Thursday, 5 November 2015

CANCER - The battle we didn't choose...

my wife's fight with breast cancer
Hi, My name is Eugéne Mulder from Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, South Africa. And I would like to share my story with who ever might be interested in OUR incredible journey with cancer.
I met Karin Nel in the winter of June - July 1998. I will never forget this awesome day when I drove thru from Nelspruit where she stayed on a farm outside of Hendrina, Mpumalanga, South Africa with her parents. As to meet her for the 1st time.
At the time I was residing in Nelspruit since 1985.
Prior to this I was a divorcee from a previous marriage. I was not interested in a serious relationship as I did not trust as to my experience with my past. Now! How this unfolded before we met. I went to my dentist in Nelspruit whereby the receptionist asked me about my wife and kids and how they are doing?
Unfortunately I had to say that we were no longer married. And after some discussion she asked me if I was interested in meeting somebody? Whereby I replied, no thank you as I would not be interested. She however was persistent and handed me a folded piece of paper and said if I was interested I could call her.
I was very uncomfortable and took the piece of paper and stuck it  in my trousers pocket and upset walked out and left back for work.
 When I was in Johannesburg for some time during my divorce, went to a church in Edenvale with my parents and did some soul searching and really walked a more close relationship with God as I gave my heart to Jesus in 1980.
Whereby I was coached as to set free my past and start living and believing in victory in Jesus.
I started praying for my future wife to be that God will keep her safe and protect her and Bless her for when we meet that she will be the one, He will bring along my path.
I prayed over a period of ten months, every morning and every evening that God will protect my future wife to be. The one morning again I prayed and after Blessing my future wife to be. I prayed by saying God please protect “Karin”... I was so stunned in my words in my prayer that I did not even finish my prayer.
After that day I started praying for “Karin” that whoever, where ever she might be that God will protect her and Bless her with His divine Grace.
As I got back to work and that afternoon, as I always have lip-ice in my pocket. Reached into my pocket and found this piece of paper. Took it out and upset again with the gesture. Opened it up and there it was jotted down “Karin” with a cell phone number. WOW...! What a revelation struck me that here is the name of the person that I have been praying now for so long. I was so out of it that I could not come to term to the vastness of my prayer and here was the name of the person I prayed for so long.
I eventually scraped the courage together as to phone this Karin on the piece of paper.
As I needed to know and curious as to who she is and where and all these emotions and thinking that was going thru my mind.
And then I phoned and this angel voice answered the phone on the other side: Hallo, Karin wat praat! In Afrikaans. And introduced myself and as to the reason I was phoning and how I got her number. And so we started chatting over the phone. And this was eventually more regular and after a few months I asked her if we could meet? And she agreed and said I could come visit her on her parents farm in Hendrina as to where she stayed. And drove thru on my off weekend in either June or July of 1998 and did I go to her work place where she worked. And what an amazing site greeted my eyes of this dark brown hair and hazel brown eyes and most beautiful smile that only an angel could smile. The moment we met I just knew in my heart that this is the one woman for me.
We started seeing one another more frequent and really stared to take a liking in each other and I then after a while saw her at least once a month driving thru to Hendrina on my long weekends off and she would come down to Nelspruit at least once a month.
Our relationship developed so well in this time and I eventually asked her to be my girl. As we would say when we were children “Die kys gevra”
And she said YES....! What a glorious day, I was happy again and so in love with Karin and was so comfortable with her and this is was where I belonged.
After knowing Karin for nearly 5 years we eventually decided on a wedding date and got married on the 8th November of 2003. Whereby our lives started together as one.
I was so blessed with Karin being in my life and having her as my wife.
In 2008 Karin fell ill at home with extreme stomach pains the one Sunday evening and I was so worried and did not know what to do and did Karin phone her aunt to come to our house and help her. The aunt came and gave her some medication and the extreme pains were subsiding and eventually gone.
It then again happened at her work place and she called me and I went to pick her up and took her to hospital casualties whereby the doctor did a sonar and said that she has gall stones.
He admitted her to hospital and gave her medication as to reduce the pain and eventually a few days later they removed her gall bladder. Karin was discharged a few days later.
Karin kept on complaining that she did not feel well. And she kept taking her antibiotics as prescribed and just did not get any better.
Karin was in the bath the one evening and I said to her that your color was not looking good and that you were extremely yellow in color.  The following day I took Karin back to the doctor and wanted to see him. His receptionist was very unwilling to co-operate and I demanded that we see the doctor immediately. The sister told us that Karin had yellow fever. And she needed to go home and rest and take some time sitting in the sun.
I was furious and then the doctor immediately had Karin admitted into hospital again and did a scan and found that the tube was leaking gall into her intestines.
He did put her on strong medication and a few days later was discharged to go see a specialist in Pretoria.
When we saw the specialist he saw what was wrong and did put a plastic stent into the tube upon where she stayed overnight and to be observed. The following day she was discharged and had to follow up in 12 months time again.
September 2009. We went back to Pretoria and was the plastic stent not a success.
He immediately requested from the medical aid that a stainless steel stent to be approved and reconstruction to be done at the tube as to allow it to properly grow and heal. Upon doing this he requested we see him again a year later to follow up on her progress.
