Friday, September 24, 2010

Short update

Hi Folks!

I've been a baaaad girl!! LOL I've been told it's been too long between posts so I'm writing a drive by update so no one will worry!

Since I returned home, I've done a lot of sleeping, which I'm told is the best way to heal. I think I wrote in my last blog that I had to have emergency surgery to have my sick gall bladder removed. I was in the hospital for a week, and I've been home for a week. I had my staples removed yesterday....ahhhhhh....can you feel the relief? Now I can bend...almost! LOL I haven't done much else.

I did see my medical oncologist who told me chemo will resume next Thursday. I will miss the taste of food *sigh* LOL But I am going to enjoy the week of good tasting food, and the ability to eat WHATEVER I want until chemo begins again!

One strange thing that has been happening, when I look in the mirror I hardly recognize myself anymore. I'm losing my eyebrows. I didn't start losing my eyebrows when my hair started falling out, so I just assumed I wouldn't. People haven't mentioned it, but I can see it in the mirror. Strange, I wonder what I'll look like when they are completely gone? We'll find out I suppose after chemo resumes. I really don't think of myself as a vain person, but I must say, losing my eyebrows is bothering me. LOL I didn't think much about losing my hair, I think it bothered my hair dresser and my husband more than it did me, I could cover my head with a wig. But my that's something else. Weird what goes through a person's head. LOL

I've been trying to stitch, but I haven't accomplished much, so no pictures today, but I'll try to get some done soon and update my pictures of them soon. I did put one strand of floss in my UFO last Thursday so I could avoid the wet noodle lashing, but since it didn't really amount to much, there is no use putting a picture here just yet. I've been working a little bit on my violet sampler (I was able to find substitutes for the colors I was missing) but it's mostly backstitching so again, it doesn't look much different. Sorry for the lack of stitching, I just can't seem to get myself motivated, but it will come back, after all I'm an addicted stitcher and I'll need a fix soon!

Next week promises to be a very busy week, with 7 appointments that I need to keep along with a chemo session on Thursday. Will I have time to stitch? I'm not sure. Keep your fingers crossed. In the meanwhile, I'm heading back to bed for my second nap today. I just can't seem to keep my eyes open! LOL

Oh, I finished a pretty good book called The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. Though it had a lot of twists and turns (it took me several months to read it) I finally finished and was surprised at the ending. If you like mysteries (not crimes but just life mysteries) you might enjoy this book. I started another book called Wild Swans by Jung Chang. I'm really enjoying this book about the true lives of the author, her mother and her grandmother as they grew up during different ages in China. It makes me appreciate the freedom we have in this country (especially as women) and admire the strength of women in other areas of the world who are so suppressed in their cultures.

Ok, off to la la land. Hope you are enjoying your day!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm verklempt...

This has been an amazing week....and I just love that word...verklempt! It means choked with emotion. And that's exactly how I feel.

So much has happened this week I really don't know where to start so I'll start with what is making me verklempt. I was supposed to meet Gillie last week on Friday. I had a busy week planned with lots of appointments and a chemo treatment on Thursday. I was going to pick Gillie up at the train station, spend some time stitching and talking and drop her back at the train station. Taxotere (the next chemo drug) is supposed to be less stressful on your body and I thought I would be able to handle meeting her on Friday.

Wednesday rolled around and I had two doctors appointments. One at 10 AM and one at 4 PM. I went for a "fill up" of my expanders and it went great. DH and I headed over to the mall because we had a little shopping to do, then had lunch. A wonderful cheeseburger at Rockin' Robins. YUM!!! About an hour later I started having pain in my back. Hm...DH being the military man that he was says "Let's walk it off" so we walked the mall for 4 hours. It continually got worse.

