Monday, March 13, 2017

So, it turns out....

... that there was just NO time available to go copying and pasting all those messages. One of these days I might get around to it- I would really like a single history of this whole experience- but it was not possible when I thought it would be and I am moving on now. Once again I am dumping a blog.

And I am going to start another. I liked blogging when I did it regularly, and things are slowly getting to our new normal. And I want a blog as part of my new normal.

If you get a chance, go looking for "I'm walking in sunshine". That's my new blog and my new reality- we are walking, slowly but steadily, and there is sunshine in my life. See you there.

Friday, November 25, 2016

How I've been dealing.

This will be a short post. For anyone who still reads here, it will bring you up to date. For myself, it will serve as a sort of diary.

I am going to move a copy of every text message I have sent out, and every Facebook post I have made, about this "journey" through cancer world, to here. I am going to transfer them in order, so the next post after this will be from the beginning of the experience. I will date them from when they were sent, not the current dates when I post them. 

If this helps someone, anyone, to understand better how this journey goes, then it may make it easier for them to address the situation if it occurs to them, or a family member, or a friend. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Many changes

So, I wrote the last post from Indiana- which was the last time and place that life was normal. 😔

John got very sick on the trip home. He was fine leaving Indiana, but by the time we reached Louisville, he was unable to continue driving. By the time we reached home, he had agreed to go to the doctor. 

We had three weeks where he was really sick- unable to eat, chills and fever, too weak to do anything but move between the bed and the recliner. We had several doctors visits and a bunch of tests, which led to a referral to Moffitt Cancer Center, and at our first visit on June 28, a diagnosis of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. 

He was admitted, within an hour of us seeing the doctor, in critical condition. He stayed in Moffitt for 8 days. There were multiple tests, two surgical biopsies, and the first round of chemo. 

He had the second round of chemo last week. We are waiting for the second session of "nadir"- the time between days 10 and 14 after chemo when all the side effects kick in. It means he feels really rotten, I have to be super careful about cleaning and sanitizing everything because he is at his most immuno suppressed, and we just stay in to avoid risking bringing in outside germs. 

The whole experience has been like no other. I keep walking the fine line of staying pragmatic and under control, while dealing with the life-threatening reality of his situation. We are still a long way from any resolution- if everything goes well, they will stop the chemo after the mid-October session, and we will know sometime between Halloween and Thansgiving if he is in remission. Another scenario has him in chemo until just before Christmas. 

The good news is that he is clearly feeling better and stronger now than in June. He has no hair, but that is temporary- although 6 months or more until it comes back does not seem "temporary" to him. 

So, that is life at the moment. I am getting far more knitting (a Christmas present for our son), cross stitch (also a Christmas present), and quilting done than I usually do- we spend so much time in the living room recliners that I just got determined to not sit unless I was doing more than just watching TV.

I am going to try to do more posting as we live through/work through this situation. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016


I am sitting in the living room in my brother Joseph's house. I am very glad I took my shower earlier- with 7 people and only 2 bathrooms, it is getting interesting. 

I am thrilled to be here. Victoria is our youngest niece, and the one we have spent the most time with over the years. She is stunningly beautiful. Tonight she graduates from high school and she wanted us to be there- so we will be. It is nice to be wanted by family.

Our trip here was really long but we saw some gorgeous scenery along the way. The mountains in Tennessee and Kentucky were lovely and the Tennesee Valley near Chattanooga was really wonderful to see. Everywhere we went spring had sprung and there were many beautiful flowers as well as the fully lush trees. 

We are hoping to stop at Lookout Mountain on the way home- it is a Civil War battlefield site. I always love visiting the battlefields and learning more about that time. 

So, we didn't take our planned big trip out west this spring, but we are seeing another part of the country AND getting to spend time with family, so it's a great trip.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Another Sunday

It's been a very long week since Mother's Day. I've been running around, the house has needed attention, we lost some neighbors here, and I am really tired.