September 2010 we went back as to do the follow up on her progress and to hear the good news that the stent was removed and that the procedure was a success and that the tube healed up completely. We were so thank full to God for the past 3years that Karin was 100% and could now live a normal life again.
In October 2010 Karin the one Sunday evening told me that she felt a small lump in her left breast and had a slight burning sensation. And she asked me to feel it and could feel a small little lump. I asked her to phone the doctor on the Monday and got an appointment the Wednesday. I unfortunately could not go with Karin as I was area manager for a company and was my time so restricted. The Friday Karin was scheduled for a biopsy. And yet again I could not make it as I was in Pretoria for an area managers meeting.
Karin then was scheduled after the biopsy to have the glands removed and possibly removing the cancer surgically. I could not even make it on time in being there for her at this time as I was so caught up in my work. Whereby her parents came down to be there for her. How a looser I felt as I could not be there for my wife in this time.
10 October 2010 We were asked by Karin’s doctor to see an oncologist and by appointment we saw the doctor and he broke the news that Karin had H – triple negative breast cancer.
We were not even get time to get to terms with this horrific news we just received as our world collapsed in million pieces. I then told the doctor that Karin did not have cancer “WE have cancer”
The doctor then explained what H – triple negative cancer was and drew a few pictures explaining but we did not take notice at all.
The doctor asked us if we wanted to see a Councillor. He went out for a reason and returned by saying that there is a Psychiatrist that we can see and we could go talk to her.
We agreed and did so. I was so dumb struck hit by lightning that I felt numb in my face and body as if this is not happening to Karin and me...
The emotions that ran like a lightning bolt thru me. And the questions the possible answers. It felt my life has just stopped! Here is the woman I love more than life itself and I know God gave me for a reason. But what reason was this in getting your whole world torn from beneath you!
Karin was just sitting and staring in front of her and with no emotion on her face as if she was a mannequin, staring into nothing... Towards NOTHING...
I remember taking her hand, saying that we will work thru this no matter what. And saying specifically to her: You do not have cancer, WE have cancer...
We went into the Psychiatrist office and sat down. She asked Karin how she felt on the news we just received? Karin started crying and could not remember much of her conversation with the lady. I sat there in my own world of unknown emotions and feelings that were dumped on me and I did not know how to handle the bad news we had just received. Here is Karin, my wife, friend and confidant, lover. My whole world and this is happening to “US”. Happening to “HER”. Happening to “me”.
Words fell short in how to express what is going thru you at that moment. And not even thinking for a second what Karin must be feeling. And she is not thinking what I must be feeling? As she is so caught up in the devastating news received.
Eventually the Psychiatrist turned to me and asked me how I feel and think?
I shook my head and said: I don’t know how I must feel or what I must think?
And I uttered a sound and words that haunted me for a long, long time after that. And I said to the lady: I don’t want this? I don’t need this? I do not know how to handle this?
And I remember saying the following that did hurt Karin so much and we discussed it so frequently. By saying this I made a gesture with my hands by showing “Time out”
I want out!!! Karin started crying fiercely and hurt and disappointed in my answer and not expecting I would say this at all... Here is her husband, the love of her life saying he wants out. I only imagined later what devastation these words had on her. 
The Psychiatrist said to me that I need to pick up my car keys, cell phone and go home.
Pack my bags and leave and never come back to Karin as she does not need this. She needs to focus on her illness and the treatment that will be next.
I stood up and said to her that she does not have the right to say that to me. I do not even know what to do, think or feel at that moment but you are telling me that I should leave Karin now and go?
Then I said to Karin that we should leave and go home. After leaving their offices I could not remember much what happened in the days that followed. Except the thought of Karin being diagnose with breast cancer and how to deal with it.
The month before in September I was promoted to area manager with the company I worked for and had to deal with the new responsibility at work and proving myself to be fit for the position and also to be there for Karin. I just could not handle what was coming my way at all. I usually take a stand and make decisions on my feet. But here I was confronted with my dearest loving wife’s cancer and my new job?
We did not talk much as we were both so caught up in our thoughts and emotions. I cried so much and did not want to cry in front of Karin in upsetting her. I eventually did what I knew best at the time in hiding away in my new job and being so busy and my time was not mine as I now belonged to the company and my time was theirs and I had no say in it.
In the process I found a hiding place in my work as to keep so busy to not think about Karin’s cancer and making time to discuss with her how she feels and what she thinks. I so neglected Karin in the following year that I missed being there for her. I was there for us but not there for her in this time. I had an excuse to being busy and not making time to work thru my emotional breakdown and not even considering my wife. Doing all this not on purpose but with a place where I could hide and not confront the real issue at hand in front of me.
Thinking about this after the time that has gone and she being not here today. I feel so that I neglected her in this specific time. Yes I sure did...! However I had to deal with this as well and did not know how to...? I asked questions and got no answers...
Karin was scheduled for her 1st chemo and did I go in with her at the Oncologist offices and as we waited to see the doctor we were confronted with our own thoughts and mixed emotions on what would this new journey have in store for us...
