season here so it rains hard for a few hours each day. This weekend we’ll visit Penang, and we hope to meet up with our friend Bommy.

Next time I’ll upload some pictures. Take care!

Paris and scans

Dear friends,

I forgot to tell you about Paris. Paris was wonderful. The Stanford alumni meeting was held in the Intercontinental Le Grand in Paris on sept 7th. I really enjoyed it. The Stanford Alumni Association did an outstanding job in organising the event and the mini lectures were incredibly inspiring. I went to Cliff Nass’ lecture on multitasking – he was my mentor at Stanford and was really happy to see me! He’s done research on multitasking which shows that people who think they are very good at multitasking usually aren’t; in fact, multitaskers are usually not very good at remembering anything they do. People who never multi-task are better at it than those who do it all the time. His advice: do 1 thing for 20 minutes at a time! I was very glad to hear this because since I’ve been sick my concentration has become better but only if I focus on 1 thing at a time. And in fact, I try to do only 1 thing for about 20 minutes and that seems to work well for me.

Dr.Nass tests the Google cars (the ones that self-drive) and Google Glass and is a very interesting person to listen to. It made me wish I had done my PhD with him (I did my Masters at Stanford, but I’m a PhD drop-out, gave up after 1 year at UT Austin). There was a meetup afterwards of people interested in consulting in developing and emerging countries. Perhaps something will come out of this.

That night we enjoyed a river cruise on the Seine which was beautiful. I met some great people. The next day Nancy, my mom and I enjoyed Starbucks and Chez Paul bread. I get a bit flustered when I see homeless people so I gave a beggar who had no shoes on the Champs Elysee a loaf of bread. What a contrast!

Last Friday (Sept 20th), I went to the AVL for scans. The AVL (Anthonie van Leeuwenhoek) is our national cancer research hospital. My last scans were in April, so it’s been a while. My mom met me there and watched my stuff. I had just sent off the last version of our draft Architecture for Digikoppeling (our national protocol for data exchange) to my colleague Tom who sent it on to our review committee. So at the hospital I had a bite to eat, they have a nice cafe. I sometimes forget that when I first arrived here I couldn’t eat at all. That was nearly a year ago (Oct 17th) and I remember smelling the pizza that the young man across from me (yes in Holland male and female patients share rooms) had ordered while all I could manage was a nutridrink with fake strawberry flavor over ice! I still give thanks every day that I can eat normally again and live a normal and healthy life!

So when I take off my dress and boots and my wedding ring (no metal in the MRI) I remember what it is like to be sick. Not to feel sick, fortunately that time has passed. The nurses inject the IV and connect me to the machine for the contract fluid. The MRI takes about 20 minutes and makes a lot of noise. There is a poster on the wall that you can see (I have to lie face down in the machine with my breasts in a plastic frame) so they must use some sort of mirror like a periscope but then flat. The poster shows a picture of Oscar Wilde, but the text is too small to read.

After the MRI, I get dressed again. The IV tube stays in my arm while I wait for the CT scan. After about 50 minutes the nurse comes to get me. The CT scan is quick. This time its face up in the machine. I notice the fluid in my veins because it gives you a warm feeling, and feels like a full bladder.

After the scan, the IV tube is removed and I put on my boots (dress stayed on this time). I suddenly noticed blood gushing out of my arm. I press down in time to stop the flow and go back to the nurse to get new gauze and tape. Next a quick stop to get my blood checked (there are no other patients so it is very quick) and I’m done. It is nearly 5 pm and my mom comes with me. We drive to Nancy’s house. It’s nice to be able to relax a bit and we order Thai for dinner. At home in Eemnes we have no good Asian food nearby so we almost always cook ourselves. But this is a nice treat.

I’ve been working on getting my websites updated and found someone to help me with the system administration of the server. Also, I’m starting to learn how to program Python. Last Tuesday I went to a PyLadies (Python Ladies) meet up in Amsterdam ( It was great to meet other women in IT and I’m motivated to start learning Python and Django!

Next Wednesday I have a meeting with Dr. Baars and will learn the outcome of my scans. I will update my Bucket list as well!

On October 12th, I’m attending the seminar “Tussen Hoop & Vrees” (Between hope and fear: for patients with metastatic breast cancer”.

Long time

Dear friends,

It’s been a long time since you’ve heard from me. I’ve been so busy (and feeling good) that I haven’t been in touch. April was a full month, filled with joy for me but also some sorrow (the bombing in Boston made me sad) about what’s been happening in the world. My dear friend Laurie was actually close to the finish line with her friend Judy when the bombings happened.

I’ve been feeling well the last few weeks. The cancer is decreasing and stable, and I am now on new medication. I had several job-related interviews in April. One involved going to a Hippo partner day and I saw two ex-colleagues from Capgemini, which was unexpected and fun, and of course the Hippo crew.

I’ve got a job – can you believe it! – working in The Hague for a government agency on a part-time basis, thanks to Mark from Peopleware, who set up the meeting. I’m working 2-3 days a week which is great. UWV has been very cooperative. Also thanks to Arie for his help with my letters!

