Showing posts from May, 2010

Remembrance Echo Flower

G'day all!

So we've made it to the end of May.

May is not my favourite month of the year. Too many deaths of people that matter to me have occurred in May. My father at the start of May, my mother near the end of May, others that have passed on too.

I wonder what Mum would've thought of the shawl I knitted this month.

I spun the yarn.

I chose the Echo Flower pattern.

I started knitting.

And I kept knitting and knitting and knitting row after row, repeat after repeat of the flower pattern

Until I thought I should swap to the border pattern.

(I am glad I did swap over then - I don't think I had enough yarn for another repeat of the flower pattern.)

I nupped until I was done.

Then I soaked and blocked the shawl.

I think Mum would be surprised that I can knit lace. She told me not to knit it when I was younger. Much younger. She didn't think I had the patience or the counting ability/concentration. I knitted intarsia then, or picture knitting as we called it. I could also k…

Staying in order

G'day all!

I will be good. I will present FOs in order of finishing. Plus it lets me string out posts :-)

In October, I had the mad idea that I could knit a shawlette in a week from a skein of luscious 4ply/fingering weight yarn.


May I present to you, in MAY, seven months later....

My Ruffles of Doom shawlette


This was a silly knit. I first thought it was a spring bloom faroese shawl but suddenly the yarn ran out before I was ready for it to - it had gone on and on and on.... So I had to find some (not quite matching) pink recycled cashmere to make a ruffle with, only I didn't ruffle it enough so I had to go find some green recycled cashmere and make a more ruffly ruffle.

Then the pink ruffle decided it was a flap that would sit up at about 45 degrees to the shawl itself, making a V at the bottom so I grabbed a crochet hook, added some stitches to it, hooked it to the green ruffle and generally made it more ruffle-icious. It had to have ruffles you see. And it took f…

Still crackers

G'day all!

Oh what a day it has been.

I ate something I shouldn't have. I think. Or maybe it is the chemo. Let's just say it is gross but I am still showing a family trait of not throwing up. Plus the last couple of nights it seems that I won't sleep for more than two hours at a time and have to get up to pee a lot, and by 3:30am I may as well get up for an hour or two to deal with the spinning monkey brain and legs that want to wriggle. Now we have an extra complication.

And DH is down. He has a couple of little jobs at the moment but they are not Real Jobs. I didn't realise his identity is so tightly tied to his job. Is that a boy thing?

I am actually pretty good apart from the little purging issue and the lack of sleep. I went for a little bike ride to some local shops and the library yesterday, today I walked most of a kilometre. Days 6-7 of the last cycle I could hardly walk before I saw my chiro - lots of spasms and knee pain and back pain etc etc. Thi…

I could...

Really go some nice gluten free, dairy free "ice cream" right now. Mmmmmm.... Whilst we do great GF/DF bread in Oz, unlike te US which has dreadful muck, we do not do good ice creams for those of us deprived of the usual sort. So currently I'm missing this (I must've eaten at least a hundred tubs of that whilst we were in the States) and this (mint choc chip! What more could I want in a flavour!) and even this (verra nice if it hadn't been allowed to defrost - the ribbon through it would go icy). Heck some cookie dough would be great right now - weird texture, sorta crunchy.

The GF/DF icecreams here tend to be quite expensive (I thought $5 for a quart was expensive but most of the Oz ones are $7-8 and pretty darned hard to come by). Now I could haul out our icecream maker and muck about with some coconut milk and stuff but I just want to eat icecream right now. Mmm, icecream. (Maybe I want to eat it cos my gullet is sore again, not as badly as sometimes bu…

Laying low

G'day all!

I might be laying low for the next few days. Don't get too worried if I don't blog, though I may well cos I'll be bored and brainless. New chemo and/or the bone marrow stimulant does interesting things to my body. Whatever muscles I use hurt - I've been knitting a bit so my forearms are sore, I've been leaning on the desk so my back/shoulder muscles are sore, I walked a whole 500m if that so my knees and thighs are sore, things just ache. Time for some paracetamol, see if that knocks it down some.

Smoke me a kipper, etc etc....


Yet more medical stuff

G'day all!

Today I went to see the medical oncologist, the radiation oncologist and the breast surgeon.

We have a plan.

Assuming the chemo goes as expected (ie my immune system keeps rebounding and I don't get any infections), I'll be having a lumpectomy and axial dissection (with sentinel node injection) sometime late July or early August. That is a three day hospital stay. Then I do set up for radiotherapy 4 weeks later and start radiotherapy 5 or 6 weeks after the surgery. Radiotherapy goes for six weeks, 5 days a week at the same hospital that I'm getting chemo at. That's a good hour round trip five days a week - just like work! Except I'm not working and I need to have 2 minutes of treatment not 7.5 hours of work a day. They will be targetting the areas of surgery and the lymph nodes at the base of my neck, just to be sure. The sixth week of radiotherapy is a "booster" on the surgical site itself.

I should be done like a dinner by my birthday. …

Poor pudding tat

G'day all!