I went with Karin when we were called in by the sister of the practice and said to me that I had to go and wait in the waiting area. I then did so and as to my surprise Karin was then taken to a room where all other patients would get chemo. And as I wanted to walk in I was refused by the sister and said that I was not allowed to sit with Karin.
I was so disappointed in this and left back to work as where I was working for the day in Nelspruit.
Eventually Karin called me and said that she was done and that I could come pick her up. On our way home she discussed with me the new chemo that was given to her and that she cried so much as she said that by December 2010 that her hair would start falling out.
I dropped Karin off at home and had lunch with her and we were so quiet in what went thru our minds and tried to make sense of what was happening and what was possibly going to happen. As she had the most beautiful short hair and always so loved to run my hands thru it when we were sitting together when watching TV or just being together.
The Christmas holidays came up and did she want to be with her parents as they were to be on holiday and she decided to go spend time with them. As we prior to this had an arrangement as this was my parents and children’s Christmas in us being together.
And ended up in a huge fight that we were so upset with one another that she went her way and I went my way. In retrospect was a good thing in being apart as to work thru what was happening to us. However we should of been ALONE together and spent time talking and discussing what we were both going thru. Instead we spent time apart and trying to forget what was happening to us. During the days to come we phoned one another every day and she the one morning phoned me and was crying so much and she told me that her hair fell out so much and she could not handle it. And I apologized to her for not being there with her as I wanted to be there. And cried with her over the phone...
I came back from my parents and on my way back Karin phoned me that her uncle was sick in hospital and that I needed to come quick. I was not far away from home and I met Karin at the hospital of whereby we went home as to prepare food for the evening. As we got home the phone rang and her uncle then passed away the 24 of December after a long illness of MS.
We then spent Christmas day at home with her parents and on the 27th December her aunt passed away on cancer. And this was a huge shock to Karin as I remember holding her tight and she said to me: Mulder, is this what is awaiting me when I will come to that point as to where I can no more...? I held her so tight and remember we both cried so much and I tried comforting her and tried to be strong for her as we did not know at all what was to be our journey... I said to her that we need to be where God wants us, close to him and where we can be humble and whatever His plan might be for us that we need to be ready and be prepared. I have never cried so much in my life before for my wife and could not cry in front of her as I needed to be strong for her and she need not see me breaking down and not being able to be in control of myself. As needed to be strong for her...
The following months to come we were just coping with the every third week chemo of a two week rest and was so impressed with Karin as she was so strong and had no other side effects at all from the chemo. And at one afternoon when I dropped her off after chemo and had lunch together and left back for work.
After an hour I phoned her up and asked how she was doing and how she felt?
She told me that she feels so good that she was busy mowing the lawn...
I asked her what? And she replied again that she was mowing the lawn... And we both started laughing and was so amazed by God helping her thru this period of no side effects at all... And we praised Him for His Devine Grace and what He is doing for Karin.
Karin finished her chemo in about the month of June 2011 and then after 3 weeks started with radiation for 5 weeks, every day at 08:00 in the mornings at radiation at the hospital.
During this time Karin started getting like sunburn on her radiated area and eventually started getting small open wounds on her breast. As he showed me this and she spoke to the oncologist and he gave her some ointment used for people with (ambeie) and she started using this with plasters.
She complained to the radiation staff that the open wounds were not closing up at all and they eventually were so concerned about it and then spoke to the oncologist and on his turn said to Karin that he will prescribe a antibiotic and she will be better.
This did not improve at all. And after complaining again she spoke to the doctor again and then again gave her some more antibiotics and told her she must not complain and as I’m the doctor and knows what should be done and she must go home and rest.
She was upset about this as she could by then not wear a bra anymore as this was shaving the wounds and opening up more and bleeding nonstop. During this time her breast became so hardened that if she would touch it with her hand, her finger imprints would stay on the skin as if dented.
She finished radiation on my birthday in August 2011 and she eventually had to make use of bandages around her breasts as to keep the wounds dry from sweat as this seemed to worsen the wounds. As she was employed at a financial institution, she had to go see customers far away from home with her department head. And the driving vast distances did not do the wounds well at all.
In September 2011 I lost my job as area manager with my employer as my contract with them was terminated as to new structures and way forward of the business.
And yet again our world fell apart as we needed the income and Karin not needing stress on her as to the circumstances and bills not to be paid.
I remember driving back from Johannesburg and phoning Karin as she was in North West as to see customers there and in telling her what had happened to me. And I was crying so much as I felt I failed her again... And she said I must not worry about anything as God will sort us out and He does have a purpose for things happening to us. And here she was being strong for me... That evening when she came home I had a supper prepared for us and awaiting her arrival. As she came home very late that night at home and tired. We briefly spoke about what happened to my work and hoe it will effect us.
She just smiled and said to me that all will work out for the better and we will work thru this as we go on.
Things changed over night for us in our marriage and relationship with one another as I no longer had the stress of branches, budgets and staff problems. And now had time to spend with my beloved wife and making up lost time stolen from us... We were in LOVE again as if we met the 1st time. Only this time were already married and we had the most amazing time as husband and wife and were so were happy regardless the illness and me without a job.
Our relationship got new meaning to us as a couple and we spent as much time as we could together in appreciating one another and just loving and enjoying what marriage offered us. We were so in heaven with one another...