I had an appointment with my oncologist next. We headed over there and he asked how I was feeling. I told him the truth, that I wasn't feeling well, so he ordered a CT scan for the following Monday to check things out. He drew blood to have it tested and we got back on the road to go home and got stuck in rush hour traffic. FUN...NOT!! I went to bed when I got home but realized I couldn't lie on my back it was just too painful. So I called my oncologist back to ask for pain medication. He said if it hurt that bad I needed to go to the emergency room immediately. So I did. Sitting there waiting to be checked in they were asking those silly questions such as...."Do you feel threatened at home?" and " Do you feel any suicidal thoughts?" to which I replied "If I don't get any pain medication soon I WILL have suicidal thoughts!!!" LOL Finally after a sonogram, some morophine, and a little wait in the waiting room I was told I had a gall bladder attack and would have to have it removed the next day. WHAT??? I'm supposed to have chemo that day and what about Gillie's visit? I was so discouraged. But I had the surgery and 7 days later I'm finally back home.

What about Gillie you're asking? Is she still standing at the train station??? LOL No, my wonderful DH picked her up and brought her to the hospital so we could at least chat while she stitched....BUT!!! She brought something else with her. The ladies at Friendly Stitchers yahoo group made a quilt for me when they found out about my cancer diagnosis...and this is where being verklempt comes in! A few ladies from all over the world made tops and bottoms of biscornus and sent them to Mouse in England. Mouse pieced everything together and made the quilt. She sent it to Gillie, and Gillie made her way all the way from Michigan to Maryland to hand deliver the quilt. I cannot believe the trouble everyone went to to make this quilt for me. Even a mother and daughter (who is 10) each made one. The time, energy, compassion, thoughtfulness, expertise, and care that was taken just overwhelms me. I may not have shown it that day (I was pretty out of it....gotta love morophine) but I was truly touched by their act of compassion. I told Gillie when she laid the quilt over me that I felt like I was being hugged by everyone. What a feeling!! I cannot express in words how I feel and I cannot thank them enough. I feel like I am not in this fight alone, there are so many praying and lending support in so many ways that I cannot fail. So thank you, you amazing women!! I wish I could hug each one!!! So now you know why I'm feeling verklempt...are you feeling that way too? Here are a few pictures so you can see this amazing artwork! (I'm the one with the blue hat on...wouldn't you love one? I told everyone I was making a fashion statement but really, I felt like a huge blue mushroom... it was the only way to cover my chilly bald head! LOL)

I had a lot of visitors over the next few days. I hope those that visited read this part because I have to tell you, if it hadn't been for those visitors I would have gone insane. I'm not a patient patient, I am not one to lie around and wait and wait. I was so thankful to have distractions they will never know how much I appreciated each visit. And how sweet of them all to bring something.

Gail, a fellow sister in this struggle brought truffles (too bad I still can't eat them yet, but give me a few more days!)

Marie (who knows how much I LOVE chocolate) and her husband brought these and flowers (which I cannot seem to find on my camera...weird because I took pictures)

Sonya who took time even though she had a family emergency...

Alice who brought these hand made thank you cards after she heard about the quilt that I received. I wish I had everyone's address so I could send these. Alice is one of the most creative people I think I've ever met, and she's a fellow framer too! Her cards are WONDERFUL! Even her get well card was a "motion" card. You're amazing, Girlfriend!

Teresa who is also a sister walking the same path as myself and she brought these. Now there's a story behind these. She used to give m&ms to her kids when they were sick and had to take medicine. Now it's a running tradition to give them to each other when they are sick. I was touched by that because I feel like family to her. I thought that was sweet that she did that (no pun intended) not to mention they are one of my favorite candies.

