Monday, 28 April 2014

Sunny Spain : Marbella

photo courtesy of Mary Reyes Photography
We spent three more days in Malaga, showed the kids around. Then, we were off to Marbella. Marbella is a popular destination for the rich. The posh shops and yachts reflect that. A shop owner told me Michelle Obama just vacationed there. It was quiet though and again the shop owner was quick to point out that business is not the same because of the recession and that's everywhere in Spain. We travel a lot as a family but it didn't occur to me that my kids and my husband can't pack. I do it for them because it's quicker and I like being organised. They came with a big suitcase of nothing, so we had to go shopping, again. Temperatures were rising so we had to look for a groomer for the dog and had him shaven. How I wished we were just there for a holiday and not for treatments. Marbella is just an hour from Malaga but here they speak English. My brother and sister in law were coming to join us all the way from Jakarta, I was excited. The kids were writing an itinerary. Into the second week there, I started feeling ill, increasingly breathless, sleeping was getting harder. I woke up one day and I just knew I was not well, I asked my husband to take me to the hospital. The taxi brought us to Hospital Quiron, a private hospital about 15 minutes from the hotel. After checking my saturations, I was put on oxygen immediately. Then, they did a scan. I was in very very bad shape. Apparently the treatments I got in Malaga dangerously inflamed my lungs. In fairness, the clinic actually asked not to do a scan yet as it won't be an accurate marker for what I've achieved. But, the doctors were convinced that their treatments were not safe and obviously not well studied. The goal now was to rehabilitate me, bring me back to life. I was given an IV of glucose. This is the first week of August, three months after the diagnosis, they gave me 2-3 months, I cringe at the thought but regain my composure and pray. I asked my husband to bring me my notebook where I had written letters for them. The doctors called my husband in for a meeting, and I knew it was not good news, he came out teary eyed but refused to talk about the scan. he admitted later on that they told him I only had a few days, maybe 3 to live. Get this though, on the third day, I got up and took a shower. My brother and sis in law were arriving that day, I didn't want to be in a stinky mess. It was good to see them, wished under different circumstances but, it was good. I prayed a lot at the hospital, I needed a miracle. The doctors suggested emergency chemotherapy, they did not think I would make it through the flight back to the UK unless I take a medical plane with proper equipment and oxygen. I quickly regained my strength though to their surprise, and by day 5 we were booking our flights back to the UK. The next thing was to buy a portable oxygen concentrator for the flight, the hospital ordered it for us. I was confined for 8 days, literally almost died. Praise God I was spared. We had planned an itinerary with my brother and his wife but we had to go back and leave them there to explore on their own. Thank you for coming to see me.
The alternative treatments did not work for me but I know it has for some less aggressive cancers.

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