We were so in love and happy and all we ever wanted to be for one another...
In October 2011 we went to CANSA as we were so unhappy about the radiation wounds and we just did not know who to turn to for help as the wound were just getting bigger and bigger and out of control.
CANSA had a look at the wounds and were so shocked to see these wound in such a state.
The immediately sent us to the 1st doctor that did the biopsy and removed the 7-8 glands from Karin’s breast with the 1st operation. (Pg.2)
On seeing him he was so shocked as to what he saw. And was so disappointed and bashed on his table and said: Where the @#$ must I now get skin to repair this damage that was done to the breast?
He referred us back to the oncologist on whereby we saw the doctor for the 3rd time after insisting we get an appointment?
He then made an appointment to have a PET scan done in Pretoria the following week. And we did go for the scan and awaited nearly two weeks for the doctor to phone us back and give us the results.
Upon this we saw the surgeon again and he phoned the oncologist and said he would phone Karin and discuss the finding on the P.E.T. scan done on her.
The doctor phoned Karin the following day and said to her that she was clean of any cancer.
We were so happy and jumped and praised God for what he has done for Karin and in beating the cancer...
We then made an appointment with the surgeon as to discuss we wanted a second opinion as we were not happy with the way things were going as to the past history. And requested him to withdraw the file form the oncologist and send it to the new oncologist we requested to go see ASAP. As whereby he made arrangements for us to go see the new oncologist.
And we made an appointment as to go see asap.
He then also phoned up a plastic surgeon and went to go see him even the same day. Upon arrival he took photos and discussed with us options on how he could possibly help us.
We went to the new oncologist and we discussed our journey with her and she listened as we were so unhappy as how things were going with Karin’s treatment and after we were done. She took out the report and discussed with us that the PET scan did show cancer under the other arm and behind the chest bone and close to her heart...
She turned the report around and she showed us what was in it...
We could not believe our ears and YET AGAIN had such bad news and felt again as our world was falling apart in a million pieces...
This roller coaster of bad Vs. Good news was just getting to much for both of us to handle.
We both broke down and cried so much and I held Karin’s hand and did not have any word at all to comfort her at all... I was bleeding from the inside and could not even imagine on how Karin must have felt at that moment... My inner man was screaming so loud inside me in disappointment...
Karin was so devastated by the news and she was so broken up and could not think for a second what she was going thru. I only looked at her face with my eyes filled with tears at her facial expression and thinking back, I still cannot make out her disappointment or hurt or anger she must of felt. This ocean of emotions filling her up as if in a midst of this storm being beaten and thrown against the rocks and trying to breath and make sense of all that was happening at that very moment...
After discussions between the doctors they decided that Karin had to undergo a mastectomy as to try and give her a chance on regaining perspective and starting a new battle among'st the biggest battle she have been facing and as a couple to how deal with all this.
Karin was scheduled for the operation on the 14th November 2011 a day before her birthday on the 15th.
We were concerned as Karin went into theater with a slight cough as she picked up a slight flu. However the operation was scheduled and had to take place.
She was moved into theater that afternoon at about 16:00 and came out of theater at 10:30 that evening.
We did not see any doctors until the next morning whereby they eventually did their rounds and spoke to us and said that it was a difficult procedure and discussed to what they did.
As when they removed the breast they also took muscle from her back and replanted that where the breast would be and did the plastic surgeon also implanted a prostheses as whereby they would start inflating it over time as to stretch the muscle and to eventually do reconstruction of her breast.
Her brother and kids and parents were also there at the time of the procedure and did her brother arrange a cake and balloons as to make her birthday worth her wile. And this was so special.
In this recovery time in hospital as I was not present the one morning, as I started to casual at a business in Nelspruit over weekends. And the Friday the 18th November 2011 the oncologist saw Karin and her brother in the ward and gave Karin the news that she was terminal ill and gave her 2-5 years to live...
The weekend went by and did Karin not tell me anything about what the doctor told her.
After the weekend when her family all left back home. The one evening the following week at home Karin told me that she did not how to tell me the following news as she did not know as to how I would react and take it. She then told me what the oncologist told her about the diagnose and that she was now terminal ill...
And yet again our world fell apart in billions of pieces... I cried and cried and cried so much that evening... I cried for her taking this news all on her own with her brother and she having the strength under the current recovering process as to keep it quiet until we were alone at home and to discuss it with me...
 I arranged for Karin and myself time alone away in the Kruger Park for the old and new year of 2011 2012 and were so lucky that we got a bungalow at Sirheny for one evening on the 30th of December 2011 and two evenings at Mopani camp on the 31st and the 1st January 2012 On the evening of the 31st I asked Karin to phone her parents as to ask them to go with us to the Kruger. We booked a midnight game drive and we were escorted to a “boma”  in the middle of the bush. Between all the wild animals with some foreign guests and some staff of Mopani and they spoiled us under the stars going out of 2011 into 2012
Wow...! What an awesome experience that was...