April just flew by. My dad came to visit me on his way home from Houston to Malaysia. It was wonderful to see him. He’s doing well and has a brand new research center with state of the art equipment.

We met also met Larry and Marilyn from LA who celebrated their wedding anniversary in Holland, and stayed in Nancy’s appartment. I met them the afternoon of the Hippo partner day and my mom took them to our house for a brief afternoon tea. It was a rainy afternoon but we went to Laren and had some poffertjes (a dutch treat consisting of tiny pancakes with powderd sugar and butter! They are wonderful people and I really enjoyed meeting them. I also reconnected with my Zonta club and volunteered at the Fair Work festival with Evelien. Fair work helps young people who have become a victim of unfair employment, bordering on slavery. The festival opened with a dance – a merengue – and workshops. We were asked to help with the styling workshop which was a great success. The young ladies were busy with creating their personal mood boards – something I learned from the styling workshop for Tanaquil’s bachelorette party, with Jorinde, a stylist in The Hague. After the moodboards they could select clothing from the tables – very old fashioned items but they liked them nonetheless. That really opened my eyes – how little is needed to help these young women who have so little and often have a negative self-image.
My friend Esther treated me to a wonderful lunch in the Bakker’s Winkel in Zoetermeer. It was the same place my mom used to take us for a treat back when we lived there (1980-1981) and back then it was called Twenties. The interior was much the same, small marble tables (used for sewing machines) and a very old furnace in the kitchen. They added a glass house with grapevines, very light and airy. I really enjoyed it!

For our wedding day we met up with our friends Ronald and Mariette, and had a great Indian dinner at the Taj Mahal in Bussum. I discovered that I can’t handle spicy foods anymore, a side effect from the chemo I’m sure. The next day I attended an investing workshop by Marcus de Maria at the Krasnapolsky hotel; he is a great public speaker, but I found the selling of the training a bit too much. I learned a lot, but skipped the next session and had dinner with Nancy instead at Mappa, a nice Italian place John had introduced me to (for a Penn/Wharton dinner in March). On April 27th, my sister in law invited Victor’s family over for a wonderful family dinner in honor of Thib, Victor’s dad’s 89th birthday. We saw Paul and Isabelle and their daughter Catherine from Munich, and Robin and Miriam and their son Luis from Mallorca, and Arnoud. Sylvia was very busy helping her mom and serving us; she is now in LA doing research and staying with a friend. Sebastiaan came from Groningen and Annet and Barbara joined us as well; they left for France the next day.

We had a great Penn event at the SkyLounge with a view over Amsterdam on April 29th. I made lots of little cupcakes for Nancy and Anne to sell at Nancy’s house. April 30th was the big event: Queen’s day (my Dutch friends know all about this but for my international friends this might be interesting). This year was sunny but cold so I watched most of the ceremony on tv – first the abdication and then the crowning of our new king and queen.

May was a bit more relaxed for me. My mom celebrated her birthday in Paris with my sister. Victor and I went to the Louwman museum with our friends Tanaquil and Pieter and their children. It was very impressive and the Alfa exhibit was excellent. We had a wonderful meal afterwards, and then watched the war commemoration ceremonies (may 4th). Nancy took Barbara, Henriette and me to Beyonce’s concert, a special thanks to her friend Alan who made this possible. It was absolutely spectacular. She is amazing, and a true professional who gives everything to her fans! When she sang Survivor I just had to sing along. Jelle and Anne were there as well, and thanks to them I was able to sit for a bit. We had the best location, stage right, right next to the stage: Barbara and Henriette even touched Beyonce’s hand! – but it was a bit tiring to stand all that time. It was a great show and wonderful experience.

Unfortunately this month we also lost a dear friend – Henk – who was in his 80’s but sadly very sick. We remember him as a positive enthousiastic gentleman, and think of his widow often. On the positive side, Henriette turned 20 last Friday. And we have a few more birthdays this week.

I feel very lucky and grateful that I’m alive and kicking, to have my energy back and to feel good. I’ve been catching up on things that I haven’t been able to do for a while. Also I set up a new business (a one-woman show, as a friend calls it!) which I named AsIsToBe. And I’m trying to help two friends with their ventures, and having a good time assisting. Victor is very busy with his studies, he’s started on his thesis, and is also working as an assessor for part of the time.

I’m sure I’m forgetting someone or something but I will update you again soon. Tomorrow I have to get my calcium levels checked at Tergooi because of the risk of osteoporosis. Friday is my next appointment at AVL. I noticed some minor side effects today – also felt a bit tired – but that could be because I cleaned my car, and the bathroom, and did the laundry. It sounds a bit strange but it’s nice to be able to live a normal life again, and I’m enjoying it! Thanks for hanging in there with me. I will try to report back soon!

Time to share

Dear all,

Last friday I had another appointment with my oncologist. Because Victor is studying hard for his exam on Wednesday I drove myself and my sister Nancy met me at the hospital. It’s getting harder for the nurses to get blood from my veins, they have to use the little needles (they call them butterfly needles here) and the nurse had to try my right hand first, and then decided to try the left one. I was very relieved when the blood finally started to flow. Apparently I have narrow veins and thick walled arteries.

