I took a taxi over to the Klinik for my modeling debut at Dr. Rau's seminar. It was a strange night....I could'nt sleep....I was doing alot of thinking on top of having the anticipation of my darling Mike's arrival. Due to lack of sleep and left over detoxing from last week's hyperthermia my breathing was not the greatest. I was going to take the train to the klinik but with this energy? No, a taxi will be just fine.
The Klinik was quiet and empty compared to its normal hustle and bustle during the week. I listened for the voices and followed them to know which area of the building the seminar was being held. I let the first person I saw (who happened to be Dr Rau's wife) know that I was here when Dr. Rau was ready for me. I was warned that there were many "students" and not to be "nervous." I didnt really know what to expect.
As I was waiting for Dr Rau to call me to be his guinea pig, (ok we will stick to "model"...less lab rat like), I was also waiting for Mike to arrive. He flew in this morning and was going to take the train straight to the klinik to meet me. I was wondering why he hasn't arrived yet and if everything was going ok. I was hoping he would get to the klinik before I was done so we could make our way back to the hotel together.
Dr. Rau's medical assistant called me in! Here goes! Dr Rau invited me to sit smack in the front of the room for all to see. He introduced me to the twenty or so doctors that were gazing at me and whispering things here and there to one another. I wondered what they were saying? Being with Mike for ten years and having in laws "off the boat," I have become quiet comfortable with being in a room full of people yapping in another language. I learned to soak it all in and try and read body language. I just sat there following the dialogue as if I knew what Dr. Rau was saying.
Dr. Rau then turned to me and asked me to share my "story." What? I didnt know I was going to have to speak?! I thought the deal was I get an injection into the tumor for free, he uses me to show other doctors his expertise and then Im out of here. I told this story a million times and I am not one shy of the spot light, so why the hell not? In a calm soft tone, I began...."In 2000, when I was eighteen......" Dr. Rau interjected every few sentences to translate into the native tongue. I felt out of place, the only American and chick with cancer in the room! What was I doing? Then I thought back seven years ago, I would have been shaking in my boots to speak in front of a room full of Doctors, nevermind those that dont even speak my language. I wasn't even nervous and I made eye contact with every person in the room minus one or two doctors. How could this be? Boy, has this experience changed me in a lot of ways. Sometimes, to relieve the anxiety and get to the "thankgod this is over" feeling we shorten what we have to say during public speaking. Not this time, I gave the full blown out story!!! The audience was communicating with me by nonverbals (smiles, nods of the head, concerned faces, etc). It was nice to have some sort of connection.
Dr. Rau then went on for a long time about my case, explaining my results thus far, all the treatments I am receiving, about being followed up by Dr. Stills when I return home. He then asked if he could tell the group about my hair. Not only do I have to speak in front of a bunch of doctors and allow them to get up close and personal with my lumpy armpit, I have to tell them about my random bald spots on my head?! What else is he going to surprise me with?! Im only kidding. I dont mind at all. So here goes... After taking the ipilimumab, I began developing these quarter size bald spots with gray hair coming out of them. When I asked Dr. Rau if he has ever seen anything like this and if he knows why this happened, he explained that it is a sign of toxicity. Hmmm.....makes sense. He informed me during our appointment last week that our next appointment he will inject all the spots with a little sometin' sometin.' He went on to explain this in German to his collegeus. (He also suggested rubbing flax seed oil on the areas!. Shit!! That will mess up my blow out! I guess I will be visiting the salon more than once a week?! )
At this point I was invited to the medical table and the rest of the room was invited to surround the medical table. Okay...this is getting weird. Dr. Rau prepared all his concotions and explained to the group what all the ampules were for and how to prepare etc etc. I thought I dressed appropriate for the debut but apparently Dr. Rau felt I needed to take my arm out of two layers of tank tops, exposing my colorful Vicky Secret bra to the room full of doctors. Isnt a tank top a fine article of clothing when one needs to get access to an armpit?! LOL Whatever. This is an experience all right!!!
He gave me the injection and checked in to see how I was feeling, "is it ok?" I shook my head yes and gave the "its not painful" look and nod. Another surprise!!! I was also getting a fresh cell injection!! This guy just loves to surprise me. Now not only did the group see my lumpy armpit and my bald spot, now my upper right tush was going to be exposed! Once again...whatever!! Its free so hey....every little bit helps.
As Dr. Rau warmed up the fresh cell ampule, it takes about 5 minutes, his wife questioned who I came to the klinik with today. I explained I came by myself and I was waiting for my husband's arrival. She said there was someone waiting outside in the lobby with a suitcase. Mike was here!!! I forgot where I was for a minute and smiling ear to ear I exciteldy yelled "Yay!" as I gestured a silent clap. The group laughed. I explained to them that I havent seen my husband in two weeks as my mom was here for the first two weeks and she now left and my husband will stay with me for the last week. Dr. Rau smiled and said in his cute accent that he will hurry. He injected the fresh cells. I quickly reassembeled my self and said thank you and good bye to the group and ran out to Mike.
Dr. Rau introduced himself to Mike and told him that I was doing very well and that he is very optimistic regardng my case and that Im showing positive signs. :) Score!!! Dr. Rau offered to have his wife drive Mike and I back to the hotel. She was very nice and down to earth. She explained she and Dr. Rau have two children. Her seventeen year old daughter was at the klinik helping clean this morning as a way to make money. I like that...despite them probably having good money, they teach their children good old responsibility.
My model debut was not bad at all!!! Im certainly glad I left the stilettos and runway walk for a different time. I wish I had photos and footage of the experience of being a model at Dr. Rau's seminar. I felt silly asking someone to click away. Oh well. Maybe next time.
Today Mike and I are resting. I didnt sleep all night and Mike has jetlag. Yes, it will mess up our biological scheduling but who cares!!! Its sunny and beautiful here in Switzerland!! The snow is melting and the rolling hills are slowly turning green.
StrRenGtH, LoVe, & PeAcE,