When I got home...there was another surprise. Pat, you are going to spoil me!!! She knows how much I love violets and she found these beads with the violets. I LOVE them!!! She sent them to her sister who made this scissor fob. It's beautiful Pat, and it feels so smooth and nice when you hold this in your hand. Along with that was a Sajou bobbin all tucked nicely in a Sajou box. She sent the London card because we've both been to London and just loved it!! I hope to go back one day, for some reason the Queen wasn't home that day and I just know she's dying to have tea with me!! LOL

I hope I didn't bore you too much! The last picture is a surprise from DH. We didn't have time this summer to plant anything in the little round circle in the front yard I jokingly call our garden. He found these mums on sale and surprised me two weekends ago by planting them. I don't know how I got to be so blessed with him, he's been a trooper through this whole thing and I know he's getting so tired of taking care of everything. If you think of it, please say a prayer on his behalf. I couldn't do any of this without him. You're my rock, Honey!

Lastly, I just want to say, I'm amazed at God's perfect timing. When I look back at all that's taken place this past week, I'm just blown away by how perfectly He orchestrates our lives. I had my operation three weeks after my last chemo (my chemo treatments had been two weeks apart but we had scheduled this three week break in between changing medications). My body had enough time to "recover" so that I could have the surgery that I needed. It was ok to miss this treatment because we were in between changing the medications. I will still have to have four more treatments but I'll just move my "finish date" back a few weeks. Gillie was still able to visit which was such a blessing (just seeing her would have been enough but it was icing on the cake to receive the quilt). I was there over a weekend and could have lots of visitors which kept me sane. I am amazed at the wonderful women I've met along the way...ta ta sisters we call each other that God has planted so we can help and encourage one another as we travel. LOL God truly is great. Even though my path has been strewn with some hardships lately, just seeing how His hand is guiding things, I know I'm still being held gently in His hand.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but so much has happened and needed to be shared. Hope you are having a wonderful day (I know I am as the sun is shining, the windows are open, and I'm enjoying being home!) Take care!

Monday, September 6, 2010

As Promised...

Hi there!

I'm a bit slow, but I did finally take pictures...and here we go!!

I invited a few people over to stitch last Friday, but just two showed up. It was last minute, and I really need to invite people sooner, as folks already had plans. Understandable, since it was a holiday weekend. Oh well, next time I know better! We had a good time though, and I did make progress on my Violet sampler as well as the rose quaker. And here they are!! No wet noodle for me!!

It was one of those weekends though...pretty days, and after all the rain the flowers just outside my door were blooming! Yay! The sweetheart rose was a gift from my Mom and Sister. I thought it was going to die, but after a few weeks outside it started blooming again! I'm so glad!
These geraniums have a story. They are about 5 years old now, and each winter my parents would take them to Florida and enjoy them and bring them back in the spring. The past two winters I had to baby them inside, and they just didn't do as well, but they are the prettiest color, I just can't bear to get rid of them...

It was time to mow the lawn, so I had to get a picture of DH and his rippling muscles. Now I know you can't see them under his shirt...but believe me they are there *wink*...ok the truth is, I had to get a picture of him "working" to show my Mom that he actually does do the yard work! LOL Even Thomas came to the door and had to watch, it was an amazing sight! LOL

And lastly, I had to show you what I have to do to my arm now. Each day after my shower, I have to put these bandages on and keep them on all day and all night. Doesn't that look comfy? NOT!! And believe it or not, I have to do this myself. I think I do a pretty good job doing this one handed and getting it the right tension. It's still itchy and uncomfortable, but you gotta do what you gotta do (as my mother always says).

And, that's a wrap! LOL

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Top Ten...

I feel a little like David Letterman today...but here goes anyway! LOL

Top Ten reasons to be thankful for being bald... Ready?

1. Save money on expensive shampoos.
2. Save time by not having to style my hair in the morning.
3. Save the planet by using less water by not washing my hair in the shower.
4. Keeps you cool in the summertime.
5. Boost the economy by bringing hats back into fashion thereby creating jobs for hat makers and designers alike.
6. You don't have to wear one of those net thingies while preparing food for large quantities of people.
7. You bring a little "shine" back into people's lives.
8. No more bed head or helmet head!
9. Keeps drains running freely with no hair clogs.

And the top ten reason to be thankful for being bald....

10. Gray hair? What gray hair?