Early in January we started with new chemo with the new oncologist. And did the chemo the 1st 2 sessions go well and did the cancer count come down by small margins and then Karin started coughing a lot and was the doctor very concerned about this. We had x-rays done on her chest and lungs and did they pick up that Karin had a lot of small blood clots in her lungs. And as time went on the coughing became more and she started collecting fluids in her lungs and was admitted in hospital with difficult breathing and did one of the doctors do a drainage directly into the lungs in theater and was such a lot of fluids drained with a lot of blood in it. This was a time that Karin had so much pain and started using morphine and wafarin medication to thin the blood and to possibly over time dissolve the blood clots in her lungs.
She finished the 1st set of chemo and did the cancer not respond to the chemo and worsened. As the wounds started re appearing on the radiation skin that was under the new transplanted skin. We tried from emu oil to what ever ointment we could find and tried everything possible and found that certain ointments just did not work and others that would make a difference within days.
We came across a Professor in nature medication in Johannesburg that had such fantastic results with cancer patients that we made an appointment to go see him and when he saw Karin he said that there were problems with her pancreas and liver and thus the cancer. He gave her some medication and Karin started taking this. However she felt that this was not working and stopped with the medication as it did not improve anything for her.
We then started a new chemo in pill form Xeloba if I can remember correct. She was on this for a long time. Maybe eight months and did the cancer count come down but very slow. And then Karin started getting side effects of the chemo in vomiting, sleepless, not eating and started losing weight drastically. Her skin started discoloring and her feet became so sore at stages that she could not walk at times and even warm water would burn her feet.
I started a prayer group “Karin Mulder Bidgroep” for her on facebook and on Blackberry messenger as well as on whatsapp. As to inform family, friends and colleges of Karin where she worked. As I was on the phone the whole day and people being upset with me in not letting them know what is happening and going on with Karin’s journey.
I started a fasting for her every Friday and would such a lot of people participate in this as we did not even know half of them. Church groups all over the country had special prayer meetings for Karin and did this mean so much to us.
I administered the groups as to let everybody know how Karin was doing and when certain things took place as when she would go for blood tests and new chemo or landed in hospital due to her lungs that kept on filling up with fluids.
I eventually removed myself from the phone groups as people were harassing me in not giving thru enough info and I got fed up as I did have to give feedback to people and they not even phoning in to ask how Karin was doing.
Karin periodically landed up in hospital with her lungs being filled up with fluids and had to every time go into theater for drainage to be put in and this was the most excruciating pain that Karin ever experienced in the time she was ill. She eventually told the doctor that she refused to have the procedure done as this was hurting her so much and that she would cry when the doctor suggested it.
Karin landed up in hospital again in November 2012 with her lungs and eventually spent 14 – 18 days in trying to get her lungs drained and her system on par as her reserves were so depleted by the chemo. Karin was also coughing to such an extend that she would vomit "fhlem" and any food she would eat would not stay in. She lost such a lot of weight and was so weak of malnutrition.
Karin’s oncologist went on leave and did another doctor from Bloemfontein relieve in this time. And the one day the doctor called for me via her staff and requested she needed to see me. As I went to her offices my parents in law also joined in and she told us that Karin’s condition was very bad and that we need to be ready for ever happens.
As I left the doctors rooms I started crying as well as my parents in law and did I hug them and they went in a prayer room to support one another. And I went to Karin and sat down and she asked me what the doctor told me?
Being my wife I told her what the doctor said. And went to go sit with her on the bed and held her tight and cried with her.
At a stage a family member came to visit and saw the x-rays on the trolley as where there was a document of describing Karin’s lung finding by the radiologist and phoned up the family in telling them that they need to come see Karin as she would not last the night.
That evening late a lot of family came from all over as to come see Karin. And found them that they were very distant towards me and did not know why?
Someone went to go buy food for everybody and the called me as to come eat with them. Then they took me on as to why I told Karin what the doctor said...
I could not believe what I heard and said to them it was my duty towards my wife as to tell her what was told to us. As prior news was told to them and why not to me?
This was such bad timing what happened as what they did under the circumstances. Yes! I agree they also have their way of dealing with the situation differently than I did. However this did not give them the right to judge me in any way...
I did not even take any food and got up and left to go sit with Karin and be with her...
Karin eventually was discharged from hospital as her condition improved so much that she could go home.
In this period Karin became very dependent on oxygen and did I arrange with the medical aid as to get her an oxygen machine at home and was she on this 24/7
As well as extra portable cylinders as when she was strong and we could go to church or move around with restricted movement as she was short breathed and every movement was difficult.
In this period I spoke to the medical rep from Mepilex on Karin’s wounds as the wounds were growing to such an extend that the current plasters we were using were not working for her anymore. And since she had the mastectomy I cleaned her wounds every evening and enjoyed doing this as we spent so much time together talking and having quality conversations. I never once said to Karin that I did not want to clean her wounds as I was not in the mood or just not wanting to. I did this out of LOVE and really enjoyed helping her and doing for what I humanly possibly could.
Karin again landed up in hospital with her lungs after Christmas and spent 2012 – 2013 in hospital. And was so blessed as my parents in law was with us. I arranged that evening with the night staff of the ward that we could come at 23:00 as to spend the old and new with Karin and brought them also some cold drinks and chips as to share with the staff.
