estara: (Default)
This year really saw me switching my daily interactions to tumblr (estaraswanberg.tumblr.com), although I still regularly read my friends pages. I hope you have had as good a year as was possible this year and I wish for peace and health for everyone, especially the friends who have kept me sane here repeatedly over the years.

My depression is better than it was last year, let's see how that goes. Please all be safe and well.
frohe-weihnachten_halfsize
estara: (Default)
fröhlicheweihnachten50
I was just reading through last year's Christmas post and I can say roughly the same ^^. The only thing I have to mention is that I'm changing ISPs and because of how gloriously that works in Germany, I should not be able to reach the internet from December 27th to January 11th, best case scenario (i.e. the technician actually shows up).

As always, your posts put my life into perspective and open new interesting vistas. I hope everyone has a peaceful and content holiday, whether they celebrate Christmas or not ^^ - and a healthy New Year!

NeuesJahr75

Found these pics on the flickr stream of Baylor University, Texas ^^
estara: (Default)
2013-happy-new-year

The old one may have ended in a severe cold, but then "the only way is up" as Yazz used to sing ^^. Thank you for all your amazing posts and conversations and support when I needed it, I hope I can do the same for you again (although not posts, I guess - Goodreads and my book reviews are totally fulfilling my posting desire), as well.
estara: (Default)
Especially since [livejournal.com profile] salimbol asked me about it quite a while back AND I can combine it with the announcement that my internet will be spotty to non-existent until Friday because I'm visiting my parents who are taking care of my little niece (whom I haven't seen since Christmas, really). I had a doctor's appointment for a check-up today, so I drove back down to my flat - which does have internet ^^. Anyway, about my mum:

I saw her at Easter for a few days, a week after she came out of that follow-up rehab hospital near the Chiemsee (she’d been there for three weeks). She has adjusted much more to having lost her breast and I had the feeling her fears for her possible future were put into perspective by meeting so many people worse off than her. She also really liked most of the therapists at the hospital.

She still has twinges of pain when her new bra and the pseudo breast get near the scar where the drainage tube came out – I remember that being the case with my gall bladder removal, too.

She can’t raise her arm there as high as she used to, but she’s working on it.

In honour of my visit she started making a salad for grilling… I’m not sure if that was such a good idea. I occasionally remember to ask if I should assist her, but the balance between not wanting to give the impression I think she’s enfeebled and having a sense of when she would welcome assistance are tough for me to judge. I always did better with clear requests.

She even wanted me to come along shopping in Nuremberg, so we did that on Tuesday after Easter, but I think that was a bit too much so soon – she hardly tried on any clothes and we went back by train to Pleinfeld a few hours earlier than we would have done before.

Later she mentioned she might have tried on some trousers “but I didn’t want to make you impatient” – it is understood that I don’t like going shopping and never have, so after asking me to come along and maybe assist her, that’s a bit of a weak argument.

She is actively looking around for further physical therapy or self-help groups and stuff. She’s not so happy that the doctor in her local hospital doesn’t seem to have much of an idea of what’s on offer there, so we looked on the internet and found some places.

If all else fails, she can always go to Nuremberg again, that’s where they operated on her at the breast centre and they are MUCH better organised regarding after care. She’d just like it to be local, if possible.

Currently she has full movement back in her arm, but what with my niece growing apace and my mum and dad not being any younger, she no longer carries her so easily or swings her around. This is something Leonie will have to get used to, heh. She still isn't happy with her short-term memory and thinks the medication is the cause (I'm not so sure, I think it started quite a few years ago). Her hair is doing fine, which is good.

She does her physical therapy stuff locally and that seems to be satisfactory, too.
estara: (Default)
Well, it's one and a half weeks since her surgery now, and she's been home since last Tuesday.

I visited my dad last Saturday (pretty lost and very quiet alone in the big house, visiting his friends at the pub too much - basically I think he's drinking too much wine, but that's a whole other topic) and then the two of us drove up to Nuremberg hospital's special breast cancer unit recovery rooms - which are housed in a new addition built in 2002 and are two-person rooms with beautiful appointments (for a hospital), they even have en-suite bathrooms (sink and toilets for EACH of the occupants with HEATED towel rails, heh).

Mum had sounded more like herself on each consecutive phone call and so she came across when we saw her - like herself but easily tired. Usually she wants to sit in a chair the whole visit through - she didn't do that this time, I bet because the pull from the removed breast on her neck muscles was quite a strain (it still is, but much better than last Saturday, according to her last phone call today). She showed me her scar which looked pretty good (I was comparing it to my gall bladder removal experience), but obviously her right breast is gone. They won't have to take out the stitches as they used material that will be absorbed by the body.

Her major complaint today was that it really hurts ("gives me some twinges") when she gets up after a good night's sleep (which she says she has). She gets neckaches from the irregular weight distribution still and is impatiently waiting for this Thursday, when she'll get the special bra and silicone pad replacement of exactly the same weight as her lost breast - although she's aware it won't be completely painfree, connecting with the scar tissue.

