the knitting ref

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Happy Autumn

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. The gosh-awful heat around here usually has broken, so you can comfortably sit outdoors. We're heading into the holiday season. My birthday's coming (very soon). And lastly it's apple season.

I love apples. They're my favorite fruit. And Autumn means that it's time to go visit Oak Glen. Just as there's nothing better than picking your own nicely ripe tomato from your own garden, there's nothing better than heading up to Oak Glen and picking up some newly picked apples. (Or pick your own, but my energy level isn't quite up to that.)

So after the Boy Child's soccer game yesterday, we hopped on the motorcycle for a quick apple run. The Hubster's and my taste tends to run tart, so we picked up some Honey Golds and Jonagolds. I'm still not eating much in the way of solid food, but the apples are sitting quite well.

This little tableau was shot on my front porch. The milk can is a legacy from my grandfather's dairy farm. I keep it filled with season appropriate flowers. And the Happy Harvest shovel is from a Joann's sale. I like the look of the basket of apples there so much, I think I'll have to find some artificial ones and keep the basket out there through the fall season.

Today is also my cancerversary. I've been living with cancer for 4 years. I type that with a great deal of mixed emotion. Happy I'm still here. Sorrow for those I've known who couldn't beat this thing. Anger that they can't seem to find a cure. But mostly grateful for what they've been able to do to keep me alive these last 4 years.

I'm still knitting the Noro sweater. I'm to the point I don't think I'll ever finish. The end is so tantilizingly close, but I'm in that black hole where you knit and knit and your piece doesn't grow. (Course it's a little hard to accomplish much when you're only knitting 3 or 4 rows a day.) But I will get there.

If I don't finish soon, I may have to put the sweater on hiatus and start a Shedir from This chemo is causing me to lose my hair again. For the third time. I've got plenty of scarves and wigs, although I may go for a new look in the wig department. But with the New Zealand trip coming up, I'd like a cap or two. Since I'm going to the land of wool, it'd be nice to have a stylish knit or two to have on the head. Anyone got any suggestions?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The New Normal ver. 3.2

When I was first diagnosed with this damn disease, one of the first things I had to learn was that what had passed for my normal life was not ever going to be that version of normal ever again. The mad running around, on school committees, soccer committees, coaching and refereeing had to be dialed back to a level I never would have accepted pre-illness. Some things had to be cut out completely. And I despised my "new" life. Until I started recognizing that there had been a lot of chaf mixed in the wheat of my life, and getting rid of some of that wasn't such a bad thing.

And so I picked up the threads of this version of my life and soldiered on. And this new version wasn't half bad. I have been incredibly incredibly fortunate to have been able to work the whole time I've been under treatment, and do a fair amount of traveling and gardening and so forth when I felt up to it. There are a whole lot of women who undergo the same chemos and so forth who spend the the entire time on the couch. I had become very smug that I would just take whatever chemo came along and it would keep me going. Sounds like a pretty nasty way of life to most of you, but the last 4 years have been pretty damn good given the alternative. I know I'm getting pretty far out there on the longevity line for ovarian cancer. If you care for more satistics, check out my rant on June 5. I know I'm lucky.

And then the chemos stopped working and I've been giving you the Cliff Notes version of how thing's have been going since about mid-July. And I was back to thinking about how much this new version of my life sucks. I missed so many things: being in the hospital for the Boy Child's 19th birthday; screwing up on the KSKS deadline (I HATE DOING THAT); making an extremely weak finish to SP8, which includes not properly thanking my truly great pal; and missing my Blogaversary just to name a few. But you know what? The world didn't come to an end. And so while I don't feel great about it, I'm doing o.k.

I'm adjusting to this new version. My improved attitude probably has a lot to do with going outdoors for the first time in a week. (Seriously. I went to the dr. last Friday, came home and hadn't even stuck my nose out the door until this morning.) And why did I go out? To watch the Boy Child play soccer.

Since I missed giving him a proper birthday tribute on "the day" I'll do it now. God blessed me with a boy the likes of which there are very few. From the day of his birth to today, he never went through that stage where he wouldn't give me hugs and kisses in public. In fact one of the proudest days of my life (still) was when he was about 13. We were at a soccer tournament and he was going to go off with some friends to get some lunch while my husband and I stayed at the field. He gave me a hug, and 1 of his friends, in that usual boyish taunting tone says, "Oh, gotta give Mommy a kiss bye." To which he immediately responded, "That's right, *&$%#, because she deserves it." The hubster and I were walking away and allegedly not hearing what was going on, so it was all I could do to keep from turning around and ruin it by getting all mushy.

He graduated high school a year ago and he's still working out what he wants to do with his life. In the meantime he's working hard and doing all those things that 19 year olds like to do. I'm very blessed.

Oh, and if I haven't mentioned it before, he has mad soccer skillz.

My good mood also probably has a lot to do with the fact that at least 1 of the furballs that leave tons of hair all over everything did something to earn his keep.

I was on my usual spot on the couch last night when I heard one of the cats growling. Now, having 5 cats in the house usually means there's some growling and hissing going on from time to time. So I didn't think much about it until it continued for almost 10 minutes. So I started doing the kitty head count to see who was being so cranky. I have determined it wasn't Nubbs (he was busy with a piece of yarn), Inky was sleeping peacefully, and Mac was wandering around quietly. I could see all these critters from where I was sitting, so it was time to actually get off my butt and further investigate. Well, just about that time, L.B., going trotting out of the the kitchen into the family room carrying a mouse by the tail with Felicity in close pursuit. I yelled at the Hubster (poor man, I woke him out of a sound sleep in his recliner), and he popped up and retrieved L.B.'s "toy" for proper disposal. There had been no sounds of struggle or anything else, so I was quite surprised when the Hubster said that the mousey had gone to the great beyond.
That's only the 2nd mousey we've had show up in the house (the 2nd was when we moved in 10 years ago). It's nice to know that at least 1 of these furballs knows how to take care of business.

And some of my good mood could have something to do with the fact that maybe (just maybe) this chemo is doing some good. It's too early to know for sure, but some of the issues I've been having are lessening, so we'll just keep our fingers crossed.

Who knows, I may actually have some knitting content soon.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Long Time, No See

Well, without going into too gory detail, chemo once again kicked my butt, and in fact put me in the hospital with extreme dehydration. Once I was in there, they discovered that I had blood clots in my lungs. So no more of that kind of chemo.

I've bascially been a sofa slug ever since. Lots of sleeping, and not much else. I take that back. I have been knitting a bit on my Noro sweater. I'm now about 18 inches from putting it all together. I may actually finish it before too long.

I'm now giving myself shots of blood thinner twice a day (which isn't as bad as it sounds), and have met the with doc's regarding which direction we're going to be moving. We start different chemo tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes.

Family and friends have been very helpful and supportive. The flowers were from my niece and her mom. That's about all the energy I have for now. Hopefully, I'll have a better post soon.