Friday, May 31, 2013

Germany Part 4 + recipe

I've meant to describe our room. It is simplistic, yet comfortable. It has soft yellow walls and the beds are hospital type beds, where you can adjust the angle of the head area or the height. We have a couple of chairs with a small table between them in one corner. There is also an eating area which extends to a desk (narrower than the eating space). Lots of electrical outlets both near the eating/desk area and the bed area. This makes it easy to plug in a computer, iPad, and/or phone. We have a balcony, with two chairs and a table, and face the park area outside, so it's beautiful and peaceful; they have a lawn chess set and benches under some trees. In the far background on the left, you can see vineyards, which dot the countryside. Actually, with the camera in my phone, I think it's impossible to see the vineyards, so just imagine that they are there. There are two buildings and you're looking at the other one.

If any of you have a question, please don't hesitate to ask.

It's the 30th. I am having a needle put into my port today. Up til now, I've been having my arm stuck for the infusions ( they use a butterfly, so it's small), but since I am having two infusions today, it will be easier this way. We plan on just relaxing and not exploring today, as it's a holiday here. Also, as I have a treatment with an infusion this morning and an infusion this afternoon, relaxing seems to be a good idea. The sun was out mostly all morning, then it started to pour. Now, 2:00PM, the sun is out again. This sounds a lot like FL but for the temperature, in the 50s and 60s.

I finished the book I had started when we left. I'm NOT into zombies, but the book World War Z, was not really about zombies per se, but it was more about how the world handled this infection, which changed the world as we know it. It was well written, an editing of interviews of people from all over the globe, and a really good read, much to my surprise. I'm encouraging Art to read at least the first several pages to see if it catches his interest. It did mine. Maybe it will yours!

We ended up just resting as I thought we might. There was a minor snafu with my infusion of sodium bicarbonate. The nurse set me up and left. An hour or so later, I got up to use the bathroom and noticed that the drip wasn't dripping very much. We called the nurse and she fixed the drip. It was suppose to take about 2 hours and actually did take about 2 hours, so the drip must have been faster than usual. I don't believe that makes a difference.

This evening I started on my 4th BJP bracelet for the year, and the focal point of this one is an oval with real flowers under acrylic. Maybe I can finish this one before we return and then start on my 5th one when we get back. Remember, I'm suppose to be creating one a month for the year. Moving at my own pace.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

May 31st
Very rainy and cool most of the day

7:35AM  vitals taken
10:00AM hyperthermia with Vit C Infusion
4:30PM Mistletoe shot
7:00PM Heparin shot

This is the Italian machine, and the next photo is with me during treatment; this was yesterday.

Today I was in the other room and used the German machine. 

I wanted you to see the difference in appearance. The do the same thing using a different method, as both use radio frequencies to heat.

The Klinik is in Bad Bergzabern, and we went there for dinner tonight at the Rossel Restaurant, Greek food. It was wonderful. The grilled octopus in a garlic sauce was so tender; it's been such a long time since I've had good octopus. Then, they served a tasty Greek salad, cheese on the side. Our main courses were, for Art, a liver with onions and mushrooms done to perfection (according to him, not my cup of tea), and for me a delicious lamb steak with eggplant in a tomato sauce. Really good. No recipe for either of those. However, the Lemon Chicken recipe below rivals either of the above for good taste.

Lemon Chicken

This another of my family's favorites. So easy! It's the moistest chicken I've ever had, as it's self-basting.

1 chicken, 3 1/2-4 lbs
2 lemons
2 toothpicks and 1 piece of string

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Clean the chicken well both inside and out. Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
  3. Puncture both lemons with a fork in several places and place them inside the chicken.
  4. Close the cavity with the two toothpicks and tie the legs together to help keep the cavity closed.
  5. Salt and pepper the whole outside of the chicken, ending up with the chicken on its breast.
  6. Cook for about 20 minutes and then turn over the chicken.
  7. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear, a total of about 20 minutes per pound, including while the chicken was on its breast.
  8. Let it rest for 15 minutes and then cut it up. Discard the lemons.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Germany Part 3 + recipe

Today's Wed, the 29th. They checked my vitals again this morning - weight, blood pressure, temperature, and oxygen level, plus they measured my girth. I'm sure I'll find out why soon. A bit, later, still before breakfast, Dr. Migeod did another ultrasound; apparently, I didn't have a full bladder for yesterday's and he wanted to check out the area more thoroughly. I am very impressed with the attention to detail.

