Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Getting ready

I am getting very nervous about this next chemo treatment. First of all, everyone says how much easier it it to tolerate if you don't have an allergic reaction. How often, then, are allergic reactions? Also, on some of the cancer boards, people are writing about just how uncomfortable and distressing the side effects from this drug can be and it doesn't sound easier to me! I like to be forearmed with information but I feel confused in this area. Will it be a piece of cake or will I be crippled with muscle and joint pains? If I have an allergic reaction, what are the options? Some people have said that they had reactions to later doses but not to the first dose. That's scary! UGH. I both dread and want Thursday to get here soon.

Knitting is happening. Shellseeker is growing in length. My swatches for the tunic in Spring IK are almost ready to be measured and washed. I love the new yarn I am working with. The linen yarn I thought I would love did not work out. It was too open. I am currently working with Aurucania Itata Multi in a colorway that includes tropical blues and greens. I really hope I can make this work!

Mom is still visiting. We were able to enjoy some sunshine and milder temps the last two days but we expect rain today. :-(   Mom plans to be sure I do OK with this next drug and then head home for a while. She will be back in late May or early June when I have surgery.

Well, I am off to the work at home computer to start my work day. Have a good day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Half way through chemo!

I was scheduled for 4 cycles of one drug combo and 4 cycles of another drug to be given alone. I have completed the first 4 cycles! Some time in the next few weeks I will get an ultrasound of the breast tumor to check on the size, reassure myself that the chemo is working and the tumor is shrinking.  In a week and a half I will start the second drug, which, according to most sources, is easier to handle. We'll see. It's more frequent side effects are numbness or pins and needles in the hands and feet called neuropathy. That could make fiber work tough, but I'll take it one day at a time.

After 3 weeks or more of no knitting, I picked up Shellseeker and started knitting again. Yippee! I still don't knit a lot. I had thought that during chemo I would knit all the time when I wasn't at work but it has just seemed to be too much trouble. I sit and veg in front of the TV screen instead. Not very productive but it seems to be what I can handle right now. I am still working part time and that feels good.

Mom is doing her best to take care of me and help around the house. She does a lot of smaller chores like emptying the dishwasher, which no one likes, and laundry. Some of the small things like dusting, which I just can't be bothered doing, have been done, too. ;-)
She plans to stay until just after my next chemo (the first of the new drug) and then head home. She'll be back for my surgery. I think she is bored because she doesn't have her own little (and big) projects to work on, but we are doing OK.

Have you seen the Spring IK? I love the cover sweater, though I would add a collar, and the tunic top. I might knit that with linen to be used as a tunic and a swim suit cover up. Linen should be more comfortable in 80 degree temps and 90% humidity than merino wool. See, even though I haven't been knitting, I haven't lost the interest in knitting.

Speaking of interest, due to my planned trip to Rhinebeck, I was going to just go to MDSW for 1 day and maybe work half of that. I found out from the doctor that I can't go at all. Being exposed to the animals and dust etc. while on chemo is a no-no. Technically I will be finished with chemo by then but I am not going to take any chances. If I get sick, it might postpone surgery and or other treatment so I will be good. Disappointing but not terrible. It will be the first time in over 10 years I will have missed.

Have a good day.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mom arrives today!

My mother has been chomping at the bit to come down and help ever since I told her about my diagnosis. I wanted to get a few treatments under my belt and deal with them alone first before I had company. Besides, her room wasn't ready and Bob was busy caring for me. So. The room is ready and she will be on a train from New York Penn station to Aberdeen in a couple of hours.

I haven't touched a knitting needle except to put it away in a week or more. I just don't feel the love. I feel like I am forcing myself to pick up the needles and that seemed to be unnecessary stress for me right now. I am taking a knitting vacation. I am still interested. My IK magazine came in yesterday's mail and I immediately browsed through it and picked out 2 items I want to make. But not now. The only thing I plan to knit any time soon is that last blasted sleeve so I can finish Bobs sweater. Everything else is getting put in a time out.

Spinning still interests me, so I do a bit of that now and then. Mostly my brain is happy to be entertained (or not) by watching HGTV.  We'll see what happens while Mom is here.

Speaking of Mom, I have to help put the Ikea nightstand together. I guess her room isn't quite ready.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Saturday, February 02, 2013

My treatment

My treatment is broken up into several sections. I have 2 chemo drugs given together, in my case every 2 weeks for 4 weeks. Then I get another chemo  drug every 2 weeks for 4 weeks. Then I will be scanned again and a decision about surgery will be made, the surgery will happen and the I get radiation treatment. sounds like fun, doesn't it? Not.
Anyway, I have finished 3 or 4 treatments of the first drug. It's a milestone, but not a big one. I am feeling a bit tired and discouraged but mostly from dealing with the side effects and work. I have a lot of help, though and I will get through this. The weather could be more helpful, though. Warm and sunny would be so much better ...... 

Completed hat!

The hat I have been working on recently is finished. It's called the Madreselva Hat . I wanted to use some handspun and I needed a warm hat, so ......

I have received many little goodies and cards in the mail, cheering me up and reminding me how many friends I have. Here is a little goodie from Elisabeth in Norway. A beautiful card and fridge magnet.

Karen, who knows that I love turtles of any kind, sent a card with a sea turtle on it along with a hat - a very soft and non-hair-catching hat for me to wear as well as some hand made earrings, stitch markers and puffy origami stars! I can't believe it! And they didn't get squashed while in transit, either. I am most fascinated by the starts but love the rest, too. they will all be welcome and frequently used gifts.

Juneberry is a pattern I worked on over the spring and summer. I finally finished it this fall but didn't get around to blocking it until recently. It is made with alpaca yarn and so is pretty toasty and comfortable to wear.

Finally, my uncle sends a basket or pot of amaryllis bulbs every year for the holidays. We always start themas soon as we get them, around Thanksgiving, and they never bloom until January. This year's flowers have been spectacular. Here is one close up I took with my I-Phone!
Thank you Uncle Rich and Aunt Joyce!