Dad has been very helpful (I think he really needs her as a purpose, he doesn't seem to manage to find one on his own) and she's been organising her regular cleaning lady to come more often and do more than before. She is very relieved to be home, but - while in hospital she was amazed at how much she could already do and how high she could lift her arm - now that she's in her own well-known surroundings she realizes how many things she CAN'T do now.

Today she had her first kafeeklatsch - much shorter than usual, only two and a half hours, and no self-made cake, but storebought (the horror! - but she's much more pragmatic about this than I would usually have expected) with my dad pouring the coffee to two old friendly couples. But from how short she kept our conversation (only 20 minutes and stopped from her side) I think that was as much as she can handle right now.

She hasn't even given a thought to what day of this holiday week I should visit (and help out with things she doesn't want to ask the cleaning lady or my dad), which is very unlike her, so I'd say she's on the mend but is realising that it will take longer than it has done with previous surgeries.

I told her Elizabeth Wein plus daughter would be running for her, too, and she was amused.
estara: (Default)
I'm doing this on the supposition (to be proved) that I'll have seen a whole lot of old stuff - if I can recognise the English names, as most of this I would have seen when German TV only had three channels, at a time where we watched movies all the way through even if we didn't like them - as a family... hmm well, mostly with my Dad ^^. Mom reading or knitting something, my brother doing whatever.

huge list of movies )
Yes, I definitely can see two periods - films seen with my parents on the tv and then in the late 80s to the late 90s movies I actually watched in the cinema. I haven't gone in years - my tastes have changed and if I wanted to watch an English language movie I'd get a DVD these days, not go to the cinema where I get a German translation. But mostly when I watch something I watch anime, heh.

Also: I visited my mum yesterday, she's doing quite well and showed me her scar (which looks really good to me, but she does say that it's a total change not having the weight of her breast there - she really needs to do training to carry the weight equally and not get a krick in her neck).
estara: (Default)
Update on my mother's operation - and may I say I'm sitting here with a wet shimmer in my eyes from all the well-wishing. Thank you so much, whether we have had a lot of contact or not here on the internet, for thinking of her. Thank you also to Amy and her regular monthly prayer offerings!

Kai, my brother, had come late in the evening yesterday, to take my parents to the big breast centre in Nuremberg hospital (certified by all kinds of institutions and with a large number of these operations per year; a place even her local specialist had encouraged my mum to go to) as she was to check in around 6 a.m - they were early which is always a relief to my mum's Prussian genes.

There was a bit of hurry as the lady who got the second bed in the two-bed-room actually was hurried into pre-op and taken there forthwith, but while mum had to hurry to unpack, etc. then there was suddenly quite a bit of a wait and they told her it would likely take until 11 a.m. until she got into the op theatre.

So she sent dad and Kai back home (which is where I was chewing the furniture a bit, because mum will always put up a brave face to make it easy on us - I know my dad wouldn't be useful and they only had taken one car, but Kai could have sent dad home in the car and taken a taxi to the train station - and I rued the fact I hadn't asked for time off after all, they're pretty good with that at my school if you can make it clear why it's necessary), but Kai says she was still really tired from lack of sleep the night before and the early trip, so she was on the verge of sleeping for a bit anyway.

They returned in the afternoon when she was waking up from surgery and it seems to have gone as well as it could have gone - they did take off the right breast, and the sentinel lymph node, which has shown no sign of cancer. So the current verdict is that they are pretty hopeful of having gotten all the malignant matter out at once.

She'll still have to be checked for bone cancer cells I believe, but no awful surprises in this operation.

Again, thank you all SO MUCH for your good wishes and prayers! I love you, my dears! *hug-in-thought*

Addendum: Kai has advised me that she was much too groggy to be aware for much, and that I should wait until tomorrow to phone, and I haven't spoken to her yet. I think I'll phone just for a very short while, so she knows I'm thinking of her.

ETA2: I spoke with her for about five minutes and she's still pretty groggy, but I told her of all the well wishing from as far as the US and New Zealand, and she was a bit amused/surprised/grateful/embarrassed about it. She wants to sleep mostly, so I tried to be short and loving.
estara: (Default)
A couple of weeks back (literally) she found out she has breast cancer. This Wednesday is the initial big operation - most likely a full removal. That doesn't mean they have any idea yet whether the cancer hasn't spread...

She's 76 now, and is more worried about what might happen to her hair if she has to have chemo. I'd like her to come out of the op okay first of all, and then have the doctors not find any more cancer.

Any good wishes would be very much appreciated. Thank you, my dears.
estara: (Default)
What with my eye trouble in the last two years I feel with fellow people in trouble quite a bit. My eyes are hopefully slightly getting better and I'm taking steps to help that along, but the economy bites us all, healthy or not. Catherine Valente has gotten into trouble (and was linked by Scalzi and Gaiman which has helped enormously), but there are still great offers at the auction site implemented for her [livejournal.com profile] adoptingcat.

It seems Vera Nazarian whom we helped somewhat last winter is in some trouble again (considering the situation with her house and mother and her own health, I'm not really surprised). This is the lady who runs Norilana Books ( http://www.norilana.com/ ), which publishes lovely fantasy, as well as a Hugo-Nominated novealla writer. If you have the money, she's selling an artwork of hers here: http://norilana.livejournal.com/138203.html

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