At 10:00am, I went for my next hyperthermia treatment with Vit C infusion. I was back on the first machine. I forgot to mention yesterday that the Italian one is very different than the German one. Maybe, I'll take pictures tomorrow so you can see the differences. The treatment of hyperthermia lasts about 50-55 minutes, while the Vit C is only for 45 minutes. After Hyperthermia, I was scheduled to see Dr. Migeod around 11:00. He has been late the last couple of days but was here about 10:50am today. He had the rest of the blood work results, which dealt with my immune system, and the results from my urine test, which showed what my PH level was - I'm very acidic. My blood was okay for the T-cells, my killer cells and the eater cells, but am very low on the other two indicators. Can't remember the names, but one has to do with the Thymus. So, he wants to stimulate them more and is upping my dose of mistletoe, as I tolerated the first shot well. I think I'll be getting thoses twice a week. So far, all the shots have been given in the abdomen; I'm looking very polka-dotted. He increased my Vit D intake as well; I brought my own drops from home and he has increased them from 4 to 8 a day. He is starting me on echinacea also, for the immune system, as well as something more for my spleen. I'm going to have a sodium bicarbonate infusion too, tomorrow, for the acidity/alkalinity. It's amazing how much he covers with all his tests. Why don't they do this in the USA? How's that for a rhetorical question? Boy, there's a lot going on!

It looks like I've developed a bit of lymphadema in my right leg due to the large tumor in my groin. Luckily, I have enough compression stockings so I can wear them on both legs. Not fun, but it is what it is. I had had some swelling in my right ankle for a couple of weeks before we flew, and after the flight, my right leg swelled more, at least up to the knee. Since I knew that the stockings help with the movement of lymph, due to my lymphadema in my left leg, it's an easy follow up. I'll have to see if there is more I have to do once I get home, or maybe I'll see a lymphadema therapist here.

I continue to be impressed with the flexibility of the kitchen. Art had a noodle dish, with some kind of large dumpling with a meatball in the center, and sauce, and I had gluten-free noodles, with some veggies, and turkey meatballs, they made themselves, with a very light sauce. Very tasty. The large meal is at lunchtime with a smaller lighter meal at dinner time. It's almost 2:30 and I don't have any treatments scheduled for this afternoon. It's cooler today and very overcast, having rained this morning. We may take a drive or just relax, as yet, we haven't decided what to do.

More later.

It's almost 5:00pm and we just returned from France. We went to a small village, Wissembourg, only 15 minutes away. Very quaint with lots of restaurants and pastry/chocolate shops. It was raining, so we walked around for less than an hour and came back. However, it was a good stop, as we passed an orthopedic pharmacy, where they sold compression stockings and I was able to buy a couple more. There WAS a reason for going. It never occurred to me to buy more and they were less expensive than the ones I buy in the US. We want to return there when we have more time, as there are several things to see and do in and around Wissembourg.

I need to make a correction from Germany Part 2 - it's NOT the Palatine, it IS the Palatinate that is the wine country, which goes throughout Germany. Hope we get to explore some of that area too.

We ended up going out for dinner in Wissembourg with our new friends Nancy and Patrick. They leave tomorrow - boo hoo. We plan on keeping in touch.

Good Night until the next blog.

Green Bean Pate

This is a wonderful imitation chopped liver, so much more healthy. Everyone loves it when it’s served on the Holidays. I use Sami’s Bakery crackers, made of millet, brown rice and flax seed. They're on the internet

½ pound Fresh green beans, ends trimmed
3 large Onions, peeled & sliced
¼ cup Vegetable broth
3  Eggs, hardcooked, using only the whites (save yellows for something else)
1 cup Walnut, almond, or brazil nut pieces
½ teaspoon Salt or to taste
½ teaspoon Pepper, coarsely ground
Assorted crackers
Cucumber slices (a delicious option)

1.         In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook green beans in water for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. In a medium frying pan over medium hear, sauté onions in vegetable broth for 30 minutes or until onions are well done, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

2.         In a food processor, place beans, onions, egg whites, nuts, Salt and pepper. Whirl until a pate-like consistency is reached. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with assorted crackers or cucumber slices.