My oncologist seemed pleased enough with the results. The liver values are a tad higher (bilirubin at 12, white blood cells at 3.8L, other results aren’t in yet), but she says that’s probably due to the treatment I’m taking now. I will get two more cycles of the Xeloda (Capecitabine) but I can take them 12 days instead of 14 to reduce the sensitivity in my hands and feet. After these two cycles of three weeks she’ll start me on hormone therapy, which takes a few weeks to take effect. This wasn’t an option before because of the liver, but I guess we have the time now, which is good news. In 4 weeks time they’ll make new scans. So I have appointments on April 12th with another oncologist (Dr. Baars is attending a congress in London), an MRI on April 22nd (our wedding day), CT on April 25th, and the results on May 3rd. Add to that the Penn alumni drinks date at the Skylounge in the Doubletree hotel on April 29th, Queens’ day on April 30th, a seminar on investing on the 23rd and I’ve got April filled before it’s even started. Not bad for someone who intends to live in the moment and stopped using a calendar altogether a few months ago!

On March 17th and 24th I had several friends over for a high tea. Of course we made way too much food, but it was a lot of fun. It was nice to see friends together as well. Many thanks to my mom and sister for taking our dog Flo for long walks. I had also signed up for an introduction to yoga course at the Yoga Lounge in Hilversum (thanks to my cousin Ineke for the tip!). I really enjoyed it! It was a nearly private lesson since there were two students (including me!) and one teacher. She was great. I’m convinced now to sign up for more classes! The first session was challenging since my feet were hurting badly but I found Sunday’s session a lot more relaxing than I had expected.

Last night I had a sudden moment of sadness. What to do? What are my passion? Do I really want to write? Sometimes I do, and sometimes I think it’s a waste of time. What if I start yet another book and can’t finish it. But then I decided today that even that doesn’t really matter. I just ordered “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield. Only I won’t get it until May 8th, because I also pre-ordered Star Trek The Next Generation Season 3 on Blue-Ray – yes I am a die-hard Trekkie (only TNG though), and that doesn’t come out until April 29th. Fortunately its region free, because the Downton Abbey Season 3 that nancy bought me in LA is not! Does anyone know how to make our Philips blue-ray player region free (its region free for DVD;s but not for Blue ray disks). Anyway, I’m rambling and didn’t even tell you the news. Got called by a headhunter. A small company in Amsterdam is looking for a Content Management lead and want to meet me. I told him I’m still recovering from an illness and if I can work (which I’m not sure about) I can only work part-time. They still want to meet me so I have a meeting on Thursday. In the afternoon I have a Liferay User group meeting, so should be fun! I will keep you posted!

Back Home

Dear friends,
Sorry its’s taken me so long to write. I’ve had jet lag this week, in a major way. Can’t sleep at night and then fall asleep sometime between 6 and 7 am only to wake up at 11 or later.

Nancy worked on the Oscars on Saturday and Sunday. She was at the very front of the red carpet, guiding the stars to their red carpet interviews. On Sunday Nancy’s friends Chris and Antar took me to the farmers market. We first had coffee (tea for me) at the Coffee Bean near Vine. Lauren (a.k.a. power Lauren – she’s an electrician on shows), Meg and her husband George and their dog Kitty from Las Vegas were already there. I had not met them before but they were all great fun! A little while later Graham showed up, he’s a dancer with Lady Gaga and we all headed into the bustling farmers market. The fruits and vegetables are huge, there was one radish that was at least 40 cm. Too bad I couldn’t buy anything!
It was a nice sunny morning so we went to the Melrose farmers market afterwards. My mom would have loved it. By this time my feet started to hurt so Chris dropped me off at Nancy house. Nancy was just getting changed for the Oscar’s. While she worked I did some laundry. She was off around 6 and a little later we went to Chris’s place to watch the Oscars on his huge tv.

Nancy and I flew back Monday morning and arrived home on Tuesday, February 26th. Victor met us at Schiphol, took my bags home and then waited for Annet and Henriette to arrive. We were picked up by our mom because I decided to wait in Amsterdam since I had to go to the hospital later that day.

Tried to sleep but couldn’t, so we left Nancy’s place around 2 pm. I had an MRI at 3 and a CT scan at 4.
Not much to say about the days after – Wednesday I slept, Thursday I slept and walked in the forest with my mom and Flo. I felt like I was sleepwalking most of this week, so jet lagged! Then Friday Victor took me to the hospital for a meeting with Dr. Baars. She was in a good mood as usual and showed us the blood results. They were down again, which is a good sign. The MRI scan showed that the tumor in the breast had shrunk from 2,4 cm to 1,5 cm which is good news. Dr. Baars advised another three rounds of Xeloda (Capecitabine) since it works well for me and the side effects are tolerable. The CT scans showed a very rough edged liver, still too large. It is very hard to make out if there is cancerous tissue left, due to the scar tissue. But according to the blood values, the liver is stabilized. One value was still high but that could be due to the treatment.

Have to walk Flo now, she’s asking to go outside. Till later!