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FROM CANCER TO COACHING

THE STORY OF CLAAS

Cancer is not the end - sometimes it is a new beginning

This story starts with a career girl in her 30s who worked in the heart of the corporate business hub of Europe. In a world where what one wore and drove made the difference and working 80 hours a week was the norm, feeling tired did not seem strange. However one weekend she found herself having to stay in her bed for 48 hours straight . Valiantly she carried on for months afterwards managing to function normally until one day a meeting changed her life forever…

On a trade mission in a far away country,she met a business owner with whom she instantly clicked. The lady told her the story of her husband who had recently passed away after cancer had crept upon him quickly and harshly. The story was told in a straightforward, factual way but nonetheless brought Claas to tears as for the first time she said out loud “I think I have cancer too”. 

This led to a harsh reply by the business owner; “Tell me the facts now!” But there were none, other than some lumps and suspicions. The business owner did not hold back: she looked Claas in the eye and said: “Face it girl, you have cancer”.

Thirty minutes later Claas rang her GP and booked an immediate flight back home. Upon arrival at the airport she continued her journey straight to the clinic where she arrived long after hours. Since the two of them had known each other for many years her GP agreed to see her but his face was set in a grim expression as he started the examination. It looked bad, very bad and Claas couldn’t help but wonder if it was a coincidence that the date was Friday the 13th ….!

I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. My lifestyle was busy but I was exercising, eating healthily, never smoked and no one in my family had ever had cancer. What was happening to me? I was in utter shock and disbelief.”

Shortly after discovering that her cancer was of an aggressive and only recently discovered kind, Claas received treatment in the Netherlands. Unfortunately not all the treatment available was covered by her insurance so all her savings and earnings went toward this. It made a difficult situation even harder. Surgeries, chemos, radiations, medication and many doctor appointments followed. At times sheer desperation hit but she continued to exercise and eat well and actively engaged in the decision making and planning of her treatment. She switched from the original, standard chemo to a new approach, a move that ultimately would save her life.

Convinced that the disease wouldn’t get her and determined to at least do something positive about it, she said “yes” to every study or research request her doctors had. Obviously, continuing to work as normal was impossible but when she told her employer she was seriously ill, she was fired on the spot. Now out of work she no longer had any prospects of a normal future. 

When the ‘verdict’ of cancer comes along, one loses more than perspective and hair. It is scary how quickly friendships are lost and commitments broken. People say the strangest things like; ‘you must have the easy cancer’ or ‘it’s okay for you to have it, you’re so strong, no problem!’ Well let me assure you, there is no such thing as an easy cancer. Also I had been diagnosed with a very aggressive (metastased) stage 3b cancer. What’s easy about that?"

Soon after the chemos, being bald and upset, she started working for the biggest competitor of her previous employer. The mission was to rebuild a normal life as soon as possible. Unfortunately, when after 2 years the follow up medication stopped, the cancer came back….More surgery, chemos and radiations followed as well as blood plate replacement therapy. Again she had to give up work and by this time only a handful of friends persevered with her. The whole process of treatment and recovery took another 2 years. Although Claas maintained a healthy lifestyle, doctors could not give her a very promising outlook. To them it was clear she would never have children, nor would she be likely to get much older than 40. 

Naturally I was devastated. Yet I took it day by day, tried to get over the smaller hurdles rather than look at it as one giant mountain. I couldn’t face that mountain. It was just too big. At times it felt as if my future was taken from me and I had nothing left to look forward to. But the days passed and turned into weeks and the weeks into months and then years… Somehow I managed to get through it.”

Then one day, coming back from her radiation therapy, she pulled into a gas station and a friendly gentleman, with a breath-taking smile, approached her for a chat. One thing lead to another and before long they were on a date. To Claas it was clear; this was it! Mr. Right had come along. However, his biggest wish in life was to have a family and she was left with the difficult but right decision to tell him she could not have children. Mr. Right took the news very well and although sad, he was sure they would find other ways of having a fulfilling life together. Shortly after, the pair moved in together and as the days passed happily, Claas’s hair grew back and her energy levels increased every day. 

Unfortunately one day she noticed it was much harder to climb the stairs and fear crept upon her. She could think of only one thing: her type of cancer had a tendency to spread to lungs and liver. She managed to keep those thoughts to herself, until a friend who joined her for some exercise jokingly said “what’s wrong with you, you’re so slow, you’re not pregnant are you?”. That was an option that had not occurred to Claas! Hope rose as well as a deep fear. Her last treatment had only been a few weeks ago….There was only one way to find out. Claas rushed off to the drugstore and found several pregnancy tests. They all said the same thing: “pregnant”. Could it be true?

The next day an appointment at the Cancer Hospital followed and after the regular check the doctor asked ‘anything else?’ "Well yes, I’m pregnant” Claas replied. The doctor stared at her, in utter disbelief.Against their advice she decided to keep the baby and soon after he was born she fell pregnant again. Today both children are well and healthy. 

During the second pregnancy the opportunity to move to Thailand occurred. What better way to start over and leave many bad memories behind? On top of that, it was a nice career move for my husband.  We instantly loved Thailand and lived happily for a few years.The great thing was, nobody knew about my medical history and I could almost live normally, just like anyone else.”

Which she did. She worked, was an active parent and had a whole new social life. It was during one social event that she mentioned she wasn’t feeling so well. A friend prompted “Shouldn’t you be talking to a doctor right now?” and it hit home like a meteorite.

