Thursday, September 28, 2006

Some lovely gifts

While I have been out of action I have received some beautiful gifts...I thought I would share....


A lovely friend of mine...Sandie from Australia, made this most exquisite Victorian pin cushion for me. It is absolutely beautiful, and the work gone into it is just astounding. The base of it is wooden made by Sandies husband. It is too good to use. Sandie also made some hat pins to stick into it, which finishes the pincushion off so well. A truly lovely gift, and I cant stop touching it and looking at it.




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The 2nd gift is a Crazy Quilted needlecase made by anothr Australian lady, Florence, that I have never met. She heard about me through Sandie, and decided to make me the needlecase. Again the amount of work gone into it is amazing. The colours are so lovely. Florence also added some dyed trims that I will be able to add to my own crazy quilting projects. I had been wanting to make myself another needlecase for my sewing needles, so this gift came along at the perfect time...but it is another gift that is too good to use....so delicate.









Sorry about the quality about the photos....I never seem to get the perfect photo.


Another gift I received a couple of months back were a heap of fabrics and a pattern.





The fabrics were...Zweigart Cashel 28ct Tobacco fat quarter, 4 x Kiwi Illusions Belfast 32ct (favourite fabric) - Wild Rose, Shortbread, Waterfall and Merino, and a Kiwi Illusions Jubilee 28ct - Seaside. Also the pattern Merry Christmas. This gift was from my good friend Andie and Linda from Countrystitch. I was thrilled to get som much beautiful fabric...I cant wait to use it.

I am slowly coming along with my cardigan. It is almost getting to hot to knit. But I want to get it out of the way, so it is ready for next winter, and so I can get back to my own stitching and crazy quilting.

Just on the health side...an oncologist rang yesterday, and it is still likely I will have chemo...just as an insurance for any missed cancer cells. It depressed me a bit....but also I thought I would hate to sit around always wondering if all the baddies were gone, or if another one was going to pop up. You never know I might look quite sexy bald...maybe one day I will be brave enough to show the 'hair' before and after photos :)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Im back...again :)

Well there is going to be no marathon running yet, but I am at home. I look like something from Frankenstiens party, battered and bruised, with stitches all over the place. The 2 operations went well...the combined top and tail. I did have a shocking reaction to the after effects of anesthetic, morphine and drinking too much water...before the bowels started working after being thrown around during the operation. So I suffered with a shocking nausea, a hot flush feeling, and then the vomiting started...I wonder if going cold turkey off drugs is like that. But that is past. I kept the nurses on their toes that night, trying to get the right concoction of anti-sick drugs to fix me.

I have had results for both ends now. The ovary situaton...well that was just a big benign tumour (not even related to the breast cancer...so good not to have the preg feel anymore, and to lose all the kilos I had gained. Now just sore with my zip pattern up my tummy. The breast side of things...there they cut out a bigger area to get a clearer margin and I had lymph nodes removed. So now I have to look after my arm and get no infections there, so I don't overload the lymph glands. And I get a numb feeling up and down my arm which will evntually pass.

Everything there has come back clear...so it looks as though I wont be needing chemo, because the cancer never spread...but still the radiation...which is such good news. I just have to wait...again...until my meeting with the oncologist who will come over to the West Coast to see me and see what the best plan of attack is. I may be back in Christchurch in around 3 - 4 weeks for radiation...just depends how quick I see the oncologist.

When I was lying in hospital recovering, every time I saw one of my multitude of doctors, I knew things would be OK because they were always so happy with how I was. And I could feel it too. Especially the lymph nodes...I felt my body was healthy there.

I want to thank everyone for their prayers and best wishes. I still have a while to go on my trek...but Im getting there :)

We quite enjoyed it in Christchurch, but so glad to get back to the peace and quiet of our little town. My animals sure are glad to see me.

Hope everyone is well :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Hospitals....getting used to the visits now.

Firstly I would like to say thank you to everyone who has visited my blog recently. Wow. I have new visitors...its lovely to meet you all.

Well here I am back from hospital. And guess what, I didnt have surgery. Not too much drama really but a very interesting turn of events when I mentioned the abdominal problems I have been having. Regular readers will remember around the middle of June when I said I had stomach cramp and bloating...I really thought it was due to the stress of finding out about cancer etc.

