By Patty Wilber
We had a really nice trip to Stockholm, Sweden! It’s a bit of a long flight! We flew from Albuquerque to Denver to Munich to Stockholm!
In Munich, we went through the gate to board the plane, we thought, but that gate led to a bus! We all boarded the bus, which then drove out into the boonies of the airport, it felt like, where we unloaded and then finally got on the plane, the old fashioned way!
I don’t really want this blog to be a travelogue, so, here are three horse related things we saw.
Live horses in Skansen (see below re Skansen). A Fjord and a North Swedish Horse. We used to have a Fjord at the house, so I have a soft spot for them.
A painting on the ceiling of the Hallwyl Mansion (see below on the mansion). How on earth did someone land on this as a ceiling decoration for a home?
The first horse statue in Stockholm? When I searched via Google looking for the first horse statue, it did come up, but the Wikipedia page did not talk about it being first… It is of King Charles XIV John.
We did, of course, do a good deal of general sightseeing, and everything we saw was worthwhile, so here’s a quick list of what we did in the 4.25 days we were there. Stayed in Old Stockholm (Gamla stan) for two nights, went on a ghost tour, took a ferry to Djurgården, an island in Stockholm. We hit the ABBA museum (cool) and Skansen, “the world’s oldest open-air museum, showcasing the whole of Sweden with houses and farmsteads from every part of the country.” Also really interesting. We ate nachos (not the best) because we like to make fun of nachos in places that nachos don’t belong.
Then we moved up to the Scandic Hotel for a meeting of the Estenberg Society, for the descendants of Petrus Estenberg (Jim) for the last two days and three nights. Prior to the meeting, we walked around that area with Eva (a distant cousin). A couple highlights included the square where Jöran Persson (famous ancient personage, direct relative, many generations back) was tortured and died, and visited Hallwyl House, a mansion built with money being no object, and with the express goal that it would eventually be a museum. Every single item, down to the smallest thing, in the house is numbered and is catalogued in 78 great big books! The woman was perhaps a bit OCD? But what a treasure she left for the world!
Then with the actual Estenberg Society, we toured the Drottningholm Palace Theatre, which has many features dating back to 1766, including the stage machinery, and we toured the Royal Treasury. We also had a fancy private lunch in the House of Nobility with a talk that looked really engaging, but it was in Swedish. We got to see the Estenberg crest there!
The theater was my personal favorite. It was closed up from 1792 to 1921, when it was rediscovered. Imagine being the rediscoverer! It would have been the find of a lifetime! The theater and the original stage machinery is still in use today!
The trip home was 20 hours, but we got to our house and were asleep by 10:30 pm so slept off potential jet lag! Good thing because we both had to work the next day!
Our dog Couslon went missing while we were gone, but he returned within six hours of our arrival home. His new name is Jerkface, for scaring us.
It was a fun week and I am happy to be back in the Land of Enchantment!
Breast Cancer Chronicles. Given that I had trouble with the first maintenance drug (Kadcyla) and then had to wait for insurance approval for the next drug, I got eight weeks off of chemo, and I definitely have perked up! This week, though, the new drug was approved and I got the pertuzumab/trastuzumab/hyaluronidase (Phesgo) subcutaneous (under the skin) injection in my thigh. Since I still have some numbness in my thighs, it was not that bad. It was 15 cc injected slowly over 10 minutes. This was a loading dose, so in three weeks, I will only get 10 cc. The injection site feels fine as I write this, 12 or so hours after injection. Next time, my other leg will get injected. I think I will have 12 total, but am really not sure. It might be 14.
Pertuzumab and trastuzumab are monoclonal antibodies that bind to the Her2 receptor slowing or preventing cancer cell division. The Kadcyla is a monoclonal antibody + a chemo agent. The success rate of Kadcyla for preventing reoccurence is 3 to 5% better, but for me the nerve side effects were disqualifying. The hylauronidase is an enzyme that breaks down hylauronic acid. Hylauronic acid helps hold tissue together, so the addition of the enzyme to the monoclonal antibody cocktail for the subcutaneous shot allows the antibodies to penetrate the tissue and reach the blood stream more easily. Circulating blood levels, interestingly, end up being similar whether the drugs are administered directly into the vein or via injection under the skin.
Heart disease is an issue with the trastuzumab, so I will have another echocardiogram next week. That will be my third one, and I will get them every three months.
If this drug regime goes well, I think I will be able to get the port out in October or November!