I remember the moment I had alone with Karin that I prayed and said to the Lord that we do not know what to expect in 2013 and that I want to say thank you that 2012 was not an easy year behind us. What ever will come our way for Karin and myself, that we will handle it together in 2013 with passion and LOVE... And that God would grant us the grace and dignity to accept whatever the new year might bring for us.
Karin was discharged a few days later. And did 2013 await for us to the unknown and we would walk hand in hand. Side by side in loving one another no matter what will come our way.
The 1st week in January 2013 Karin’s hair started to fall out again as to a chemo that was stopped being used five years ago due to new chemo on the market.  I remember that day so well as she called me as she sat outside with the hair clippers and said to me: Mulder shave my head please?
This chemo was a blue, orange and colorless and as we read up on this they said that her hair would fall out again and if she would cry that her tears would be blue...
However they stopped this chemo as it was to strong for Karin and for the so many a time broke down her white blood cells and making infection so a big risk factor.
She landed up in hospital frequently and every 3 weeks as she would then get a blood transfusion and platelets.
I remember the doctor giving instruction as for the staff not to clean Karin’s wound as I was so confident in how I did this. The doctors and staff and other doctors the one day wanted to be present when I cleaned Karin’s wounds. And as to their disbelief could not believe the way I cleaned the wound and had a swab done as to see for any infections. And the results were so clean that they said they never saw a wound so clean.
Late January they started with a previous chemo as to to what she responded to the best.
And was her immune system already so weak as she also lost such a lot of weight as a result of not eating and the constant coughing. And as to the severe cough she would get so nausea that she would vomit. And the "fhlem" was so bad and it really did hurt me as to see how she was suffering and sometimes would excuse myself and go cry outside... 
This was so difficult to see and experience and did it hurt me so much as to see this...
My hear was broken in millions of tiny pieces as for my wife that had to suffer so much...
I constantly said to her that I would do and give anything as to take the pain away...
February 2013 she was admitted again with low blood count and liquid on her lungs as the coughing became worse and the lesser she ate and literally lived on water and even this would not stay in. They drained the lungs lately not in theater as Karin refused this as it was so extremely sore for her and the pain unbearable. They did it with sonar and a needle and would the drain be in for 20 -30 minutes and taken out and no pain whatsoever.
In March 2013 Karin fell ill again and landed yet again in hospital for the same procedure and as the open wounds became bigger and Karin always complained with holding her hand across her chest on the wound. She would say that it hurts and that it makes an electric sting. And thus being the open wound with the nerves being exposed.
They again did drain the lungs and Karin said to me before the procedure that she was tired and cried so much and could see her eyes and face SCREAMING for HELP...
15th March 2013 our medical aid approved the new “Ixempra” chemo that we saw on a website “H Triple negative breast cancer” and read all there is to know on the side effects.
This chemo at 1st was not approved by the medical aid as to the dangerous levels and not being used in SA. As to when Karin went on it, she was the 3rd in SA and 1st in Nelspruit that got this chemo.
I remember the thank you message that I left on the facebook page:
 “Good day Bank Med.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone, personally that was involved in listening to our outcry in HELP for my wife Karin's plea.
Thank you so much for approving the new chemo Ixempra. Trusting that this chemo will be the final answer in declaring war on cancer in my wife.
And that she will regain her full expectancy of life. As this is so precious to us all.

Thank you Bank Med for the past 2years plus, in supporting us in all the trial and tribulations we had to endure in this time. And also learning so much of the disease and of ourselves in the process.


Eugéne & Karin Mulder”
27th March 2013 We started with the new “Ixempra” chemo. 1st of 6
“More almal.
Vanoggend gaan Karin vroeg bloed trek en vir dokter sien.
Nuwe chemo is hier en vertrou ons dat Karin 'n volkome omdraai gaan he vir Godelike Genesing in Jesus Naam.
Bid saam ons vandag en staan vas op God se Woord.”
I took photos before we started with the new chemo and as to see how the improvement would be on the wounds.
Three days later I took photos again. And the most wonderful turnaround in difference how well the chemo responded on the wounds.
Karin felt so good and had energy again and she was so full of life enjoying this turnaround.
She felt so good that she wanted to go visit her family on the farm and did I take her thru and did she spend time there for about a week. While I was home working.
17th April 2013 it was time for the 2nd chemo.
More almal.
Wens julle n Geseende dag toe in die Liefde van Jesus.
Karin gaan weer vanoggend in vir bloed toetse en sal dan daarna weer die nuwe chemo "Ixempra" kry. Die is dan week 3 en die 2de chemo.
Ons is so verheug om aan Vader God al ...die lof en eer te eer te bring vir Karin se beterskap.
Bid saam dat die chemo weer sal goed werk en dat sy nie teen die naweek enige skelet pyne sal ondervind nie. Dankie Here vir Karin se beterskap en Godelike Genesing. Waarmee U besig is in Jesus Naam.”
In this time of 3weeks prior to the 2nd chemo Karin complained about extreme pain in her skeleton ie.  bone structure. She was basically permanent on morphine 3 times a day and additional pain killers as she would sit and cry and would I cry with her and pray thru our tears...
Yet again I took photos of the wounds and took it to the doctor as to show her our excitement on how the wounds were improving so much and we were so Blessed and praised God for this most awesome turnaround and we could see Karin getting better by the day...
