A sigh of relief

G'day all!

Today could've been a very bad day.

Last week, I started spinning again - haven't felt the urge to spin for about six weeks so I didn't! But I am supposedly participating in the Tour de Fleece and that means spinning.

So I decided to spin up some of my Ixchelbunny fluff - I have a fair bit of her stuff, trying to support a local businessperson and all. Plus she's been doing it tough after having to have a hysterectomy last year when the docs found cancer. Here's me, perfectly fertile until recently but not wanting kids, and Charly wants them but can't. (There's my little plug ;-)

I already had done half a hank of top and as is my wont, went over the top in spinning for about four hours on that first day. Then I backed up for some more spinning the next day, and suddenly I had a really sore shoulder, particularly the area under the shoulder blade and across the armpit into the ribs. On my right side.

In rubbing the sore bits, I found a lump in my armpit. The lump kept coming back and felt quite sore and is just about the same place as the nasty lymph node I had earlier this year.


It was a very very long weekend for one that was the usual two days. Cos of course I found the lump (consistently) on the weekend. It made for one night of very poor sleep and one night of sleeping like a log. Even when I'm stressed out of my nut, I still tend to sleep fairly well. I'll do the odd night of bad sleep but the rest I'm so exhausted that I just sleep. (Being on chemo has been an adventure in insomnia for me - I tend not to suffer it and hopefully won't in the future but during chemo? BLAH!)

On Monday morning I rang up the breast care nurses and they got me an appointment with the oncologist the next day in the regular Tuesday clinic. (Oddly enough, I was sure I'd talk to Carmel and guess which nurse answered the phone?)

Did I stop spinning? Umm, no.... Spinning is soothing. Plus I could still steal the odd feel of the lump in my armpit - it was amazing just how often my left hand stole across to check it out. Still there? DANG! I think it must've checked things out about 20 times an hour - no wonder the thing is a bit ouchy!

Today, whilst DH and my BiL put a steel support beam into the kitchen roof (so we can pull the wall out and open up the kitchen to the loungeroom), I sat and sewed a whole lot of quilting stuff. I sewed some 2.5" strips together to be part of a quilt backing. Plus I've had a pretty quilt half done for most of a year now but because all the pieces were not quite the same size, it would NOT go together. Last week I pulled apart various pieces, ironed them flat (again) and cut them all to size. Today I started putting them back together again. I won't say they are perfect but I've got a chance of making the quilt look like this:

(my design drawing)

So far so good on the quilting front. It is looking quite good, not perfect but I can't be bothered chasing perfection currently. I'm happy with good enough. Heck I'm happy with sewn together well enough that it won't come apart immediately. And it kept me occupied as I twitched about the lump, the one I talked about on Thursday and thought was not an issue. Funny how things start dwelling on you. I have to admit crying a LOT and fearing the worst. I am rather attached to this life, I am quite enjoying it (minus all the chemo and cancer crap) and I don't want to have to give it up quite yet. I've seen close family members die of cancer and I really would prefer to die of a heart attack given the option. Even my father's descent into true vapidness seems preferable, even with the stripping away of dignity and memory as the mind fades into blankness.

The time of the appointment approached and I drove off, gritting my teeth, panicking. I get rather cranky when I'm driving and feeling stressed, and of course I got every car that does 10-15kmh below the speed limit or drives in all possible lanes or just does dumb stuff. I arrived at the hospital 10 minutes early despite the best efforts of the craptastic drivers ahead of me all the way. I then knitted frantically, determinedly, not looking at the ladies around me except for the arab lady who I am sure I sat next to at the Look Good, Feel Better seminar I went to (which reminds me, I have some makeup available for anyone with fair skin who likes stinky stuff - most of it has too much perfume for me). I knitted knitted knitted until I heard my name called (and my proper name not the one on my birth certificate).


*bibble* I've got a lump in my armpit *bibble*

Hmm. let's look at it. (he feels the thing, notes that it is very mobile and quite soft). Given what I can feel, I am pretty sure it is just an inflammatory lymph node.

*bibble* It's annoyed with all the stuff it's having to clear? *bibble*

Probably. You've got tests for next week, we'll check it then. When's your surgery?

*bibble* Haven't been told yet *bibble*

Don't worry about it, it is most likely nothing. (and the implication is that surgery will get whatever bits need to be got) Here's how I think your tumour is shrinking. It isn't going down like this (effectively a balloon) - instead it is shrinking in patches (he drew a picture that looked like a rotting sponge or something).

And after thanking him, I slunk out of there wishing I could jump for joy. But the aftermath of chemo has my legs feeling leaden and really stiff, so not much dancing around here. (You should see me bending over to pick up stuff - I am like an old woman. The creaks and groans, and if I keep having to bend over, I have to have a sit down it hurts so much! I am soooo stiff.)

And I couldn't sing along with the radio on the way home either cos the chemo has stolen my voice. (I am not a great singer but I can hold a tune and I do enjoy warbling, and I really miss my voice. I can't even talk easily, or cough. I can do really good sneezes though and painful too, like a thousand little needles hitting my pharynx.)

But at least I could sorta taste the thai curry DH insisted we go get to celebrate the good news (and cos he couldn't clean up the kitchen enough for me to cook in).


Believe it or not, I did take pics last week of my chemo queen jacket. For an unknown reason, the camera decided to focus on the handrail on our stairs rather than me or the background. So nearly every picture was a dud out of about 15 that I took. I am starting to think I'll never have pics of it. And I took pics of my scone. The hair that is choosing to grow back is about a centimetre long now. It is pretty manky and has quite obviously growth "rings" on it. But it is hair. I don't think it is as thick as it was (and it was not very thick before chemo) so maybe more hair is yet to start growing after the taxotere. I'm looking forward to various other hairs growing cos my eyebrows are pretty manky and I have about 30 eyelashes all up, mostly short stumpy things. I know which hair will start growing. Eg my hairy mole on my cheek has started putting out hair again, nice dark hairs - gee thanks, mole!

Anyway, it means I can go up to Bendi for the wool show and not worry any more than I might anyway about upcoming surgery, etc. A lovely local SnBer/Raveller is picking me up early on Friday along with a friend of hers and we are staying overnight up there in a self contained flat. I can do my own meals (cos I am too late to get into the Ravelry dinner and breakfast, plus my food restrictions are not fair to place on someone so late, particularly given breakfast is pancakes/crepes). I just hope I start getting a bit more energy back and can walk a ways - currently I can walk about 300m before I flake. I need one of those old lady walkers - the ones with the basket on the front and the seat :-)



  1. What a big relief indeed. I am so glad to read your news!!!! What good people the doctors and nurses are!!
    Good luck with the resewing and the kitchen beams, and have a great time at Bendigo!!!

  2. Yes Have a great time at Bendigo. One of these days I'll make it home and go to the Sheep and wool festival there. Good news about the lump ---- if you ever find another one, make it be on a weekday instead of the weekend.

  3. Phew - I am glad that the doctor was able to give you positive news.


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