Went into the hospital on Wednesday, and the house surgeon came to visit me to see if I was in good health for surgery(LOL). Mentioned the bloating etc. She felt my stomach...next minute xrays, ultrasounds and blood tests were being ordered. Well blow me down...no I am not pregnant....I have a tumour on one of my ovarys. After a hysterectomy 6 years ago, both ovaries left...I think yippeee thats it for any surgery down there again...how wrong can one be!

So the house surgeon & my surgeon and her registrar are all in 'we need to check everything mode' so breast surgery was put off, I had a CT scan...which showed bone lesions. So I had to have a bone scan (being injected with radioactive material is a real blast).

At this point I will explain all this. The ultrasound showed some solid bits on the tumour...which gave suspicions of cancer. What they had to determine was, had it spread from the breast, had the breast got it from the ovary, or was it another primary cancer (new). Xrays and blood tests from when I first had surgery (3 weeks ago) were all clear, so it showed any cancer in my body hadnt gone to the liver or lungs - the first places breast of ovarian cancer will go too (they are very similar in the way they act). So the CT scan would show if there was any general spreading, but this showed the lesions, so the next step, the bone scan would show if cancer had gone to the bones - that would be diastrous.

The CT scan was good, except for lesions. The bone scans thankfully, were clear. The lesions were not eating away of bone (which would be indicative of cancer), but extra bits had appeared...probably caused when I was younger from situations such as falling off horses or any other misadventure I managed to put my body through.

The breast cancer op was put on hold...the ovarys suddenly went to No. 1 position. So I met a gyno surgeon...lovely man of few words. I am booked in next week to have the ovarys removed, and then my breast surgeon will come in and do her bit. (so almost a top and tail) Nothing more can be told about the ovary until it is removed, but the general news is, after all the tests, whatever it is, it hasnt spread.

So I am looking at up to 2 weeks in hospital, surgery is next week...they really want to look after me. The whole thing put everyone in a spin...because there were discussions of various outcomes and treatments...I may of had to have chemo or radiation first. If it went to bones, they wouldnt of worried about the breast straight away....gosh I almost had the coffin nailed shut. I knew things were getting worse, when the surgeons kept going off to ring DH all the time to come up to hospital because 'He needs to hear this'.

I was allowed out on leave on Friday, and went back into the ward this morning, thinking I was going to visit the oncologist for the next step. One of the surgeons had rung me on Saturday morning (we stayed in CHCH), to say some of the tests had come back clear. That was encouraging. Then I found out this morning I didnt need to see the oncologist at this stage, because the rest of the tests were good.

So as I wrote earlier, once the ovary is out, that will say what sort of further treatment I need, and same with the extra breast surgery (just removing a clearer margin) and removal of lymph nodes. But the good thing through all this is, everything is treatable. There was even talk of maybe not having chemo...I wont hold my breath there...thats only if lymph nodes are clear.

But it is all terribly exhausting...being in hospital was great because all the people I have been dealing with, all came and sat with me for hours on end just answering questions. And they didnt care that I asked the same questions over and over. I found it hard to sleep, and the nurses on 'graveyard' duty were happy to sit and chat as well. All I can say is the staff at Christchurch Hospital are fantastic.

Which takes me back to the doctor I visited here in town here when I first got the stomach cramps...I finally got in to see a locum - after being put on hold all the time - to be poked and prodded, and sent home being told not to eat anything. The problem went away so I forgot about it. It had come back a few weeks later ( I thought due to the stress of this other business - but obviously activated by my cycle). But I never worried about it. Maybe I should have gone back to the doctor, to say the problem wasnt going away, but I didnt want to spend money to be told nothing was wrong again. In hindsight I think I am my own worst enemy when it comes to visiting doctors.

During the weekend I visited a hairdresser, and I was so tempted to cut all my hair off, I just got a good trim and tidy up...hair tends to dry out after anesthestic. Just as well I didnt have a major assault on my hair....it would have been drastic and maybe even unecessary. Thats another thing that can wait until I hear more results.

Staying with the rest of my family over the weekend was really humbling. Davidson House is where people with cancer and their families can stay during treatment - when they come from outside Christchurch. I met some fantastic people, that are dealing with their own demons.

I am still going to knit my hats though...well a couple at least...it will keep me busy, even though I still have the dreaded cardi to knit and all my stitching and crazy quilting.

Wow, I have really prattled on, I hope it is understandable...thanks you again for all the well wishes :)

I am far from out of the woods yet and still taking one day at a time!!!!