Upon seeing the doctor we were informed that the chemo did not arrive in time as scheduled and had to go back the following day.
18th April 2013 chemo 2 of 6.
“Karin is by die Onkologie by Medi Clinic in Nelspruit en besig om haar Ixempra chemo te kry.
Dankie Jesus dat ons Karin aan U kan opdra en dat die chemo gemeng is met U kosbare Genesings bloed. Dankie dat Karin in U hande is en U besig is met 'n Godelike wonderwerk in haar liggaam en lewe. Dankie Here vir U beskerming vir haar teen die been / skelet, seer wat sy die vorige keer gehad het en dat dit die keer net beter sal gaan.
Aan U alle eer, lof en aanbidding.”
30th April 2013 was for Karin one of the most difficult days she has ever experienced in her working career with Standard Bank. She was medically boarded by the bank after 23 years of service with them. After being on temporal ill recovery for a year since April 2012
That evening we spent time together as usual and she told me how she experienced her career and the people she met as colleges and customers.
She was so heartbroken and cried as to of spent so much time and effort with her customers an was always a thrill as to of met them in mall’s and as they would appreciate her loyalty to her employer and customers.
Karin went to go visit her family on the farm for about 10 days and came back on 6th May 2013 as she was to get her 3rd chemo on the 9th of May.
In this time I worked during day time and in the evenings when I was alone. I cried my evenings as how much I missed her and as the thought came to me that what I would experience when she would possibly be no longer there?
I cannot explain as what I experienced in this nearly 2 weeks that I was alone. I so wished for all those times we had a fight about something or a difference about opinion on a topic or just a quarrel that we did not agree upon. That we would of rather settled the issue and made our piece and just went on with our lives with being together and loving one another as we loved...
If there is one thing that I would like to leave with couples out there. Be involved with each other in every aspect of your life, love and intimate life style. Settle your differences before the sun sets as God’s word teaches us... And be happy. Be in LOVE and LOVE one another with no conditions...
9th May 2013 chemo 3 of 6
“Karin kry vandag weer chemo en wel No3 van 6.
Ons verklaar in die Naam van Vader God dat vandag 'n DAG van Genesing is en dat die chemo reeds deur U aangeraak is en U die struktuur daarvan verander het tot Godelike Genesing in Jesus Naam!”
Karin’s message on facebook:
“Dr was baie tevrede met toetse se uitslae en kanker telling ook af 161 na 121. Die long telling egter weer op, maar darem nie agv vog volgens die plate, so dis die weer!! Geen newe effekte sover en hoes baie minder! Prys die Heer vir al die goeie uitslae en hoe ek voel!!! Baie koud hier in Nelspruit.”
The skeleton or bone pain was not so bad as the 1st time and the 2nd time around and was even much less. With the 3rd chemo there was no pain at all. And we rejoiced as we praised God for taking Karin’s pain away. We constantly prayed and believe that God was working His miracle in Karin.
14th May 2013 I did add photos to facebook that was taken on the 11th with Mothers day and herewith the message I did put up with a specific photo of Karin where she had the most beautiful smile.
Hi Almal.

Dit gaan goed met Karin, sy sukkel net biekie met die hoes maar is darem baie beter.
Sy het baie seer op die wond en dink dis die chemo wat sy werk doen vanaf dag 3-5 wat dit maar nie lekker maak vir haar nie.
Sy het laasnag weer goed geslaap alhoewel sy kort kort wakker was met die hoes.
Glo dat sy vandag 'n goeie rus dag sal geniet in Koning Jesus se teenwoordigheid.

Like as jy saamstem dat sy soos 'n engelmensie lyk....!”
Karin would be fine as for the 1st three days and usually on day 3-5 she woul be very tired and sleeping most of the time as she was drinking a “chill pill” as she would call it and would be so relaxed and drowsy and would sleep a lot. And it helped her as the coughing was so out of control and could see that she just could not handle the strain and pain all that went with the suffering.
Thursday 25th April 2013  After I helped her with her bath routine and cleaning her wound as I did every evening. While I was cleaning her wound she became so short breathed and pushed me away and said the oxygen is not working and she is not getting enough air.
She became so frantic and could see she was really struggling... I started crying and said to her that I don’t know what to do as I’m doing all I can do as to make her comfortable and relax and concentrate on her breathing. She jumped up and opened the window of our bedroom and stood in front of the open window, holding on to the burglar bar and kept on saying: HELP ME...! Please help me...? I remember phoning the doctor and explaining to her what is happening. She said to me to immediately increase the morphine dosage and to give Karin the “chill pill” I did so and stood behind her and remember holding onto her and praying so out loud and rebuking  the devil in stealing from Karin and us. And remember as she turned around and held onto me so tight and said that she was so afraid of smothering...  And cried so much and we both just stood there crying and crying and crying... I picked up the oxygen mask and asked her to put it back on after I gave her the medication as it started to relax her. And she started breathing again.