It’s like this feeling when you know you’re pregnant, or something is up. Your instincts are usually right. A doctor’s visit the next day confirmed the bad news: cancer. Again.”

Within 48 hours of tests the cancer was confirmed its status given and what the treatment would be explained. How different this was from the experiences back home! Although devastated by the news, Claas felt blessed to have access to advanced medicine and help from medical professionals. The treatment started immediately and was successful. 

"Had I not been in Thailand, I might not be around anymore. The care I received here was excellent. I was a person and the quality of my day-to-day life was as much on the agenda as the fighting of the cancer. I was warned that the side effects of the new drugs I was prescribed, might lead me to gain 20 to 30 kilos. Being already big (never lost that baby weight) something in my mind said: NO!

I decided to get help from personal trainers but they were either not interested, not certified or not willing to work with a patient like me. So I decided to become a coach myself. Imagine that, both my lungs damaged by radiation, my organs heavily affected by series of chemos and radiation. What was I thinking? I kept exercising and eating well. And for my birthday my husband bought me a treadmill. Soon dumbbells followed and my initial walks of 10 minutes turned into an hour of serious compound exercises. I bought more equipment and completed a trainer’s course. I started to go hiking and running and swimming and playing on the trampoline with my kids and eating right and not long after I noticed: not only did I not put on the extra weight I lost 20 kg.”

Claas was fascinated by the fact that she could bring back her energy levels and that she had overcome all the health issues she had before. She also coaches people who are recovering from medical issues or simply want to improve their overall, functional fitness.

People always find an excuse to not work out, but I can assure you the pain of regret is much worse than getting into an exercise routine, plus it’s not like you have to become an Olympic athlete, just the best version of you!”

Anyone interested in learning more about Claas or requiring a helping hand getting fitter, please write to pattayatrader@pattayatrader.com and we shall pass your enquiries on.

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Hi Pattaya Trader – Thank you for an always very interesting read. Is there any way you could publish this – I would dearly like to help the Mabprachan Animal shelter – I know they are not the only ones looking after stay and abandoned animals, but they have my undying gratitude for the way they helped me Yours very sincerely, Rick Walton Soi 11 Thappraya Road Jomtien 0892 465 210

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More and more the master bedroom is seen not just a place to sleep but almost a home within a home. An all-in-one space where you can enjoy a calm,serene retreat.

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TRENDS FOR BATHROOMS IN 2017

TRENDS FOR BATHROOMS IN 2017

Bathroom designers tell us that 2017 is going to be marked by the return to the organic and all-natural. Bathroom style”s direction will be: super clean colours, seamless lines and useful, simple arrangement of space with the dash of natural coziness and elegance.

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TRENDS FOR 2017

TRENDS FOR 2017

This is the cheery shade of green you'll see in home decor, fashion and commercial design in 2017. Named the 2017 Pantone Colour of the year "Greenery" is meant to represent refreshment and revitalization.

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Beachfront Launch Party at The Residences Dream, Pattaya

Beachfront Launch Party at The Residences Dream, Pattaya

Located in Soi 4 Na Jomtien Eric Lai Frank Satarand and their team hosted an excellent evening of entertainment buffet and free flow Guests were also invited to view the Luxury Beach Condominium of their dreams!

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Managing Your Online Reputation

Managing Your Online Reputation

It's fair to say that more business than ever is conducted online. People use Google and the other search engines as a matter of course.

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Off-plan condos VS re-sales and pre-owned apartments

Off-plan condos VS re-sales and pre-owned apartments

The Property market in Pattaya has always been driven by new developments, with off-plan and under construction condos offering payment terms over the period of time of construction.

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Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

Copacabana Beach Jomtien held a great Pre Launch Party

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Pattaya Market 2017 Overview

Pattaya Market 2017 Overview

In my opinion, this year was very important for the Pattaya Property Market. As a property practitioner and certified specialist, working here since 2008, I have seen many ups and downs in the market.

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How does your business fare in China?

How does your business fare in China?

With Chinese New Year nearly upon us on the 16th February I wonder how many look up their fortune and see how their animal horoscope will fare in the year of the dog ?

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The (Ever) Changing Face of SEO in 2018

The (Ever) Changing Face of SEO in 2018

The digital landscape moves at a frantic pace. Stand still and you are likely to be overtaken by others that…. Aren’t!

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The Day AFTER Pattaya Real Estate Prices Bottomed

The Day AFTER Pattaya Real Estate Prices Bottomed

As a Certified International Property Specialist with my own real estate business it would seem that I am locked into the position of always maintaining a positive outlook on the real estate markets in which I work.

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Mentoring – A concept worth implementing

Mentoring – A concept worth implementing

Mentoring is a voluntary process where a generally more experienced person helps another prepare for future growth by advising on developing relevant skillsets.

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Marketing Wrap Up - 2017 - Driving More Online Business

Marketing Wrap Up - 2017 - Driving More Online Business

As we reach the end of the year it is time to review some of the key points that we looked at throughout 2017. Those who have read this regular feature will recall that we have covered a variety of topics aimed at driving more new business your way. In this article we will recap on the main areas and (attempt to) reinforce the benefits of marketing in this way.

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Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd

Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd

Huntsman IndiaThai Co., Ltd is a name which many people trust in regards to Property/Business Management in Pattaya.

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Bright Ideas for Retargeting your Website Visitors

Bright Ideas for Retargeting your Website Visitors

Retargeting isn’t new. It’s been around for a few years now; however, I am always surprised that more business owners don’t take advantage of this power advertising mechanism.

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