Saturday, January 16, 2010

Onwards and umm yeah

G'day all!

Thought I would share with you the pic of the quilt top that I finished a week or two ago.

wonkytop

Wonky blocks sashed in Kona cotton (something like pacific blue or similar name). Nearly died when I discovered Kona cottons are $15.50 a metre here. Yikes! I was buying them on special in the US for $3.50 a yard, and apparently you can get them cheaper than that too. It really makes me think I'll cough up for shipping for material from the US, particularly if our dollar level pegs with theirs later in the year.

The quilt backing is done as well but is in desperate need of a good pressing. I took some pics but it really needed ironing and I do have some small standards in my picture taking. I naturally forgot to send the quilt backing home with me (a lime green sheet) and the first lime material I came across either was already faded in a strip across the middle or faded when I washed it and hung it out to dry. I ended up using some green strip and yellow polka dot to make the backing, along with a spare block and some leftover strips of material.

(Have I mentioned how much I LOVE having a washing line again? And how lovely clothes smell when they've been line dried? And how much I don't care that some things feel stiff and crackly cos if you shake them a bit or just plain put them on/use them they soften up again?)

Tomorrow I have to go for a couple of scans - a CAT scan and something else. PET? Can't remember. Not an MRI, not that yet. Whatever it is, it will take all day so I had best have lots of knitting with me! It will show more accurately if there is further spread of the cancer. The more info we have, the better but I really hope it is still just locally advanced breast cancer. More than that will be hard to cope with!

I saw the breast clinic on Wednesday and that was pretty good. The lady specialist (Jane Fox) was very good. She has a good bedside manner. No talk of Bad Things, she had me pegged as someone who has a Clue About Medical Matters within about a minute of me walking in the door, told me not to fuss over the pathology and suggested we go with chemo first to shrink the tumour. Also I can be part of a study if I wish - they want to look at how tumours respond to chemotherapy (FEC and taxol/taxotere plus something else). That means taking more biopsies along the way, doing more involved immunohistochemistry/etc on them (looking at proliferative factors and other stuff) and monitoring the size of the things with MRIs. I thought it sounded interesting and even though biopsies are not the most pleasant things, I figure that I will do it just to find out more about what is going on. Also maybe my life really is just to act as a warning to others, so knowing what this cancer is expressing in the way of genes could be useful for others in the future. Anyway, I thought Jane Fox was pretty terrific and walked out of there feeling somewhat more positive. If she follows medical specialist convention here in Oz, she is Mr Fox, and pretty fantastic too, may I say.

On Tuesday I go to the multidisciplinary group at a hospital that is not so handy to where I live. (I just realised a problem in that the little car we have is not well and will not make it to the different hospital - I should look up buses and stuff). The BC nurse was very firm that I should NOT arrive before 2pm and indeed I should not fuss about being on time because they very rarely are. Anyway, I wondered if I will get a spanking and be tied up by the multi-disciplinary group or whether they will finalise my treatment so that it will get started. I would like it to get started but maybe not before next weekend, when my BiL and his fiancee have their engagement party.

Currently, assuming the scans come up clean, it looks like I will have four cycles of FEC and then another four cycles of taxotere/taxol + ?. I believe each cycle is three weeks. MiL says that I'll feel totally lousy the week of chemo, lousy-ish the second week and fine on the third week. That is 24 weeks of chemo treatment and will take me through to mid-year. Assuming the chemo is doing me good (even if I don't feel like it is) then I have surgery on the Beast. After that? I dunno. Either more chemo or radiotherapy. I guess it all depends on how the tumour responds to chemo. Hopefully it will shrink right down and I'll only need a lumpectomy and axial dissection, followed by more treatment, rather than a boobectomy and palliative care....

So things are happening, sorta, slowly. I just wish we could get back into our house. Our house-sitters are dragging their heels about getting out and I just want to get back in! I want to be settled before the crap (chemo) hits the fan. I want to have the cats settled. I want to know what I need to get for the house before I start getting crook from stuff to make me well again. There will be things cos I don't know what will be left of our old stuff after it's been used by the housesitters, or what I will be game to use (eg wooden spoons will need to be replaced cos lord knows what they will have absorbed into them). All fun!

anon!

8 comments:

  1. Hug x The study sounds like a really positive thing to do.

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  2. I'm all for medical studies. They contribute to the greater good and, if you are lucky, to your greater good also. Be prepared to feel crappy after the scans. G had some this year and felt terrible afterwards for being cooped up so much and apparently they are extremely loud. On the up side he got photographic proof of having a brain (and a functioning one clear of any abnormalities too) - handy material in an argument. Good luck. You must be feeling slightly more chipper if you are considering buying stuff from the States. REalised yesterday that a book published in Australia, by a Melbourne crafter, cost about 1/3 less in the UK than in Melbourne.

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  3. Lovely quilt, and yes, quilting fabrics are really expensive here!!!
    You sound much happier now - I know that's not the right word, but cope-ier isn't a real word!!
    Nice that there is some useful information and you can make some decisions. I'm doing some experimental drugs too!! Nothing like being a guinea pig!!

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  4. My Mil was part of the Tamoxifen trials as was her sister. My Sil has just started Chemo but has to travel four hours for treatment with little assistance from the Medical Funding etc and no insurance.Luckily she has a good friend to look after her son for the time being.
    Itll be good for you to get back into your house,you ll be able to spread out have a craft room and rest when you need it!
    And I agree the study is a positive thing!!

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  5. Glad to hear you can do something positive while going through the process. If you decide to go through with the study it will give you something good to think about apart from the knitting and quilting and such :-) The quilt has turned out very nicely too.

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  6. Glad to hear the news about the study and the excellent specialist. You do sound much more yourself as others have commented. Here's hoping you can get back into your house ASAP, it will be good to have your own space back.

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  7. Excellent quilt - the colours are VERY you ;) I'm waiting for the dollar to equal the US and then I'm going on a yarn binge. Might have to buy my m-i-l some quilting fabric too.

    Sounds like the medical side of life is going great guns ahead (which is wonderful) and you sound positive, which is even better.

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  8. Are you up to coffee or something in Glen Waverley some afternoon this week? Email me on deadeyeconstance at gmail dot com or text me on 0448 359 411. Husbands permitted if they insist!!

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