Later that evening at about 22:00 I was lying at her feet and we were talking about God and her experience and to tell me how she felt. She was so calm about it all and then asked me to sit up close to her. I remember as she laid backwards in a sitting position and her legs curled up against her. I sat forward towards her and was leaning with my chest against her legs. When she took her hands and said to me that she loved me so much and want to say how much she appreciated me for loving her under these difficult circumstances. And asked how I did it? How I could love her and she looked so bad? I replied without thinking... Karin, if ever I loved anybody ever in my life. I LOVE you so much... I cannot explain how much... And I thank God that I can love you. And that you could be part of my life. As you changed me as a person, you thought me how to love under all circumstances that was dealt to us as a couple. And if I was given a chance as to choose again? I would choose you immediately without blinking an eye. As you were my choice and I made a promise to God that for better or worse, sickness and in health. I will be there for you. And I will love you till death do us part. We cried so much as she told me that she knew our time was short together...
Monday 3rd June 2013
The evening at about 18:00 I poured Karin some water for her bath as she was so tired and I literally helped her when she walked around the house as she was so weak and tired.  
I helped her into the bath as I would almost do that every evening to assist her not to fall or slip in the bath. That she was comfortable I would let her be and check in with her every 5 minutes.
This time round she asked me to sit by her. We discussed our love for one another and how much I enjoyed doing what I did for her.  She really spent time with me in comforting me in what I have done for her up to the. I remember Karin said to me that she felt that our time was not much and I remembered how I cried in front of her while she was still in the bath. We cried eventually so much and just sat there with our tears and emotions running as we did not have control over the situation any more.  We felt so empty, alone, discarded, rejected… FEAR FULL of what was to come.
After finishing her bath and helping her again with the wounds, she really was tired and could see she could no more handle the state she was in. I left for the kitchen to make some warm water for her and the wounds. When I got back in the bedroom, Karin was standing in front of the open window gasping for air. She shouted to me and said please help me, I cannot breathe . . . . .
I stood behind her and tried to keep her warm as the air was chilly coming into the bedroom window and all I could really do is comfort her and talking to het gently as for her to calm down and try and relax.  She eventually became calmer and as I cleaned her wound the Monday night she kept on telling me she LOVES me so much and will never be able to repay me in what I have done for her over the past, nearly 3 years. I told her that it was not payable as I did it with all my love and affection as to help her and to be comfortable.  As to show her how much I really loved her for doing this every day. In being there for her 24/7 and doing it to the best of my ability.
I phoned up Dr Retief and told her that Karin again had a panic attack and could not breathe.
She asked me to bring Karin to the hospital the following day.
Tuesday 4th June 2013
I remember I mentioned to Karin that she did not have smaller pajamas for hospital and suggested I go buy her some at the mall. I made Karin comfortable and went to Woolworths and bought her size small pajamas and slippers and a gown. I also went to Milady’s to pay her account.
As on my return she was ready for leaving to the hospital.  I prepared the oxygen and suitcase and medication. I remembered her standing in the door way of our house and saying to our husky – kain that she will back soon and that he must look well after Eugéne and the house and eat all his food and she loved him so much. I stood with so much admiration looking and listening to her as she was so short breathed and with a soft voice spoke. I remember we called her parents to come down to Nelspruit.
That evening in hospital I remembered I remembered Karin told me that she was unsure of our request to be cremated, and wanted to be buried.  I answered her that as soon as she would be better again and at home that we would discuss this and make a final decision.
Karin’s parents and brother arrived that evening at the hospital. Family also arrived as to come visit Karin. This time she was in hospital was destructive as she was so skinny and had lost such a lot of weight. As she laid on the bed with the oxygen on her and sleeping most of the time and being kept under medication. The doctor told us that there were not much that she could do any longer for Karin as they are keeping her sedated and comfortable as possible.
She made time talking to those who came visit and could see she was tired.
I phoned her co workers at Standard bank as to visit as we were unsure of Karin’s condition of improvement.
She spent the following days in hospital and just took it day by day
Friday 7th June 2013
That evening most of Karin’s family had arrived and I remember she again had a panic attack and could not breath and she fought with us as we tried to keep her in bed and comfortable. At one stage she wanted to climb out of the bedroom window as to get air as she was really struggling to breathe.  I managed to calm Karin down as they tried putting her in a chair and she did not want this and eventually was back in bed and I stood by her side, holding her and speaking to her about being in the Kruger Park, as this was her favorite place to be.
Our church pastor and his wife and 2 couples and 3 ladies that always helped Karin of our prayer group was with us the whole time in this week and they were such a Blessing as I did not have close family and they supported me so much in these days.
Saturday 8th June 2013
When I woke up the morning I remembered praying and asking God to prepare us for this day as we were uncertain of what was awaiting us.
I remember during the day when I asked her mother to help Karin take out her contact lenses and as she sat up straight. I sat with her on the bed and held her. I kissed her and said to her that I LOVE HER SO MUCH and remember how I cried and wanted to be strong for her. She whispered in my ear, EK IS LIEF VIR JOU MULDER…! As she struggled to talk as she had sores in her mouth that developed so quickly.
The whole day we spent at the hospital and sad to say, that evening at 22:50 Karin passed away.
I remember holding her hand and as she died and broke down. (I could not remember much as this was so traumatic for me)
To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Soooooo hartseer! Ek dank die Here vir jou getuienis!