Yields 2 cups.

Recipe from Patsy Rasmussen, a really good friend who lived in Santa Fe, Panama, and now is back in the States.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Germany/Part 2 + recipe

We arrived at the Klinik by 11:00am, Monday. I had some paper work to fill out, and then we saw a doctor who went over my history. Lunch was next and pretty good. We unpack and relaxed until I had my first treatment at 5:00PM.

Meal times are early:
Breakfast 7:30-9:00 (not really bad)
Lunch Noon-1:00 ( a bit early)
Dinner 5:00-6:00 (really early)
As I had my treatment at 5:00, lasting until close to 6:00, they delivered our dinner to our room, as we had missed dinner in the dining room. They are very flexible food-wise, and I'll be able to stay on my diet: no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, plus some other "no's."

The Hyperthermia treatment was pretty easy to take. They only took it up to 100 watts (whatever that means) and next I think it goes to 120 or 125 watts. They use radio frequencies to generate the heat. I laid down on a water bed and the nurse placed a pouch of water on my abdomen. The machine went on top of that; this was a German model. She took it to 80 watts for about 10 minutes and then up to 100 watts for the rest of the time. I felt a warmth, almost like the heat lamp Frank, my acupuncturist, uses when I have acupuncture. I dozed a bit and was quite relaxed. Art sat with me during the treatment. No pain or discomfort at all. Here's hoping that 120 or 125 watts works the same.

Tuesday, the 28th, they took blood at 7:45AM and then I had a sonogram, around 8:15AM; Dr. Migeod wanted to check to make sure no there wasn't any thrombosis and to see what the tumors looked like. Luckily, no thrombosis but there is a bit of a blockage of a vein due to the large tumor in my right groin. That's why we're here!!!! Shrink those suckers!!!!!

I know this is detailed info and if you're not interested, just skip over it. There are some who're interested and are contemplating using this type of treatment as well. This is for them.

I'm due to have another consult with Dr. Migeod, who runs the Klinik, in a little bit. He is the one who is creating my treatment schedule.

(Back to write more later)

It's later, after dinner. Before the consult with Dr. Migeod late this morning, we had about an hour.  We went into Bad Bergzabern to look around. It's a pretty town. We found a health food store (here organic items are called Bio) and found some interesting things. When we had visited Switzerland a couple of years ago, I found a chestnut flour cracker that I really liked a lot. Here, I found a brown rice and chestnut flour one, also good. Then, we went to the Information Center and got some brochures on the Palatine, which is what their wine country in this area is called. Art can have a good time wine tasting, and maybe I'll take a taste now and again; of course, this means we will have time to explore. I know that there aren't any treatments on Sunday, so............ Actually, I'm hoping we can go the Strasberg, France, over the weekend, as I believe it's less than an hour away.

When we met with Dr. Migeod, he had most of the results from my blood tests - they took a lot of blood! Mostly everything was fine, but I'm a bit anemic (due to the chemo) and I need more Vitamin D, so not too bad. He wanted me to have another hyperthermia treatment today with a Vitamin C infusion and to start low-dose chemo, given in pill form. This time, I was on another machine, and this one was Italian, very international here. I also had a Mistletoe shot to boost my immune system. There are a couple of more results from the blood tests that I will get tomorrow when we meet in the morning. I will be seeing him every day. The staff here is very nice, although not all the nurses speak good English, which makes it a bit difficult, but nothing that can't be worked with.

We've met a lovely young couple, in their 40s, who unfortunately are leaving on Thursday. We have a lot of similar ideas about food and other health related topics, so there's lots to talk about. Nancy's husband, Patrick, works with software, so he can work anywhere, and he is - working each day here. We plan on keeping in touch and I'll be adding some of her recipes to my cookbook. Wish I had one now to give to you.