Isn't this a sad thing

the poor cat, waiting to come in - she's found the (let me) In Tray!

I've still been busy recently, buzzing around, not really getting that much done quite frankly! I'm making good progress on my Echo Flower shawl - only got 1.5 repeats to go before I start the edging charts I think. HOORAY! There's over 300 stitches per row now and it takes a while to get each row done (20 minutes or so). Given how much time I can spend knitting, it seems surprising that it isn't yet finished.

Pics today are of Nutmeg, in various moods.

I've joined two quilting swaps, one just a little charm swap. Egads, cutting charms (5" squares) is hard work, especially when you have to iron twenty-five different lots fabric first. Also I don't have a cutting table, I have a cutting mat on the floor. That adds to the difficulty somewhat. The second swap needs me to get a couple of metres of material, one white, one "fresh modern&quo…

Whoops, still here!

G'day all!

Apparently I've not posted for a while. Whoops! Unintentional blog break. I've been busy, and last week I got sick of whining. Busy means I've been pretty good this week :-) Sorry if anyone worried - my bad! But thanks for checking up on me :-)

So... What have I been up to?

Well, I went shopping at Chaddy - picked up my new sunnies and some tea from T2 and the newly sharpened knives (sharp knives! Bliss! And yes I am careful with them). That was my daily exercise, I must've walked a fair bit cos I was tired by the end of it!

We managed to get some books into bookshelves and got the craft room to the point where there is a big space in the middle of it. (Now I just need a sewing space.) We cleared out seven or eight boxes of books from the loungeroom. Those boxes went into one large Billy bookcase (everyone knows the plain jane bookcases from Ikea?) and a smaller bookcase. It is amazing how many books a bookcase can hold. Now we are ready for …

Cabin fever

G'day all!

I am getting a bad case of cabin fever at the moment.

Over this weekend and last weekend, I have or am about to miss:

The Australian Quilt Convention
Stitches and Craft
Field of Women (footy match with a breast cancer fund raiser beforehand)
Mother's Day Classic (breast cancer fund raiser, 4/8km walk/run)

Even if I thought it was a good idea to go near lots of people whilst my immune system is run down, we don't have any money for me to spend, which would frustrate me even more! Plus online there's some material I want to buy at a good price but again, no money.

*grump* *whine* *moan*

Yes, this too shall pass and I do expect to be able to do these things next year (though the material will never again be available and that makes me pout more) but I am letting myself feel sooky and unloved and left out when I should be focussing on the things I can do. But the things I can do are BORING! I've been doing them for MONTHS and MONTHS and MONTHS. My world has con…

hair and spit

G'day all!

Who would ever think that two of the things I most miss about this whole cancer trip are my hair and my spit? Isn't it funny how things you miss are the normal sorts of things, average, everyday stuff like good health, hair and saliva?

Yep, we are getting into the grind now. The side effects are building up as my overall health declines. It is really hard to exercise when one gets this weird indigestion and sheer getting off the couch in the week after chemo is starting to become one's major source of exercise (showering is a daily feat that I am proud of!). I am getting better from the whackiness of earlier in the week - so glad I didn't have to go out shopping or anything until today (apart from Sunday's market excursion) - but oof! I remember happy days of riding my bike around, and if I rode a fair way, feeling tired the next day. Now I get the tired without the joy of riding around! And the spit thing is just plain weird. My mouth is dry-feeli…

May the fourth be with you

G'day all!

It is an old line but a good one.

Thanks for further commiserations. I've got some good suggestions, we'll try some stuff out. And I have to email a couple of you but currently am trying to take it easy. I keep trying too hard to get things done when I should just sit back and ask DH to do stuff. He will actually do stuff, he just has to be asked first. And I am too darned independent to ask most of the time.

Yesterday, since life had given us 3kg of strawberries for $10, we made strawberry jam. I sat outside in the shade (omg, sunshine hurts! So glad sunnies should arrive later this week then I'll be able to see again without getting headaches!) and chopped the yucky bits off and put them in a pot, coated them in sugar, chucked in some lemon juice (not enough, needed pectin) and made jam. DH did the bottling and we put them in the steriliser but got it a bit wrong - the leftover jam is sold as a rock, the processed stuff is runny! Ah well. As long as…

an appeal for calm

G'day all!

Thanks for commiserations. This new chemo sucks! My energy levels are pretty low at the moment, though I am getting some bits and bobs done *by my choice* (and DH is helping out and doing stuff I'd otherwise do).

I need some help. Last time I whinged about DH's behaviour. I probably should not have, and I apologise to him. Why?

People are (in the Australian form) dakking on him. Yes, he needs to find work, I've sat with him this morning as he's gone through the online job forums and quite frankly, there is not much out there for someone with a strong research background but no financial background in computing.

If you step back and think about it, how would you feel if:

a) you lose your job
b) you have to move countries at short notice
c) your wife is diagnosed with cancer
d) you can't find a job
e) you fear you are going to lose your house, and
f) you fear you are going to lose your wife?

He's having huge difficulties finding work. There's not th…