Treatment #1 – July 18th, 2012


Dear friends and family,

To start off: my first day of chemo is done and I feel absolutely fine! No nausea, no constipation. Happy me! I hope it stays this way. Thanks for all the lovely flowers, the house is filled to the brim. I feel very loved by all of you!

This morning the appointment was rescheduled for 10.30-11. We arrived early and waited at a table till someone came. Of course the promised volunteer was no where to be seen. So I went to the nurses’ station and someone approached me right away. Of course I went back to bring Victor along. The room was pleasant. There were three men receiving chemo but they were very nice and quiet. One man’s wife was there as well so Victor could stay.

I sat in a blue chair, like a dentist’s chair or a business class seat it could be placed in all positions. Very comfy. I selected some magazines, had my water bottle ready and was ready to go.

The nurse, Liesbeth, helped me. Also Jannie, who had seen me on Monday, came by to explain the new medicine schedule. Liesbeth wrote it down. Thanks to the lower dosage I can use fewer medicines.

Next, the cold cap was selected. This is a plastic cap with tubes which are cooled to -6 degrees centigrade to cool the hair folicles. This is to prevent hair loss. Well, the small cap was too small so that it would leave a round bald spot in the middle – not a nice look. The next one was too big, but there was no other choice. The ladies put on a cover and tightened it but still there was too much space. So they stuffed it with bandages and napkins and then pulled on the straps together. It was a very funny sight! They tightened the strap around my chin so tight that it nearly crushed my chin. So I asked them to loosen it, which they did, somewhat unwillingly.

See the result for yourself and have a good laugh!

The man across the aisle called me Motor Mouse. I guess I kinda look like one.

Well, the cold cap wasn’t so bad. Except when they brought lunch – I had one slice of bread with cheese which I cut into tiny little pieces because I couldn’t open my mouth wide enough. No big deal though! It surprises me that the hospital doesn’t have healthier food. No vegetarian soup, no greens.

The chemo was fine. I read two magazines which had lots of pictures of beautiful seaside resorts with sun! Why can’t we have sun here? Each day that starts out sunny ends up rainy or cloudy. After two and a half hours, I was free to go. Very bearable. Next week I will need to have my blood checked on Monday and back on Wednesday for the next section. This way it’ll be no problem.

Afterwards, Victor dropped me off at Landgoed Groeneveld (a castle and park in the woods between the hospital and our house) where Nancy, Ellen (my mom) and Barbara were walking with 3 dogs: Puk, Pippa (also from Amsterdam,Puk’s girlfriend) and Flo. We went to the organic store with produce from the farm. Its a great store called Hoeve Ravenstein, for anyone interested, located in Landgoed Groeneveld in Baarn.

We had lunch at home – veggie hotdogs. Fortunately I feel fine. Let’s hope it stays this way. Take care all!

Jan des Bouvrie @Singer


It was raining terribly so we had to cancel our Ivy Circle picnic, which was too bad. Instead, Victor and I went to the Singer museum in Laren to see the Jan des Bouvrie (famous Dutch designer) exhibit. On display were several of his furniture pieces along with his art collection. Very vibrant colors but very strange works of art. I was a bit disappointed because I had expected to see more of de Bouvrie’s oeuvre but I think you should see it for yourself and let me know what you think!