Here's another recipe I believe I have written before. It is easy and delicious -

1 eggplant
1/4 C tahini
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic, cut up
Cilantro or parsley


  1. Put the oven on broil. Place the eggplant on a tray, after puncturing it several times with a fork.
  2. Broil it for 6-7 minutes on a side, turning it three times.
  3. Let it cool and then skin it. Either put the pulp in a container and refrigerate it until you are ready to use it, or put it into a food processor.
  4. Add the rest of ingredients and blend it well.
  5. Refrigerate it until ready to serve. Can be prepared at least a couple of days in advance. Lasts well.
I serve this with both cut up vegetables and crackers. I really like that dash or two of cumin.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

BJP/Germany Klinik Trip/Recipe

I am so behind with my Bead Journal Project, where I'm suppose to create a piece a month, but it’s really okay. I finished my 3rd bracelet for the year and will start my 4th shortly, as I've taken beads with me on this trip. In my BJP blog, I wrote that I was skipping a month to catch up and then would go back to fill in the missed pieces, but I realized that I’m not actually journaling, where my bead embroidery is telling a story each month, as I've done in past years. This year I am using a different material for the center focus and working with color, so it doesn’t matter if this one is March or May. As long as I complete 12 pieces, I will feel I have fulfilled what I started out to do this year. The central focal pieces for my first two bracelets were fused glass and then pearls.

This piece’s focal point is porcelain, a Chinese pottery shard I actually bought in China.

I took my color scheme of blues and white (with a touch of gold) directly from the shard (obviously). I used pearls, Swarovski crystals and glass beads, with a plastic button as the clasp. I finished this piece a few days ago, but I was so busy getting ready for our trip to Germany, as I'm going to the Bio-Med Klinik for hyperthemia treatment, that I didn’t have a chance to write and upload the photo, which I took the night before we left on Thursday. 

Our flight was uneventful, the best kind; it's an 8 1/2 hour flight to Dusseldorf, and unfortunately the seats on AirBerlin are so close that Art was really cramped and uncomfortable. For me, as I'm so much shorter, it wasn't a problem. However, neither of us slept well or long on the flight. The important thing is that we arrived safely, if tired. We got our car and headed South to Heidelberg. We stopped in Koln (Cologne) to visit the Cathedral, which was well worth the stop, had lunch, and then we were both so tired, we rented a room, day rate, at the Hilton near the Cathedral, and slept for 2-3 hours; back in the car and we completed the drive to Heidelberg, another 2 1/4 hours.

It’s Sunday today and I'll be admitted to the Klinik tomorrow. We've been staying with a friend in Heildelberg, about 1 1/2 hr from the Klinik, as we wanted a few days to get rid of Jet Lag. Andrea works at the Heildelberg Schloss, which is a must see on any trip to Germany, if you are any where in the area; we went yesterday and took the tour of the castle. Today, while Andrea has been at work, we went to the Auto & Technik Museum in Sinsheim, less than a 1/2 hour away. It's an auto and plane museum, including farming equipment and tanks, as well as clothes and accessories from the early to mid 1900s. Verrrrrrrrrry interesting. Some of the old cars are ones we had never seen before, and all were in perfect condition! We would have gone to some gardens we were looking forward to seeing, but it's been cold and pouring all day. Maybe we'll still get the chance, as I believe we'll have time for sightseeing between treatments, but having no schedule at this point makes planning difficult. Just another challenge.

Okay - now for my Smothered Onion Pasta recipe, which I think I've written before. But if you didn't keep it, it's worth a second telling. 

2-3 large onions, thinly sliced
6 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 C white wine (or organic vegetable broth which also works well)
hand full of chopped parsley
12 oz to 1 lb of pasta, can use gluten-free
Parmesan cheese, if you eat dairy

  1. Put the oil in a deep saute pan over a very low flame (a 1-2 on an electric stove).
  2. Put in the onions and cover. Cook for 45 minutes.
  3. Start the water for the pasta & cook it according the directions on the package. Try to time it so the pasta is cooked when the sauce is finished. Better for the saute to wait for the pasta then vice versa.
  4. Uncover the pan and raise the flame to medium. Salt and pepper the onions and stir. Don't worry if the onions have thrown off a lot of liquid. Cook until the onions are golden, about 10 more minutes.
  5. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the wine or vegetable broth. Cook until the alcohol has evaporated, or, if using the vegetable broth, for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add the parsley, stir, and take it off the heat.
  7. If the pasta is finished, add the sauce and sprinkle on the cheese if using cheese. I serve the cheese on the side, as not everyone likes dairy. This is just as tasty without the cheese.
The original recipe was from a Marcella Hazan cookbook. This is one of my family's favorite dishes and it's so easy. Enjoy!!!!!