Martina Hermanns

A passionate traveller turning into a cancer fighter

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West Australia: Perth & the Southwest

My next Australian journey was to Perth together with my flat mate Shiyavanthi. I so badly wanted to go to see the rugby match amongst the South African Springbocks and the Australian Wallabie and thus bought our tickets for the match on 19 July 2008 in Perth and decided to extend a couple days to see the surroundings as well.

tb8d-me-being-stupid-copyThe city of Perth lies on the Swan River, just 10 km from where it flows into the Indian Ocean. On our first day we simply walked around the city center to get overview of the city, as it is relatively small and a quiet city compared with those on the east coast. We went to Elizabeth Quay that is home to the Swan Bells Tower, and from where we walked towards King’s Park, which is a 400 ha of both wild and cultivated parkland. It offers nice views over the city and Swan River.

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Australian Outback: Darwin – Alice Springs – Adelaide – Kangaroo Island

Once we had finished our exams of the semester, I finally had 2 and ½ months for traveling before starting the new semester back in Germany. How can you go to Australia and not see its outback? So this was the next tour we had planned, a nice long journey from the North to the South of Australia within 3 weeks.

tb8c-darwin-copyWe flew up from Melbourne to Darwin, the capital of the region “Northern Territory”, also called the Top End. It is a very tropical region and hence the best time to visit is in winter during the dry season. Darwin is a quite modern but relaxed town. On our first day we simply chilled at Bicentennial Park with a view over the bay before we started our tour. We had booked a 9 day journey with Adventure Tours joining many other backpackers with the trip ending in Alice Springs.

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Australia: Road Trip Melbourne to Sydney

tb8b-leDuring Easter we had two weeks of vacation and obviously there was no way I would be sitting in Melbourne doing nothing. I wanted to see Australia and what this continent has to offer. Hence, another German student (Anja) and I decided to go on a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney for the entire two weeks.

Our tour started from Melbourne with our little rental car, a Hyundai Getz, heading East towards our first destination. The 320km to Lakes Entrance is quite drive on a highway, but we decided to take several stops along the road and planned the entire day to be traveling. One of our stops was at the “Golden Beach”, also called 90 Mile Beach, that is very popular in the summer months for fishing, sailing and other water sports. Our first overnight stay was at Lakes Entrance, a tourist and fishing town situated near an artificial channel connecting the Grippland Lake to the Bass Strait.

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Australia: Melbourne & Surroundings

tb8a-mel-copyAfter spending 6 months in Mexico for my internship, I had the opportunity to do a semester abroad at Victoria University in Melbourne and this was my next destination for another 6 months – Australia. Besides studying and attending university lectures we had great time together with Ozzies as well as other students from my university in Germany.

Melbourne is such an amazing and vibrant city to live in, and I enjoyed every single bit there. This city holds many surprises: it has the most elaborate Victorian architecture of all Australian cities; it has a variety of restaurant cuisines, hosts many sports and cultural events, and its most defining characteristic is its cultural diversity.

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Fuck Cancer!

img-20161116-wa0102This will be a short blog post, so let me get straight to the point: FUCK CANCER!

It’s been two weeks that I am back in Germany after my amazing holiday bubble in South Africa, which means it’s been two weeks of therapy already.

It didn’t take very long (3 days) until I started to feel the first symptoms of side effects. Therapy is the same good old one with Sorafenib and Everolimus.

But this time it just hit me harder than the first time I had started with these pills (in July). My entire body started to ache and I was in so much pain that I really didn’t know anymore what else to do. Additionally, I was getting irritated and frustrated at the same time with heartburn and the acidity in my stomach didn’t allow me to sleep anymore.

img-20161112-wa0017My doctor got quite worried seeing me in such pain, as the side effects were worse than before. Hence, we decided to anticipate my CT-scan that was planned for December. Obviously, the outcome was just as we expected: the metastases grew bigger again due to the long “off” period whilst I was on holiday. Even though I knew this was going to happen, I still couldn’t hold back my emotions and frustration. It was one of those moments in which all I could scream was “FUCK CANCER” !!!

Ironically, I had the urge of writing this in the sand whilst in SA and now during those frustrating moments I look at these pictures and videos on the beach when I wrote these two significant words. It makes me feel better.

I am doing a bit better now: the pain is getting less and my stomach issues are slowly under control. I just feel very weak and have little energy, but at least I can enjoy my days at home. That’s it from my side for now and you must all enjoy the preparations of the upcoming festive season!

And don’t forget: FUCK CANCER! 

Life Is Short, Live It!

life-is-short-live-itIt has been a while since I have updated my blog, and I apologize to my readers who already asked me several times when I am writing another update. But you will soon understand why I have been so silent in the recent weeks and I am sure you will all understand.

So let’s get started: my one and only objective was to get my weight loss under control, which wasn’t so easy. My doctor prescribed me “Opium drops” to get my dysentery under control and I was lucky that it did its effect. You may think I am a lucky devil that I am getting Opium legally, but the dosage is so minimal that you don’t even feel it and it doesn’t make you high at all. It’s just sufficient to “block” my tummy. Foods wise, I had a very good talk with the nutritionist who was initially against intravenous feeding, as she wanted me to try to at maintaining my current weight at least. I actually managed quite ok by eating more soups enriched with additional calories shakes and slowly ate more than before. But I was still not gaining weight and the side effects did not stabilize enough to let me go on another trip.

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Los Cabos – Mexico (2007/08)

Westin Resort & Spa

Westin Resort & Spa

My new home for six months was Los Cabos situated on the southern tip of Baja California Peninsula. Los Cabos is the general name of the destination, which includes the 2 towns “San Jose del Cabo” and “Cabo San Lucas”. The 30km between the two towns is called “El Corridor” filled with many beach resorts and in one of those I had the opportunity to gain my first Sales & Marketing experiences at the Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos.

Cabo is a popular destination for Americans who make up 80% of the tourists in this area, and also well known for it’s parties. Besides the parties, Cabo offers amazing golf courses and amazing deep sea fishing possibilities. I guess this was the perfect place for a 21-year old like me in those days to gain their first work experiences and whilst partying in heaven.

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Mexico (August 2007)

Mariachi Band in MC

Mariachi Band in MC

During my studies I had to do six months internship and I had the opportunity to do that in Los Cabos in Mexico. As I knew after my internship I wouldn’t have much time before heading for my semester abroad in Australia, the only possibility was to travel around Mexico before I started my work placement. I usually don’t like traveling in an organized tour group (which I have never done before), but having only 16 days available and I wanted to see as much as possible and this was the only option for me.

So in a 14 day tour from Mexico City to Cancun, I was able to see the highlights of Mexican culture with its cities, cathedrals, Maya ruins, and all sorts of different ranging from landscapes of mountains, jungles, beaches and more.

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