The good news? Well, my friend and I visited 2 quilting shops on Tuesday. It was a fun day- we checked out the first place, had a light lunch, checked out the second place, then stopped to buy some fancy pastries. In reverse order: the pastries were good but not great, the second shop is all and only about machine quilting so I won't be going back, lunch was good, and we both really liked the first shop a lot!!

I signed up for a hand quilting class, and she signed up to learn free motion quilting on her own machine. I got some fabric and threads and stuff for my class, and we were both very happy with the attention to details that the sales lady showed us. At least for now, this is now our #1 quilt shop.

Also good news was my trip to the EGA meeting on Wednesday. I met a lot of nice ladies, started a small class project, saw their plans for future meetings and classes, and have decided I will definitely join, but not until September- we have more than enough going on right now. The small project required cross stitching and showed that the EGA world and the cross stitch world don't often intersect- one of the ladies didn't know how to even start, yet she was a long time EGA member who does a lot of canvas work with specialty (embroidery) stitches. It was interesting to see.

I finished the afghan for our friends' first grandchild and will be mailing that off tomorrow. 

I have taken out, made easily accessible, gotten all the necessary tools handy, and have begun working again on 2 old WIPs/UFOs. One is a cross stitch project and one is a mini Hawaiian quilt top that I had barely started appliqueing. I have discovered that if I put the clip on magnifiers over my TV/knitting/crochet bifocals, I can see the TV well and still work on the tiny stuff. Although, I must admit, the really tiny stuff is no longer possible for me. Oh, well.

So, we now have pest control protection. Never saw a single ant before, and all of a sudden they were coming up through the floor near the hallway. Millions of them. So, we are now safe from not only ants, but basically anything considered a pest except mosquitos. 

Sadly, two people from the same small subdivision died on Wednesday. It's been a bit of a shock for their friends. I knew the one lady- had been out in groups with her- but didn't know the man. I guess this is a price we pay for living here. I still think it is worth it.

So, anyway, it's the start of a new week. No running around this week other than groceries and such. The following week I get back on the treadmill- the quilting class, a dinner dance at the club, then right heading to my niece's graduation. I better rest up this week!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

a nice weekend- mostly

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers. I am having a mostly nice weekend, and hope you are also.

Yesterday I went to my first stitching event in a really long time. Like, I can't remember the last time.

It was sponsored by a (semi)local shop, The Crafty Framer, in Largo. I got an invitation through an online friend- she is in multiple online groups for a variety of things that I am also in- stitching and Disney being the most frequent.

It was a fun day. I got some work done on a UFO/WIP that I hadn't touched in a long time. I met a lot of nice women. I was encouraged to check out the almost local EGA chapter, which I am going to do later this week.

The big news is that I won a wonderful door prize! I had seen this chart repeatedly in the last couple years an I would have bought it before this, but it was WAY too expensive. So, now I have it: Little House Needlework's "Sea to Shining Sea". The reason for the expense is that it is sold as 6 separate small kits, the chart and the special fibers for each section- at $16 per section. A piece that was going to cost almost $100 before fabric, and was only 8 x 16 finished was something I just could not justify buying. AND, now I don't have to!

I received a really lovely gift for Mother's Day- the annotated "Sense and Sensibility". It is a beautiful book and I am already (half way through Chapter 1 following a 30 page introduction) thoroughly enjoying it.

Why the "mostly" nice weekend? Well, the AC seems to be malfunctioning. It could be something as simple as the thermostat, or whatever, but DH is having himself a royal fit! He is sure it is broken, we will need a whole new system, and it is going to cost tens of thousands of dollars. To avoid Mr. Grouchy Pants, I am off to the pool!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

And some more gorgeous needlework

So, I think I must link this blog to mine as soon as possible. I am amazed at the pictures she adds to her posts- they are fabulous. 

Here is another post on "lost" needle arts. The gold work is usually available through an EGA class, and I know it shows up elsewhere at festivals and such. Not a well known technique, and only for the skilled and affluent- that gold thread gets expensive!- but another NOT lost needle art.