Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Twas the day after Christmas

We had a very nice Christmas. Friends and family, good food, and gifts to give and receive. That was Christmas eve. Christmas day was spent quietly at home, knitting and spinning. I did manage to fit in a walk outside in the cold but sunny weather. That felt good. As usual I did not receive any knitting or spinning gifts. The men in my life just don't seem to be able to handle that. Last year I even provided a website and the exact item I wanted. No luck. Sigh.

I worked today, then attended "chemo class" where we received a book if information about chemo, side effects and how to deal with them. It's scary business, scary drugs, though they are necessary. They caution you to remember that most people don't get all of the side effects and many only get a few or not a serious level of side effects. We'll see how I fare. My thought is that I am going to hate the next 4 months.

Tomorrow is my sentinel lymph node biopsy. They will inject a blue dye and tracer, they excise the lymph nodes that turn blue (the color of the dye). I don't know how much manipulation is required to do that so I have no idea how uncomfortable I will be on Friday and Saturday. I am hoping to drive up to NY to visit Mom over the weekend.

My Christmas knitting involved alternating between Atelier and Bob's sleeve. This is the second sleeve and I don't know why I can't just power through it and get it done. It's very frustrating.
My spinning activity for the day was black welsh mountain. I spun 1.5 bobbins, so have 1 more bobbin to go before I can ply. Once this batch is spun I will take a break from it and spin for another project.

The Spinners Study group on Ravelry is having a spin and knit (or crochet) along. We selected either a lace or a cable project and will spin the yarn appropriate for that project, then knit it. I chose cables and plan to spin a 3 ply for a cowl. With working and chemo I may not be able to get it all done in the time allowed but the spinning itself will be good therapy for me, I think, to relax. I will spin either a dyed wool blend or some BFL roving in a soft brown. Sampling to come (with photos).

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

I would like to wish everyone a very happy, safe and peaceful holiday season. Worldwide peace is out of my hands but peace within your household is worthwhile, too. ;-)

I am trying very hard to resist the temptation of casting on and of buying yarn to knit a sweater that I just bought the pattern for. It's a real struggle despite all the yarn I have in my stash. Sigh.

We are looking forward to spending the evening with family and close friends, the same group we have every year. I am so glad that I decided to go ahead with those plans.

 Enjoy your holiday and be safe if you are driving to get somewhere.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Life goes on

I have lots to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family, great friends and a roof over my head. I canno believe how many people have offered sympathy, support, meals, rides and, in the case of my relatively new co-workers, even their own sick time to help me get through

We are going ahead with our Christmas plans, slightly modified because we had Christmas prep on hold for 3 weeks. I plan to do my best to ignore cancer until the 26th when I attend chemo class to learn all about how tough these drugs are on my cancer (and at the same time, tough on the rest of me, but we'll deal).

I have been knitting and even spinning a bit. I wore the finished Swirl sweater to knit night last night and it got rave reviews. I am very happy with it. I just finished a neck warmer for Rob. The never ending sweater sleeve for Bob is getting longer .....
My carry along socks have been growing since I have been spending a lot of time waiting for doctors, tests and other things. Sigh.
I placed an order for a Navaho Churro fleece at the beginning of December and it arrived. I scoured it and sat down to sample last week. I combed a bit of the fleece, separating the longer fibers from the shorter ones. This is a double coated sheep breed. I spun both the longer fibers and the shorter fluff. The longer fibers were so soft and easy to spin! I loved it. The shorter fluff was perfect to spin long draw but I am not good at that so I didn't do well, but the resulting yarn was very nice, I could not wear this against my neck but I could at my wrists. I also carded some and spun that. Again, I don't do well with woolen prep and spinning and I am not much excited about the result but I enjoyed this spinning and this yarn, too, was wearable close to the body if not directly against it. It was a bit more prickly. I can't wait to spin the rest!

Before I can spin the rest, I have to spin more Black Welsh Mountain and clear those bobbins. On new years eve I plan to start an "along" with a Ravelry group. We are spinning fiber and knitting or crocheting a project that we have chosen. In my case that's the Mariposa cowl. I plan to spin a 3 ply of something soft. The fiber has not yet been selected.

Well, that's it for now. Be safe, everyone, in the craziness before the holiday.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We have a plan

At least we have a start. There are some decisions that have not been made because they depend on how the treatments go.

I will have a lymph node biopsy just after Christmas and begin chemotherapy right after the new year. I have 2 months of every other week chemo with 2 drugs given together, then 2 additional months getting a 3rd drug every 2 weeks. The response of the tumor will be monitored by ultrasound. At the end of the chemo additional testing will be done on the size and placement of the tumor. The lymph nodes will also be evaluated again and a decision will be made regarding surgery - either lumpectomy with breast and lymph node radiation or mastectomy with lymph node radiation. 6 weeks of radiation and I will be finished with this nasty stuff.

It's not the kind of thing to look forward to but I am anxious for treatment to get started. It won't be a fun year but I can do it. I have a wonderful family and lots of support from friends.

I debated about posting about my cancer here, but it and fighting it will be so much a part of my life for almost a year that I couldn't see leaving it out. I plan to have lots of knitting and spinning input here as well so don't be worried that this blog will be all about illness. It won't be. Knitting and spinning may well save what sanity I have.  ;-)

Happy holidays to all.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Knitting for sanity

I've been knitting away to keep my brains and everything else from running away. I have cancer.

I have breast cancer and its an aggressive cancer that requires chemo and surgery, possibly radiation too. I had no clue, was not expecting this at all. One morning I found a lump and then my life as I knew it ended.

I've been doing lots of waiting - for appointments, tests and information and I've been knitting my through that. I'll be doing more waiting and then lots of sitting through chemo infusions.

My friends have been wonderful. Coworkers, knitting friends, other friends, everyone has been so supportive. I feel so lucky in that way. I've had offers of rides and meals and even help washing a new fleece that just arrived! I get funny text messages, emails with cute or funny pictures and jokes. I can't put into words how much that stuff means to me. Just making me smile once during a bad morning is so wonderful!

My family - my husband and both sons have been great. I just told Mom and my brothers and they have also been supportive and offered to come down (from NY), help out, listen when I need to  cry or vent. I am so lucky to have family and friends like this. Thank you all.